Small Businesses

Wilson Lumber: Building Homes And Lives

When Wilson Lumber first opened its doors in 1949, it was a different world.

When Wilson Lumber first opened its doors in 1949, it was a different world. Harry Truman was President. Bacon was 50 cents per pound. World War II had just ended, and the United States was in a mild recession. Recession notwithstanding, Clyde Wilson went into business with his brother-in-law, opening Wilson Lumber in Huntsville at the corner of Meridian Street and Winchester Road where it still sits today.

Clyde Wilson was known as a man who loved the logging industry. In Winston County, he had worked at his home cutting timber before sending it to the local sawmill. When he and his brother-in-law first opened Wilson Lumber, Winchester Road was nothing like the racetrack it is today. The two gentlemen managed to score six acres of suitable land to start their lumber business.

Stories like this epitomize the American dream—did we mention Clyde Wilson was born on the fourth of July in 1914?

Two years after Wilson Lumber opened, his brother-in-law went into full-time teaching, so Wilson bought out his share of the business. It wasn’t until a decade later that Wilson realized his business might be something he could pass on to his three sons. After all, those three sons eventually each had one son they could in turn hand the business down to.

In the past 67 years, our community has grown, and Wilson Lumber has grown along with it. Now their properties include a truss shop at the Madison location, custom windows, doors and cabinets, decks and other building projects. Impressive, but it doesn’t stop there.

In addition to operating a successful business, the Wilson Lumber family pours their talents back into our community. For the past few years, Wilson Lumber has been assisting Lincoln Village Ministry by volunteering time during field day, cutting grass and helping with other projects as needed.

Today Wilson Lumber is in its third generation. Robb Wilson is president of the company. Russ Wilson is the sales manager, and Mark Wilson works in commercial millwork sales. The cousins’ dedication to upholding their mission statement is still a top priority.

When we spoke with Robb, he clearly outlined Wilson Lumber’s three-part mission statement. First, strive to build a successful company that is profitable and runs a smooth operating procedure.

Second, employees are expected to uphold Christ-like values. You don’t have to be a Christian to work at Wilson Lumber; you just have to treat others the way you’d want to be treated. In an industry where the inventory sold could literally be holding the roof over your head, it’s increasingly important to make sure you wouldn’t sell something you wouldn’t put in your own home.

A customer review from earlier this year stands out as an example of their dedication to integrity. 

Wilson Lumber installed our custom closet, and we could NOT be more excited about it!! They did a beautiful job! Working with Linda was a joy, and she designed our closet perfectly. We recommend them to all of our friends, and look forward to working with them again in the future!

Third, the Wilson family wants to inspire people to grow. From the original two, Wilson Lumber has grown to more 160 employees, but that isn’t exactly the kind of growth they mean. The third point in the mission statement is outlined on the company’s Linkedin profile:

The old saying goes, “You’re either growing, or you’re dying.” Well, we’ll take growth. What kind of growth?  Our philosophy is that personal growth is generally a good thing. So, it may be that the kind of growth we inspire makes an employee a better salesman or driver or whatever, but it may be growth that makes someone a better husband or wife. It may be that we have an employee who always wanted to go to dental school, and we help them in this somehow.

Wilson Lumber’s inventory and services have changed over the years. Today Wilson Lumber looks more like a showroom—full of custom doors and windows. Staff members work tirelessly with homeowners to help them design decks, remodel kitchens or build whatever they need to increase the value of their homes.

For more information or to get help with your project, call Wilson’s Lumber at (256) 852-7411.

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