Lyman came to Owosso in 1866 from New York and planned to go on into the Northern Michigan woods where choice timber was still abundant. But he found that one of Owosso's first industries, the White Planning Mills and Furniture Factory, was for sale. He purchased it and continued the furniture line and by 1882, on a small scale, began making caskets.
This plant, which was located on the present site of Owosso City Hall, 301 W. Main St., burned down in 1898, below.
Looking west on Main Street from the south side,
at the Shiawassee River.
Lyman built a new plant on South Elm St. After his death, his sons Fred E., Lee L. and Frank took over the management along with son-in-law J. C. Osburn.
Original label from the vanity below.
The wood furniture line was was winding down by the 1930's. Part of the problem was Michigan's dwindling suppy of quality lumber.
This picturesque building stood one hundred years ago on the south side of the 400 block of West Main St., where it served as the paymaster office of the Woodard Furniture Company. Woodard's lumberyard covered all the area bounded by Main, Shiawassee Clinton and Michigan Avenue. The paymaster was Campbell Gregory, who had the first hardware store in Owosso.
The Owosso Casket Factory was known in the 1920's as the World's Largest. It even supplied a metal coffin for President William McKinley. The casket factory closed in the 1950's.
This vanity has great style with oval mirror and carved harps that sit on hanky drawers. Measures 68 1/2"Height, 39"Width, 21" Depth. This vanity is still in it's original finish.
By 1930, Lee's sons, Russell, Lyman and Joseph operated Lee L. Woodard. The Woodard family developed the first collection of hand-crafted wrought iron furniture. This innovation marked the birth of casual outdoor furniture and ultimately led to casual furniture designs made from a variety of materials, the most prominent being cast and tubular aluminum.
Throughout the years, Woodard expanded its product offering. Some metal furniture can be dated by the type of Trademark and its ornamentation. Brass and copper castings were made from the early 1930's through 1942, when WWII started. After WWII, the ornamental pieces were all made of iron. Also the Nameplate was of metal until the 1970's, when it became just a sticker that said 'Woodards'.
Changing lifestyles with an emphasis on comfort prompted Woodard to enter the tubular aluminum market. Soon after, Woodard began manufacturing cast aluminum furniture, providing an assortment of quality crafted casual furniture pieces.
Today, Woodard continues the tradition of hand-crafted wrought iron furniture with the same quality craftsmanship implemented by its founder. