How it got started...
Argonne Lumber and Supply Inc. was born of a tragedy. In 1975 when Allen Keepers was 13, his family’s home was destroyed by fire. His parents were dairy farmers and had eight children. It was a devastating experience. Allen’s dad Ken Keepers began looking around to find cheap lumber to rebuild, he found the prices were high. He thought there had to be a way to get quality lumber at reasonable prices.
Allen at 18 years of age, applied for a sales permit and developed contacts with contractors and purchased lumber. He was both the buyer and the seller of his new business. He learned about the business from asking the contractors questions.
Starting the business in 1980 in a machine shed on his father’s farm, Allen purchased the land next to his father’s and built his first main building in 1984. Buildings have been added as they could afford them.
Started in Dad's Machine Shop
The Argonne lumberyard now has more than 11 buildings and an office, hardware store and showroom. 2009 brought the addition of a small yard in Rhinelander.
Allen’s wife, Kim helped develop a line of hardware, kitchen and bath products, She serves as the company’s bookkeeper. The company also offers architectural design services, estimating, as well as all the building materials needed for construction – from electrical to cabinetry – while remaining committed to the highest quality lumber. Shipments of quality lumber arrive occasionally by rail from Canada and the west, and daily by truckload.
Quality is what we are known for, customers include contractors as well as do-it-yourselfers. The company makes weekly deliveries to customers within a 50 mile radius.
Argonne Lumber 1987
Argonne Lumber has a lot of repeat business. We get alot of customers of second-home builders and remodelers who are suprised to find our lumber is higher in quality than what they can find in the cities, yet is reasonably priced.
Another draw is the company’s personalized customer service, We have 19 employees, and many are from our family alone. It’s a welcoming , helpful atmosphere.
Argonne Lumber 2007
On a personal note, Allen says one of the most gratifying experiences of his business is the friendships he has developed by working with contractors, “Many of the original people I worked with have now retired, but still stop in to smell the lumber because they miss it, and, of course, to visit.