By Jan Rahn
Perkins County Chamber learned a little more about one of the county’s family-owned business during a presentation at their regular monthly meeting last Thursday.
Adams Lumber Company was selected to be the Chamber business spotlight for February.
Three sites—at the corner of 2nd and Central in Grant, along Perkins Avenue in Madrid, and in the 500 block of Broadway in Imperial—serve the entire region.
According to co-owner Ron Kent, grandson to founder W.H. (Bill) Adams, the focus of Adams Lumber is, “to provide quality building materials and readymix concrete to both contractors and do-it-yourselfers of southwest Nebraska.”
Kent gave a presentation of the company’s history to those in attendance at last week’s meeting at the Grant Family Restaurant.
Adams Lumber was established in 1919, with a slightly different focus than what it has today. Although lumber and building supplies, along with fencing, are some of the services and products still offered, coal was one of the popular items available to residents in Perkins County back then.
Originally, there were three lumberyards in Grant. Besides Adams Lumber, there was Collier lumberyard at the corner where Hatch’s Super Foods is now located. Another lumberyard owned by the co-op took up residency in space now occupied by Reese Mechanical just west of Central Avenue on 1st Street.
Adams Lumber Company began expanding in 1924 when the Madrid site was opened. Another effort to offer expanded service to consumers was created in 1958 when Readymix Concrete became an available product for area contractors and homeowners. In 1990, Adams Lumber expanded to Imperial.
The three sites are owned by Theone Kent, daughter of W.H. Adams, and her children, the grandchildren of Adams—Ron and Mary Kent, Mike and Marcia Frerichs, and Rick and Linda Kent. Members of the family who have daily involvement include Ron Kent and Marcia Frerichs at the Grant site and Mike Frerichs who manages the Imperial site.
There are 14 full-time and two part-time employees of the lumber company.
Kent told the Chamber gathering that he would like to retire, thus he and his siblings have decided to put the business up for sale. The Frerichses would prefer to continue to work for a few years, but that will be up to the new owners, he said.