The Smith Companies, based in Moss, celebrated its 50th anniversary on Oct. 27 with a community event attended by more than 200.
“My heart was so full seeing so many people from our community and our employees, past and present, come out for this event,” said April Smith Patterson, who along with her mother, Janie Smith and brother, Shane Smith, own and operate the family of companies launched by her late father, Doug, in 1968.
The Smith Companies currently include Honest Abe Log Homes, Barky Beaver Mulch and Soil Mix, GF Hardwoods, Happy Trucking, Green Forest Products, Southern TimberCraft, The Wood Store and Moss Sawmills.
The celebration began with the Clay County FFA conducting a flag raising ceremony. Patterson’s husband, Nick Patterson, President of Barky Beaver, opened the event with a prayer.
“Nick thanked the Lord for all his blessings and for allowing us to be stewards over these companies that have had such an impact on our the community and the families in this region,” Patterson said, adding that following the prayers, she, her mother and brother welcomed their guests.
“It was a great day to celebrate a legacy that started from such sweet and small beginnings,” Patterson observed, explaining that her father’s first business was manufacturing broom handles.
In honor of that endeavor, each guest received a miniature reproduction of Smith’s original wooden broom handle. A broom maker was on hand to demonstrate the making of brooms as well as use some of the reproduction handles to create truly incomparable keepsakes. The tag on each handle is pictured below.
“We had customers and suppliers from our various companies who came for the day,” Patterson said. “There were even people who drove three hours who had seen the feature story announcing the celebration in Farm Bureau’s summer issue of Home and Farm Magazine.
A highlight of the day was remarks by Sen. Mark Pody (pictured above with the Smith family), who presented a proclamation from the Tennessee State General Assembly honoring the history and impact of the companies. Also offering remarks about the company’s importance to Clay County was Clay County Mayor Dale Reagan.
David Arnold of the State Forestry Division spoke about the importance of stewardship of the land, a practice to which the Smith Companies have exhibited strong commitment over the decades.
Honest Abe Log Homes revealed its new logo, kicking off the 1979 40-year anniversary of the company’s operation. A video retrospective was presented, and guests took guided tours of the manufacturing facilities at the Smith Companies’ Moss complex.
Guests were fed and entertained, and everyone left with a goody bag containing gifts, cups, t-shirts and a special commemorative magazine, Smith Family Traditions, filled with stories and interviews that celebrates the history and legacy of the companies.
“We had a packed house for the celebration,” Patterson said, adding, “It was just the best day!”
P R O C L A M A T I O N WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this legislative body should recognize and commend those exemplary businesses that, through an abiding commitment to excellence, have contributed greatly to this State for many years; and WHEREAS, Smith Family Companies, with its corporate offices in the town of Moss in Clay County, is one such outstanding business, which will celebrate fifty years of dedicated service to the good people of Tennessee on October 27, 2018; and WHEREAS, founded by Doug Smith, a Clay County native, and his father, Lemuel Smith, the company started production of broom handles in 1968 and converted to pallet production shortly thereafter; and WHEREAS, in 1973, Doug Smith married the love of his life, Janie Smith, and the couple enjoyed many years of marital bliss before his passing in 2011; and WHEREAS, today, Smith Family Companies is owned and operated by Janie Smith, along with Doug and Janie Smith’s children, Shane Smith and April Smith Patterson; and WHEREAS, a highly successful enterprise, Smith Family Companies has created more than twenty businesses over the past fifty years, some of which have been sold, consolidated into other family businesses, or closed; and WHEREAS, the impressive roster of businesses currently owned by the Smith family includes Honest Abe Log Homes, Southern Timbercraft, Barky Beaver Mulch and Soil Mix, GF Hardwoods, Moss Sawmills, Happy Trucking, Green Forest Products, The Wood Store, McFarland Creek Outdoors, Acres of Grace Farms, The Mill Storehouse, and A Southern Marketplace Barn Sale; and WHEREAS, robust growth and economic vitality have been the hallmarks of Smith Family Companies throughout its illustrious fifty-year history; since its inception, the business – 2 – has created 1,000 jobs, bought and processed 1 billion feet of timber, shipped 100,000 trailer loads of lumber, and processed and sold 50,000 loads of bark and chips; and WHEREAS, combined sales of all Smith Family Companies exceed $1 billion and provide an economic impact on the local economy of $100 million, with purchases ranging from fuel and batteries to general supplies; and WHEREAS, the company has evidenced the highest levels of dedication and commitment to the communities it serves, contributing millions of dollars in charitable donations and providing generous community support; and WHEREAS, Smith Family Companies has operated with acumen and integrity for fifty years, and the members of this legislative body find it appropriate to acknowledge and applaud this outstanding business for its ongoing commitment to excellence; now, therefore, I, Randy McNally, Speaker of the Senate of the One Hundred Tenth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, at the request of and in conjunction with Senator Mark Pody and Representative Kelly Keisling, do hereby proclaim that we honor and congratulate Smith Family Companies on the celebration of the company’s fiftieth anniversary, applaud its ongoing legacy of integrity and commitment to excellence, and wish it much continued success in the future. Proclaimed in Nashville, Tennessee, on this the 18th day of September 2018. Randy McNally Speaker of the Senate Mark Pody, Senator 17th Senate District Kelly Keisling, Representative – 3 – 38th House District