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A Century of Service: Morsches Builders Mart

Morsches Builders Mart

The year was 1871 when Simon J. Peabody opened a sawmill in Columbia City, Ind. Peabody would go on to become a major benefactor in Columbia City. In the late 1880s, Ferdinand F. Moriches began working as a laborer at Peabody’s company. The son of a German immigrant brewer and baker, he rose to become manager of the company’s three mills, which by 1907 employed 65 men, including teamsters, timber cutters, and laborers. Morsches later became Vice President.

After Peabody’s death in 1933, the mill became the Morsches-Nowels Lumber Company. Ferdinand Morsches was President of the firm at that time. J.H. Morsches was Vice President, and A.S. Nowels was Secretary. It continued to manufacture northern Indiana hardwood, producing between seven and 10 million feet annually.

The Morsches family later gained full ownership of the company. The Morsches Lumber Company eventually divested interest in the sawmill and became exclusively a retail lumberyard known as Morsches Builders Mart.

The company branched out into satellite locations beginning in the 1960s and launched the following locations: Warsaw in 1962, Huntington in 1965, Goshen in 1972 and Wabash in 1988.

Five generations of the Morsches family have been involved in Morsches Builder’s Mart: Paul Morsches, Sr., was followed as president by his son, Paul, Jr., and later by current owner Franz Morsches. Franz’s son, Turner, is currently involved in the business as well.

Morsches crew
Morsches Family

The LBM Century Club was created to recognize and celebrate lumberyards that have been serving their communities for more than 100 years.
There is no membership fee. A company that’s been around for a century has already paid its dues. To nominate your company (or another dealer) for membership, visit www.LBMJournal.com/century

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Do you know of a Lumberyard or Building Materials distributor that has passed the century mark and should be added to this list?


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Be sure to check out Century Club yards near you on our interactive Century Club Map.