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In 1930 Sam Furrow got the opportunity to buy out the Pocahontas, IA lumberyard that George Schneiders owned for $10,001. Schneiders also owned the bank, and crushed under the beginning of the Great Depression, George gave young Sam at opportunity to own his own business. Still employed by the Fullerton Lumber Company, Sam along with family members and friends put together the cash to buy the business. Because Sam still worked for competitor Fullerton Lumber, the new owners kept the business transaction "hush-hush" and called it Kiefer-Wolfe Lumber.
From that risky start in the first year of The Great Depression, the Furrow family started what became Payless Cashways, one of the largest Building Materials / Home Center retail chains of the 1980's. While Payless Cashways is no longer in business, this once mighty company embodied a story of risk and reward throughout it's growth.
Virginia Suggs Furrow, Vernon Furrow's wife, wrote the history of the company through 1985. Published by the company as a marketing and PR tool, Aged in Wood is the story of how a band of risk taking entrepreneurs worked to change the nature of the US lumber and hardware business from 1930 through the 1970's, setting the company up for billion dollar revenues in the 1980's. The book is republished here as a source for past employees who wanted to read the rare book.
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