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La Crosse Lumber Co. celebrates 150 years

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2023 at 9:49 am

2023 marks the 150th anniversary of La Crosse Lumber Co.

As one of the oldest businesses in Missouri, La Crosse Lumber traces its history back to 1873.
At that time, northern white pine was floated down the Mississippi River and manufactured here in Louisiana into lumber, right on the riverbank, before continuing on to its final destination. As the manufacturing facilities grew, and people came from miles by wagon to Louisiana to buy lumber, it became apparent that there was a need for a better way to serve the outlying communities.
To accomplish this, retail yards were established in several inland communities to the west of Louisiana. As transportation improved, the company extended its operation to the state of Illinois. Since that time, La Crosse Lumber Co. has expanded its lumberyards and currently operates 14 full-service locations in Missouri and Illinois.
These retail yards were owned and operated by Charles G. and Frank W. Buffum, sons of the founder, G.A. Buffum. The company was incorporated in March 1, 1888. In 1910, a corporate headquarters was built for La Crosse Lumber Co. at 200 North Main Street in Louisiana, and the business is still conducted from this location.
La Crosse is a member-owner of Do it Best Corp. since 1980, bringing overall unified look and feel to enhance the La Crosse brand across two states. The company said it feels that this puts it in a great position to serve communities for generations to come.
Kevin Keely, who came up through the ranks beginning as the credit manager for the company in 1981 later became vice president and assistant treasurer and currently serves as the sixth president and treasurer of the 150-year-old company. After 42 years of service at La Crosse Lumber Co., Kevin will be retiring as of Sept. 1, 2023.
Jason Schnettgoecke will follow Kevin as the next president of La Crosse Lumber Co. Other officers are Linda Dailey, secretary and treasurer and Robert Graver, vice president and general manager.
In 1910, a corporate headquarters was built for La Crosse at 200 North Main in Louisiana, and the location serves as its headquarters to this day.