Located in Dekalb, Texas
Family Owned and Operated Since 1958
We're as proud of our history as we are of our wood products. Our story began many decades ago in a small town outside of Atoka, Oklahoma, where our founder Cecil Phillips was born into a family of seven children. From there, our story travels to the sawmills of Germany, the great Redwood forests of California, to the hometown of Hoss Cartwright, De Kalb, Tx, where it awaits patiently for it's next chapter. For the time being, we're producing kiln dried lumber, wood beams, architectural millwork, live edge wood slabs, mantels, and other high quality wood products right here in the great town of De Kalb, TX!
Oklahoma to California
Cecil Phillips, a World War 2 Army veteran, worked in sawmills in Germany while in the army. This was nothing new for Cecil, as his father and uncle Monroe worked sawmills in Oklahoma.
In 1953, following work, Cecil moved his wife, Velma Jean, and their two children, Dana and Reggie from Atoka, OK to a small logging community east of Eureka, CA, to log the great Redwood forests of Northern California.
In 1958, Monroe Allen, Cecil's uncle, a sawmill owner in Atoka, Ok, needed hardwood to supply surrounding counties with timbers and planks for wooden bridges. Monroe offered Cecil a loan to start a sawmill in Bowie County, Cecil accepted, and chose a settlement just outside of De Kalb, TX. The area surrounding De Kalb, Texas, between the Red River and the Sulphur River, was plentiful with hardwoods, making it a perfect location for a hardwood timber mill.
Once again, Cecil and his family moved across the United States, this time from California to Texas.
California To Texas
De Kalb, Tx is one of the oldest towns in Texas. A settlement existed here pre-Texas revolution, but had no name until an American pioneering legend came to town.
In 1834, on his way to the Alamo, Davy Crockett, stopped at the settlement. When the settlers asked what they should name their new town, Crockett recommended it be named after General Baron Johann de Kalb, a French military officer who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.
Originally, De Kalb was developed to be the educational center of Bowie County, and college was planned for the town, which was later moved to Texarkana. De Kalb is home to many colorful characters, including the world famous song writer Huddie Leadbetter, aka Leadbelly, Texas Domino Hall of Famer John Flanery, and Dan Blocker, better know as Hoss Cartwright from the tv series Bonanza.
The wood pointillism portrait of Leadbelly below was produced by Archfern / Phillips Forest Products circa 2015 as part of a charity event in the Texarkana area.
A TIE AND TIMBER SAWMILL
The original mill, built with wood in 1958, burned to the ground by a tossed cigarette. Cecil rebuilt the mill, pictured above, on a clay hill in Oak Grove, TX from steel, and is in operation today. Cecil's son, Chuck, a Marine Corps veteran, operates the mill, along side his uncle Jim.
The hardwood mill Cecil started over sixty years ago is today recognized as a Texas Historic Business and the undisputed oldest family owned sawmill in the state of Texas.
Note the red specks of paint on the photograph, that's what happens when you leave a can of spray paint on a wood stove: it explodes.
KILN DRIED GRADE LUMBER
The 1978 oil crisis left the American oil industry at a stand still, therefore, timbers and ties for pipe skidding and other industrial products were no longer in demand. At the same time, the counties switched from wooden bridges to culverts, thus eliminating the need for bridge timbers.
As a result of the oil crisis, a depression occurred in the Phillips Sawmill business. Realizing he could no longer rely on the oil industry or county bridges for sales, Cecil's son, Chuck, a United States Marine, had to find new products for Phillips Sawmill.
Chuck began grading and kiln drying lumber for cabinet and furniture stock in the early 80's. This turned out to be a great business move on his part, and the high quality lumber we're known to provide today came to market.
MOLDING, FLOORING, AND T&G SIDING
In the early 90's, Chuck bought an Italian made molder at an auction for around $5,000, paving the way for the Phillips Forest Products molding, flooring, and siding division.
The first wood floor we milled, can be found right here in De Kalb, Tx, at the oldest family owned cafe in the county, the Front Street Junction. We continued to make flooring, and molding, and siding; continuously improving, adding species and profiles.
Today, we utilize the most advanced molding machines available to provide the highest quality flooring, molding and T&G siding available. With over 1,000 molding profiles available, and our ability to design and create custom patterns, we're sure we can provide you with any flooring, molding, or siding profile for any design project.
In 2000, Chuck purchased a property just outside De Kalb, TX, built a storage building and a new kiln with twice the capacity as the kiln at the Oak Grove sawmill. Chuck changed the name from Cecil Phillips Sawmill to Phillips Forest Products to encompass the growing field of architectural products being produced by the company.
The installation of the new kiln, and the added storage capacity allowed Phillips Forest Products to become the production facility it is today, known for the highest quality molding, flooring, kiln dried lumber, and siding.
Chuck's son, Cole, manages the facility, he and his crew maintain the highest standards for quality available in the wood industry.
FROM BUILDING MATERIALS TO HIGH DESIGN
In 2010, the Phillips Forest Products design division was created, adding to our ever growing list of high quality wood products. This gave our customers options for great wood products not only to help design their spaces, but also to furnish their space.
Live edge wood slabs and counter tops, furniture, butcher blocks, home goods, and fireplace mantles were added to our product list.
We opened our first retail store, The Forest Store, in 2015 in Hooks, TX. The store is stocked full of live edge slabs, furniture, cutting boards, turning blocks, wood art, wood sculptures, mantles, and much more. To take a 3D tour, please click the image below.
PHILLIPS FOREST PRODUCTS
Phillips Forest Products, now a registered Texas Historic Business, has become the oldest family owned sawmill in the state, something we're very proud of. We've become a leader in high quality wood products.
Our beams, lumber, flooring, molding, interior and exterior siding, live edge wood slabs, butcher blocks and furniture are all known for their high quality and beauty. We have products in homes, offices, places of business, and places of worship all over the United States, and our products can be found in Europe, China, South America, Mexico, and the Middle East.
We've been blessed, and we're thankful for our hard working employees, our amazing customers, and for the loggers, that work a hard and dangerous job to supply us with logs.
Thank you all!
God Bless America!