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45 years
Robert (right) and Donna (left) Plummer.

R.P. Lumber Celebrates 45 Years

R.P. Lumber Co., Inc. is celebrating 45 years since Robert and Donna Plummer–school teachers at the time–took a big risk and put everything they had into a rough, vacant property in the small Illinois community of Staunton. Today the company operates 81 lumberyards, two components manufacturing facilities, a farm and ranch retail subsidiary with 22 locations and is involved in numerous other business and civic ventures. Most importantly, perhaps, the company provides good jobs to over 2,000 families across the Midwest.

“When I was growing up, my family did not have much. I always dreamed one day I would be able to build a business that would help provide for others. The number of jobs we provide is a metric that matters to me. When I was a young kid, I always said I wanted to create 1,000 jobs. The fact that we have met and surpassed that number means so much to me. It’s not always just a business’ top line and bottom line, it’s what I believe our company means to a lot of families and a lot of communities,” says Robert Plummer, who still serves as R.P. Lumber’s chairman and president. “We’re in it for the long haul because we want to have a positive impact on families and communities.”

Since its humble beginnings in 1977, R.P. Lumber has slowly expanded, bringing jobs and its industry-leading “Best Service” to communities. In the mid-1990s, the company added locations in Illinois and entered Missouri for the first time. In the early 2000s, the company expanded into northern Illinois and deepened its reach across Central and Southern Illinois, and the 2010s saw the company adding locations throughout Missouri and Illinois. Most recently, in 2021 and 2022, the company added locations in Wyoming, Iowa and Wisconsin, while pursuing thoughtful expansion opportunities in its original two states of Illinois and Missouri. Through the years, the company has added components to the business such as kitchen design, retail showrooms, manufacturing and e-commerce, while constantly trying to improve the product selection, delivery capabilities and overall company focus on “Best Service” to its core pro customers.

“We have worked hard, of course, but our real focus is on gratitude right now,” Plummer says. “You can only build a durable business in our industry if you work hard, stay focused and have good team members, good customers, good vendor relationships and good bank relationships. We’ve been tremendously blessed that we have those four things. So, what today is really about is saying ‘thank you’ to them. Donna and I want to thank each and every one of our great team members, customers, vendors, bankers and other partners that work with us every day and helped us grow this company for the last 45 years.”

R.P. Lumber is a full-service retail home center and building materials supplier. R.P. Lumber delivers its industry leading “Best Service. Best Value.” promise by offering full-service delivery, complete hardware stores, lumber, drywall, roofing, kitchen cabinet design and much more for professional contractors and homeowners alike. Read about its recent acquisitions here and here.

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