The RoyOMartin name honors business pioneer and Martin family patriarch, Roy O. Martin Sr., who struck out in the wood-products industry in 1923 with a small sawmill in Alexandria, Louisiana. Soon thereafter, he began acquiring timberland. Today, RoyOMartin represents a group of family-owned companies specializing in responsible forest management and American-made, top-quality southern yellow pine oriented strand board, plywood, timbers, and boards. We invite you to learn more about our legacy below.
Roy Otis Martin of Elkhart, Indiana, purchases Creston Lumber Mill in Alexandria, Louisiana, for $32,000. He names it Roy O. Martin Lumber Company.
Roy aggressively begins purchasing land, with the mantra, “Buy land and hold land because they don’t make any more land.” His first major land purchase is the Black Lake timber block, comprised of 6,500 acres. It is a vision that will bring the company into the 21st Century with nearly 600,000 acres of timberland.
The sawmill in Castor, Louisiana, opens. Operating on thriftiness, Roy buys all equipment secondhand. Roy’s eldest son, Ellis, takes a year off from high school to help build the mill, sleeping in a ramshackle back office with only an Aladdin lamp and lumber-supply catalogs for entertainment.
Tragedy strikes as the Castor mill burns to the ground. Out of the ashes, opportunity for Ellis arises, as Roy makes one of his most significant decisions: placing Ellis in charge of rebuilding and operations. Ellis begins his new role with the company on the eve of World War II, embarking upon a career that will span 60 years.
Dawn of a New Era
Rather abruptly, Roy tells his second son, Roy Jr., to go home and put on a suit and return to the mill. Thus, Roy Jr. learns he is now president of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company.
Family patriarch Roy Sr. dies on February 23 at the age of 82.
Ellis becomes president. The Fenner Street sawmill, the original 1923 purchase, is sold.
Production begins in LeMoyen, Louisiana, at the company’s first oriented strand board (OSB)-manufacturing plant. Under the management of Ellis’s son, Jonathan, it is the first OSB plant in the South. Construction of an adjacent sawmill begins, which will open in 1984.
Jonathan succeeds Ellis as president and CEO, while Roy Jr.’s son, Roy III, becomes secretary-treasurer. The Martin Foundation is established.
In Chopin, Louisiana, the first major facility under Jonathan’s and Roy’s leadership—the plywood-manufacturing plant—begins production. Roy III is named executive vice president and CFO.
A 21st Century Organization
A beautiful new home-office headquarters, Romex World Trade Center, opens in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Roy O. Martin Lumber Company’s timberland-management operations attain certification by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). FSC® certification of products will come later.
Jonathan becomes chairman and CEO, while Roy III is named company president. For the first time in company history, a non-family member ascends to the executive team as E. Scott Poole attains the role of senior vice president and COO.
The company’s first state-of-the-art southern yellow pine OSB-manufacturing plant begins production in Oakdale, Louisiana. Roy O. Martin Lumber Company—and other holdings—unify under the trade name RoyOMartin.
In partnership with another local employer, RoyOMartin enters the healthcare business with the state’s first employer-sponsored, patient-centered medical home in Alexandria.
At 232 years old, the state champion loblolly pine tree dies on a RoyOMartin tract in LaSalle Parish. RoyOMartin presents to the State of Louisiana a ring, or cookie, from this 157-foot-tall pine that survived the Civil War, both World Wars, moon landing, and 9/11. The donation is made for the state’s bicentennial celebration.
In Corrigan, Texas, RoyOMartin will open its second pine OSB-manufacturing facility, representing the company’s first manufacturing venture outside Louisiana.