Our History

 

 The First Generation:


Seeking the opportunities of the new world in 1929 my Grandfather Ruurd Meijer (Ralph Meyer), Grandmother Grietje (Grace) along with their newborn son Keimpe (Kenneth), my father, immigrated from The Netherlands (Holland) to the United States. Shortly after they arrived my grandmother's brother Jan Strooper (John) followed them to America. Six months later The Great Depression hit; everyone lost their jobs. Consistent with the solid work ethic of that era, they all pursued work relentlessly. This is when Uncle John landed a job working as an estate gardener for a millionaire in Wheaton. This was the beginning of our family history in landscaping. From there Uncle John branched out from the estate and began maintaining several residential clients throughout Oak Park and River Forest. In the 40's Ralph & Grace moved to Eagle River, Wisconsin and established Meyer's Pine Crest Resort. Uncle John passed away in 1960, Ralph in 1968 and Grace in 1999 at the age of 92.



The Second Generation:

In 1950, Uncle John decided to get out of the landscaping business and sold off the 20 residential accounts he had acquired to his nephew Kenneth Meyer. This was the beginning of K. Meyer Landscaping, Inc. In 1955 K. Meyer Landscaping landed his first commercial account, Hudson Screw Machine Products on the west side of Chicago. Focusing primarily on landscape maintenance for commercial clientele K. Meyer Landscaping continued to grow. Through the 50's and  60's K. Meyer Landscaping grew into one of the largest landscape maintenance companies in Chicago. From the origins of K. Meyer Landscaping several well established landscaping companies have grown throughout the Chicago area. Kenneth Meyer passed away in 2002.



The Third Generation:

From a family of seven children John started mowing neighborhood lawns at the age of 10. John attended College of Lake county in 1976-1977 studying Ornamental Horticulture. In 1977 I started working with K. Meyer Landscaping full time and learned the landscape maintenance business from the ground up. In 1982 I took a job with one of the largest and most respected landscape companies in the country, Brickman Group Ltd, learning many more skills of efficiency and management, and overseeing dozens of commercial and multifamily properties, and opening a new office for Brickman in Wisconsin. After fifteen years it was time to move on and I took a job with Doering Landscape Co. in Barrington managing their maintenance department of mostly residential clientele. In 2000 I decided to realize a long held dream and open my own landscape company. I needed to come up with a name and I did not want just another landscape company so I decided to find a unique name and decided on Prairie Hill, from my interest in native prairies, and horticultural services, because my interest is the entire spectrum of plant care, not just mowing lawns.  At this time Ken Meyer was ready to retire and handed over to me his existing client base as a foundation for my new venture. I worked with these clients, most of whom I still have, while increasing the size slowly, wanting to build personal relations more than a large business. In 2002 my son Simeon joined me and has been here since, with the amazing track record of NEVER missing a day of work. My brother Ralph started his own business in 2004 and operated it successfully until we agreed to merge the companies this year as a way to form a working foundation for the next generation of Meyer family Landscapers. Myself, Simeon and my nephew Ralph Jr. are now working together as Prairie Hill Horticultural Services.



The Fourth Generation:

Meyer Maintenance Services was started in 2004 by Ralph Senior and Ralph Junior and Mindy Meyer. In 2000 Prairie Hill was started by John Senior, working with John Junior, Simeon and Mike Meyer. After over 35 years full time in the industry John Sr. is readying the fourth generation for their future in this competitive and dynamic industry.  We have many nieces and nephews who are interested in joining the work force as the Prairie Hill companies continue to grow. We look forward to continuing providing dependable quality landscaping services for our clients. We appreciate your interest in where we come from, where we have been and where we are going.