The History of Rex Lumber
The McRae family has a long history in the lumber business dating back to the early 1900’s in the Halsell, Alabama and Quincy, Florida areas.
W. D. McRae established Rex Lumber Company in 1926 in Graceville, Florida. The mill started out as a Cypress Sawmill and later became an Oak Flooring manufacturer. The mill operated continuously, except for a brief period during World War II. W. D. McRae died November 27, 1949 at the age of 65. Three of the McRae sons, J. C., Wilson and Robert continued to run the business.
J. C. McRae retired in 1969 and sold his interest to Robert McRae’s children – Robert, Jr. (Bob), Finley and Suzanne. Wilson McRae retired in 1971 and also sold his shares to his brother Robert’s children.
In the 70’s, Robert, Sr. with his children, Bob, Finley and Suzanne expanded the Graceville mill with a Southern Yellow Pine Sawmill. In 1980, the McRae family sold Rex Lumber Company to Southwest Forest Industries, which became Stone Container and eventually the mill was sold to U. S. Forest Industries. U. S. Forest ran the mill until the late 90’s.
After the sale of Rex Lumber Company in Graceville, Florida, the McRae family began construction of a brand new Southern Yellow Pine Sawmill named North Florida Lumber, Inc., located in Bristol, Florida in 1980. The mill started production in 1981. Also in 1980 sister company North Florida Woodlands, Inc. was formed to procure timber for the Bristol mill. The year 1986 brought another new company into being, with sister company Apalachee Pole Company, Inc. being constructed. APC, as the McRae family and employees call it, manufactures utility poles and pilings, treating with CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate).
Robert McRae, Sr. and his wife Kathryn died on January 28, 1989 at the ages of 72 and 70.
In 2001, the McRae family bought the Graceville mill in a bankruptcy auction. The new company was named Rex Lumber, LLC after a 20-year intermission. The site has been completely redesigned and modernized into a high volume Southern Yellow Pine Sawmill. Successful operations began in March 2003. The McRae family is indeed happy to be back in Graceville.
In 2009, the McRae family purchased a Southern Yellow Pine Sawmill in Brookhaven, Mississippi and upgraded the facility for improved high quality, high volume Southern Yellow Pine lumber manufacturing and is now leading the industry in safety, quality and production.