• 1025 S. Roosevelt Avenue | Piqua, Ohio 45356
  • 937-773-7054


Proud Past &
Dynamic Future


Over 140 Years
of Experience


The Finest Lumber
Money Can Buy

Hartzell Hardwoods History


Hartzell Hardwoods Has Over 140 Years Experience with Walnut Lumber and Thick Stock Oak Lumber.

The Hartzell Company was founded in 1875 when John T. Hartzell borrowed $25 from his uncle to go into the wagon business because he no longer wanted to work on the family farm. He soon set up a sawmill to supply the Oak and Ash lumber needed for his business. George W. Hartzell, his son, bought the company in 1900 and began specializing in Walnut lumber for the European market.

When a World War I embargo shut off lumber markets into Europe, Hartzell turned to production of walnut gunstocks and walnut airplane propellers for the war effort. Hartzell’s propeller manufacturing experience had a simple beginning, as the first blades were literally chopped out of glued-up walnut blocks with hatchets. During World War II, Hartzell again furnished many of the gunstocks that were used.

After World War II, Hartzell Hardwoods continued to lead the Hardwood Lumber industry in innovation and diversification.

Hartzell Hardwoods Finished Packs
Hartzell Hardwoods Building
Hartzell Hardwoods WA Air Yard
Over the last 20 years, Hartzell Hardwoods has experienced fast and dramatic growth by doubling kiln, steambox, and predryer capacity. We have built two high-tech Lumber Grading Systems with width-sorting capabilities. In addition our marketing base has continued to expand by diversifying heavily into the export market. Today, we export our lumber throughout 40 countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. We continue to diversify our market base as well as keeping the advances in technology on the front burner, as we have characterized throughout our 140-year history.

A List of “Firsts” to Hartzell’s Credit

Hartzell History
  • Pioneered the steaming of Walnut to turn its white sapwood into a walnut color, a process universally adopted by the hardwood industry.
  • First to develop a dual matic grade sawmill enabling two circle saws side-by-side to manufacture two boards simultaneously.
  • Developed the first unitized sawmill with vertical edger.
  • Developed the first small log turning arrangement that permitted logs to be turned while still dogged.
  • Developed automated sawmill carriage with hydraulic setworks, a shifting knee and hydraulic tapers.

A Proud Past And A Dynamic Future

Hartzell Hardwoods is proud to be known throughout the world as a leading producer of fine walnut lumber as well as top quality thick red and white oak lumber. As our history depicts, Hartzell is known to be an innovator and leader in the Hardwood Industry.

1875: Beginning of Hartzell Industries with sawmill in Greenville, Ohio – John T. Hartzell, founder
1880: Brass whistle given to John T. Hartzell
1885: Produced oak and ash lumber for building wagons
1900: George W. Hartzell buys company
1900: Sawmill moved to Piqua, Ohio
1910: General offices moved from Dayton to Piqua
1915: Began manufacturing gunstocks
1917: Began manufacturing propellers
1920: Started manufacturing wooden steering wheel segments
1920: Hartzell’s present main office built
1920s: Built wooden battery cases
1924: Hartzell-made airplane wins first place in its class at The International Air Races in Dayton
1925: Built wooden victrola cabinets
1929: Built West Burlington, Iowa sawmill
1933: R. N. Hartzell took over the reins
1941: Hartzell-Norris Charitable Trust established
1942: Helped develop process for gluing wood to metal in gliders
1969: 4th generation G. William Hartzell becomes CEO
1969: Decatur Industres, Inc., producer of walnut accessories for smokers, acquired by Hartzell
1972: First to develop a Dual-Matic grade mill
1975: Another Hartzell division, American Woodcrafters, formed
1995: State-of-the-art lumber handling system constructed
1998: Major expansion of lumber dry kiln system
1999: Another major expansion of lumber dry kiln system
2001: 5th generation Jim Hartzell becomes CEO
2002: 7 new kilns added
2007: Largest expansion in company history takes place
2010: 4 more kilns along with air sheds constructed
2011: 4 New Kilns Added
2012: Purchase concentration yard in Kirksville, MO
2013: Kirksville Expansion – added five kilns, boiler, steambox, shipping warehouse, stacker, and lumber handling equipment
2014: Piqua – New Air Drying T-Shed Building with Shade-Dry

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