OUR HISTORY:

Dodson Wholesale Lumber began in 1936 when J.A. Dodson of Lane, Oklahoma took in a sawmill on a bad debt from his grocery store. J.A. ran the mill for three years and then sold it to his 21 year old son, R.J. With his wife Dorothy, R.J. ran the sawmill through the war years and produced lumber through government contracts for the war effort. Lack of large timber in Oklahoma was a concern for R.J. He had been impressed with the availability of timber in the mountains of New Mexico which he had seen while hunting with his cousin Frank Smith in Alamogordo, NM.

RJ, Ruidoso sawmill

In 1948, R.J. entered into a partnership with Frank and they opened a retail lumber yard called Alamo Lumber and Supply in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Alamogordo was growing rapidly due to Holloman Air Force Base which is still an active base to this day. In 1950, R.J. decided to move his sawmill from Oklahoma to Ruidoso, NM, a small mountain community near Alamogordo, NM. He needed the lumber to help supply his growing retail business and would also sell timbers to the oilfield market. In 1951, the entire sawmill was transported on the back of a Chevrolet single axle truck. In addition, several employees rode on the truck with their families and possessions.

R.J. entered into a partnership with his uncle, Gene Dodson, to help him run the mill. The first log was sawn at the mill in the fall of 1951. The mill ran constantly from 1951 – 1955. R.J. did most of the selling of the lumber and running the mill itself, while Gene cruised the timber and scaled the logs. Dorothy kept the books.

Most of the finished lumber was sent to customers in Texas and Oklahoma or was used locally for projects such as the Ruidoso Downs Race Track. The mill employed 80 people and was the major industry for the burgeoning town of Ruidoso.

In 1952, R.J. bought out a small retail yard in Ruidoso and named it Hollywood Lumber, the current location of Foxworth Galbrath Lumber Company in Ruidoso. R.J. and Dorothy moved to Ruidoso from Alamogordo in 1953.

Dodson Lumber, 1974
Fast service

Disaster struck the Dodson family and business in 1955 when Gene Dodson died suddenly of a heart attack. It was at this time that R.J. decided to lighten his load and sell both the sawmill and retail yards. Hoping to slow down, RJ moved his family to Roswell in the spring of 1956 and opened a small wholesale lumber company. Using the sources he had developed while in the manufacturing end of the lumber business, R.J. began selling lumber to retail yards in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.

In 1971, R.J.’s and Dorothy’s oldest son, Bob, came into the business after graduating from Oklahoma State University. His brother James joined the company in 1979. The 70’s and 80’s were a real growth period for the business. The company moved to its present location and greatly expanded the facilities. New products such as redwood, cedar, and hardwoods were added to the product line.

In 1990, R.J. died after a short illness. Shortly afterwards, James and Dorothy sold their portions of the business to Bob. Dodson Lumber launched their original website in 1999. In 2001, Bob’s son, Mark, joined the family business as a salesman.

Dodson Lumber and Roseburg formed a strategic partnership in 2004 which markedly increased the volume of the business through the addition of Roseburg’s engineered wood products line. The addition of the TrimJoist products shortly thereafter favorably positioned Dodson Lumber for the housing boom which accompanied the turn of the century. Bob’s son, Steve, joined the business in the fall of 2007.

Dodson Wholesale Lumber has operated continuously since 1955 and has weathered the storms of recessions, drought, and tough competition. During those 50+ years, it has experienced continuous growth and prosperity. Quality suppliers and customers have made it an enjoyable experience. Great employees and the good friends made from our customers and suppliers are the backbone of the success of the company.