A CENTURY OF SERVICE: Wm. B. Morse Lumber
The year was 1853 when William B. Morse established a lumber business in Rochester, N.Y. He expanded his business in 1857 by purchasing the Coleman Brothers lumberyard, and again in 1867 when he obtained the West Main Street lumberyard where the current Wm. B. Morse & Sons was established.
In 1899, Morse purchased the Otis Lumber Company from Col. Lyman Otis and retained its name. In 1911, with the advent of stock size windows and millwork, the Morse Sash and Door company was established.
Morse died in 1904 and his wife, Frances, took control of the company until their children entered the business. All seven Morse sons took part in sustaining the business and at various times took turns in running the corporation. Whiting B. “White” Morse eventually became president. White and his brother, Fred, ran the business until they both retired.
The next generation to operate the company were the two sons of White, Wm. B. “Bill” Morse Sr. and John W. Morse. The brothers led the company which by then included the hardwood lumberyard and a North End Portland branch. After Bill and John retired (in 1982 and 1988 respectively), the fourth generation assumed the reins.
Bill, Mike and Wally Morse have maintained a tradition of combining local service with modern product knowledge and technical support. In 1996, Morse Sash and Door opened a showroom at its existing Henrietta, N.Y. location. In December, 2016, Wm. B. Morse Lumber announced that it had acquired Rochester Lumber. Wm. B. Morse Lumber now has locations in Rochester and Farmington, N.Y., as well as the Morse Sash and Door location in Rochester.
LBM Century Club members are lumberyards and building materials suppliers that have been in business for more than 100 years. There is no membership fee for the LBM Century Club, because a company that’s been around for a century has already paid its dues. To nominate your company (or another dealer) for membership, please visit www.LBMJournal.com/century.
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