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Alexander Lumber

A private, family-owned company, Alexander Lumber has been building communities since 1891.

Our Story

The Alexander family’s livelihood was initially tied to the sawmill business. In those days, the vast virgin forests of Wisconsin and the upper Midwest were being cut, and the birth of lumber retailing arrived in the 1880s once the Stewart family of Wausau, Wis., decided to expand into that state. John Stewart, brother-in-law of John Alexander, is credited with creating Alexander Lumber Co.

Pine tree forest early in the morning.

A private, family-owned company, Alexander Lumber has been building communities since 1891.

The westward expansion of the U.S. railroad system led to a series of land leases and “line yards” or small-scale lumberyards along the route. Thanks to founder John Alexander’s entrepreneurial spirit, more than 100 of the small yards under his control were in operation by the late 1920s. They proved a boon to local farmers and spurred the next stage of the company’s growth.

Fast-forward to the mid-20thcentury. As the third family member in the line of succession, Walter Alexander learned the business from his father and grandfather. After military experience and additional on-the-job training working sales counters in various Alexander Lumber locations, he arrived in Aurora, Ill., in 1964 as a management understudy. When Otto Unteed retired in 1966, Walter took over supervisory responsibility for the company, and served as president for 45 years until his retirement in 2014, when a search for a new president commenced.

Named to the position in September 2014, Russ Kathrein served as President and Chief Executive Officer until July 2020 when he stepped down from the role. Alexander family member Bill Cummings is currently acting as interim CEO.

There currently are a total of 10 retail yards under the Alexander Lumber umbrella, seven in Illinois, two in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. In addition, the company operates truss plants in Cortland and LeRoy, Ill., as well as a sales office in Twin Lakes, Wis.

Whether you are a commercial contractor or custom builder, an architect or a designer, or a homeowner looking for ideas, we hope you pay a visit to your nearest Alexander Lumber location. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities, and we promise to treat you as a member of our family, right from the beginning.

Alexander Lumber Co location_lg
Earlville
Blandinsville Yard
Oswego Yard
Alexander Lumber Store and Yard

Executive Team

Bill Cummings
Bill Cummings
CEO
About Us

Rick Vancil
Executive Vice-President

About Us
Amanda Crabtree
Vice-President of Finance
About Us

Jennifer Harris
Vice-President of Human Resources

Our Purpose

Whether you are a commercial contractor or custom builder, an architect or a designer, or a homeowner looking for ideas, we hope you pay a visit to your nearest Alexander Lumber location.

We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities, and we promise to treat you as a member of our family, right from the beginning.

Our Vision

To transform our business through the unique use of innovation and relationships.

Our Values

  • Building trust and loyalty in the relationships with our associates, our customers, and our vendors.
    Honoring our associates as our most important assets.
  • Innovating our business through our intellectual curiosity and our sense of urgency.
  • Leading our industry in a positive, inspiring manner by honoring our commitments and doing the right thing.
    Challenging our associates to become more than they believe they are capable of.
  • Considering our associates and customers as part of our greater family,
    and consciously investing in these relationships.