TRADITIONS CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF SMITH FAMILY BUSINESSES
DOUG SMITH FROM BROOM HANDLES TO LOG HOMES
A LOOK INTO THE SMITH FAMILY PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE
TAKE A GLIMPSE INTO THE SMITH FAMILY BUSINESSES
CONTACT US SMITH FAMILY TRADITIONS 9980 Clay County Hwy. Moss, TN 38575 +1 (931) 258-3648 Info@honestabe.com www.honestabe.com
EDITORIAL CLAUDIA JOHNSON Editor APRIL PATTERSON Operations Editor April Smith Patterson, Janie Smith, and Shane Smith
Thank you for celebrating 50 years with our family. I’d like to welcome you all to the first issue of Smith Family Traditions magazine. It is an honor and blessing to be able to share our family stories with you. The end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 marks a special time for us. We are so thankful and blessed to celebrate 50 years since the family of companies began. Our father, Doug Smith, started out making mop and broom handles the end of 1968 and through humble beginnings made a legacy to pass down through the generations. This magazine will serve as a summary of how it all began, all the companies, past and present, and where we are heading for the future. We have some great articles written by some of the great people we’ve been blessed to work with for many years. All of the articles have been written exclusively for the magazine. For many years people have been asking me why we didn’t have material that encompassed all of what we did and the answer was quite simple: I didn’t know. So, the idea of this magazine was born.
We hope you enjoy. April Smith Patterson
JANIE SMITH MOLLY HIX COOPER NICHOLAS PATTERSON Technical Editors DARREN OLIVER Design
CONTRIBUTORS Janie Smith Shane Smith April Smith Patterson Josh Beasley Quentin Moss Mary Pennignton Nick Patterson Molly Cooper Rick Denton Jr. Key Tim Smith Donnie Smith and others from Honest Abe Log Homes and its sister companies
table of contents
4 Doug Smith -
28 Quentin Moss
from Broom Handles
A quarter of a century in
of the family-owned business
to Log Homes
30 Master Logger Jr. Key
54 McFarland Creek Outdoors
helps hunters bag
trophy whitetail deer
18 More details about
36 President Emeritus 38 Honest Abe Celebrates 40th 40 Josh Beasley providing
has been a part of the
a growing environment
Smith Family for 20 years
Striving to continue on
this wonderful legacy
of our Home (Recipes)
8 Where we are now
52 What we do outside
10 Family is everything 12 Smith Family Companies
The Doug Smith Family
32 Rick Denton took
Honest Abe from an
that are now closed or sold
idea to an industry icon
Smith Family Companies’
14 A look back at the development
the broom handles
18 How companies were named 20 Janie Smith - The heart and
61 Lesely Smith 63 Nick Patterson
42 Giving back to 45 Honest Abe Log Homes
soul of the family business
first employee on the job
for 48 years and no plans
26 Doug dreamed it,
46 Barky Beaver 48 We put the “G” in Green 50 Southern Timbercraft
Donnie built it
for a new generation
24 Tim Smith - Company’s
57 The Mill Storehouse 58 Books 60 A Southern Marketplace
64 Kitchen is the Heart 66 In Rememberance 67 Thank You 67 Business Directory
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From Broom Handles to Log Homes A Summary of his life & start of businesses By April Smith Patterson
t all started with a dream â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a dream that eventually came to fruition. My father, Doug Smith, was born Feb. 24, 1943, to Lemuel Smith, a blacksmith and sawmill operator, and his wife, Leam, a homemaker. Along with Dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seven siblings, he grew up farming in the Union Hill community of Clay County, Tennessee. Everyone
>> See pages 6 & 7
Doug Smith at the office 1970s.
Dad also dreamed of living in a log home and offering that dream to others who he thought would like a log home too.
worked hard to help the family to survive. Times were tough. There was no electricity, running water or many of the conveniences we have today. Oftentimes Dad found himself working in his father’s sawmill. It was growing up in those conditions that my Dad decided he never wanted to get in the sawmilling business. Keep that in mind as our story continues. Dad graduated from Hermitage Springs School in 1960 and began his college studies. He soon found himself in the United States Army, where he received the American Spirit Honor Medal on Nov. 18, 1966. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Tennessee Technological University in 1967. In June 1968 he was awarded a certificate of achievement for “performance of outstanding service” during an 18-month period he spent conducting missile tests in the Mohave Desert as a Mechanical Engineer in the Army’s Requirements and Analysis Branch of Army Material Command. His commendation from U.S. Army Missile Command stated that he “demonstrated unusual ability in planning, evaluation and reporting” and showed “ingenuity,” initiative” and “quality.” Multitalented and driven, Dad was well traveled and well versed in many subjects, giving him the chance for much success in his career. He was first employed in the private sector with General Electric in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yet, he always had a dream of one day owning his own business. It was the late 1960s when Dad returned home to Clay County and launched this dream of his. He started by making mop and broom handles. It didn’t take long to realize there wasn’t a lot of money in mop and broom handles, and he ended up selling them as tobacco sticks to farmers in the area. While this first business wasn’t a success, that didn’t stop Dad from pushing forward and trying again. Since he had helped his father in his sawmill growing up, Dad decided that should be the business he would begin to develop. That small
Dad in the 80’s at Honest Abe Log Homes
business grew from one sawmill to pallets to dry kiln lumber and more. One of the most important things that happened to Dad during this time is that he married my wonderful mother, Janie, on March 31, 1973. I’ll never forget him telling the story about how he saw her cross the street in downtown Celina and decided then that he needed to know more. He asked someone who she was, looked up her number in the phone book and the rest is history. Together they took risks, expanded the sawmill and even started several other businesses. Dad also dreamed of living in a log home and offering that dream to others who he thought would like a log home too. So, he sat through dealer orientation for an established log home company, but with his engineering mind decided he could make it even better. He came home and grabbed my grandfather, and they began cutting poplar trees. They then came up with a way to notch the logs to make the log walls air- and water-tight. In 1974 they built their first log home – the one where my bother, Shane, and I were raised and where my mother still lives today. We lost Dad in 2011 to cancer, but his dream of log home living is still being carried out. Our family’s goal is to serve those who want to make their own dream of log home living come true, along with supplying customers with high quality dry kilned lumber and landscaping material needs. It’s through the Lord’s abundant grace that my family has been able to provide jobs and goods for the past 50 years. We look forward to building upon the great foundation our parents have laid before us and seeing a third generation of Smith’s take hold of the Smith Family legacy.
Dad in his office in the 1980s
Dad’s high school photo from 1960.
Dougs parents Lemuel & Leam Smith.
Doug Smith - United States Army 1966
Doug with father and all siblings.
WHERE WE ARE NOW The Doug Smith Family D
By April Smith Patterson
ad passed away in September of 2011 leaving a huge void and emptiness in us – his family – and in the companies as well. It’s a hole that will never be filled, but we know his dream and concern was that the companies continue providing jobs for the amazing folks in our small rural area. While our family faced challenges in taking their new roles and becoming second generation leadership in the companies he and mom developed, we wanted to honor this amazing legacy and build upon the great foundation set before us, thanks to dad’s and mom’s hard work and years of dedication. Today our companies stand strong and continue to grow by blessings from the Lord, no doubt. My brother, mother and I work together to continue the operations, and we are looking optimistically toward the future for the opportunities that lie ahead. We have an amazing team that is leading our core companies and are thankful for their commitment to making these companies a continued success. It is a team effort, and we as second generation owners are building our team just like Dad had in the beginning.
From left to right: Isaac Smith, Lesley Smith, Andrew Smith, Shane Smith, Janie Smith, Lily Smith, April Smith Patterson, Nick Patterson, and Eli Smith.
Nick & April
Shane is talented in more areas than one. While he farms and operates McFarland Creek Outdoors, he also oversees all the timber purchases, lumber in the sawmills and in GF Hardwoods. Alongside his hardworking team, Shane is the key to the success of ensuring that timber and lumber are feeding the sawmills and GF Hardwoods. Lesley, Shane’s wife, is a beautiful mother to their four kids along with being a guidance counselor at Hermitage Springs School. She has a sweet disposition and passion for kids of all ages and enjoys making a positive impact in the lives of the kids at her school. Lesley also helps within the family businesses as a supportive and positive figure. She’s a breath of fresh air and a positive influence to all she meets. Shane & Lesley have four wonderful children who the family cherishes more than they could have ever imagined. Isaac, born 2001, is close to finishing high school and enjoys hunting and video games. Eli, born 2003, is an avid outdoorsman who loves the farm and tending to the land. He plays basketball and is in his first year of high school. Andrew, born 2006, loves basketball and is in the honors program at school. While he’s just in junior high school, he still has dreams of being an engineer when grown. Lily, born 2011, two days after we buried dad, was a sweet surprise for the family. She has been a sweet haven for us all, and being the only girl, she is a true pride and joy.
JANIE Janie, “Mom,” continues to serve as the Chief Financial Officer overseeing all the accounting and fiscal details. She’s amazing at what she does. She’s truly the glue that keeps it all together. She and Dad built these companies from the ground up, and Mom stood by his side every step. She also has a competent and dedicated team who helps her keep all of the accounting and books up for each company.
Doug & Janie on their wedding day March 31, 1973
I love and am passionate about marketing and people. I love to motivate and come up with new and creative ideas to share with all to make a positive working environment and to show the family’s appreciation for all the employees, who we like to call “family,” too. Nick, my husband, is a veterinarian and currently helps with the businesses with a main focus on Barky Beaver. We met in 2011 when I brought a hurt basset hound, Roscoe, to him. It was truly love at first site, and we were married a year later. Nick’s been a great blessing to me and our family. He does a great job helping with Barky Beaver, and we look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future. Nick enjoys operating our farms, and he is passionate about the “family” of businesses. Everyone is just like family here, and we spend just as much if not more time with them than we do our own. Nick once mentioned even if he didn’t want to be a day-to-day participant in the family of businesses, he couldn’t have resisted because of the love our family has for the employees and how you can’t help but want to be a part of something like that. We are blessed to own and operate a store in Algood, Tennessee, called The Mill Storehouse, and we enjoy hosting barn sales twice a year on our farm, Acres of Grace Farms. The Lord is full of grace, and has blessed our family greatly, which is how we decided upon the name. As with all that we do, we wanted the Lord to be honored with the farm and chose this name as a symbol of His grace towards both our families. As a family, we love what we do, tending the land and being good stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with. It is our desire and goal to continue to provide jobs to the wonderful folks in our community while building and growing the current companies. We are thankful for the legacy to pass down throughout the generations to carry on the Smith Family tradition.
COMPANIES that are now Closed or Sold
Cookeville Speedway was a dirt racetrack in Baxter, Tennessee. Doug used to sponsor a driver named Ricky Arms, who frequently raced there. One of Doug’s friends, Big Foot Martin, owned Cookeville Speedway, and Doug was always amazed at how fast cars could go on dirt. When the track went up for sale, Doug thought it was interesting, but Janie was not as enthusiastic about the purchase. Doug bought it with no previous racing background and ran for a time, but it had lots of ups and downs. Doug eventually closed the racetrack portion but did use the property as an equipment sales lot for a time. The property itself was sold in 2016 to a development group.
Peckerwood Sawmill was a sawmill facility that Doug bought and moved to Moss. He purchased the facility mainly because the original circle saws first used by the company were worn out. It worked well, and it would saw a lot of logs. It was also used to produce materials for Pallet Pro.
By Shane Smith
Dad loved to dream and create jobs, products, and services along the way, while mom worked beside him helping those dreams to become reality. However, just like in life, sometimes forces outside of our control can have profound effects on things. Below is a list of companies that at various times have been owned and operated by the Smith Family. All of the companies listed are either not in business anymore or have been sold to other operators.
Home Interiors Home Interiors was an idea Doug had that he thought would be a nice partner to Honest Abe, and since he had money to invest at the time, he wanted to start this as a new business. He bought molding machines that made interior trim, doors, other architectural components, and produced finger-jointed moldings by cutting out the wood knots and gluing the clear pieces together. Doug found it hard to be profitable with Home Interiors, so he ended production.
Clearspan Buildings & Truss Company
Eager Beaver started because Shane was building a playground for his children out of cedar, which we didn’t have a market for. Doug saw this as an opportunity and began making playsets. The company made a lot of playsets but Lowes, Home Depot and others began making them cheaper. This led to production at Eager Beaver to be stopped, but several of the playsets are still providing hours of fun for children in our community.
Clearspan Buildings & Truss Company was a division of Honest Abe Log Homes that built trusses or bought them from local suppliers and resold them. The company also sold and built a nice metal garage for an economical price. Crews were hired to build the structures, but when they learned how to do it, they started doing it on their own and competing for business. As a result, Clearspan was eventually phased out over a period of time.
Developments When the housing market was booming, Doug took two large tracts of land that he had bought mainly for the timber on them and converted parts of them into land developments. When the housing market plummeted, the demand for home lots did as well and greatly affected sales of lots in the developments. They were sold to an investment group in 2017.
Rockcastle Rockcastle was the name given to the first tract that Doug developed. Located in Fentress County, Tennessee, on the Cumberland Plateau it was a 3,000-acre development on land purchased from a World War II fighter pilot, Barney Young, from Jamestown, Tennessee. Three phases of home lots were developed and sold over the course of several years.
