After 117 years of continuous operation by the family that originally founded it, Union Lumber Company of New Albany is under new ownership.
Hugh Stephens, Jr., grandson of Edgar J. Stephens, Sr., who founded Union Lumber in 1902, handled the sale of the company to Terry R. Young of New Albany. The sale was closed on Wednesday, July 31.
Thus one of Union County’s oldest and most prominent businesses was sold by its founding family to another family known for its extensive local business interests. Terry R. Young is the son of John R. Young, the principal developer of much of the commercial real estate that has been built here during the last three decades. The Young family is also known for its extensive activity in residential housing.
Terry R. Young, a 2004 graduate of New Albany High School, started building houses when he was 19 years old. By the time he was 21 years old, he had built 21 houses and is now, in his own right, one of the top builders of residential housing in northeast Mississippi.
“I was blessed to have been born into a family with good appreciation for hard work and good business sense,” Terry Young told NAnewsweb.com last Friday. He said he had wanted to own a lumber yard since his youth. “It’s been 14-1/2 years in the making,” he said.
Young said Union Lumber will continue to operate as it has for more than a century. “We will have no increases in our basic pricing structure and we will be financing improvements out of our pocket,” he said. He said the same 16 employees will continue the operations of Union Lumber.
Tom Moffitt will continue as general manager. He took over those duties earlier this year from Jimmy Snyder, who retired after more than 50 years with Union Lumber Co. Snyder hired Moffitt, who has 28 years in the lumber business, in November, 2011.
Terry R. Young said there would be some improvements in the operations of Union Lumber, which is located at 400 Randolph St. However, he emphasized that his main goal is continuity, including good service to Union Lumber’s hundreds of customers, most of whom are builders and contractors.
Interestingly, the only business in Union County known to have been in operation longer than Union Lumber is BNA Bank, which was founded in 1896. Known for its first 120 or so years as Bank of New Albany, one of its original incorporators 123 years ago was Judge Zachariah Marion Stephens, the great-grandfather of Hugh Stephens, Jr.