A private, family-owned company, Alexander Lumber has been building communities since 1891.

The westward expansion of the U.S. railroad system led to a series of land leases and “line yards” or small-scale lumberyards along the route. Thanks to founder John Alexander’s entrepreneurial spirit, more than 100 of the small yards under his control were in operation by the late 1920s. They proved a boon to local farmers and spurred the next stage of the company’s growth.

Fast-forward to the mid-20thcentury. As the third family member in the line of succession, Walter Alexander learned the business from his father and grandfather. After military experience and additional on-the-job training working sales counters in various Alexander Lumber locations, he arrived in Aurora, Ill., in 1964 as a management understudy. When Otto Unteed retired in 1966, Walter took over supervisory responsibility for the company, and served as president for 45 years until his retirement in 2014, when a search for a new president commenced.

Named to the position in September 2014, Russ Kathrein served as President and Chief Executive Officer until July 2020 when he stepped down from the role.  Rick Vancil is currently acting as interim CEO.

There currently are a total of 10 retail yards under the Alexander Lumber umbrella, seven in Illinois, two in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. In addition, the company operates a truss plant in Cortland, Ill., as well as a sales office in Twin Lakes, Wis.

Whether you are a commercial contractor or custom builder, an architect or a designer, or a homeowner looking for ideas, we hope you pay a visit to your nearest Alexander Lumber location. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities, and we promise to treat you as a member of our family, right from the beginning.