Alamo Lumber Company Celebrates Over 80 Years of Service
Kautsch Lumber Company in Alamo knows exactly what it takes to stand the test of time. The brainchild of one man with savvy business smarts and a dream, Kautsch Lumbar Co. was founded in 1932 when Alamo was little more than dense brush made of mesquite, cactus and huisache. A banker and partner at the Kautsch-Lenhart General Store in Lohman, Missouri, Arthur Kautsch originally journeyed to Alamo with his wife, Ola, and their 3-year-old son, Marvin, to view property in a tropical climate that promoters described as “land that would make farmers rich.”
Kautsch purchased 10 acres of land south of Alamo with the intention of breaking into citrus farming, but he was a better businessman. He eventually bought Humphrey’s Lumber Yard from the bank with the hopes of successfully running a company that would both bear his name and provide the area with quality products.
Overcoming Obstacles on the Path to Success
As with most dreams, the path to success was not without obstacles. In September of 1933, a hurricane killed 179 people and caused $28 million in damages, including completely destroying the Kautsch’s lumber company. Undeterred, Kautsch rebuilt the lumber company bigger and better than ever, which led to his son Marvin joining the family business after returning from war in 1945. In the early 1970’s after finishing college, Marvin’s son, John, joined the family business as well and helped lead the growing company into the future.
A South Texas Legacy
The family credits their success to their philosophy of conducting business with honesty, integrity and customer satisfaction and in being able to remain distinctive when competing with home improvement retail giants like Lowe’s or Home Depot.
“You have to create a niche for yourself and offer better personalized service,” says John Kautsch. “When people walk into our store, unlike one of the giant retailers, they don’t have to shout for a sales clerk, who may be busy 17 aisles away from where you’re waiting. When a customer walks through our front door, usually one of our sales staff is standing nearby, ready to help.”
After decades of hard work, Kautsch Lumber Co. officially became a True Value Hardware store in 1984, solidifying their reputation as one of the most successful and trusted names in the business. Always as resourceful as his grandfather, John Kautsch created a market niche for themselves by dubbing the business ‘The Siding Source’ in the mid-1990s. The Kautsch Lumber Co. went on to become the largest vinyl distributor in South Texas.