History of McRae Family in the Wood Products Business

The McRae family has a long history in the wood products industry dating back to the early 1900’s in the Quincy, Florida area.

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. 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 the Rex Lumber Company site in Graceville, Florida, the McRae family began construction of a brand new Southern Yellow Pine sawmill, North Florida Lumber, Inc., located in Bristol, Florida in 1980. The mill started production in 1981.

In 1986, Apalachee Pole was built in Bristol, Florida, behind the sawmill, to add the manufacture of poles and pilings to the family portfolio of forest products.

Robert McRae, Sr. died on January 28, 1989.

In 2001, the McRae family bought the Graceville mill site 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 2006, with the fourth generation entrenched in the business, the future of the forest products companies as family owned and operated businesses was further solidified with C. Finley McRae and children purchasing the remaining interest from Robert F. McRae, Jr. and family.

In 2009, the decision was made to market the lumber companies under the name Rex Lumber.  Graceville had claim to that name but Bristol soon changed to Rex Lumber, Bristol, Florida.  Apalachee Pole Company has retained its original name.

Also in 2009, the McRae family purchased a Southern Yellow Pine Sawmill in Brookhaven, Mississippi.  It is currently operating as Rex Lumber, Brookhaven.

The family is thankful to have been in business for almost 100 years into the fourth generation, without our excellent employees this longevity could not have been achieved.   We look forward to many more.