Six generations of Shepherd family members have worked in the lumber industry since the late 1800’s. At that time, James Wesley Shepherd built a steam powered sawmill in Ritchey, Missouri. Over the course of many decades, the Shepherd family has owned and operated a number of successful sawmills, flooring mills, lumber yards and moulding mills. Most of these mills were located within twenty miles of where it all started, Ritchey, Missouri.
The Shepherd family started producing hardwood flooring in 1932 as Shepherd Sawmill. At that time, second generation lumberman, Hubert Shepherd, added a flooring mill operation to his existing sawmill business. In 1944, Hubert set up his second hardwood flooring company on Missouri’s Highway 60 near Pierce City where sons, Gary and Bob, helped him manufacture oak flooring until the mid 1960’s. In 1990, Gary A. Shepherd founded Heritage Oak Flooring, a sister company to Mid-America Hardwoods that started in 1979. Heritage Oak Flooring decided to produce several species of hardwood flooring on the very same site the Shepherd Families previous flooring plant operated decades earlier. At that time Heritage was operating three production lines that were capable of producing more than one million feet of flooring per month in the two separate plants.
In 1995, at the age of 59, Gary A. Shepherd died of a sudden heart attack. At that time his sons, Rob and Terry, took over ownership of Mid-America Hardwoods and Heritage Oak Flooring. For the next four years they operated the mills together producing Heritage Oak flooring for wholesale and retail customers. In the summer of 2000 tragedy hit the family again when Terry Shepherd was taken from the family in a shocking accident moments after one of our annual employee picnics. At this point, Rob Shepherd took over ownership along with Terry’s wife Rhonda Shepherd. Rob and Rhonda continued to produce Heritage Oak Flooring until 2010, but with a struggling housing market and a failing economy, Rob and Rhonda decided to take a step back and put Heritage Oak Flooring on hold for the time being.
Unfortunately, Heritage Oak Flooring was unable to get back to production, but Rob and Rhonda continued to operate Mid-America Hardwoods until February of 2013. After a long hard fight, the family owned business was not able to overcome the downturn in the economy and could no longer continue.
Now, in 2014, Rob Shepherd’s son, Zac Shepherd, is taking his place alongside decades of ancestors in continuing the family legacy with Heritage Oak, LLC. Zac has grown up working alongside some of the best woodworkers in the industry and continues to take much pride in the family heritage.
After walking through and learning from everything that Mid-America Hardwoods and Heritage Oak Flooring went through over the last 10 years, Zac realizes that there is a great deal of knowledge that comes with trying to do everything you can to get things back on the right track. As the economy begins to build steam and the housing market continues its recovery, Heritage Oak, LLC is excited about the opportunity to enter the Hardwood Industry and offer their services to help its customer any way they can.