Our History

  • Morrison Knudsen Company Headquarters 1924 on Broadway Ave, Boise.
  • EmKayans at Boise Main Office 1924
  • Name list key for previous company photo
  • EmKayan Horse Team
  • Boise Memorial Bridge
  • Cascade Dam
  • Anderson Ranch Dam, South Fork Boise River
  • Lizard Butte, Marsing
  • Salt Lake Causeway
  • Bogus Basin Resort Ski Lift, Boise
  • Mt. Baldy Ski Lift Sun Valley, ID 1947
  • Hoover Dam
  • Boise Bench utilities

Background Information

Morrison Knudsen Foundation was started in 1947 at the Morrison-Knudsen Company (M-K) with donations from M-K employees. Morrison Knudsen Company was a construction and engineering company founded in 1912 by Harry Morrison and Morris Knudsen. M-K played a crucial role in developing our community. Some of their local projects included the New York Canal, Bogus Basin, Cascade Reservoir, Boise Memorial Bridge, and building numerous roads, railroad lines, power and water projects. M-K also completed many prestigious national and international engineering feats such as Hoover Dam, San Francisco Bay Bridge, Penn Station, and Buenos Aires Subway. Morrison Knudsen expanded their business to include management of manufacturing plants, mining operations and a locomotive remanufacturing business (M-K Locomotive Shop started in Boise, Idaho).

Ann 1


Harry Morrison’s wife, Ann Daly Morrison, was the driving force in forming the Foundation. Known as “the First Lady of Construction,” she traveled alongside Mr. Morrison from project to project all over the world, but equally important, she also was known as an incredibly kind and generous woman. The forward to her 1951 book covering her 37 years in the early construction business titled, “Those Were The Days,” described Ann as “literally swinging on Harry’s coattails as he charged from job to job…she sludged through muddy construction camps, nursed the sick, kept the books, prowled the night in terror of horse thieves, shuddered over mountain precipices, endured neglect and desertion.”

The November 1957 issue of The EM-Kayan (a monthly company news magazine), paying tribute to Ann Morrison upon her passing, states, “And now she is gone. But the eternal radiant spirit that never dies and that glowed in her heart, warming the hearts of her beloved construction people the world around, will live on as a cherished inspiration. More than a memory is such a treasured presence as hers, for its truth is timeless and selfless love is more enduring than even the great dams her people have built. Truly, they were her people and she was their friend, co-worker and champion.”

The Foundation will remain ever-grateful for Ann’s heart of gold and to the M-K employees who personally made generous gifts to help her establish the Foundation. Giving to assist others in need, primarily Boise, Idaho, where the company was headquartered, is the original purpose that inspired the company founders and employees to develop a charitable organization. Over many years their generosity has touched the lives of thousands of families who have suffered tragedy and crisis.


The Board of Directors is dedicated to keeping alive the giving spirit of the MK employees and the Foundation’s mission of assisting needy individuals, by helping impoverished individuals and families or those in crisis in the Boise/Treasure Valley community.   The Foundation today was funded for the purpose that we now operate, thus perpetuating the intent of the founders who were rooted in the Boise Community and had a love for their fellow employees who toiled to make the company a success.  The Foundation also takes pride in funding initiatives that improve the quality of life in the Boise community.

For a brief history of Morrison-Knudsen Company click on the following links or copy and paste the following link into your web browser: