Larry Elhart started in the electrical industry in 1968 as an apprentice in Medicine Hat, transferring to Lethbridge with the company he was working for in 1969. He received his journeyman status in April 1972 in Lethbridge.
Larry met his future wife, Judy, in Lethbridge in 1971. In early 1972 they decided to marry, but Larry wanted to make sure that he passed his exams for journeyman status before officially buying a ring and proposing. Larry wanted to be able to fully support Judy and himself on journeyman wages, even though Judy had a full-time job herself. Larry did obtain his journeyman licence in April 1972 and they were married on October 7, 1972 in Lethbridge.
In February of 1973, Larry’s dad informed him of an electrical company in Medicine Hat – Klemm Electric – that was closing due to the retirement of its owner. Larry thought it would be a great opportunity to fulfill a dream he always had of starting his own business, as he would be able to purchase any tools and equipment he needed from Mr. Klemm.
April 1, 1973 marked the first business day in Medicine Hat for Elhart’s Electric. While working out of their rented house, Larry did all the electrical installations and promotion during the day while estimating at nights and on weekends. Judy stayed at home as the bookkeeper and answered the business phone.
In the spring of 1974, Larry and Judy were able to purchase their first home, using Judy’s earnings that she had made while working in Lethbridge as the down payment.
In the spring of 1975, Mr. Klemm passed away unexpectedly. This was particularly disturbing to Larry as Mr. Klemm had been signing electrical permits for Elhart’s Electric and there was a period of time that had to pass between receiving journeyman status and writing for the Master’s licence that would enable Larry to obtain permits on his own for his electrical installations. There was also a baby on the way for Larry and Judy at that time, so this added even more pressure to the situation. So, in a period of a few short weeks, Larry studied every spare hour he had after putting in a full day’s work, and wrote for his Master’s licence (most people take months to study for this exam). Larry was successful and received his Master’s licence on April 18, 1975. In July of 1975, a daughter, Nicole, was born to Larry and Judy.
1978 marked the year Elhart’s Electric was able to purchase their own commercial property at 954 19 Street SW to operate the business from and where they remain to this day.
Spring of 1979 brought the birth of a son, Mark, to Larry and Judy.
July of 1997 is when Mark started as an apprentice, right out of high school, obtaining journeyman status in the spring of 2001. Mark worked as a journeyman for several years – he learned the estimating and management aspects of the business prior to becoming a partner with Larry in 2005 and the president of the company.