Becky McDowell, owner of Cheyenne Electric Inc., is pulling the plug after 33 years in business.
“I guess I decided it was time (to retire),” she said last week at her office at 702 McCann Road. “You just kind of know these things.”
McDowell, 61, said Cheyenne Electric stopped talking orders more than a month ago, adding she has been packing and working to sell the firm’s remaining assets. The business closed Saturday.
However, the metal building that has housed Cheyenne Electric will not sit idle for long. Chase Wildt, owner of Wildts Wiring at 411 W. Cotton St., has a contract to buy the building and plans to move in by the end of the year.
Cheyenne Electric, named for the only child of McDowell and her late husband, Randy, began at their former home on Young Street and moved four times over the decades, McDowell said. It’s been at its present site about 12 years.
McDowell, a Houston native who’s lived in Longview about 55 years and graduated from Longview High School in 1974, said her husband followed his father, E.R. McDowell, by becoming an electrical contractor.
“It was his passion,” she said.
McDowell started in the business as an electrician’s helper, going to job sites. As the business grew she focused more on office work.
Cheyenne has handled commercial, residential and industrial electrical work across East Texas.
“We have done a lot of lighting work, ball field lights, all the schools,” McDowell said. The work at municipal and school district ball fields involved both installing and servicing the lights.
Technological advances have changed electrical work over the years.
“One thing is the equipment you can buy to do the job makes it so much easier” for electricians, she said.
Digger trucks, which arrived around 2006, are one example.
“We have a truck that can dig the holes, pick up the poles and set them in the ground,” McDowell said, referring to work formerly done manually.
It was more than equipment that kept Cheyenne growing, though. McDowell said the…