Swan Ridge Lake Resort Swan Ridge Resort was the name given to the development Doug created that overlooks Dale Hollow Lake. It encompassed 800 acres with many different and stunning views of Dale Hollow Lake and the Dale Hollow Dam. Doug’s original vision for Swan Ridge was for it to be a log and timber frame only development. That vision did change over time, but several Honest Abe Log Homes cabins, houses and other structures, including a lodge, were built in the development in an effort to boost the log home market in Clay County.
Mitchell Creek Marina Mitchell Creek Marina was born when Doug bought the old Livingston Boat Dock at an auction. Doug’s original vision was to move parts of the dock to Swan Ridge and created better lake access to help sell home lots. However, the Army Corp of Engineers did not approve his request, so he decided to fix-up the dock structures and run it as a separate business. He invested a lot of money in building a log home riverboat store and restaurant, updating slips and transformed the dilapidated dock into one of the nicest marinas on Dale Hollow Lake. Although it was a successful business, the marina was incredibly demanding during lake season and became a distraction from the core businesses. The decision was made to sell it to the same developers who bought Swan Ridge so that more time could be spent on the core companies in Moss.
A Look Back
AT THE SMITH COMPANIES’ DEVELOPMENT By Shane Smith
a Smith (Lemuel Smith, Dad’s father) was a sawyer and sawed barn patterns. He was also a blacksmith and had a shop. People would bring him trees, and he would cut posts, 2x6s and lumber from them, depending how big a barn they wanted, and therefore deliver the material ready for building it. At that time Dad (Doug Smith) helped by hauling the barn pattern lumber to the people who built the barns. They did this where our home place is located now. Pa also started sawing hardwood lumber at a mill in Gallatin, TN and Dad would spend a lot of time helping Pa there. Dad grew up in the sawmill industry and was very familiar with the process when it came to timber and lumber. After Dad graduated High School in 1960, he obtained his mechanical engineering degree from Tennessee Tech University. Dad served in the United States Army, during which time he worked on jet engines in the Mohave Desert and on missiles. Dad missed home and had a dream of owning his own business, so he came back home in the late 1960s to start his own business making mop and broom handles. He would gather scrap from other sawmills to make the broom handles. It didn’t take him very long to realize there wasn’t a lot of money in broom handles since those imported from the Far East were much lower priced. Soon Dad started selling them for tobacco sticks,
because tobacco was a crop grown in our area, and using the broom sticks as tobacco sticks was worth more. Overall, that first new business endeavor didn’t make money, so he did the next thing he knew best – the sawmilling industry. Dad put in a sawmill and began manufacturing hardwood lumber and the company grew into other businesses as time went by. The first sawmill started as one circle mill then grew to two side-by-side circle saws in the same building. Everything then was done by hand, including stacking. It took six people stacking, two people edging, two people sawing and one person running the de-barker. A typical day for them would be to run 35,000 feet of lumber. Continued on page 16 - 17
Doug Smith - Army Photo
A Look Back AT THE SMITH COMPANIES’ DEVELOPMENT The Sawmills At the time that the pallet business started to decline, the lumber business was actually doing quite well. Dad expanded and started improving the sawmill. The circle saws started making too much dust and had other issues, so they went to bandsaws to help solve some problems. Now with the new bandmills more timber could be cut. The bandmills cut the good quality logs, and the circle saw would cut the lesser quality logs. These improvements and expansions created what we know as Moss Sawmills. He also had a separate location that was set-up very similarly in Allons, TN called Allons Sawmills. At this time, Dad also researched and figured out that the best margins on lumber were to sell it after it had been through a dry-kiln system, rather than selling it “green” like he was currently doing. This led him to buying and installing his first dry-kiln systems to dry his own lumber. He also purchased another sawmill facility, Livingston Sawmill. Later more dry kilns were purchased, and then two other sawmill facilities: Hwy 61 Sawmill and 56 Sawmill. At this time – ’95’96 – the sawmills were smoking. Everything was wide open due to President Bill Clinton’s housing plan and that had the housing industry booming. The demand was so high for lumber that even with all those facilities, he could not produce enough material. A lot happened in this time. Many people were involved and were making good money for their families, especially sawyers, which Dad gave profit sharing too. Hwy 61 Sawmill was purchased when Dad and I went to an auction only looking for an edger and de-barker. They started selling land, and Dad said, “I like land and sawmills,” and he bought it. He ended up out of the 220 items sold, he bought 187 of them, and at the end of the sale those who did buy some so then they sold to dad. Dad and I together went to many auctions, and this was one I remember as being the funniest story. Dad bought Hwy 56 Sawmill from the one who originally started it, Dennis Chaffin, a logger who sawed his own timber. Dad ran it for long time. There, he cut smaller grade logs and shipped bigger logs to our sawmills at Allons and Livingston, which were a shorter distance than transporting all the way to Moss.
Pallet Pro In the beginning, Dad sold the lumber green and flitches, which is the middle low-grade center of the log sized as a 4x6, until Dad realized he could make pallets out of the flitches. Then Pallet Pro was formed. Dad hired his nephew, Mark Carlisle, to sell the pallets. Soon after Dennis Miller and Kevin Donaldson sold the pallets. He had Richard Green, then JR Wix managing Pallet Pro afterward. During that time the pallet business was very good, and you could almost name your price for pallets. Pallet Pro was a booming business that employed 30-40 people. It lasted until the pallet business began to change due to outside forces. Chep (blue pallets) Rentals played a part in the demise in the pallet business, as more end-users turned to using the rented pallets. Working at Pallet Pro was intense, resulting in lots of mashed fingers and injuries. For these reasons, Dad decided to part ways with Pallet Pro and close that company.
Continued from page 14.
Any given week between Hwy 56, Hwy 61, Allons, Livingston and Moss Sawmills, it was not unusual to buy one million feet of logs per week. That happened a lot. Not only did we manufacture and sell our own lumber, we even bought from others and sold it. It was a huge networking organization. Dad told me once that as long as he could afford to pay the interest on the timber and land, he would buy all he could. Dad had to sweet talk a lot of banks and had to deal with a lot of pains because he owed a lot and bought what he could based on what he could borrow. He’d buy land and timber. Every Saturday when they weren’t working in the mill, he took me to look at timber and buy it on shares with people or in with partners. Glen Watson and Doris Rhoton helped him find a bunch at that time. They’d find timber, and Dad would give them cash and buy their dinner and pay them for helping find the timber. We went through 100,000 acres of timber land from Clay, Overton, Monroe, Jackson and Macon counties, with more than half coming out of Overton. Our sustainable logging practices have allowed us to go back on many of the same tracts within 1015 years and get multiple cuttings off the same land.
Barky Beaver started because Dad didn’t like waste and noticed a lot of bark piling up with no use or purpose. His brother, Jim Smith, mentioned how people in the Murfreesboro area (where he lived) were using it for mulch. So Dad began recycling all the bark by grinding it into mulch with a stationary grinder powered by electric motors called hogs. Then he later figured out the mobile units got three times as much done with diesel power, and they could also move around. That’s when our facility in Algood was purchased, and we started buying and selling bark in the Cookeville, Tennessee, area. About 80% of everything we sold went east, so the Cookeville location saved on freight and was close with more loads per day taken to the Knoxville area. Shortly after the World’s Fair was held in Knoxville the area boomed. Lots of homes in Gatlinburg were also being built, and we sold mulch in Gatlinburg for beautification purposes. Barky grew from bulk mulch, and they sold so much bulk there was a big demand for bagging. So Barky started offering mulch in bags. Dad also figured out some of the other companies had shavings that could be used and started baling shavings. The way the soil mix division of Barky Beaver started was when Dad and I were at an auction one day and they had a soil line that made soil mixes. I told Dad, “hey I like soil and growing things so why don’t we do some soil mixes,” so he bought it and started doing soils.
Loader & Equipment
Green Forest Products
In the beginning, all the company business was done in either the name of Green Forest or Honest Abe. Green Forest would have bought and sold all the material except the log home packages and did all the trucking. However, as business began to expand, Dad thought it would be best to separate each division into different companies. This allowed for liability to be spread out a little more and for better tracking of each company’s performance.
Happy Trucking Happy Trucking was created to move all the material from all the companies. They would haul in the neighborhood of 175-200 loads per week of material at that time, 100 of which was mulch, and the rest was lumber and houses. Not only did we haul stuff with our own trucking company, we contracted with other trucking companies and kept them busy as well.
Exporting In addition to selling domestic lumber, Dad was the first to sell to China in our area. A representative went to China to meet and start the export process and soon after everyone else followed, but Dad was one of the pioneer for new things. As far as exporting lumber and even selling bark and grinding chips and mulch and soil, he started it all. We are still exporting lumber today, but nothing like what we did. China is slow to pay and any problem that may arise, we can’t control, so we limited this aspect of our business. We still export materials but do so cautiously and do it in a different that we once did.
With everything going on there wasn’t enough technical help in Moss to repair loaders trucks and equipment. So, Dad put in an in-house loader shop run by Ronnie Wheeler to rebuild transmissions, do service work or take care of anything that may happen to equipment. Not only did we save money from not having to send to dealerships, we were able to be more efficient and machinery was fixed faster. Dad never bought new loaders – always used or burnt, then repaired them to save money. Trucks were done in similar way. He bought good used trucks, and Dennis Hix headed up that shop. There was nothing we couldn’t fix in house. We’ve run so many miles, we’ve likely changed $2 million dollars worth of tires. Donnie Smith, who worked with dad for years, would go to auction to buy equipment, make minor adjustments to make it like new and install it. Donnie was Dad’s mastermind to get the most production out of equipment – 35 years and lots of welding and fabrication. We bought lots of metal to make it work. Dad went to Arizona once to take kilns out. We’ve been to Bend, Oregon, to get a used tray sorter, which we shipped and reassembled. Dad also bought electric boxes and wiring take out of other buildings and put it in ours. He would buy a sawmill building at an auction and take down, put it back up and even reuse roofing. These practices were very efficient, saved millions of dollars and allowed us to expand.
More details about the
Serving our community with honesty and integrity since 1968.
April Patterson with original mop and broom handles Doug started making in late 1968. A friend gave these to me that he found in his barn a couple of months ago and they are a treasure.
How companies were named
By Shane Smith
Dad would take edging strips from lumber
Dad would just sit and think stuff up, like
(scrap) from other mills and bring in and run
Auguste Rodin’s statue of The Thinker. Dad
through dowel machine to make them round.
liked that statue and had a replica in his office.
From that he sold them for broom handles
He read books and magazines to get ideas,
and tobacco sticks. This lasted maybe a year,
but mostly he just dreamed up the names.
and he realized the competition from foreign
For example, he associated Abe Lincoln
manufacturers was fierce, so he put in a sawmill.
with log cabins, thus Honest Abe Log Homes;
Dad was the sawyer and shortly after came Tim
Green Forest because the forest was, in fact,
Smith, Dad’s oldest and longest working employee
green; and Barky Beaver because beavers eat
who is still working with us TODAY!
wood and were efficient in their work.
We buy logs and standing timber. We excercise good logging practices so forest are sustained and can be recut in the future. FOR LOGS: Shawn Kendall 931.397.3394
FOR STANDING TIMBER: Jr. Key 931.397.2820
MILLWRIGHT SERVICES BY CALVIN SMITH: Now taking outside orders for metal working. For more information please call Calvin at 931.397.9081. 9970 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575 800.844.3944 I 931.258.3944 www.gfhardwoods.com
By Shane Smith
ur Mom, Janie Smith, was and still is, the woman
behind all of Dad’s successes. They say behind every good man is a good woman and there’s no better woman than Mom. She didn’t want to go along with everything Dad did, and some of the decisions she got the most upset are the ones that didn’t do well. Mom didn’t have problems with mills, but she did with the racetrack, real estate developments and the marina. Most of the failures Dad had were the failures she saw ahead of him. She would have been happy living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere with us. She’s never lived like she had a lot and always wanted everything for others and never for herself.
There was no other person Dad loved more than Mom.
Ever since he met her he was smitten. Mom was known for being Miss Clay County and a true sweetheart, and Dad known as a handsome man, but they were polar opposites in nature. No wonder they were so in love because they were nothing alike, other than both being loving and caring people. Mom always worked for Dad – accounting – writing checks, logs, added more things on a calculator than any one person in the world. There were no computers at that time she started, and she hand tallied every log footage that came in by hand. She easily did and still does the work of three people. She’s always been so smart, and thank the Lord she was. Her beauty was only matched by her smarts and the way she was able to help Dad with the businesses and with people. Mom got along with everyone, too, and actually had to listen to lots of complaints and problems because most people were too scared to speak up to Dad. Mom would always figure out a way to tell him so they could get it fixed and be successful. They were always a perfect complement to each other.
Mom put in more time than anyone at the mill working
six days a week, daylight to dark. I stayed with Pa Smith at night and I always remember watching the 6 o’clock news with him because it was usually past then when mom and dad would get home. One winter night, I can remember a foot of snow being on the ground and thinking that mom and dad would surely be home early. However, they still got home after the news had gone, long after they had sent everyone else home early.
