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About Us

Our History

It all started with a little red truck.


With a single truck and a handful of linemen, Penn Line starts in the wake of the Great Depression, building lines for the Bell Telephone Company. Grinding hard work is the order of the day as linemen dig five-foot holes and set 100-pound poles by hand.


At the start of the post-war industrial boom, Robert S. Reese, known fondly as “Pappy,” becomes a partner in the young company, bringing tree trimming and right-of-way clearing to the business mix. Known for insisting that the Company achieve success through “fair dealing and good work,” Reese leaves an indelible mark on the organization as its Chairman and CEO for some 30 years.

The same year, Dodge introduced its Power Wagon, a civilian version of the light cargo military trucks produced for the Army during World War II. Advertised as a “self-propelled power plant,” the Power Wagon becomes the workhorse of the fleet and a lasting, iconic symbol of the Company’s beginnings.


With chainsaws still too “newfangled” and pricey to be in wide use, crews trim trees and clear overgrown brush using cross-cut saws, bucksaws, and axes. The average laborer earns 77¢ an hour. Bus and train fares for traveling workers are routine entries on the Company’s general ledger.


Penn Line Service is incorporated in Pennsylvania and holds its first annual meeting of shareholders on December 4, 1953.


Penn Line rides a wave of construction created by the post-war Federal Aid Highway Act, which authorizes the creation of some 41,000 miles of highways across America. The interstate boom spurs the beginning of the Company’s roadside seeding operations, which ultimately grow to include other core highway activities.


Penn Line acquires Tri-County Electric Company, an inside commercial electric contractor based in Elkins, West Virginia. The operations of Olde Towne Electric of Manassas, Virginia, another contractor acquired in 1992, are later wrapped up into Tri-County.


Continuing a tradition of employee ownership that began in 1979, Penn Line officially became an ESOP company. Company stock buyback takes several years, ending in 2010 when Penn Line reaches 100% employee-owned status.


Penn Line acquires D. W. Miller, Inc., a pavement marker contractor located in Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania. Pavement marker operations are run out of the Roadside, Reclamation, & Landscape operation.


Purchased the assets of Cascade Land Clearing Inc DBA Choate Forest Pros, whose clearing operations became part of the Tree Operations.


Acquired MorganRail Inc., whose guide rail and highway signage operations are part of the Roadside Operations.


Restructured our corporation to highlight our four distinct operating companies, Penn Line Tree Service, Inc., Penn Line Energy T&D, Inc., Penn Line Service, Inc., and Tri County Electric, Inc., consolidating them under the parent company Penn Line Enterprises Inc.


Purchased the assets of Extreme Energy Services Inc, whose operations are now active in Penn Line Energy T&D Inc.