On October 29th, 1929 the Stock Market Crash marked the beginning of the Great Depression. In August of that same year Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 homeruns in his career and Popeye the Sailor Man first appeared in a comic strip in January.
Many things define that year in our country. Even today with us being in a recession we look back to the pivotal years in our country and wonder if those times could repeat history. Though many things in our country have been documented, Gifford Lumber Co. has so much history too. In the same year in, 1929, the business received its start. Charles Gifford moved to Fredericktown from Coldwater, Missouri and started a company selling railroad ties in 1929. In addition to selling ties Charles began selling hardwood lumber for flooring. The location moved slightly during the 1930*s. Charles set up a planer and began surfacing lumber for flooring and pine siding. Mr. Gifford was defiantly not taking to much time to sulk in the Great Depression, his company began subcontracting homes using local lumber and yellow pine brought in from Arkansas. During World War II lumber was planed at his lumber yard.
In 1945 Leroy Gifford, Charles* son, joined the company and a larger store was built for the addition of hardware and paint products. Gifford Lumber Company offered Dutch Boy paints, ROW windows, and Old American roof shingles. During this time the company specialized in building custom homes and commercial buildings.
In 1965 Charles Gifford retired at the age of eighty. Leroy and his wife Lorene took over the management of the business. During the next five years active contracting was phased out with more concentration given to the retail end. Leroy and Lorene were joined in the business by the third generation, Diane, their daughter, and her husband, Harold Thomas. Leroy and Lorene*s other children also worked there, Kathie, L.D., and Mike. Mike later married and his wife Penny came into the business.
In October 1984 a new building, at the same location, doubled the floor space of the company. New items were offered and the business grew once again. At that time the management and ownership of the company was handed down to Mike and Penny Gifford and Harold and Diane Thomas.
In 1998 Leroy past away just as the company began embarking on a new journey. Land on the intersections on 67 and 72 highways in Fredericktown were still green and no commercial buildings graced its presences. The two couples decided their company needed a more visible location and they knew the industry along 67 Highway in Fredericktown would only grow with their arrival. In 1997 Gifford Lumber Company broke ground and in December of 1998 they moved into there new building. The company moved the entire store in one weekend and opened its doors on Monday. Along with the move they expanded their company into a rental business. They rent tools and items for the contactors and the homeowners, and have also added self-storage.
In November of 2011 Mike and Penny*s daughter and son-in-law, John and Missy Clark stepped in taking the Thomas* place in the company. Gifford Lumber Company has been a active part of the community all these years. They still sell to the local contractor and the homeowner, alike. Mike, Penny, John and Missy are still running the business as well as the and fifth generation working there.
In 1963 Charles Gifford was named a “Community Benefactor” and he said, ” I’m more interested in doing the job right, even if it costs a little more than in taking a short-cut.* Gifford Lumber Company still believes in those words. Their motto for years has been, *Quality at the Right Price,* and they do their very best to honor that today. When coming in Gifford Lumber Company faces change occasionally, but for the most part the people stay the same, and they are always ready to serve. After years of serving the community Gifford Lumber Company has only become that much stronger. When coming in the customers leave happy and they always remember to get Tootsie Roll on the way out.