Janie Smith THE HEART AND SOUL OF THE FAMILY AND BUSINESS
By Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes
anie Pennington Smith is the daughter of Milton and Christine Pennington. She was born and raised on Wet Mill Creek in Celina, TN. Milton was a sawmill owner and farmer and Christine “Dodie” was a homemaker. They raised four girls, Mildred, Janie, Patsy, and Mary. Their family was known to be hard working, respected, and loved. Love takes people on unexpected paths, and that’s certainly true for Janie Pennington Smith. Back in 1972 when she was a social worker, Janie’s life changed forever merely because she crossed the street at the exact moment a handsome, young entrepreneur named Doug Smith was driving through Celina. She was on the way to grab lunch at the local drugstore, oblivious to the fact that Doug thought she was attractive and immediately made his mind up to find out who she was. Six years her senior, Doug had started a broom handle manufacturing company in 1968 at Moss, but that was soon converted to a milling operation, which was finally beginning to gain some financial traction. Never one to miss an opportunity, Doug tracked down the mystery woman’s identity. Later Janie learned that she had been suggested to him – to no avail – some time earlier by family friends as a possible match. “I liked him, and he liked me,” Janie said of their eventual meeting. The pair started dating, and within six months, he proposed. “We were at my parents’ house watching TV when he asked me to marry him,” Janie remembers. “When you love someone, you say ‘yes.’” Janie had dreamed of a June wedding, but Doug was eager to make her his wife. He chose March 31, 1973, as the wedding date, and Janie was happy to have a spring wedding instead. She soon quit her job and joined Doug at the milling operation. “He wanted me to do all the paperwork so he could concentrate on the business,” Janie said. “Back then we didn’t have computers or even calculators! Even today I sometimes catch myself adding in my head.” Janie worked from a small block building at Moss that had once been a “beer joint,” infamous because a murder happened there some years before Doug acquired the property. In addition to accounting, Janie scheduled production for Pallet Pro, prepared all the reports and handled payroll. “I even went with him to help grade logs,” Janie said. “There were all these little dots that represented a foot, so that took a little time. We were together a lot, and we ate lunch together almost every day. That was special.”
In November 1974 the Smiths first child, Shane, was born, and two years later they completed their dream home, a square log house that ignited the idea to establish Honest Abe Log Homes in 1979. “We struggled for several years before making any money,” Janie said. “It was 1980 before we were actually in the black.” That year should have been one of celebration, but Janie was involved in a devastating traffic accident on April 22, 1980, that hospitalized her for months and kept Doug by her side much of the time. Janie believes the birth of daughter April, born in the 1980s, is nothing short of a miracle due to the extent of her skeletal and internal injuries. When Janie was well enough, she returned to her company duties and to Doug’s side in their growing businesses. “I’ve never worked with anyone who worked so hard,” Janie says of Doug. “He had a good head for business. One of his main goals was to be able to give people jobs, which is still my family’s goal.” In time Doug and Janie would come to own some 20 businesses cumulatively directly employing more than 1,000 (over their 50 years in business) and indirectly impacting the local economy to the tune of billions of dollars. Some of the businesses were consolidated with others, some they sold over the years and some they closed completely in an effort to strengthen their core operations headquartered at Moss. The currently operating businesses include Honest
Abe, Barky Beaver, Moss Sawmills, GF Hardwoods, Southern Timbercraft, Green Forest Wood Products and Happy Trucking. “I always went along with him,” Janie said of her energetic husband. “He was so creative and always seemed to know the right decision to make. I ask myself every day when making a decision, ‘Is this what Doug would have done?’” Janie’s grief at the loss of her husband to cancer on Sept. 8, 2011, is palpable. “I lost my soul mate and best friend,” she said, eyes brimming with tears. “April and Shane were such a comfort, and when Nick [Patterson, April’s husband] came along it was just a blessing,” Janie said she relies heavily on her family in operation of the businesses. “It’s so hard running the companies without Doug,” she said. “I could not run any of these companies without the help of my family, who are all amazing.” Shane works primarily with the sawmills, lumber company and timber acquisition, while April is responsible for Honest Abe. Nick handles Barky Beaver, and both Shane and Nick undertake massive farming operations in Tennessee and Kentucky. “They’re good at what they do and don’t need much supervising,” Janie said. “Even though I work hard, without them the companies would not be the success they are today. I attribute the success of the companies to them.” A humble and unassuming person, Janie has carried forth the legacy left by her husband of charitable giving through the company with
organizations that support veterans and children being the primary focus. However, she believes that there is much that can be addressed quietly and personally by helping others with their immediate needs. “After Doug died, people would come up to me and tell me about how generous he was,” she said. “He helped people during bad times…when they were sick. We both agreed that we should help others when we could. We have really been blessed, and I don’t have to have a big house or the finest car to drive.” Janie still lives in the modest log home she and Doug built so many years ago in rural Clay County, which is just up the road from Shane and wife Lesley and directly across from April and Nick. The family also made many memories in their Gatlinburg log cabin, a vacation getaway and favorite holiday retreat destroyed by the forest fires that ravaged Gatlinburg in November 2016. Outside work, Janie’s life revolves around her family, and at any given time she can be found shuttling one of her four grandchildren, Isaac, Eli, Andrew and Lily, to a practice, play or game. She zips among the houses on a golf cart and is game for a shopping expedition if the opportunity presents itself. She approaches the decorating of a cake for a loved one with the same precision as tallying a column of numbers for a multimillion-dollar corporation. “I miss Doug every day, but I stay really busy working, which helps,” Janie said. “My family always supports me, and I love them so very much. I know Doug would be proud of us all.”
“When you love someone, you say ‘yes.’” ~ Janie Smith
COMPANY’S FIRST EMPLOYEE ON THE JOB FOR 48 YEARS & NO PLANS TO RETIRE By Claudia Johnson
“Since 1970, he’s has sawn roughly 200 million board feet, which totals 235,000 trailer loads of lumber.” ~ Shane Smith
he Smith Companies’ first true employee, Tim Smith, celebrated his 48th work anniversary in 2018. That’s a lifetime spent in one job, but Tim says he has no plans to retire. After all, he’s been there as the vision in the mind of his first cousin, Doug Smith, grew into the successful family of companies that have employed thousands for over half a century. “When Tim started working with my dad, one of his first jobs was to pour concrete in the floor of one of the buildings Dad had purchased to begin his businesses in Moss,” said April Smith Patterson, who owns the Smith Family Companies along with her mother, Janie, and brother Shane. A newlywed in 1970, Tim’s first job was at another company in Gallatin, with wages at $1.99 per hour and gas at $.30 a gallon, the commute from his home community near Moss proved too costly, and after three months, he’d had enough. “Doug needed someone to work for him,” Tim said, who became one of a handful of people to produce the company’s first products, broom handles. Tim remembers driving a loader, measuring logs and even driving a truck. Soon it was clear that making broom handles was not profitable, and that proved to be good for Tim’s career. When the sawmills became the most lucrative aspect of the Smith Family business, which started under the umbrella of Green Forest Products, Tim was a natural fit to become a sawyer. “Back in the beginning we did everything with a circle saw, and we started out with one diesel motor,” Tim said. “Things were real tight for the first few years.”
Tim said they collected scraps of banding discarded from a nearby factory, Graham Hammer, and pieced them together to package the sawmills’ products. “Later Doug bought that factory out,” Tim says with a smile. During the early 1970s the mills were upgraded when Doug began buying used equipment and revamping it for his operation, and Tim’s value to the company increased. Shane calculated about how much lumber Tim had sawn for what is now Moss Sawmills. “Since 1970, he’s has sawn roughly 200 million board feet, which totals 235,000 trailer loads of lumber,” Shane said. Tim’s job as a sawyer is to determine how logs should be cut into lumber. He watches the timbers as they go through the saw and evaluates them for the greatest yield of the highest grade of lumber, thereby ensuring the best financial return on every board. “Logs are really expensive when you buy them,” Tim said. “I can see how to get the most out of them. All the time I am thinking, ‘Do I need to turn it now or can I get another board?’” Tim has sustained a long marriage and raised a family while at Moss Sawmills. In 48 years, he’s weathered booms and downturns in the lumber market, broken the same arm twice and mashed off part of his left-hand ring finger. He’s remained consistently employed in a job he loves and in which he takes pride. “I’m a great sawyer,” he says matter-of-factly. “It comes natural. I’m good at what I do. I stay steady all day long.”
Doug DREAMED IT Donnie BUILT IT By Claudia Johnson
here are some people with innate talent, and Donnie Smith is one of them. “He’s a genius,” said April Smith Patterson, whose father, Doug Smith, hired Donnie 46 years ago when the Smith Companies were in their infancy. Donnie (no relation to the Doug Smith family) was in his early 20s when he approached Doug about a job. “Doug bought a tract of timber at Clementsville and picked out these 18” logs, and I wanted to log it,” recalled Donnie, who had already gained appreciation for logging while working with his father and uncle. It wasn’t that Donnie didn’t have a job. He did. He drove a bulldozer for a local operation. In fact, he’d once ventured far from his native Clay County for work in Indianapolis, but with the birth of his son, Chris, Donnie and wife Henrietta had made their way back home, and Donnie was looking for a challenge. “Well, Doug hired me, and I got to cut that good tract of timber,” Donnie said. Those big poplar trees found their purpose later when Doug married Janie Pennington and Doug’s father, Lemuel, helped turn the timbers into a log home, planting the idea with Doug for the log home manufacturing company he and Janie established a few years later. “When I first started in 1972 Doug was still fooling with broom handles,” Donnie said of the lackluster product that in 1968 started what has become a family of companies. “We’d do anything to keep from making handles. If at all possible, we went and stayed in the woods – even when the ground was covered in snow!” For the first few years, Donnie was happy working in the log woods, but a new challenge presented itself at the sawmill. “They got a new saw, and I thought, ‘I’d like to run that,’” he said. “I did that about two years, but it was too confining.” Recognizing that the company was rapidly growing, Donnie approached Doug about utilizing him fulltime for equipment maintenance, since he’d already been working on trucks, loaders and anything else that needed repairs. His job expanded when Moss Sawmills
was being built, and Donnie and Doug began travelling to equipment sales and visiting other manufacturing facilities. “If Doug started talking about an auction, I started packing,” Donnie said. “We traveled a lot of miles together. We went to auctions all over the United States from North Carolina to California, Wisconsin to Georgia. If it could be rebuilt, Doug wanted it.” That’s when his “genius” reputation began to take shape. Far more than a “fix-it man” – though Donnie continued to do that during his 46 years with company – he became Doug’s trusted sidekick on the trail to acquire used equipment that could be repurposed for the mills at Moss. “I would look at an operation and get some good ideas I could put to use later when they were needed,” he said, explaining that his primary role was to help evaluate the equipment Doug wanted to buy. Donnie said he enjoyed all the traveling he did for the company and realizes he probably would never have been so many places without his job. “We went to big shows,” Donnie said. “The first one we went to was in New Orleans. Doug and Janie and me and Henrietta. It was at the Super Dome. I had never seen so much equipment.” Over the decades Donnie broke down and reinstalled a variety of equipment, but he’ll always remember his first experience as his most challenging. “When we bought the first sorter, it was the first one I had ever seen,” I numbered the wires for two or three days on that thing. By the time I got back to Moss, I could strip every wire out and rewire the whole thing.” Donnie said he didn’t know anything about electricity in the beginning, but he ultimately became responsible for all the company’s wiring. “I really appreciated Doug,” Donnie said. “He showed me the basics of relay on a piece of equipment and told me to figure it out.” Donnie said he learned a lot from Doug and from the many responsibilities he was given at the mills, even from a young
age. “If I got a degree anywhere, I got it right here,” Donnie said, a man who grew up on a farm, the oldest of eight children, and who never went past the eighth grade. “It’s been a learning process. I looked back at what I did when I started, and I take more pride in it now. I learned to do it better. I am grateful to look back and see what I’ve done.” Sometimes the job took Donnie further from Moss and his family than he’s ever expected to be. Once he was sent to Flagstaff, Arizona, to break down a large dry kiln and a banding machine. When the job stretched toward two months, he was eager to get home. “I was staying by I-40, and every time I pulled out I about couldn’t help myself from turning east,” he said. Eventually, his wife had enough of the distance between them, so she headed to Flagstaff. On his time off they visited the Grand Canyon – a longtime dream of Henrietta’s – and explored other interesting area attractions. He was grateful to share these experiences with Henrietta, who had been his girlfriend since she was in middle school and will celebrate 50 years of being his wife in 2019. His companions were quite different when he spent a month in Bend, Oregon, with Doug and Janie’s son, Shane, then 16, Ronnie “Sleepy” Wheeler and Mark Gross to tear down and pack for shipment the massive tray sorter used by GF Hardwoods. “We had a good time,” Donnie said, explaining that they were not allowed to work in the building after 5 p.m. “We had a lot of time to kill. We went to Crater Lake, and drove up into the mountains. We went to California to see the old growth redwoods.” During the weekdays, they all worked as efficiently as they could, sending Shane in the rental car to pick up supplies. “Doug bought plane tickets for us to come back in four weeks, and we made it,” Donnie said. “The last day was a Saturday, so we paid someone to stay with us. We finally got loaded out around
midnight. When the truck pulled up on the scales, it was overweight. We told him, ‘You’ll be just fine.” We got in the car and took off.” Their rental car was filthy, and even though they tried to clean it, they feared they’d have to pay for it when they dropped it off. Luckily, they got away without a hitch, but they didn’t know it would take the better part of a year to get the tray sorter up and running. “When we got back here they didn’t have the ground work done, so we had to prep the land and fill it,” Donnie said. “I did all the dozer work for Doug, so I filled it out so they could build the building. He wouldn’t let anyone else do it.” How on earth did he ever get the huge sorter with thousands of pieces put back together and operational for GF Hardwoods? “Oh, that was easy,” Donnie grinned. Donnie is proud to have been involved in the early development of Honest Abe as well. They went to Indiana to buy a notcher, but when they saw that it only put a V-groove notch on the top of the log, Donnie told Honest Abe’s first president, Rick Denton, that he could make a machine that put a notch on the bottom at the same time. “I built a complete machine that notched the top and bottom,” Donnie said. “It’s still at Honest Abe but used for something different now.” Donnie said there was satisfaction in making something and watching it work. He cannot explain how he knew what to do or how to do it, though. “I guess it’s just the gift that I have,” he said. In September Donnie retired having spent almost half a century with the Smith Companies. His son, Chris, has worked for the mills for 20 years, and both men say they’ve been fortunate to have a good job close to home with a secure company. Donnie’s contribution to the success of the companies is immeasurable. ““If Dad dreamed it, Donnie built it,” April said. “Donnie had a hand in building it all.”
Quentin Moss A Quarter of a Century In Quentin Moss, President, G.F. Hardwoods and Moss Sawmills:
.F. Hardwoods and Moss Sawmills, (MSM) are located right in the heart of the Appalachian hardwood region. The company has been a manufacturer of hardwood lumber for the past 40+ years, and I’ve spent almost 25 years working here. Early in my career, I helped manage a small sawmill owned by Bill Vinson, my father-in-law, who was a lumber inspector for many years. That’s what got me into the lumber business. I’ve been married to his daughter, Melita, who is the most positive influence in my life and my best friend, for the past 23 years. Our son, Brayden, is carrying on the family tradition by studying forestry and wildlife science at Tennessee Tech University. After I started work on Jan. 27, 1994, I was a lumber stacker for approximately a year before I started inspecting lumber, which I did for 17 years. Another couple of years were spent in management and sales, and in 2017 I was named President of G.F. Hardwoods and Moss Sawmills. When I started here, all of the lumber processed either at MSM or G.F. was stacked and/or sorted by hand. With the addition of the tray sorter at G.F., it allowed us to be more productive and efficient with far fewer employees. Our late founder, Doug Smith, saw how much more productive and
efficient the sorter made G.F., so he installed sorters at all the Sawmills. Our company is known for producing a good consistent quality product that works well for companies that manufacture hardwood flooring, cabinets, trim and molding, dowels, curtain rods and broom/mop handles. We offer all major Appalachian species such as Red Oak, White Oak, Poplar, Ash, Hickory, Hard and Soft Maple and Cherry – to name a few. We have 900,000’ of kiln capacity and our kilns are control by Lignomat Computerized Drying System. As most everyone in the industry Moss Sawmills has become much more automated since the mid-1990s with the addition of scanners and sorters throughout the mill, and the same goes for G.F Hardwoods. In our future endeavors I look for us to become even more automated to allow us to continue to be competitive with our log prices at MSM as well as our lumber prices at G.F. as the demand for hardwood lumber grows. I am thankful that I’ve have been able to be a part of the Smith family businesses for a quarter of a century, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that Mr. Doug Smith and his family continue to give me. I always have and I always will count that as a blessing.
President Quentin Moss with Sales Team Joey Dyer & Trevor Graves.
MOSS SAWMILL: 9970 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575 GF HARDWOODS: 9980 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575
“After 40 years in the log woods, you learn a whole lot.” ~ Jr Key
TOP-OF-LINE TIMBER SELECTION EXPERIENCE By Claudia Johnson
t takes a special talent to stand in the forest and determine which trees will yield the greatest quantity and quality of lumber. That’s why Jr Key is…well, key, to the success of Moss Sawmills. “If there’s any tract of timber we send Jr because he knows better than anyone how much lumber is there and what species, and we know exactly how much to offer for it,” said April Patterson, co-owner of Moss Sawmills and its companion company, GF Hardwoods. “About 99% of the time he makes us money on the tracts. He’s just the best.” “I’ve just been doing it a long time,” he says, modestly. “After 40 years in the log woods, you learn a whole lot.” Actually, it’s been nearly 45 years since 18-year-old Jr began learning about wood. In 1974 he took a job at Doug Smith’s newly began pallet company, Pallet Pro, at a time when manufacturing was done by hand using a dozen employees,
and a good week meant a 1,000 pallets heading out on the truck. Jr remembers how in those days before sales began to boom, he and his pallet coworkers may just as easily have found themselves working in the sawmill or cutting timber. “There’s nothing more dangerous than working in the log woods,” Jr says, but he starting doing it regularly about a year into his tenure at the company. “I still do it sometimes.” Shane said that the safety of an employee like Jr is too valuable to risk, so his logging time is limited. However, he does oversee the logging crews and trains others to buy lumber. After all, he is a Master Logger, a designation earned through certification classes required by Kentucky for any log purchases and in Tennessee for logging on state property. Jr says the best lumber is 14-15” breast high, and by being selective during logging a landowner can strengthen the health
and value of their woods. “I go in and count the square footage and explain to landowners what their options are,” he said. “They decide which trees they want to cut, and we buy it like that.” Shane and April reiterates that the stewardship practices adopted by Moss Sawmills prioritize sustainability of the woods where logs are bought. Proper spacing and thinning reduces overcrowding, diminishes fire hazards and increases the value of the remaining trees. Creating a more open stand also improves the forest habitat. “People need to cut the logs,” Jr said, adding that some of the forests he’s bought have been logged a second time over the past four decades, and he considers it a professional success when a landowner entrusts him with repeated logging. April calls Jr’s intuitive timber purchasing ability a talent, but Jr disagrees.
“I worked in the log woods lots of years,” Jr says. “I’ve seen logs measured on the yard and even done that myself.” It’s estimated that Key has bought millions of feet of timber, but he’s also worked wherever he was needed within the Smith Companies. He’s driven a skidder in the log woods, worked at Honest Abe Log Homes and helped with the Smith family’s farming operation. He performed many maintenance and landscaping duties at Swan Ridge, a Smith Family lakeside resort, that first required logging and clearing before development could begin. “I’ve had offers to go other places, but I wouldn’t have been bettering myself, really,” Jr said about his longevity at the company. “I’m happy working here. This is like family.” MOSS SAWMILL and GF HARDWOODS: 9970 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575 I 800.844.3944 I 931.258.3944 email@example.com I www.gfhardwoods.com
TOOK HONEST ABE FROM AN IDEA TO AN INDUSTRY ICON
By Shane Smith
ick Rick Denton took ownership and
sacrificed a lot for Honest Abe Log Homes, and developed it into what it is today. Rick and Dad were likely the closest that ever worked together. Rick led by example. For instance, if everyone was turning in 45-50 hours per week, he’d do 60 hours. He did have to sacrifice a lot of time for the company that he could have been spending with his family. Out of all the time he put into Honest Abe, he still remained a good husband, father, and Christian man.
Next to dad, he was the busiest man who
ever worked for our family business. Rick led by example and motivated others to get the most out of people similar to Dad. While he and Dad didn’t always see eye to eye on everything, 99% of the time they did. They had their spats but stuck together like brothers. No one was devoted to Dad like Rick was.
When Rick started with Dad in 1979, a few
years after he started the sawmill, people laughed at them for starting a log home company since the lumber business was good. Dad did it anyway, and gave Rick free reign to build his own team. With Rick’s leadership, engineering background, and the will to achieve greatness they created one of the largest and most enduring log home companies in the industry today. Lots have failed where we survived from Rick’s resilience and the way he led the company from the very beginning.
ick Denton had no plans to come back home – not for good anyway. He’d earned his degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Tech, married his high school sweetheart, landing a lucrative job in Chattanooga and completed his family with three kids. He liked his church, his house and his job. No way was he returning to rural Clay County when all he’d wanted to do was get off the farm. Then he ran into Doug Smith at a high school reunion in 1978 they attended with their wives, Wanda Beasley Denton and Janie Pennington Smith, who had graduated from Celina High School together 10 years earlier. While the ladies visited with old friends, Doug, a mechanical engineer and fellow Tech graduate who was six years older than Rick, talked about how he’d given up engineering to start a business in Moss. Doug thought there was a place for Rick in the company, especially a new one that manufactured log homes, but Rick was not so sure. Rick’s parents had sacrificed to put him through college with no debt, and the plan was he’d make a life far from Pine Hill. “My family operated a small farm for a meager living,” Rick recalled. “Cash money was scarce. Nothing about this way of life appealed to me.”
“I remember telling mom and dad. They thought I had lost my mind.” ~ Rick Denton
By Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes
By 1979 changes were underway at Combustion Engineering where Rick, 31 at the time, had worked since 1970 following a two-year stint in the Army. Nuclear power, which had seemed so promising, quickly became a pariah with the accident at Three Mile Island making international headlines, and Rick became unsure the nuclear industry was right for him. Further, he and Wanda were thinking more about the challenges of raising their children – all under age 10 – in a city, and to his surprise, Wanda actually wanted to live on a farm. “We began praying about it,” Rick said. “We began earnestly seeking the Lord’s will for our lives. The strong negative feelings I had against Clay County as a young schoolboy had softened over the years. We talked about and considered the many advantages and disadvantages of such a move. Finally, we were given a sense of peace about it.” Rick called Doug, and the job was still open. It would mean a pay cut and leaving behind numerous benefits, including three weeks paid vacation, 10 holidays, paid employee health insurance, life insurance and a profit sharing pension plan in which Rick was already vested. “I left all this to go work for Doug at his sawmill,” Rick said. “I remember telling mom and dad. They thought I had lost my mind. I told all my friends at work, church and the community, and they had similar reactions. I eventually stopped telling where I was going to work and just said to pursue other opportunities.” Rick was hired as a Research Engineer on Aug. 9, 1979, to develop a log home product, and he plunged into the task despite knowing nothing about log homes and working in primitive office conditions that often included cleaning off mouse droppings before sitting down at his desk each morning. “Looking back now at the timeline, it seems almost miraculous that we completed our first model home and had an open house celebration on March 28, 1980,” Rick said. “In seven
months we had somehow managed to design, manufacture and build our first log home product.” The company had 12 original plans and a construction guide, marketing materials and a growing list of potential customers, but it needed a name. “Doug wanted a name associated with Abraham Lincoln since he had lived in a log home,” Rick recalled. “Our answer came to us in an ad for a trucking company in a trade magazine that featured a drawing of Abraham Lincoln holding an adze, standing with his foot resting on a log. His completed log home was in the background, and the text ended with the words, ‘Honest Abe.’ That resonated with us, and we chose that as our name.” The company flourished, and Rick remembers how in the beginning the orders doubled yearly: 13 the first, then 26, 52 and 108. Rick is proud to have been a part of a company that in four decades has gone from an idea in one man’s mind to having manufactured more than 6,000 log home packages finished into beautiful and creative homes across the world. “Doug Smith was a one-of-a-kind man,” Rick said. “No one could be like him and do things like him. Honest Abe always echoed him. Today the company is in good hands, with a culture that’s solid and a reflection of the Smith family. They have figured out how they want to do business since he died in 2011, and it is different from Doug’s way, as we’d expect. It’s their way.” Rick took early retirement in 2007. He wanted to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He had large projects planned at his church and in the community. At 59 ½ years old he felt he was young enough to take time for himself after almost three decades spent developing and directing Honest Abe, and he is doing just that. “Isn’t life interesting, how the many opportunities and choices that come our way lead us in directions we never expected? Good and bad,” Rick mused. “For me, they turned out exceptionally good.”
“We began earnestly seeking the Lord’s will for our lives.” ~ Rick Denton
he Latin word “emeritus” is defined as “having served
In recognition of his dedicated past, combined with his
sprawling Moss complex through the years and often built
current usage, it is a postpositive adjective used to designate
continued positive influence, Honest Abe Log Homes
or reconstructed many of the machines used in the various
service as a sales person and later president of G.F.
a retired professor, bishop, president, prime minister or other
awarded him the honorary title of “President Emeritus.”
wood products companies’ manufacturing processes.
Hardwoods, Jimmy is the fourth employee to be awarded the
professional. It even refers to the post-retirement status of at
title of President Emeritus.
least one pope.
and his success has earned him the respect and attention
dedicated his life to these companies,” said April Smith
from its current leaders and owners,” said Josh Beasley,
Patterson. “Donnie, along with many other people, played a
later transitioned into domestic kiln dried lumber sales, where
life’s work and dedication into The Smith Companies and
Honest Abe’s President since 2013.
big part in the success of our companies.
he quickly flourished into one of the leading lumber salesmen
have gone above and beyond their call of duty, the Smith
The idea to recognize Rick with the title originated with April
Janie Smith, who has worked with Donnie since the
in the entire industry,” said Quentin Moss, President of G.F.
Family developed the President Emeritus award. Recipients
Smith Patterson, who is Joint Operating Officer for the Smith
beginning, added that the family always wants their team
Hardwoods since 2017. “He is responsible for expanding G.F.
participate in the company reward trips each year as a
members to know they are appreciated.
Hardwoods’ customer base, not only domestically, but also
continued token of our appreciation for their service and
“It just seemed like the natural next step to take,” said April.
into the export markets.”
“Rick may no longer be active in the day-to-day business
Cherry was the third employee of the Smith Company to
In order to recognize and salute those who have put their
“We look forward to bestowing the honor upon others
“Rick will always be the founding president of Honest Abe,
Donnie Smith constructed many of the buildings on the
an industry leader.”
assists with projects and consulting.
one’s time” or “having merited one’s discharge by service.” In
“He’s built practically every building here and has truly
3rd Jackie Cherry: Honest Abe’s VP of Manufacturing Jackie
4th Jimmy Carr: With more than 25 years of combined
Jimmy began his career here in our home interior line and
Jimmy became President of G.F Hardwoods in the mid-
of the company, but his input is greatly valued by us all.
gain emeritus status. With almost 40 years of service Jackie
1990s, leading the company to some of the most productive
whose sacrifice and dedication benefits the growth and
The emeritus title symbolizes not only our appreciation of
began at Honest Abe when it was in its infancy. He was first
and profitable years in its existence, according to Moss.
stability of the companies,” said Janie Smith, who, along
his leadership in the past but also our confidence in his
a mill employee. He’s been manufacturing supervisor, wood
with her children, April Patterson and Shane Smith, own and
contributions going forward.”
purchaser, kiln manager and most recently was named
Jimmy spends time with his wonderful wife Judy and keeping
operate the Smith Companies.
vice-president in charge of all Honest Abe’s manufacturing
up with his four grandchildren,” Moss said.
the second employee of the Smith Companies to be awarded
this highest honor.
the emeritus status. Smith was named President Emeritus
working for his church, watching his favorite college football
of Moss Sawmills, once a division of Green Forest Wood
Abe for a long, long time,” said Shane Smith. “He’s always run
team, Florida State, and hunting with his son, Tim.
Log Homes in 2007, after having served as its President
Products. Smith was an employee of Green Forest and sister
a very efficient manufacturing operation and was an excellent
since its 1979 founding by the late Doug Smith. Under
companies for 46 years until his retirement in 2018.
materials purchaser, too.”
appreciated,” said Janie Smith, “and this is just a small way we
Rick’s leadership the company, located in the small rural
April added her praise about Jackie’s work.
wanted to show Rick, Jackie, Donnie and Jimmy how much
community of Moss, became one of the nation’s most
founder Doug Smith) was the dreamer, and Donnie has been
“Jackie has always been a team player and is well liked and
we appreciate what they’ve done for Honest Abe Log Homes
recognized log home brands. Though retired, Honest Abe
the dream-builder here on so many projects,” said Shane
respected by his co-workers and his staff,” said April. “Jackie is
continues to lean on Rick’s experience and insight as he
a major reason why Honest Abe has always been considered
Thus far, four people have been recognized and awarded 1st Rick Denton: Rick retired from the Honest Abe
2nd Donnie Smith: Longtime employee Donnie Smith was
“Our Dad (Green Forest and Honest Abe Log Homes
“Jackie has been a big contributor in the success of Honest
“Since retiring from the Smith Companies in May 2016,
Besides spending time with his family, Jimmy enjoys
“We always want our team members to know they are
and its sister companies.”
the log home industry in the state and nation and how evolving energy codes could harm the industry. Honest Abe employs a team of in-house designers with a combined 70+ years of experience and maintains a drafting department for customized creation of detailed plans. The sales force is comprised of a pair of in-house direct sales consultants in each of the company’s four model homes, along with Independent Dealers throughout the U.S. These representatives serve as project facilitators throughout the design, manufacturing and building process because the relationship does not end with the sale of a log or timber package. The Honest Value Guarantee matches the price of any package in an apples-to-apples comparison. Packages are shipped to
many destinations via Honest Abe’s in-house trucking service. The in-house Dry-in Service sends experienced construction crews to job sites within a 100-mile radius of the National Headquarters, contracting directly with the customer. The HELP Build Program connects customers with builders/suppliers nationwide. Over the years Honest Abe has won many awards for marketing, design, operations and community service. The company is involved in the NAHB’s Log and Timber Homes Council and a number of regional and local organizations. It is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, which has awarded it an A+ Rating for many years.
By Claudia Johnson
onest Abe Log Homes, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019, custom designs, manufactures upon order and builds to dry-in stage within a certain radius of our headquarters in Moss, TN, a variety of styles of energyefficient, custom log and timber frame houses, outbuildings and commercial structures. The family-owned business encourages visits to its national headquarters, where tours of the manufacturing facility and sales model are conducted and free log raising events are hosted throughout the year. Additionally, a quarterly special event is hosted from the Honest Abe show homes and sales centers in the Tennessee cities of Cookeville, Crossville and Murfreesboro as well as their headquarters in Moss, Tennessee. An extensive independent dealer network services clients across the U.S. and throughout the world. Honest Abe offers multiple log building systems that are completely precut, notched and numbered. Eastern White Pine log sizes are 6x10”, 6x12”, 8x8”, 6x8”, 8x12” or 10” round. Styles include square, round and D-Log with a variety of corner notching choices. Timber frame materials of Douglas fir are also offered. logs and timbers are kiln dried, graded and stamped to meet national grading standards and codes. Logs are manually hand-hewn as an option upon request. A new division, Southern Timbercraft, was launched in 2017 using SIPS as another building systems products. Timber and
non-structural post and beam elements are added to the designs to achieve a style consistent with our brand. The Wood Store is the Honest Abe’s retail store located directly beside Honest Abe’s National Headquarters in Moss, and just in front of the Honest Abe manufacturing facility. The Wood Store supplies the same wood components for public purchase that are also used in the log and timber frame packages we custom manufacture for the homeowners we serve. Honest Abe has worked with local schools, providing building materials and direction for hands-on construction projects in an effort to introduce home construction as a promising trade to young men and women. Honest Abe staff are often asked to conduct training sessions at Log Home University, during Log and Timber Homes Shows around the country. Honest Abe Log Homes attends and supports the local Upper Cumberland Home Builders Association (HBA) meetings as frequently as possible. The company’s primary involvement is providing a show home for the local Parade of Homes, which is also supported financially. This local project allows a broader audience to be introduced to log and timber homes and have a direct experience of the lifestyle they offer. In addition, most recently Honest Abe spearheaded a meeting with the HBA of Tennessee, state legislators, log and timber producers, state executive branch members, builders and industry suppliers in Tennessee to discuss the importance of
HONEST ABE - FOUR SALES LOCATIONS: Moss, Cookeville, Crossville & Murfreesboro I
PROVIDING A GROWING ENVIRONMENT FOR SUCCESS – Josh Beasley, President, Honest Abe Log Homes
I – Josh Beasley, President, Honest Abe Log Homes
‘m from Livingston, but did a lot of growing up in Clay County as my dad and grandfather are from the Shanky area. Many of my best memories as a kid are from camping and fishing with them on Dale Hollow Lake or the Cumberland River. My wife and I met in high school, married and have three kids ranging from 11 to 5 years of age. I tend to spend a lot of time in the office or behind a computer screen, so in my free time I like working on outdoor projects. I’ve spent nearly my entire working career at Honest Abe, something I credit mostly to Rick Denton who attracted me to the company. I worked many years within our dealership department under Jeff Clements, now VP of Sales, who guided and maintained a culture
that drove personal and professional growth. I initially coordinated home and material package deliveries and soon started recruiting new dealerships. As our department grew, I became the sales manager and focused on providing resources to those dealers to increase sales. Prior to serving in my current capacity, I had transitioned to the role of managing our advertising and marketing, which is an area I still really enjoy working in. I still remember my first day on the job. A building crew needed a big 8”x12” Douglas Fir girder. I suppose since I didn’t know how to do anything else I was sent out to deliver it. I wondered then what Rick had got me into, but I have loved it ever since.
likely have a different perspective than the Smith family on how Honest Abe began, as I’ve always heard it from Rick Denton’s experience. After Doug and his father built the first home, Doug became more interested in turning it into a business opportunity. Rick had come back home to attend a local event and ran into Doug. They started talking about the idea, and not long afterward Rick was leaving a promising career in Chattanooga and moving back to Moss to help Doug launch Honest Abe. Thankfully, many technical improvements have been made to products throughout the industry over the years. The wood species Honest Abe uses has changed, and so has material preparation, fasteners, sealants, building processes and the list goes on. It’s an ever-evolving system and process to make a better, longer lasting product for our customers while preserving the log home look and feel. Today, the state of the industry and the company is strong, but we must be diligent in observing any future changes in the market. We’ve always served a very niche client, and that has not changed. Our customers are becoming increasingly interested in reduced
exterior maintenance as they grow older, so we’re seeing those types of products being incorporated more and more. We try to strike a balance between supporting our core products and looking for opportunities to introduce new ones. Southern TimberCraft, our newest division of Honest Abe, represents a new offering to the market using primarily Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) walls rather than log or timber. They’re a “building system” and offer a customer an incredibly strong and efficient home with a quick build time. As president of Honest Abe, I try to provide leadership that allows our team to make their own decisions, to own their results and serve our clients well. I’m competitive in nature, so I’m always comparing today’s results with the past and looking for ways to step things up. I enjoy thinking and talking through ideas and scenarios, even if many do not materialize, as you never know where the next great idea may come from. Ultimately, I want to see myself and our people grow and provide an environment to allow that. If we can do that, then we can enjoy our jobs, our products become better and our clients will be happier.
HONEST ABE - FOUR SALES LOCATIONS: Moss, Cookeville, Crossville & Murfreesboro I
BACK TO THE COMMUNITY By April Patterson and Shane Smith
“Thankful for the blessings we have had ...that enable us to help.” ~ April Patterson
ithout fire protection, we wouldn’t have a business. Recognizing this, the company has always been supportive of our volunteer fire departments Honest Abe Log Homes donated a log house in Celina for use as a county history museum and another one to the city of Red Boiling Springs for a tourism building. Barky Beaver donates products to community beautification projects in Clay County, and some of our employees volunteer to join community members in completing the projects. We regularly make discounted deals to employees and communities for log homes and buildings from Honest Abe. With our company’s safety incentive program, we give back to the employees what we save as a result of their maintaining a safe work environment. We’ve gratefully presented 4-wheelers, trucks, cash and many other types of gifts. Dad and Mom have made lots of various donations that people will never know about to churches, people sick and anyone in need. Never people to talk about their generosity, our parents felt the only one who needed to know was God, and we’re going to leave it that way. Because Dad was a profit-conscious businessman, people were very surprised in what a giving person he was and did not appreciate this until he was gone. Mom and our family still carry on the legacy of giving, and like my parents did in the past, my brother and I believe that as long as the Lord knows our hearts and actions, it is not always necessary to make our charitable giving public. We are just very thankful for the blessings we have had and continue to have, that enable us to help our neighbors, employees and communities when we can.
8,500 Sq. Ft.
4,900 Sq. Ft.
HONEST ABE LOG HOMES
FINANCIAL PLANNING CURRICULUM
2,750 Sq. Ft.
CLAY COUNTY STUDENTS
1,500 Sq. Ft.
d e z i S t i F o t FOUR SALES LOCATIONS: Moss, Cookeville, Crossville & Murfreesboro I
ave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance course, a
Honest Abe Log Homes has invested $2,000 in sponsorship
comprehensive curriculum that provides students with sound
of the Foundations in Personal Finance course, which
financial principles to guide them into adulthood, is being
educates and entertains students as they learn how to avoid
sponsored by Honest Abe Log Homes at Clay County High
debt, build wealth and plan for charitable giving.
“Teaching kids to properly manage their money, spending
habits and debt is something often overlooked in our
“Supporting our schools and youth continues to be
an important way for Honest Abe to give back to our
classrooms and homes, yet it is so very important to our
community,” said Josh Beasley, President of Honest Abe
children’s futures,” Beasley said.
Log Homes. “Becoming a corporate sponsor to provide this
curriculum to the high school has the potential to provide
states, as well as the national standards suggested by the
more positive impact upon a teenager’s future than anything
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
we’ve ever done.”
Homes,” said Jim King, Vice President of Ramsey Education
Beasley said that Honest Abe Log Homes believes strongly
The course meets personal finance standards in all 50
“We are thrilled to be working with Honest Abe Log
in investing in the local community.
Solutions. “They have demonstrated a strong commitment to
financial education and empowering students with financial
“That’s why we joined forces with Dave Ramsey, one of
America’s most well-known financial experts, to provide this
skills that will last a lifetime.”
curriculum free of charge to all Clay County High School
students beginning in fall 2018,” Beasley explained.
For more information about the course, visit www.
Barky Beaver By Mary Pennington, VP Marketing, Barky Beaver Mulch and Soil Mix
he mulch company that is now Barky Beaver began in 1984 as a division of Green Forest Wood Products. Bark is viewed as a waste product at a sawmill and it costs money, time, and equipment to move it so that the mill can run efficiently. Doug Smith hated waste and this led him to begin pursuing avenues to turn the waste products of the sawmill into useful products. After researching the ins and outs of manufacturing, the process began. It didn’t take long for the “waste” of the sawmill to become a valuable resource as we marketed high quality mulch to landscapers and garden centers. It wasn’t long after we started that demand became so great for the mulch that we had to start purchasing bark from other sawmills and still do so today. In 1988, after requests from customers, the decision was made to begin bagging our mulch. This called for a bigger
investment purchasing a bagging machine, sealer, stacking equipment, stretch wrapping machine, additional buildings for storage, racks to store the product and much more. In 2017, we upgraded our bagging line to a Hamer automated form, fill, and seal machine. This addition has allowed us to be more competitive in the bagged mulch market. In 1989 we added a soil mix line to our manufacturing operation, offering it in bulk or bag. In 1990, we incorporated our own company of Barky Beaver Mulch and Soil, thus starting the branding of what is a well-known name in the industry today. Also, in the early 90s, a company contacted us from New York about processing a new product for playground surfacing. After much thought and research, we started the process of our Engineered Wood Fiber, which we market
as “Beaver Chips”. This product is actually certified by the International Playground Equipment Manufacturing Association (IPEMA) as a safe playground surfacing material. This process requires extensive record keeping and annual testing of the material itself to make sure that it meets the standards that IPEMA requires. This product can be found in many school playgrounds, city parks, and churches in our delivery area. While the mulch industry has changed a lot since we started, Barky Beaver has continued to be a regional leader in the industry. Today, we offer a variety of colored mulches along with our “all natural” hardwood bark mulch. These colors include black, chocolate, cinnamon, cherry brown and red. All of our products are available in both bulk and bag. While our products speak for themselves in quality and value, we also pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service. We maintain our own fleet of trucks and trailers to deliver our products and that allows us to make sure our products get to our customers when they need them. Soil mixes and amendments continue to be a big part of the business. We have our own blends of potting soils, growing mixes, soil amendments and offer a custom blending service for growers who have their special blend. Along with these soils, we now offer a professional growing mix line. These mixes have been professionally engineered with new technology and proven ingredients for the expert growers. We offer technical assistance before, during and after the growing season. These soils are offered in bulk, 2 cf loose filled bags and in bulk sacks. Barky Beaver continually improves the operation to make better product and better working conditions for our employees. Over the past few years, we have added new semi- trucks, a new dying machine, a new bagging line and have made several updates to our soil line to keep our products and service the best that they can be. As we look to the future, we stand firmly on the foundation that was built before us and look for ways to expand the business in healthy
ways. I started with the company in July of 1979 after Doug and Janie asked if I could help on a part time basis in the office. We were in an old tavern block building at this time. Janie and I shared a desk together. It was a blessing for me to get to work with my sister. I answered the phone, typed up tickets, filed, added logs, invoiced and paid bills. After a short amount of time, things became busier and I began full time. Over the years, I saw all the businesses grow tremendously. Each division became its own company and was incorporated individually. I was fortunate enough through these times to work in every company from mulch, to lumber, pallets and log homes. As the companies grew even more, I worked only in the mulch division. I took care of incoming orders, helped the sales team and handled of all the accounting for Barky Beaver. After a while, Doug saw how I took care of our customers and how passionate I was about them and our products, so he offered me a sales position. At the time, I really didn’t want to take the position, because I had never met a sales person I really liked. However, he convinced me it would be a good move and I agreed. Soon after that, I was promoted to V.P. I offer our customers that personal service they’re looking for, because I care about them and their business. I also served on the TNLA (Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association) board for two terms and was voted TNLA’s “Sales Person of the Year” in 2005. The people I’ve met and friendships I made being in this position and this industry has been a great journey and blessing in my life.
BARKY BEAVER: MOSS, TN: 9980 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575 I ALGOOD, TN: 425 E Main St., Cookeville, TN 38506 800.737.3646 I firstname.lastname@example.org I www.barkybeaver.com
WE PUT THE “G” IN
We were “green” before being “green” was cool.
Green By Nick Patterson
to continue to get larger, they would
bark from up to 10 other area sawmills.
Beaver, our other companies also strive
actually begins with minimizing
essentially starve out the smaller
to recycle and re-use whenever we can.
waste, as dad took scrap lumber
trees that are growing close to them.
sawmill and begins to be sawn, the
Honest Abe takes sustainably harvest
from local sawmills and made them
Eventually, that large tree would get
valuable boards are created, but also
Pine from mills in GA, TN, and VA and
into mop and broom handles. That
so big that it could not sustain itself
our second waste product, sawdust.
turns them into wonderful dream
desire to minimize our impact on
and would likely either rot or be blown
We have recycling systems under each
homes for our customers. Throughout
the environment and make as many
over and not be able to be utilized and
saw that captures the dust and then
our process, we make “cut-off” from
beneficial products out of our raw
also cause damage to the surrounding
transports it outside into a trailer. This
the logs that cannot be used in homes.
materials is still present today and is
forest. Our management practices
sawdust from the sawmill will then be
We use these as firewood to heat
the foundation upon which all the
allow for trees to be harvested every 15-
taken to G.F. Hardwoods and used as
our shops and manufacturing areas
companies were built. Below you will
20 years and create a healthy forest.
fuel for our boiler that generates the
throughout the winter. We also sell
find ways in which we try to be good
heat and humidity needed to dry our
these as firewood for local people in
stewards of the environment and
the trees is by far the lumber (boards),
our community and for local campers
continue the legacy that dad started 50
however along the way several other
that come to camp in our beautiful local
“waste” products are created. It is also
sometimes must take the irregular
forests and campgrounds. Honest Abe
very important to understand that these
“edges” off the boards after they have
also creates lots of “shavings” as we
very heart of all that we do. Clay Co.
“waste” products, if not managed and
come through the saw. Our system
notch the logs in preparation to become
and the surrounding area are rich
removed properly from the sawmill, can
takes these “edges” and turns them into
homes. Barky Beaver takes these
with outstanding hardwood forests
keep the sawmill from even being able
wood “chips”. We take these “chips”
“shavings” and sells them as all-natural
that produce world renown quality
to operate properly. It was this “waste”
and use them at Barky Beaver to make
animal bedding. Several years ago, we
lumber. Our timber management
that Dad hated and he tried to find uses
playground surfacing and as a base for
also invested in a special incinerator
team is headed up by a TN and KY
for it all, and succeeded! The bark of the
some of our colored mulches. We also
that allows us to take the used motor oil
certified master logger and we adhere
tree, while incredibly important for the
sell some of these “chips” to a plant that
from our truck shop and use it during
to TN and KY forestry management
tree when in a forest, must be removed
makes presswood products. Lastly, the
the winter to heat our truck shop. We
guidelines. To the casual observer, it
prior to going through one of our saws.
center or “heart” of the trees cannot be
also utilize a tire recycling service for our
might appear that we just go in and
We have machines that remove the
used to produce lumber. Our system
used truck tires.
cut trees, but what is really happening
bark and prepare the tree for the saw.
allows us to separate these “cants”
is that we are managing the forest so
Years ago, it was this bark waste that
from the lumber and we sell them to
our businesses has always been, and will
that it will continue to be vibrant and
Dad couldn’t stand not utilizing and
local pallet manufacturers. Talk about
continue to be making the most out of
diverse for years to come. The trees
decided to start grinding it into mulch.
recycling! Our favorite joke is that the
all the resources that we have. We are
that we harvest are normally 15” or
This became very popular and was the
only waste we have at the sawmill is the
always looking and researching ways to
larger in diameter, as this size is at a
beginnings of Barky Beaver. Today,
sound of the saw!
be better and more efficient at all we
proper maturity and quality. If these
we continue to recycle our own bark
do. The sky is the limit as we continue
mature trees were not cut and allowed
through Barky Beaver, and also now buy
“green” we are at the sawmill and Barky
ur roots as a family of businesses
Forestry management is the
The most valuable product from
As the tree now moves through the
To make quality lumber, we
While we do focus a lot on how
As you can see, a key cornerstone of
this legacy over the next 50 years!
t Southern Timbercraft, founded in 2016, we
custom design distinctive homes, manufacture timber components and build exceptional homes and commercial structures. Creating a special place for each customer to call home is the mission of Southern Timbercraft. Each custom home is a unique reflection of the client’s needs, wants and desires,
OFFERS ALTERNATIVES FOR A New GENERATION
conveying their personality and lifestyle. Timber elements placed tastefully in Southern Timbercraft’s homes bring the relaxing warmth of natural wood into each project. Soaring ceilings of exposed heavy timber wood beams and trusses, interior timber frame architectural components, timber porches and wooden exterior accents highlight the home’s distinctive appeal. The company offers a wide variety of materials, textures and styles outside and inside of each home to achieve the natural look each client desires. Striking a balance between true wood components and low maintenance composite materials Southern Timbercraft strive to create a home that appears to have grown within the landscape it inhabits. Use of advanced building techniques enables construction of a hyper-energy-efficient home that provides a low cost of ownership enjoyable for the life of the home. Creating a high performance home by incorporating SIP panels and other highly efficient products can reduce energy consumption dramatically. Southern Timbercraft provides help with as many aspects of the building process as the customer desires. Services include in-house design, custom manufacturing of all wood components, delivery service, and construction and project management. The services are not just residential. These beautiful structures can be created for commercial, retail or office use as well.
SOUTHERN TIMBERCRAFT: 9995 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575 866.641.2796 I www.southerntimbercraft.com
What we do
OUTSIDE OF THE FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES
By April Patterson
ith the considerable amount of land Dad and Mom
season. Also, Shane is now raising elk!
bought for timber over the years, presently my brother, my
husband and I mostly tend and nurture it. Sometimes Shane
cars like Dad used to do. At one time dad had more than 100
and I still invest in land together.
classic cars – more than most museums – fueled by his love
for cars and memories of his youth. It was his wish to sell
We have cleaned up and converted more than 4,000
Shane still has a passion to collect and restore antique
acres of land that no longer grows a sustainable forest into
them all right before passing away in 2011.
pastureland for cattle or fields for crops. Dad always farmed,
raising tobacco, cattle and some crops. Shane spends most of
is located on the Honest Abe Log Homes campus of model
his time farming and operates a hunting preserve. Nick and
homes. The shop, Mill Storehouse, is in the first Honest Abe
I raise corn, beans, wheat, and other grains, along with cattle
model home, which we moved from its original location.
through our own farming operations called Acres of Grace
The store sells clothing, home décor, personal care products,
seasonal items, farm fresh eggs and Akaushi beef from Acres
of Grace Farms and local dairy and fresh produce.
Shane created McFarland Creek Outdoors, a successful
Nick and I own a retail store in Algood, Tennessee, that
business that entertains our customers with wild deer and
turkey hunts within a 100-acre preserve, as well as raising
which is being held for two days the third weekend in May
In 2018 we introduced A Southern Marketplace Barn Sale,
his own deer inside 8’ high fence containment. He sells the
and October each year. Old barns were converted to booths
opportunity for busy professionals to bag huge bucks of their
for more than 50 vendors. There’s entertainment, concessions,
dreams as trophies within a few hours, which is an amazingly
a vintage car cruise-in, farm and home tours, a farm-to-table
big business. McFarland Creek is already sold out for the 2018
dinner and more.
9995 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575
McFarland Creek Outdoors HELPS HUNTERS BAG TROPHY WHITETAIL DEER By Kevin J. Donaldson, Courtesy Crossville Life Magazine
ELINA – Some people hunt to put meat in the freezer,
“We offered limited deer and turkey hunting for several
but most whitetail deer hunters have something else in
years, and we started ranch-style hunting for the first time in
mind when they hit the woods: bagging a trophy that will be
2014. We had a banner year in our first season of that type of
mounted on the wall and talked about for years to come.
hunting, with several of our hunters booking for 2015 before
they left the premises.
There’s a whitetail hunting ranch located on each side
of the Kentucky-Tennessee border near here, less than two
hours from Cumberland County, that can help whitetail
population will be around for decades to come, and we have
hunters bag that ever-elusive monster trophy.
practices in place to make sure that happens,” he said.
“At McFarland Creek Outdoors, we’re all about helping
“Our goal is to make sure our phenomenal whitetail
Over the past several years, owner Smith and his staff have
serious deer hunters harvest that once-in-a-lifetime buck,
mixed selective breeding and genetics with the already-
the one you simply won’t see in a normal hunting situation,”
strong bloodline to produce a prize herd.
said McFarland Creek owner Shane Smith. “We think you’ll
find whitetail ranch hunting at its best here, and our goal is to
to offer and made it a little bit better,” Smith said. “Our
help you have a memorable hunting trip.”
herd is well taken care of, and is under the supervision of
a veterinarian. They basically are treated just like a cattle
The area that has become basically a hunting preserve
“We’ve just taken the best of what Mother Nature has
was a talked-about spot for whitetail (and turkey) hunters for
farmer would take care of their herd, receiving checkups and
decades. Trophy whitetail deer have been harvested here
since before most of us were born, and they’re still around
today, and many of them are “bigger and better” than ever,
a superior deer herd, with some fantastic trophies ready to
be harvested,” Smith said. “When you combine that with our
environment, and the experienced guides you need, we think
The remoteness of the location helped what has been
“The past several years of good management has given us
for generations prime farm land produce an outstanding
it all adds up to a great hunting experience.
bloodline of whitetail deer.
with a lot of local knowledge,” Smith said. “We want to give
Despite this remoteness, McFarland Creek is only about
“All of our guides are very experienced hunters themselves,
three miles off State Highway 52 a few minutes west of Celina,
hunters the trophy whitetail they’ve been looking for, and
and it’s still very much a working farm, with hundreds of acres
they’ll help you do that. We have some true trophy bucks in
used for that purpose.
our herd here - deer we’ve seen grow and mature each year
under the watchful eye of our staff.”
