Talk about a lot of candles …
Doug White, owner of Doug White Lumber and Hardwoods in Marissa, Ill., celebrated a company milestone by inviting employees and customers to a gathering May 24 at the Village of Marissa Park. Hundreds of guests turned out for food, carriage rides, woodworking displays and sawmill demonstrations.
“It’s a great feeling to carry [the business] on for 150 years. My great grandfather started it back in 1869,” says White.
“We estimate we fed approximately 650 people. We had four different wagons for rides for kids and adults. Some customers brought in pieces they made, and we had those on display. Some traveled from as far as Chicago.”
He attributes the company’s longevity to being part of a tight-knit family. Francis White opened the White Lumber Co., also known as Marissa Station due to its proximity to the railroad tracks, in 1869. Francis sold the business to his nephew, James Francis White, who partnered with William McKee Lyons to create Lyons & White.
After the lumberyard was moved to its present site on 116 West Church St. in Marissa, the building and stock were lost to a fire in 1902. “[James] rebuilt the business to the delight of his many customers,” says Doug White. “Management, structure and ownership shifted at times over the following decades, but always remained in the White family.”
In 1981, Doug added a hardwood business, Dough Hardwoods. His wife, Connie, and daughter, Chelsea White-Campbell, are a big part of the team.
“I hope my daughter runs it for a few years until her two sons are capable and at least one or both of them can come in on the family business,” adds Doug.
For more, visit www.dougwhitehardwoods.com.
This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue.