J. W. Lassiter Lumber Co., Inc. of Cullomburg is proud to have been in business for over 100 years as well as continuing on through four generations of family members.
J.W. Lassiter, Sr. and his wife Bessie Jordan Lassiter founded the Lumber Company and Commissary in 1912.
Lassiter Lumber Company began its logging with oxen and the lumber produced was hauled by mules. After the lumber was produced it was shipped by rail to its final destination.
During the depression, the Lumber Company continued to operate by paying the men in brozines, a small tin token. Using this token economy, the men in turn could buy what they needed from the commissary. The Commissary continued in operation until it closed in 1977.
In 1934, Mrs. Bessie passed away. The following year J.W. Lassiter, Sr. formed a partnership with his two sons, J.W. (Wyman) Lassiter, Jr. and H.J. (Tobe) Lassiter who were still in high school at that time. During World War II, Wyman and Tobe were drafted into the service and their sister and her husband, Voncille and Mark Thigpen, and their daughter, Mary Mark, moved to Cullomburg to be with Mr. John and help him operate the business. After the war, both sons returned home and became active in the business with the others. Voncille and Mark were killed in an automobile accident in 1950. Mr. John remained active in the business until his death in 1967 at the age of 87.
During the years of operating the business, Wyman was more active in the operation of the manufacturing and shipping of the lumber and Tobe oversaw the operations of the timber growing land, farm, and cattle.
In 1973, Wyman and his wife Jean bought the sawmill and formed a new corporation known as J.W. Lassiter Lumber Co., Inc. The old corporation known as J.W. Lassiter Lumber Company, Inc., which consisted of the land, farm, and cattle became known as Lassiter Land Company, Inc. Tobe continued, up to his death in 1997, to oversee the land and logging operations.
As the company expanded and space became a problem, the planer mill was moved east across Highway 17 in 1963. In 1977, a new all steel sawmill was built near the existing planer mill. In the early 1990's, the lumber company began producing about 35% of its own electrical power. The boiler uses wood waste as fuel in order to generate this power.
Eventually Wyman turned most of the operations of the Lumber Company over to his two sons, John W. Lassiter, III and Dwain Lassiter as well as his son-in-law Gene Kesling.
As time progressed, Jean turned her office responsibility over to her daughter Wanda Kesling which made it possible for Wyman and Jean to retire and move to Orange Beach. In 1996, John’s son-in-law, Eric Copeland, began working at the sawmill with John and assumed the daily responsibilities of the sawmill. John’s daughter, Jennifer, also worked in the office. In 2004, Dwain's son, Jordan, started working with him learning the operations.
In 2000, a new optimized edger system and rebuilt sling sorter system was added to the sawmill. This greatly reduced the hard physical labor at these two areas thus enabling the sawmill to process larger size logs which yielded more high grade lumber and increased production. Also, a new computer controlled dry kiln for the export grade lumber was built at the same time. In 2007, another low temperature kiln was added to dry prime lumber. Today the Lumber Company consist of the sawmill, planner mill, three dry kilns and boiler.
Approximately 80,000 board feet of pine is produced daily at the mill. This lumber is sold both rough and dressed. It is sold on the export as well as domestic market.
In December 2013 Mr. Tim Farley of Tuscaloosa, AL purchased the mill. The mill is now doing business as Lassiter Lumber, LLC. Mr. Farley also has several companies in the Tuscaloosa area: Farley's Forest Products, Alawood Chip and Biomass, Inc., and Deep South Trucking.