About J.P. Hart Lumber Company
In 1939 James P. Hart (Jimmie) was selling wood products for Bollinger Lumber Company based in Bossier City, LA. He was a 21 year old commissioned salesman that covered San Antonio and South Texas. He was mostly selling Southern Pine and West Coast lumber by the rail-car and truckload to lumber yards in the area. Later that year Jimmie’s entrepreneurial spirit took over and he started his own business doing exactly the same thing.
In those days there were a multitude of smaller sawmills in east Texas and the west coast. He quickly discovered which mills produced the highest quality lumber and rapidly gained a reputation for selling quality products. This attention to quality never wavered throughout his business career. He would often tell his employees “always sell the highest quality products available and you’ll always have happy customers.”
Off to War…
When World War II began Jimmie joined the Army and was sent to Europe as a foot soldier. While he was away at war his father, W.B. Hart, took over the business operations from his home in Shreveport, LA. The business was in good hands as W.B. had been to San Antonio several times and was very familiar with Jimmie’s customers.
When the war ended the housing market really took off, mostly because of all the returning soldiers and the families that followed. In the early 1950’s J.P. Hart lumber Company’s business would be changed forever. The change began when Jimmie had sold all but a couple of bundles from a rail-car so he rented some lumber bins from an old run-down abandoned lumber yard to store the material. Jimmie’s friends used to laugh when they would tell the story of Jimmie standing in front of the two units of lumber saying “I don’t know what in the world we’re going to do with all this lumber”. He never imagined at the time what course his business was about to take and for the first time J.P. Hart Lumber Co. began selling material in smaller amounts than truck load or rail-car quantities.
J.P. Hart Expands…
Jimmie’s two sons, Warren B. (Speedy) and Wayne, were recruited to help run the family business inthe early 1960’s. As the business expanded they eventually grew out of their leased space and in 1972 a new facility was built in San Antonio which is still in use today. In the 1980’s J.P. Hart expanded its product offering to include gypsum wallboard and jumped into the commercial construction market by opening Hart Acoustical & Drywall in San Antonio. In 1990, Speedy Hart took over the reins of the family business and continued its expansion by concentrating on the professional builder. This led to the opening of additional branches throughout Texas including Austin, Houston, and Dallas.
In the 2000’s Hart’s growth took another giant leap forward as the housing market exploded. In order to accommodate our growing customer base we once again expanded our footprint by adding another Hart Acoustical & Drywall location in the Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Several other divisions were added throughout the 2000’s including Hart Components which manufactures roof and floor trusses as well as pre-fabricated wall panels. Soon after, Hart Building Solutions was launched to service the growing demand for turn-key framing. Our latest expansions have been in turn-key deck services as well as windows and cabinets.
Now in our 3rd generation of family leadership, we are currently celebrating our 75th anniversary. Jimmie Hart passed away in 2008 at the age of 90. He couldn’t believe how large his company had become and he was very proud of what had been accomplished.
In keeping with our mission statement “To be the best and most respected building material supplier as measured by our employees and customers”, we’re always looking for opportunities to improve our product offerings and customer service.
In the last 75 years J.P. Hart has grown to be a hidden asset among the big retailers, we have a strong family oriented foundation and the ability to work one on one with our customers. We are committed to our customers and employees to ensure that we constantly strive to improve our services and implement solutions when needed, continuing the legacy that was started by Jimmie Hart in 1939.
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