The first retail yard in the Sack line of yards was started in 1899 in Sutton, Nebraska, and was known as Sack & Nolte Lumber Company. Previous to this, in 1886, Phillipp Sack Sr. and his oldest son, Jacob, had worked as contractors. In 1887 they constructed a building in Sutton in which they manufactured window and door frames in addition to porch posts for homes. The machinery used by the carpenters consisted of an Otto gasoline engine for power, imported from Germany, a turning lathe, a table saw, band saw and a coping saw used to make fancy brackets for home ornamentation. The company also manufactured wood stock and storage tanks and step ladders.
In 1990 Mr. Nolte sold his interest in the company to Mr. Spiech and the company was known as Sack and Spiech Lumber Company. Following the death of mr Spiech in 1902, the latter’s interest in the company was purchased by the Sacks and the company became known as Sack Lumber Company.
At the end of the century, Portland cement was imported from Germany and was shipped in wooden barrels lined with paper. Each barrel contained four sacks of cement and cement was sold by the barrel. Lumber yards stocked only lumber, cement and woven wire fencing. Number one dimension lumber sold for $28.00 per thousand feet.
In 1912 the yard at Sutton was sold and in October of that year the Ord Lumber Company was purchased. William Sack, son of Phillipp Sr., served there as bookkeeper and Jacob as manager. A yard at Polk was purchased in 1913 and Phillipp Sack Jr. assumed the duties of manager. The company was incorporated that year and became known as Sack Lumber and Coal Co. Officers at the time of incorporation were Jacob Sack, President; William Sack, Vice-President; Phillipp Sack Jr., Secretary and August Sack, Treasurer. The four brothers continued to hold these offices until 1955.
Income tax in the beginning years of the company amounted to 1% of the net and for the first year of operation a grand total of $49.16 was paid in taxes. In 1916 taxes doubled to 2% and in 1918 they skyrocketed to 12%, dropping back in 1919 and 1920 to 10%.
The lumber yards in Crete and Dorchester were purchased in 1916 and Jacob moved to Crete and August to Dorchester where the men assumed the duties as managers.
On March 8, 1921, the principal place of business of Sack Lumber and Coal Co. was moved from Ord to Crete and the yards were operated from the General Office in that city.
Yards in Columbus and University Place in Lincoln were purchased in 1923 and were managed by August and William Sack. The Home Lumber Co. in Plymouth was purchased in 1925. The Columbus property was sold in 1926 and the University Place yard in 1929. August Sack moved from the Lincoln location to serve as manager of the Beatrice company which had been purchased from Yost Lumber Co. that same year. A yard was also purchased in Alliance in 1929 which remained in the firm until 1964 when it was sold.
The Community Lumber and Supply Co. in Genoa was purchased in 1940. The U.S. Government purchased the location in Ord for use as a post office in 1938 and the company then acquired the Weller Lumber Co. in Ord for their new business location.
By 1942 two new directors had joined the company; Merlin M. Sack, son of Jacob, and Harold A. Sack, son of William. Osterhout and Becker Lumber Co. in David City was purchased in 1944 and a yard in Aurora was acquired in 1948. In addition to the directors, other stockholders in the company were Lloyd Sack, son of William, and Wayne Sack, son of August.
Another name change occurred in 1954 when the “and Coal” was dropped from the company’s title. Following the deaths of Phillipp Sack Jr., 1955, and Jacob Sack, 1957, the directors of the company were: William Sack, August Sack, Merlin Sack and Harold Sack.
The Sack Lumber Company of Central City was purchased in 1958 from the Hord Lumber and Grain Co. This yard was run as a separate corporation until 1972 when it was merged with the Sack Lumber Company home office.
Merlin M. Sack died in 1966 and later that year the stock from his and Jacob Sack’s estates were sold to the company stockholders. August Sack died in 1968.
J. W. Kerns Lumber Co. in Auburn was purchased in 1968 and the following year that business was located on the site of the Darling Transfer office and warehouse in that city.
In 1971 Wayne Sack sold his shares in the company, in addition to those held by his father’s estate, to the stockholders.
Elected as officers of the company in 1971 were: William Sack, President; Harold Sack, Vice-President; Ronald Sack, Secretary and Lloyd Sack, Treasurer. Four generations of the Sack family presently have ownership in the company.
In 1973, the Yost Lumber Co. in Wilber was purchased and later that same year the Beatrice yard flooded. On January 31, 1974, the Auburn yard burned to the ground and it was decided that the company would be rebuilt on a new and more convenient location in that city.
Still growing as the company has surpassed the century mark, the yard at Wilber has been restocked and it opened for business on October 7, 1974.
Hebron yard was purchased in 1986. The Ord yard burned to the ground in 1987. Seward yard was purchased in 1992. Beatrice yard relocated to east edge of town in 2002.
Sack Lumber expanded as new or better locations became available until we reached the 11 locations we serve today.