A.M. Welles, Inc. of Norris, Montana is a business that has grown and expanded as each new generation of the Hokanson family has taken up the reins. They have been recognized as the winner of the 2018 Montana Family Business the year in the large business category (more than 50 employees), by the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship State Farm Insurance Family Business Day
A. M. Welles started as a lumber company, which was then expanded into trucking. The next generation moved into maintaining and building roads, which led to the addition of becoming a gravel crushing operation.
That generation also added a fuel business.
The next generation bought two convenience stores and then opened more convenience stores in other nearby towns, adding fuel stations to them.
With each expansion and the additions that each generation brought, there came new technology – from computers to do the bookkeeping, to computers to diagnose problems with the operation of trucks and other equipment, and even more computers with GPS systems that help to set the grade of the roads they build.
Not surprisingly, A. M. Wells has become the largest employer in Madison County, but the company is very important to the community in many other ways, as well. They donate and support many causes within the communities in which they operate, and are especially supportive of the Harrison School.
Harrison School is very small – just 63 kids in grades K-12. They donated playground equipment and frequently help students in the shop classes with their technical education.