“Since McFarland Creek Outdoors was started, deer
harvesting has been controlled and monitored,” Smith said.
HOW IT WORKS
WHERE IS MCFARLAND?
Reservations for three-day hunts for a wide variety of prices
McFarland Creek is almost equidistant between Celina,
are available, with that specific information found on the
the nearest town, and the unincorporated village of Moss.
company website. Hunters confer with McFarland Creek staff
Most of the hunting territory at McFarland Creek is located in
on the classification of deer they want to harvest, and pricing
is based on that.
great hunting location,” Smith said. You can drive to Interstate
Hunting packages include lodging, meals, a shoulder
“We’re really not that far off the beaten path, despite our
mount for the kill, and the use of the weapon of your choice -
40 in less than an hour, and I-65 isn’t much further away in
gun or bow. There is no license necessary.
the other direction.
“We have some really nice lodging, which is a mix of very
“The thing is, when you get here, you’ll see that McFarland
old and rustic and very new and modern,” Smith said. “We’ve
Creek has some of the greatest scenery around. You’ll see
got some decades-old farm houses and up-to-date cabins,
everything from bottom land to high peaks. Not only will you
all of which will keep you comfortable. The farm houses are
enjoy your hunting experience, you’ll get to see some of God’s
scattered throughout the preserve and farm, and the smaller
beautiful creation in the process,” Smith said.
cabins are located near our entrance, next to our modern,
log-cabin lodge, which has complete kitchen and bathroom
com for more details.
Call (931) 397-5293 or visit www.mcfarlandcreekoutdoors.
facilities. Wherever you choose to stay on the premises, we promise you’ll come away with stories of your own to tell.
“Our meals speak for themselves,” Smith said. “Aside from
the hunting, this will be one of the best parts of your stay with us. Our husband and wife team of Jeff and Amanda Hatcher has prepared hundreds of meals for guests at the lodge and we can promise you’ll be full and very satisfied.”
MCFARLAND FARMS: 1654 McFarland Creek Road, Tompkinsville, KY 42167 931.397.5293 I email@example.com www.mcfarlandcreekoutdoors.com
By Molly Cooper
• Ash • Basswood • Cherry • Hard Maple • Polar • Red Oak • Soft Maple • White Oak
GF Hardwoods is a supplier of kiln dried or raw hardwood lumber for domestic and international customers. Our hardwood company has been serving the wood manufacturing industry since 1979 by providing Appalachian hardwood products in eight species and a choice of thicknesses. A family-owned business, we are located in Moss, Tennessee, near the Kentucky border and acquire our logs from within a tight radius of our facility to ensure consistency. Our services include: • Surfacing • End painting • Piece tallies • Export loading • Delivery on covered trailers • Information cards on each pack • Loads with multiple species
9980 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 38575 I 800.844.3944 I 931.258.3944 I firstname.lastname@example.org I www.gfhardwoods.com
any little girls have dreams and aspirations of owning their own little shop and filling full of their favorite things and opening it to the public so everyone can enjoy. April Smith Patterson along with her husband Nick, have done just that. The Mill Storehouse was opened and with its charm and entrusted staff at the ready, it has developed into far more than the dreams of that once little girl. It is a sweet little shop right on Hwy 111 North in Cookeville, TN right beside the Honest Abe Log Homes Cookeville Model. “From the beginning it has been a desire that our business become a real marketplace hosting many kinds of shops, so we were very serious about the name. Quite honestly, we struggled with that. We sought the advice of close family and friends for naming ideas and suggestions. Finally, my mother-in-law came up with the word “storehouse” and that became the base for creating the name“ said April. “The Mill” is actually the term we call the area were our family’s businesses are headquartered in Moss, Tennessee. Everyone refers to what we do with our manufacturing businesses like Honest Abe Log Homes, Barky Beaver Mulch and Soil Mix and our hardwood operations as “the mill.” Naturally, we wanted to incorporate that, which is special to us, in with the storehouse name, hence, “The Mill Storehouse” was born! It, like its neighbor, is a log cabin that was moved from another location. As soon as you pull in the drive you are intrigued by the signage and sweet appeal of the building, and as you walk up, the merchandise displayed down the porch makes you want to start shopping immediately. Once you open the door you will find everything a
boutique should have, with clothing and apparel, accessories, shoes, home décor and so much more. “So many small boutiques are not affordable and I wanted to create somewhere that people could come, buy great quality and still have money in their bank accounts at the end of the day,” April said, adding, “While we do have an array of different priced items, we focus on bringing in good quality products at an affordable price. The shop prides itself in bringing in modest apparel for women, men, and children, April said. “That’s what we strive to bring to Cookeville, Tennessee, and I hope our customers will see that we are doing just that.” We carry some brands exclusive to the Mill Storehouse, and we also carry an array of home décor and farmhouse style items. Along with the storehouse, farming also holds a special place in Nick & April’s hearts and you will see a touch of that at The Mill Storehouse as well. “My husband and I farm and enjoy being good stewards of the land the Lord blessed us with,” she said. “We love raising healthy crops and livestock to better feed our family and community.” They are thrilled to be selling their Acres of Grace Farms custom raised Akaushi meat and fresh, free-range eggs, along with fruits and vegetables while they are in season. They also carry Hatcher Dairy milk, local to Tennessee along with other farm products.” No matter the need, you will find something for you and everyone on your list at The Mill Storehouse.
THE MILL STOREHOUSE 3193 Hwy 111 North, Cookeville, TN 38506 931.400.0606 I email@example.com www.themillstorehouse.com
t the request of the Smith family, Honest Abe Log Homes president
emeritus Rick Denton is writing a comprehensive history of the company. The book will commemorate Honest Abe’s 40 years in business. Denton’s story begins with Doug Smith’s dream of manufacturing and selling log homes and covers the people and products that made the company Rick Denton
successful and stable through a variety of economic conditions. A special photo section will enhance the approximately 400 pages of narrative. Follow Honest Abe Log Homes on Facebook and visit honestabe.com to learn how to reserve a copy of this monumental work by the man who steered the company across its first three decades.
SPECIALTY TIMBERS • LOG SIDING & MORE A Division of Honest Abe Log Homes, Inc.
QUALITY, HARD TO FIND, WOOD PRODUCTS FOR HOMES AND COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES.
Log & Lap Siding
Doug Fir and White Pine
Timbers and Beams
9869 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN I
A Variety of Tongue and Groove 931.258.3159
Hand Hewn Wood Products
Where, Oh Where, Does the Yellow Corn Grow? Acres of Grace Farms created a 24-page full color book to introduce children to farming. “The purpose of the book is to instill in children the importance of agriculture in their lives,” said Nick. “It is our desire that each young person grows up with an appreciation of the land, for the farmers that cultivate it and for the myriad of valuable products it produces.” The rhyming narrative was written by Nick and April Patterson. The Pattersons said that they enjoyed observing the lifecycle of their corn crops to determine what would be most important to share with children reading the book. The beautiful, watercolor illustrations were created by a talented artist named Karen Smith, and the design, layout and publishing of the book was the responsibility of Claudia Johnson of Honest Abe Log Homes. The book is dedicated to the couple’s parents. “My parents, Doug and Janie Smith, and Nick’s parents, Randy and Cindy Patterson, instilled in us a love for the earth, an admiration for farmers and a belief in the Creator and Giver of Life,” April said. She added that “Where, Oh Where, Does the Yellow Corn Grow?” was inspired by the commitment exhibited by the teachers, administrators and parents who work together to educate our children and youth about the importance of farming and the value of farmers. “We wish to express our gratitude to Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom,” April said, adding that the initial 2017 printing was for donation by Acres of Grace Farms in support of Clay County, Tennessee’s Ag in the Classroom program. “The book has garnered numerous inquiries from those who wish to purchase them for gifts or other purposes,”
Nick said. “We are making these available for purchase by the public for $5 plus $2 shipping per book if mailed or $5 each if picked up.” The Pattersons are also making the book available if other organizations want to sponsor a similar donation in their schools or communities. For details about sponsorship or to purchase a copy online, visit acresofgracefarms.com.
Three Honest Little Pigs A coloring and activity book for children, “Three Honest Little Pigs,” was published in 2018 to provide to children who visit the Honest Abe National Headquarters in Moss or attend log raisings with their parents. The rhymed retelling of the classic fairy tale was written by Nick and April Patterson. “Our family’s pride in Honest Abe Log Homes and the homes that we have been able to build for people has always been a key part of my life – so much so that growing up I really never knew the actual version of Three Little Pigs story,” April recalled. “I only knew the version my dad told me where the pigs built log homes! That inspired me – along with my husband, Nick – to write this version.” The 20-page book has original illustrations created by graphic artist, Karen Smith, as well as original puzzles, word games and activities created by April. The design, layout and publishing of the book was the responsibility of Claudia Johnson of Honest Abe Log Homes’ marketing department.
HAS BEEN PART OF THE SMITH FAMILY FOR 20 YEARS
A SOUTHERN MARKETPLACE
Barn Sale By Molly Hix Cooper
weekend on the farm can mean many things, but when
Acres of Grace Farms hosts it’s A Southern Marketplace Barn Sale twice a year, it is so much more.
First, we invite you to be a part of our farm and home
tours that happen throughout both days of the barn sale. On the farm you will see implements ranging from the 1800’s to present day machines. You are able to step back and appreciate how hard our families worked to leave the legacy they have and see how our technologies have taken farming to a whole different level. Our tours will then take you to see a home unlike any other. We partner with Honest Abe Log Homes to explore a newly built log home for the farm owners Nick and April Patterson. There you will see a new log profile, a round log with a Swedish Cope, built to withstand all elements mother nature throws its way and once you step in side and see all the different design elements, you’ll want to take them into your own home.
shopping and eating with us, we want you to truly enjoy
yourselves, listen to the live music and just take everything
After the tour is over, you will step off the bus and be ready
to shop, explore and most importantly, eat! It is nothing
in we have to offer. Just across the road we are also hosting
short of remarkable, different artisan’s and unique vendors
a Car Show Cruise in and swap meet for the guys. Only
displaying a wide range of products and special finds all in
during our fall sale, we offer a farm to table dinner where we
one perfect location. Antique shops bring things you can
gather and harvest from local farmers. A variety of meats and
only wish to have and folks who take honey or milks and
produce are taken and prepared just for you. We take the
other elements from their farms and turn it into incredible
proceeds from the dinner and give back to the community
goods you just can’t help but buy. Not to mention, the food, it
through our local Young Farmers and Ranchers organization.
is amazing. There are no two alike, with an assortment from
home cooked comfort foods to hamburgers and BBQ and if
together and displaying countless items where there is
that isn’t enough, we have ice cream, we have homemade
something for everyone to enjoy. So come, slow down with
macaroons, we have fresh baked breads and cupcakes, we
us on the third weekends in May and October each year and
have jellies and salsas, we simply have it all. While you are
relish in all that A Southern Marketplace has to offer.
