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This year, RoyOMartin celebrates the founding of Roy O. Martin Lumber Co., which was legally organized and incorporated in Alexandria, La., in 1923.
Led by Indiana native Roy O. Martin, Sr., the company was borne after the entrepreneur’s purchase of an older sawmill and began without a single acre of land. Today, the trade name RoyOMartin represents a group of vertically integrated companies owned by the Martin family, focused on sustainable land and timber management and wood-product manufacturing businesses.
RoyOMartin is an established American company, using only domestic raw materials in the manufacture of our superior wood products. We bear the mantle of the Martin family’s 100-year reputation as a timber-industry leader. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, now and for generations to come.
“For 100 years, the Martin family has built a business model demonstrating corporate responsibility benefiting its shareholders, stakeholders, team members, and our families,” states Roy O. Martin III, grandson of Martin Sr., who oversees the company’s operations as chairman, CEO and CFO.
In addition to being a leader in responsible forest-management practices and overseeing approximately 550,000 acres of highly-productive timberland, RoyOMartin and its subsidiaries currently operate three manufacturing facilities supported by nearly 1,300 employees: an oriented strand board plant in Oakdale, Louisiana; plywood and solid wood products plant in Chopin, Louisiana; and an oriented strand board plant in Corrigan, Texas, which is currently expanding by constructing a second mill at the site.
“RoyOMartin will continue producing forestry products that are essential to modern life and economic development in a way that protects people, the environment, and our communities,” Martin states.
In 1923, after working in the lumber industry in Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee for 11 years, 33-year-old Roy Otis Martin Sr. wanted to go into business for himself. He wanted to buy a sawmill in an area where lumber was reasonably inexpensive. His search took him to Alexandria, Louisiana, where he’d heard about a mill for sale. He and his wife, Mildred Brown Martin purchased the nearly dilapidated Creston Sawmill, located on Fenner Street, for $32,000. It included the plant, office, and equipment, but not a single acre of land. On November 10, 1923, the Roy O. Martin Lumber Company was officially organized and incorporated, with Roy O. Martin as its president.
The company has thrived through a variety of changes and challenges in its 100 years—from sawmills and lumberyards to retail outlets, creosote treating, real estate, and wood-product manufacturing—to become a timber-and-manufacturing industry leader. In 1929 Martin Sr. made his first land purchase when he bought 6,500 acres in the Black
Lake swamp area in northwest Louisiana. Since then, timberland holdings have grown exponentially to become one of the largest private landowners in the state.
Throughout three generations, the Martin family has remained in management roles. In 1962, company leadership passed to the second generation, with Roy O. Martin Jr. serving as president, followed by his brother Ellis Martin in 1978. The third generation took the helm in 1994 when Jonathan Martin (Ellis’s son) and, later, Roy O. Martin III assumed the top positions of president and chief executive officer.
Values & Visions
Today, our organizational leaders still abide by the same principles held by the company’s founder: Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Honesty, Excellence, and Stewardship. Those values, known by the acronym RICHES, guide everyday decisions.
“We will continue to demonstrate respect for each person uniquely created by God; integrity in what we do; commitment to our business, shareholders, and stakeholders; honesty in our interactions with others; excellence in our processes, including world-class safety, product quality, employee benefits, training, and manufacturing; and stewardship and generosity of our assets. These principles are an essential part of our values to make our communities better because of our business,” Martin affirms.
With the ambitious start of his own company 100 years ago, Roy O. Martin, Sr. etched a deep mark in the Great American Story of the 20th Century. His triumph was America’s success, and his legacy of family values and savvy business decisions carries on into a new century for years to come.