HB’s dedication to the creation of high quality products begins with the patriarch of the Hughes family, John Morse Hughes. Father Hughes was a skilled carpenter who came to Seward, NE in 1893 to work. He quickly developed a reputation for structures forged with an obvious devotion to painstaking-detail and an unwavering adherence to standards. He passed this commitment to maintaining standards to his sons—the next generation of Hughes. John, Burr, Ted, and Ben learned the basics of industrial production from their father. Following his death in 1918, the brothers combined to form Hughes Brothers, Inc.

One of the first challenges HB faced was a severe ice storm that crippled Seward in 1921. Several crossarms that connected lines to illuminate the city required replacement to restore service to Seward citizens. At the request of the director of the Blue River Power Company, HB replaced all the crossarms the storm destroyed. The successful completion of these structures facilitated the expansion of HB. From then on, HB was dedicated to delivering the finest wooden crossarms available anywhere. Their commitment to uncompromised quality has guided their work ever since.

As the 20s roared on, HB’s growth continued. In 1927 HB incorporated steel products into their business and later introduced the distribution crossarm brace which is one of HB’s Century Tested™ items. Later in 1929, HB introduced their signature X-Brace for H-Frames to add stability and reliability to any structure. When developed, the X-Brace was tested under various conditions to ensure that it was structurally sound and engineered properly. Since then, additional tests have been developed to guarantee the continued reliability and strength characteristics of each newly developed X-Brace design.

The four original Hughes Brothers (from left to right): John, Burr, Ted, and Ben Hughes. Photo taken July, 1942.


Adding the X Brace to H Frame transmission structures extends the life of the H frame? When developed, the X Brace was tested under various conditions to ensure that it is weather and storm-ready. Since then, additional tests have been developed to guarantee that the changing threats of nature will not disrupt service.