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Starr Lumber Company Starr Lumber sells lumber, windows and doors, building materials, professional tools and cabinets. Freedom, Mooreland, Avard, Waynoka, Cherokee, Deercreek, Burlington, Fort Supply, Buffalo, Medford, Nardin, Tonkawa, Wakita, Sharon, Mutual, Vici, Gage, Braman, Kiowa
Alva Oklahoma, Woodward Oklahoma, Blackwell Oklahoma Starr Lumber Home Page Products Available in Northwest Oklahoma Lumber Yards in Alva, Woodward and Blackwell The History of Star Lumber and Home Center Current Promotions Online Shopping for Northwest Oklahoma Residents Contact Starr Lumber and Home Center Starr Lumber Alva

Wilson Worth Starr founded the business on November 1, 1909. Starr purchased the Farmer’s Federation, a firm dealing in grain, coal and lumber. The name was subsequently changed to W.W. Starr Lumber Company and the grain and coal lines were dropped. The initial capital to start the business was a loan from a local businessman, J.W. Montfort, who had employed Starr in the Montfort Drug Store for the previous seven years. Initial assets included a wagon, a team of two mules, and one hired hand. During his lifetime, Starr acquired lumber yards in nearby communities, and the number of retail locations reached 14 at its peak. Throughout the Great Depression, the state of Oklahoma suffered greatly. Many people left the state for California, but those who remained struggled, especially those located in the rural and agricultural areas. Starr successfully steered his company through these turbulent times by employing many contractors to build houses, creating goodwill for his business during this difficult period. His bullish strategy helped the company survive the Depression while many local businesses failed. A success to the end, Mr. Starr died in 1944.

Mr. Starr and his wife, Beulah, had one child, Mildred. Mildred married Norman Ryerson, whom she met in Chicago, Illinois, while attending Northwestern University. Norman, an engineer-educated electrician, assumed managerial duties after the passing of Mr. Starr. During his tenure, the company closed down many of the retail sites, most in small towns which were declining. Aging and wanting to pursue other interests, Norman realized the need for new leadership and turned the reins over to his only child, Richard, in 1960. Norman Ryerson later died in 1967. Richard entered the business and immediately finished the job his father started, closing all unproductive locations and reinvesting his efforts on the only two yards that remained. Under his leadership, the company prospered and acquired or forced out all other local competitors over the next ten years. Meanwhile, Richard began looking outward to find new markets. In 1968, he acquired a majority interest in a yard in Woodward, Oklahoma; and in the 1980’s he closed down the last of the small-town yards while acquiring and consolidating two lumber yards in Blackwell, Oklahoma. These two stores plus the original Alva location remain today and position Starr Lumber is a major player in the northwest Oklahoma market. Having crossed the 50-year milestone as president of the company, Richard Ryerson still remains active in the business today. In 1999, Richard’s son, John Ryerson, joined the company to become the fourth generation owner/manager in company history. Prior to returning to the company, John was employed as a commercial banker in Houston, Texas, and subsequently received his MBA from the Harvard Business School. Today, both John and Richard share in the management duties of Starr Lumber. The company has come a long way since 1909, celebrating its 100th year in business in 2009. Mr. Starr would have been proud.

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