ABOUT KEMAH HARDWARE
In the year of 1929 Galveston Island was ravaged by a hurricane. Rex Clawson, attorney for an insurance company in Houston, suddenly was faced with the disposal of sign boards damaged by the storm. His company had to be responsible for the clean-up of fallen billboards and commenced to stack them on the prairie off of South Main St. known now as the Astrodome. The lumber originally came from East Texas which was a Long Leaf Yellow Pine 1x6 center match, and could be used for home building. Rex called his brother Oran and asked him to help with transporting the lumber to Flat Texas so it could be sold at the family store. Oran was excited and came to Houston in a Model A truck and made many trips hauling the lumber back to Central Texas. A partnership was quickly formed between the brothers and that was to be the beginning of O&C Clawson Lumber Company. Over the years they would open 12 more lumber yards. When they opened their 2nd lumber yard the brothers thought a slack mine would be a good fit. (not) The slack lime co. didn't last long because the lime caused severe blistering effects to employees and it quickly closed. Oran Clawson passed away in 1946 he left behind a wife and 2 sons. Sadly his oldest son Oran Jr. was killed in a car wreck on his way to Waco a few short yrs. later.
In the mid 60's Oran's surviving son Jim moved to West Texas to run a family lumber yard, and after 4 years of dust and tumbleweeds he felt the coast would be a better place to raise his family . When Jim Sr. moved to Houston he started building homes in Friendswood Texas and liked the idea of having a retail business and begin looking for something to purchase. The Smith family started Kemah Hardware in 1959 in a old school house which was located next door to Kemah Meat Mkt. known today as T-Bone Toms. Jim and Rex purchased the store in 1969 and knew quickly they wanted to expand so they bought property up the road and relocated in 1972. After a few years Jim thought it would be a nice fit to have yellow pine lumber since there were no lumber yards close by and the customers needed it for projects. In 1983 Jim Jr. thought treated lumber would be another great addition to the inventory. It just so happened in 1984 Hurricane Alicia would help set the stage for Kemah Hardware becoming well known for treated materials and a large supply of bulkhead and pier lumber. Over the years Kemah Hardware has added many services and products to make us a one stop shop for our customers.
Thank You for the support over the last 50+ years.