As a freely interpretable proposition, two men working in cooperation can accomplish results as great in the aggregate as can three working singly, a proposition that has become in effect a business truism, and given two men with exceptionally strong ability and cooperative tendencies the proportion of possible accomplishment becomes indefinitely greater; when associated with others similarly equipped and disposed the possibilities are beyond calculation. This condition is exemplified in unusual degree in a dual combination, with able associates, that constitutes a notable factor in the lumber le of the Southwest generally and of St. Louis, Mo., particularly — the Alf Bennett Lumber Company, with headquarters in the Missouri metropolis and ramifications at a number of prominent points in the Southwest. The lumber company which takes its distinctive title from President Alf Bennett controls the output and, inferentially, the financial success of two large yellow pine manufacturing plants, one in Arkansas and one in Texas, together with the product of two others, both located in the Lone Star state, the annual output of these four plants being estimated, in feet, at well up to nine progressive figures. Those who successfully conduct enterprises of such significant magnitude justify public record of their personalities and performances.
On pages 51 to 54 inclusive of this issue of the AMERICAN LUMBERMAN are recorded details of the resources, conduct and output of the lumber manufacturing concerns which serve and are served by the Alf Bennett Lumber Company—pages which will repay perusal. "With the personality of those highest in control of the Bennett interests this article is more particularly concerned.
Alf Bennett is a Missourian by birth, Hannibal and April 26, 1877, having been respectively the place and date of his birth, Kansas City, Mo., the scene of his early schooling. His first intimacy with the lumber business was gained as office boy for the Southern Lumber Manufacturers' Association in St. Louis, in 1894. His first direct contract with the raw material of the trade was his employment, in 1894, by the Holladay-Klotz Lumber Manufacturing Company at Greenville, Mo. His early duties were of the humblest—those of a lumber piler— but it was inevitable that one of his strong if as yet undeveloped ability should not long remain in a minor position. Five years after the date of his first employment he occupied the offices of assistant secretary and treasurer of the company and was a member of its directorate. His next change of base was in 1901, when he became manager of the Omaha (Neb.) office of the Missouri Lumber & Land Exchange Company, of Kansas City, Mo. The following year he filled the position of buyer for the Forest Lumber Company, an affiliated concern. A year later be was sales manager, with headquarters at St. Louis, Mo., for the Wisconsin & Arkansas Lumber Company, of Malvern, Ark.
Ten years of instruction in the lumber business, in all its practical phases, had equipped Mr. Bennett for a position as principal in the trade. In 1904 he organized the Alf Bennett Lumber Company, with headquarters in the Wright building, St. Louis, Mo., and branches in Kansas City, Mo.; Houston, Tex., and Chicago, its mills located at Dayton, Spring and Todd, Tex., and Hamburg, Ark. Mr. Bennett is president of the concern which bears his name, vice president and treasurer of the Dayton Lumber Company, Dayton, Tex., and vice president of the Ashley Lumber Company, of Hamburg Ark. He is also interested as a stockholder in a southern railroad enterprise.
Alf Bennett is a man of big proportions physically, with vision and vigor to correspond. Despite his essentially engrossed attention to exacting business matters, he finds some time for recreation, his favorite pastime being tennis, by which he maintains a sound body to supplement a sound mind. His political affiliation is with the republican party. Mr. Bennett married June 4, 1904, Miss Florence MacCuaig. To them have been born a daughter, Dorris Bennett, now in her fifth year. Mr. Bennett is a member of the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo and of the St. Louis institutions known as the Mercantile Club and the Amateur Athletic Association. In the business life of his home city, St. Louis, he is a factor of great prominence and wholesome strength.