Bridge to Success

Courtesy photo  Cannon Builders built a temporary bridge for Most Wanted Drilling so they could position the equipment to drill piers for a bridge at Henry’s Fork.
Elisa Magagna
Staff Writer

Bridge to Success
Cannon Builders is a down-to-earth organization, filled with people who really care about doing their jobs well. Joe Cannon bought the property from a dairy farmer in 1976 and converted the milking barn into an office. Years later, after decades of success, the company is still located behind a quaint house on Airport Road. Ironically, the first employee (who ever worked for Joe Cannon) lives in that house.

The company changed and grew from a handful of employees to now having over 60 workers who work for Joe’s son, Curtis.

Curtis Cannon says he always enjoyed working with his dad. Although Curtis did gain satisfaction from being part of various construction crews, it didn't take him long to decide he’d rather own a business than swing a hammer. Fully realizing this, he earned his business finance degree from the University of Utah in '99. In 2002, his father, Joe Cannon became an elected state representative and Curtis managed operations.

During that time, Curtis learned everything he could about building and repairing bridges.  He quickly discovered that not many people truly understand what goes into creating a safe bridge.

Curtis said, "I’m fortunate that my father set the company up right. He set our family up for success."

In 2006, when Joe and his wife Jeanne accepting a calling to serve as 3-year mission presidents in South Dakota, Curtis began fully running the company. Curtis attributes his consequent business success to how his father established Cannon Builders and to strong working relationships that helped jobs turn out well.
Over the years, Curtis has worked with many formative people, one of which was Philip Stilson, owner of Most Wanted Drilling (and father of the managing editor at the Morning News, Elisa Magagna). Curtis recalls hearing the caisson drilling company's name and asking his father, "Most Wanted? What is their logo, a cowboy with a scarf?"

"Exactly," Joe responded.

Curtis says of Phil, "We've worked on some pretty tough jobs together. We learned to trust each other. Sometimes in construction different companies do their work separately because they don't want to 'pay for each other's sins.' My work with Phil was unusual to the trade. In some circumstances we even placed concrete together. There were times Most Wanted had to drill 100-foot holes in some hard to reach places. On one job in Ashton we even built a temporary bridge onto a river to get a drill rig where it needed to be. But Phil and I just made it work."

When remembering the work Most Wanted did with Curtis Cannon, Ruby Stilson (previous office manager at Most Wanted) said, "Phil used to say that if building bridges was for the girl scouts, everybody would do it. It's honest, hard-working people who get the job done."

Philip Stilson also talked about his work with Cannon Builders. "Curtis never looked for problems, instead he always looks for solutions—how to make things better for everyone involved. The Cannons are good people and that's what their company is built on: honesty and quality."

Philip Stilson sold his drilling company, but still visits Curtis about two times a year. "It's a nice feeling after you've worked with different companies, you come out as friends and family. That’s what Curtis has become to me.”

Cannon Builders opened in 1976 and continues to be a strong asset to Bingham County and surrounding areas. Curtis attributes their growth to a natural progression of good people who have worked for (and with) the company.

Cannon Builders currently has many ongoing jobs—including the Rose Interchange. The company is actively looking for hard-working people (especially those skilled with concrete) who would like to work as part of their team.  Cannon Builders can be found online at or by calling 208-785-6281.