Our History

The Brown Wood Preserving Company was founded in 1929 by James Graham Brown, a Louisville native and entrepreneur with substantial Southeastern timber, sawmill, mining and railroad operations. The Brown Wood Preserving Company built and operated wood preserving plants in Live Oak, FL, Brownville, AL and Louisville, KY. The company thrived over the years as wood utility pole suppliers specializing in creosote and pentachlorophenol treated utility poles which were in great demand during the housing boom after World War II. When the housing boom ended, pole demand slowed somewhat and pole replacement dominated the market. At this time the Live Oak, FL wood preserving plant was closed. Treating operations were consolidated in Brownville, AL and Louisville, KY.,


Mr. Brown never married and had no children; in 1969 he formed a charitable Foundation. The James Graham Brown Foundation was setup to benefit charitable organizations located in locations where Mr. Brown did business. Upon Mr. Brown death his numerous business assets were sold, liquidated or otherwise transferred to the Foundation.


In 1980, the sole remaining operating business was the Brown Wood Preserving Company. Mr. Lowell D. Stanley of Louisville acquired the assets of Brown Wood Preserving Company from the Foundation. Soon after the acquisition by Mr. Stanley, the company began treating poles with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) and then later purchased a CCA treating plant in Kennedy, AL in 1988. Some years later, the Louisville International Airport Authority acquired the Louisville, KY treating plant property for an airport expansion. The company consolidated its treating operations in Alabama at Brownville and Kennedy and built a distribution yard and corporate headquarters facility in Louisville, Kentucky.


At this time, treating procedures were evolving and began utilizing kiln dried pole blanks and the old processes employing steam conditioning were phased out. The company purchased a pole marshalling yard and peeling operation in Mathiston, MS and wood fired dry kilns were added at the remaining plant facilities.


In 2003, his son David S.Stanley took over as President of the company. David, a graduate of the University of Kentucky, had worked in every facet of the organization from forest to the plant to the corporate offices in Louisville.  This comprehensive knowledge of Brown Wood,the product, people and customers served David well when stepping up to this position.


The company invested in a significant expansion at the Kennedy, AL CCA treating plant in 2008. Contiguous property was acquired and a modern Penta treating plant was added to this facility. The Brownville, AL treating plant was shut down and consolidated into the new facility.


Today the company is proud to have the most modern and efficient plant facilities available. Brown Wood is ready to deliver treated utility poles that not only meet but exceed specifications and our customer’s expectations. Contact our wood utility pole suppliers today for our specially treated wood poles.