We started the barn sale with hope of bringing people
esley Smith grew up in Red Boiling Springs in Macon County, Tennessee. While she grew up close to Clay County, she says she never knew a lot about the Smith companies and had only heard about them before meeting my brother, Shane Smith, more than 20 years ago. Her family didn’t pass through the little town of Moss very often, since they usually headed toward Lafayette if they needed anything. Lesley met Shane when she was 18 years old. While they had been to several “tent meetings” together, their first real date was to Hwy. 56 Sawmill, a familyowned sawmill Shane was managing for the summer while he was in college. She laughs recalling the story since Shane acted like he had to move a load of logs before they went to eat. Later Shane admitted he just wanted to impress her by showing her he could drive the loader and an 18-wheeler. It apparently worked in his favor because the couple married on Nov. 28, 1998. From early on she knew how important the family and business was together. Every time Shane brought her home for a meal with our family, business was the main discussion. Lesley remembers the first time she was invited to the company picnic, which was then and is still a huge deal. She was very excited that after their marriage she accompanied Shane on the company’s goals trip skiing in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was the first business trip as a married couple, and that’s when she started building relationships with everyone. Lesley remembers with sadness the death of one of our best employees, Wayne Smith, who lost his life at a young age in a very freak accident on Friday the 13th. He was driving to Celina when a tree fell and landed on his vehicle killing him instantly. This is something our entire family has had a hard time getting over. Wayne was a personality and always the life of the party, so it’s very fitting that Lesley mentions Wayne first having made such an impression on her. She remembers that his wife, Linda, tried
By April Patterson
to keep Wayne reigned in. On that first trip they watched an ice skating competition and recalled how after each performance people would throw flowers or stuffed animals on the ice. It was a very calm and quiet audience until one performer didn’t get any flowers or anything thrown onto the ice for her performance. Lesley recalls out of nowhere Wayne Smith yells out for all to hear, “Throw that girl a bear”. Lesley quickly loved all she met and they her. She was a perfect fit for our family and businesses. Lesley worked in children’s services for the State of Tennessee after college and until she and Shane got married. Once married Lesley pursued education and became a teacher full time. Shane and Lesley welcomed their first child, Isaac Walton Smith, in September of 2001. Lesley was touched that everyone within the companies would bring food and gifts to welcome their newborn with such love. Isaac, and then later their other children, were raised around and by the people at the mill. She says that Shane is always so proud to take the boys to the mill like his dad did with him. Lesley has several stories about the boys coming home and saying things they heard at the sawmill. Her dad, David Burton, reassured her “that’s education you can’t buy and the best type of education there is!” My husband Nick and I love to give back to the community that we live in and love, and most of the time we partner with Lesley for fundraising ideas so our family can assist with certain programs to help reach those in need. One of these for which Lesley is responsible is the Clay County Family Resource center. It gives school supplies, personal hygiene items and even food to those kids who need it. This is something very near and dear to all of our hearts. Lesley loves people, and she says she has always been amazed and very thankful for the many families who are provided with jobs from our family’s businesses. She observed that it’s hard to drive an hour away for work, and
that the complex of family businesses in Moss has helped keep Clay County strong so folks can stay here and work to make a living. That also means that this rural community has enough children to support a local school, and that’s very important to Lesley, since she is now serving as a full-time guidance counselor at Hermitage Springs School. Lesley worked for the Smith Companies for several years in human resources until her current job in education became available. Working with the family business, Lesley learned the importance of each job and admits that before that she didn’t have a clue with each job entailed. Lesley said that she always believed that going to college and getting a degree was better than having a trade, but working for the companies quickly changed her mindset. She said that people working here in jobs great or small are often smarter than most people she knows with college degrees. While Lesley says she’s never been business minded, she was thankful when our Dad asked her to work based on her strengths, which was people. She said she loved working alongside Doug Rich in human resources and has many fond memories. During that time, employees shared some of the best times and hardest times with her, and because of that, she feels she could count on them for anything, even today. From our family’s perspective Lesley is and always will be welcomed to come back and work within the family businesses. We’ve tried encouraging her to do so several times because of how much everyone loves her, even the folks on the state level she worked with. However, Lesley loves and enjoys what she does and is very good at it. Our small county is lucky and blessed to have her in a position to provide advice, leadership and guidance to their children. My sister-in-law is full of life and is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. She’s got a huge heart, and our family is blessed to have her.
STRIVING TO CONTINUE ON THIS WONDERFUL
By Nick Patterson
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can remember my first time being in Clay County just
to the veterinary office. We were married a little over a year
like it was yesterday. The veterinary clinic that I was doing
later in June 2012 and to this day April and I joke that I had
my preceptorship at, Portland Animal Hospital, had let me
no clue what I was getting myself into….. and that’s 100%
leave the clinic mid-morning so that I could come to Celina
true!! I worked at the veterinary office for another year after
to spend time with Dr. John Donaldson, who wanted me to
we were married. In that year, I had started to become more
come and work for him part time at his veterinary office. I
acquainted with the various businesses in Moss and I would
had been admiring the beautiful country side on my drive,
usually spend my off days there learning and taking it all in.
when I came across a large sign that said “Honest Abe Log
Homes” and underneath that “National Headquarters”. I
step away from the veterinary office and take on some
remember admiring all the various buildings there on
responsibilities in both our farming operations and the
the highway and then asking myself, “why is a company’s
businesses in Moss. What’s really interesting is that I never
national headquarters located here, of all places…”. As fate
once felt pressured to be involved with the businesses, I just
would have it, I would have the answer to that question in
sincerely began wanting to be involved. The more I was
about a year’s time.
around Janie, April, and Shane in the business setting, the
more I saw their love not just for the businesses themselves,
I took the job with Dr. Donaldson and moved to Clay
Things would work out in 2013 for me to be able to
County in July of 2010. I also worked part-time in Portland
but for the people that worked there and made them thrive….
Custom Blended Soils
still and so at least twice a week, I would pass by all of the
and it was contagious!
businesses there in Moss and still be in amazement at all the
activity that seemed to go on there, or at least what I could
Clay County before I was a part of the Smith Family. My time
perceive went on there from my driver’s seat. As odd as it may
involved with the businesses is still very short compared to
seem, “the mill” as local folks referred to it, would also serve as
some of the wonderful folks that I have gotten to know over
a wonderful reference point for me on how to get to people’s
the last 7 years, but it’s now ingrained into a part of who I
farms and homes to do veterinary calls. Dr. Donaldson’s
am. I of course no longer ask “why is a national headquarters
veterinary office faced the main intersection in Celina, which
here”, because I know that the answer is simply that it never
allowed for a wonderful view of the traffic. I can remember
could have happened anywhere but here. It’s truly an honor
wondering where all the “Happy Trucking” trucks were going
and privilege to be a part of this family, this community,
and why they had so many different products when I would
and to help celebrate 50 years of hard work, dedication, and
sacrifice from so many people. Each day we continue to look
to the future, not forsaking what was done before us, but
Soils blended to your specifications
9980 Clay County Hwy., Moss, TN 1-800-737-3646 firstname.lastname@example.org www.barkybeaver.com
Fast forward to April 2011 and the woman who is now my
wife would bring in a hurt Bassett Hound named Roscoe
It’s becoming hard for me to remember my early days in
honoring it and striving to continue on this wonderful legacy.
been. Growing up we always knew one thing, we would
(Perfect for Thanksgiving & Christmas)
Cauliflower Lettuce Salad
all sit down at the table together and enjoy a meal mom
1 lb. fresh cranberries, grind up in a blender ½ cups sugar Small can of crushed pineapple, drained 1 cup fresh orange juice 1 pkg. strawberry jello 1 pkg. lemon jello 1 cup pecans, chopped Rind of 1 orange, grated
1 head iceberg lettuce, torn 1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets ¾ pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled ¼ cup finely chopped red onion ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup grated Parmesean cheese 1 cup mayonnaise
Grind cranberries and add sugar and pineapple. Let stand 15 minutes. Dissolve jello in hot orange juice and pineapple juice. Add cranberry mixture and nuts. Chill.
In a large bowl, layer lettuce, cauliflower, bacon, onion, sugar, and cheese. Spread mayonnaise over the top; do not toss. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Toss just before serving.
kitchen is the heart of our home and always has
had made. No matter how many hours she had put in at work, or how exhausted she was, she always, always made dinner each night. I loved to help Mom cook and most of our best memories were made while sitting around the table. Mom’s an amazing cook and in this section you’ll enjoy some of her favorite recipes. We hope you and your family can enjoy together!
These recipes can also be found in our Farm to Fork Cookbook that our non-profit group, Clay County Young Farmers, printed for a fundraiser in efforts to raise money to give back to our community.
Sweet Potato Souffle
Dinner in a Dish
3 cups sweet potatoes mashed 1 cup sugar ½ cup butter 1/3 cup milk 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla Topping: 1 cup light brown sugar, ½ cup flour, 1/3 cup butter, 1 cup nuts
2 lbs. ground beef 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained 3 cups frozen peas (optional) ½ cup ketchup ¼ cup parsley 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. beef bouillon cubes 2 tsp. dried marjoram 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper 6 cups hot mashed potatoes (prepared with milk & butter) 2 eggs
Mix the first 6 ingredients and pour into casserole dish. Then mix the topping ingredients and add to the above. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Crockpot Roast 2 cans cream of mushroom soup 1 Lipton onion soup mix envelope 1 cup water 1 roast In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion mix, and water. Place pot roast in the slow cooker and coat with mixture. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8-9 hours. For an extra beefy flavor, add in one beef bouillon cube. If you have a smaller roast, just use one can of cream of mushroom soup versus two.
In a saucepan over medium heat, brown the beef and onion; drain. Add the next nine ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Pour into an ungreased shallow 3 quart baking dish. Combine potatoes and eggs; mix well. Drop by ½ cupful’s onto beef mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 3540 minutes or until bubbly and potatoes are lightly browned.
IN MEMORY OF:
In Remembrance O
ur father’s favorite verse, and the one used
during his funeral was from Ecclesiastes 3.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
We wanted to dedicate this page as a memorial to those who have worked within our family of businesses and passed on from this life. Their light will shine on in our hearts forever.
Anthony Adams Billy Handy Bill Vinson Bobby Davis Buddy Gibson Buddy Quarles Carson Grace Cotton Perdue Day Smith Deanny Lee Dennis Chaffin Dewey Poindexter Donella Davis Doris Rhoton Doug Smith Eis Rhoton Eulen Cherry Floyd Spivey Forest Brett Frank Davis Glenn Trent Harold Hix Jack Copas James Copas James Denton James Dodson Jeff Johnson Jerry Davis Jimmy Boles Jimmy Hargis John Bland John Holcomb John Likens Joseph Hood J.T. Davis Junior Blakely Junior Rhoton Keith Owens Kenneth Bow Kenny Hamlet Leon Trobaugh Mark Carlisle Michael Lynn Mitchell Davis Motor Johnson Paul Scott Ray Boles Roger Kemp Russell Key Steve Forkham Steve Huddleston Steve Richards Tee Stephens Wayne Carlisle Wayne Key Wayne Smith Wayne Tuck Wilbur Walker Willie Daniels
e wanted to take this opportunity to thank each of you for reading our stories. We are humbled to be a part of this
community and provide jobs to many who live right here with us. We want you all to know that we appreciate everyone who has worked with us since the beginning, whether that time was short or long, we value our time with you. We also wanted to show gratitude to those who have given and those who continue to give of themselves to help grow and continue to lead the companies we’ve been blessed to oversee into the future. To all the wonderful family members of those who have worked with us, we love you and we appreciate you for supporting them while they worked diligently for our family. Last, but certainly not least, we want to thank our Father in Heaven for blessing us with the important task of being good stewards over what He has given us. We would like to end with one of our favorite verses from the Bible. Numbers 6: 24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
BUSINESS DIRECTORY Acres of Grace Farms Red Boiling Springs, TN 2258 Henson Road Red Boiling Springs, TN 37150 931.258.4260 email@example.com www.acresofgracefarms.com A Southern Marketplace Red Boiling Springs, TN 2259 Henson Road Red Boiling Springs, TN 37150 931.258.4260 firstname.lastname@example.org www.asouthernmarketplace.com Barky Beaver Mulch & Soils, Inc. Moss, TN 9980 Clay County Hwy. Moss, TN 38575 800.737.3646 email@example.com www.barkybeaver.com Algood, TN 425 E Main St. Cookeville, TN 38506 931.537.3010 G.F. Hardwoods Moss, TN 9880 Clay County Hwy. Moss, TN 38575 800.844.3944 firstname.lastname@example.org 931.258.3944
Honest Abe Log Homes Moss, TN 9995 Clay County Highway Moss, TN 38575 931.258.3648 email@example.com www.honestabe.com Toll Free: 800.231.3695 Murfreesboro, TN 233 River Rock Blvd. Murfreesboro, TN 37128 615-890-3648 firstname.lastname@example.org Crossville, TN 448 Crabtree Road Crossville, TN 38571 931.456.9893 email@example.com Cookeville, TN 3205 Hwy. 111 North Cookeville, TN 38506 931.537.3651 firstname.lastname@example.org Honest Abe Wood Store Moss, TN 9995 Clay County Highway Moss, TN 38575 931.258.3159 email@example.com www.honestabe.com
McFarland Creek Outdoors Tompkinsville, KY 1654 McFarland Creek Road Tompkinsville, KY 42167 931.397.5293 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mcfarlandcreekoutdoors.com
Moss Sawmills Moss, TN 9970 Clay County Hwy. Moss, TN 38575 800.844.3944 www.gfhardwoods.com 931.258.3944 Southern Timbercraft Manchester, TN 9995 Clay County Hwy. Moss, TN 38575 866.641.2796 email@example.com www.southerntimbercraft.com The Mill Storehouse Cookeville, TN 3193 Hwy 111 North Cookeville, TN 38506 931.400.0606 firstname.lastname@example.org www.themillstorehouse.com
IMPACT of SMITH FAMILY BUSINESSES OVER 50 YEARS
Creating & Sustaining
Our main goal is still the same as it was when Dad started 50 years ago: create good jobs and provide quality products and services. At one time 250 people were employed, and we contracted an additional 150 people with logging, home building, and trucking. Many factors over the years such as economic cycles and customer demand have dictated the scale that we can do those things, but we remain committed to our continued goal. We are always so thankful for those who give of themselves and their time to work each day to make all these businesses successful!
YEARS BY THE NUMBERS!
JOBS CREATED: 1,000
FEET OF TIMBER: 1 BILLION
TRAILER LOADS OF LUMBER SHIPPED: 300,000
LOADS OF BARK AND CHIPS: +50,000
CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL ECONOMY:
SUPPLIES BATTERY/MATERIAL, ETC., BOUGHT FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES:
FUEL PURCHASED FROM LOCAL STATIONS: