RHK Corporation

Service Stations & other Construction Projects    Building Materials & other Details


...To avoid any legal problems with licensee holding companies, David Ross convinced Harrison and a local contractor, Karl Kettelhut, to form a new company, R-H-K Corporation, Ross's fourth business venture.  R-H-K was founded on April 21, 1934 with its offices at 3083 Main Street in Lafayette, Indiana, for the sole purpose of manufacturing and selling Rostone building materials.  This move allowed Rostone Incorporated to return to its primary function, the research of building materials.  "When the Federal Government slapped on the Holding Act, R-H-K was formed.  It was our only way out.  We hired a couple of architects and salesman and went out to sell Rostone”. 28

The success of the new corporation was to prove very frustrating.  Karl Kettelhut resigned from the company on June 1,1935.  "Karl left because we just couldn't give him enough business. He could do much better as a private contractor”. 29   While R-H-K Corporation had taken over the new manufacturing facilities on Earl Avenue and had almost all the former Rostone production employees working for them, they still relied heavily on the engineers from Rostone Incorporated to assist them In selling homes and building materials.

R-H-K made many attempts to expand their markets but were thwarted by the inability to convince architects, contractors and homebuyers of the value of Rostone.  The company did build several homes and commercial buildings around Lafayette and Chicago, including the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority House at 325 Waldron Street in West Lafayette, but by 1937, R-H-K Corporation was forty-two thousand dollars in debt with little prospect of recovery. 30  R-H-K just didn't have the people capable of totally designing and building houses.  The failure of Rostone Circle, a group of houses built in 1936 off Highway 43 just south of Lafayette to stimulate sales, and Ross's insistence on building ten demonstration homes instead of one, created a serious financial problem.  (excerpt from David Ross)

            As of 2016, many structures of Rostone have survived.  A few homes in Lafayette and West Lafayette can be found.















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