Traditional Quality, Traditional Values
Daniel P. Wertz established his lumber business in Mt. Auburn, Indiana, in 1885. Unafraid of hard work, Wertz himself cut and hauled timber and processed the wood into lumber which he sold to his uncle, Henry Maley.
The company's history in Evansville began in 1901 when Wertz partnered with Henry Maley and bought the Thompson-Bonnell Lumber Company in Evansville, renaming the company the Maley & Wertz Lumber Company.
Wertz's son, J. Claude, joined the firm in 1917 and assumed leadership of the company after his father's death. Maley & Wertz Lumber Company experienced significant growth in the first half of the twentieth century. Through the 1930s, Maley & Wertz expanded its international business with furniture manufacturers in Europe, New Zealand and South Africa. By the 1950s the company specialized in fine hardwoods and quarter-sawn oak primarily used for flooring and interior millwork.
J. Claude Wertz and his son, J. Claude, Jr., sold the company to the Klipsch family in 1968. However, the Wertz family tradition of dedication to the business and to the hardwoods industry is still evident with J. Wertz, Jr., still involved and working full-time for the company. In the years following the Klipsch family's acquisition of Maley & Wertz Lumber Company, several improvements have been made to the company operations. Kiln capacity has been significantly expanded. Also, in 1998 a wood gasification system was installed to convert scrap lumber and sawdust into a gas to power the kilns. This environmentally-friendly innovation saves the company thousands of dollars in annual energy costs and makes use of what would otherwise be waste materials.