In the 1920’s, Clayton McVay, known as Paw-Mac to his many grandchildren, was a sharecropper. At the start of The Great Depression, he picked up the masonry trade and learned how to build chimneys in his local community of Deer Field LA, now known as Delhi, LA. He had the foresight to see that he needed more than just farming skills to feed his large family. He and Crittie McVay, known as Maw Mac, had 13 children and hard work was engrained in each of them. Paw Mac’s sixth son, Curtis, born in 1928, had a passion for the bricklaying trade that Paw Mac had become a local legend at. Curtis felt and enjoyed the appreciation that the sharecroppers had for them providing warmth and the luxury of a brick fireplace in their home.
Curtis had several brothers that were bricklayers. They worked together on bigger projects and on their own when only smaller jobs were available. Curtis has two sons and one son-in-law who he taught how to lay brick. Don Williams, his son-in-law, was the oldest and after several years of training, he saw an opportunity to get into larger commercial projects. In 1986, Don obtained his Louisiana masonry license to perform work over $50,000, creating Williams Brickworks. With the help of his younger brother Dennis Williams, who had started his career with Curtis McVay Brickworks as well, he began to do large hospitals, schools, and prisons. They quickly built a name in north Louisiana and north Mississippi with an annual labor and equipment total of around 1 million per year.
In 1949, a few weeks before Curtis was to be married to Louis McVay, Curtis and Paw Mac were building chimneys. They had five to build that week for a local landowner inside new sharecropper homes. They took the mule and loaded the tools they needed to work. They worked sunup to sundown and had a goal to build one per day. They charged the $5 per chimney. The average hourly rate for the steel and oil industry was $0.50 per hour at that time in the big cities. Paw Mac took Curtis with him to the landowner’s home that Friday to deliver the invoice and pick up the payment. The landowner told Paw Mac that he had plans to build an elaborate chimney in his own home. Paw Mac then told Curtis that he could have the job on his own to make some money for his upcoming wedding to Louise. It took Curtis 3.5 days of hard work to build the chimney. At the end of the fourth day, Curtis turned in an invoice for $14.00. The landowner threw a fit, but at the end of a heated discussion paid the $14.00. This was the beginning of Curtis McVay Brickworks.
Don had 2 sons, Donnie and Philip, that he taught the work ethic, project management skills, and instilled the business mind he had obtained from many years in the commercial masonry world. Dennis also had 2 sons, Jonathon and Josh, that Don and Dennis trained to lay brick and manage projects. In 2004, Don’s oldest son Donnie, obtained his Louisiana masonry license. He then began performing work all over Louisiana, working in partnership with Philip. In 2014, Don began the retirement process, turning the business over to his sons and forming DRP Masonry. Donnie obtained a Mississippi masonry license and DRP began doing work in Texas, Mississippi & Louisiana. With the combined efforts of younger brother Philip Williams, Uncle Dennis, Jonathon Williams, Josh Williams and a group of educated estimators, bookkeepers & project managers, DRP has grown fifteen times larger than total sales in 2013. DRP Masonry is now licensed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas & Alabama with a bonding capability of 7 million per job and 18 million total capacity.
Donnie's oldest son, Taylor Williams, and son-in-law, Jimmy Gaiennie along with Philip's son, Dillon, are now working for the family business and will one day take over over DRP Masonry as the fifth generation.