The Princeton Lumber Company, one of the oldest construction firms in the state under the ownership and management of the same family, was founded by Fred Taylor in 1907 as a branch of the now extinct Beaver Dam Planing Mill Company, Beaver Dam, Ky.
In January of 1909 Fred Taylor sold his interest in the parent company and bought the Princeton operation outright. He operated the yard for 9 years with his uncle, John H. Barnes of Beaver Dam, as a silent partner. In 1918 Fred Taylor bought out his uncle and it was a sole ownership operation until 1928. In 1925 his son, Rumsey B. Taylor, graduated from Georgetown College (KY) and joined his father in business. In 1928 the firm became a father and son partnership. In 1925, Rumsey Taylor added general contracting to the operation. In 1932, a home appliance division was activated.
Fred Taylor passed away in January 1949. Rumsey Taylor inherited his father’s shares and continued the business. In June of 1950 Rumsey Taylor Jr. received his degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech and joined his father. In 1953 the firm was again a father and son partnership. In 1960 the firm was incorporated. In 1972, a manufacturing department was added to Princeton Lumber Company, manufacturing radio and speaker cabinets for Arvin Industries.
In 1976, Rumsey Taylor, III graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Civil Engineering. He promptly went to work in Houston, Texas for Brown & Root Construction. In the fall of 1978 he returned to Princeton to join the business. In 1983, Arvin Industries closed their local plant and the manufacturing division had to close. In 1981, Dixon Taylor (2nd son of Rumsey Taylor, Jr.), also graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Civil Engineering and went on to work for Brown & Root Construction. Dixon returned home to Princeton and joined the firm in December of 1985. Rumsey Taylor, Sr. passed away in 1996. Rumsey Taylor, Jr. passed away in 2012.Through the 1980’s, 1990’s , and even today, Princeton Lumber continues to focus on their main passion: residential, commercial, institutional construction.
Seated left to right: Rumsey Taylor, Jr., Buz Taylor, Rumsey Taylor, IV (in front), Dixon Taylor. Standing in the back: Rumsey Taylor, Sr. circa 1986
Princeton Lumber Company, located on South Seminary Street beside the railroad line, has evolved through the past 100 years, adapting its services to meet the needs and demands of the local community, and surrounding areas. The company has gone through many simultaneous phases that include a retail lumber yard, retail appliance outlet, speaker cabinet manufacturing facility, land development, and residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial construction.