From father to son, A. E. Ruston Electric has stood as the testament to a steady, family-owned business that has survived the test of time.

For that reason, and many others, A. E. Ruston Electric and its owner, Sonny Ruston, will be honored with the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce's Business of The Year Award at the chamber's Annual Appreciation Banquet to be held Thursday, October 25. Ruston will share the honor of Business Of The Year with Western Lawn, Garden and Appliance and its owner, Mike Dearth.

The banquet will be held in the Family Life Center of the Christ United Methodist Church on Portsmouth Street in Jackson and the event is currently sold out. However, those who wish may call 286-2722 to submit a name and phone number for a waiting list, in case of cancellations. The guest speaker for this year's Banquet will be the Honorable Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, a former Ohio Auditor Of State, who is serving in her second year as Lt. Governor.
A. E. Ruston Electric: 90 Years and Counting

"This has truly been the definition of a family business for almost a century," said Randy Heath, the executive director of the chamber. "It is just these kinds of businesses that help make a local economy go, and have done it for decades."

The business was started by Alfred E. Ruston in Athens, but he soon moved the business to Jackson in 1935 to a location on Vaughn Street, before moving to Dickason Street, then to Main Street where the Appalachian Highway is now; then to its current location in 1969 at the intersection of Main Street and Florence Avenue.

Alfred Ruston, the son, joined the business in 1961 and worked with his father until 1989. Because people were confused who to ask for when the son joined the business, they just asked for "Sonny," and the name stuck.

The business deals with the repair of electric motors, machine work, and industrial wiring.

"We started working with the coal miners and now work with sand, gravel and limestone quarries, foundries, saw mills, and industries," said Ruston, who said they work with many of the local industries as well.

"It was very special to be able to learn the business from the mother and father," he noted. "I knew I wanted this to be my life's work. I never looked at anything else."

He attributes his success to very loyal customers and good employees, with three of them being with him for more than 15 years, one of them with 20 years and another with 25.

"I still enjoy working every day and am very grateful and appreciative of my customers, employees, and the community," he summarized.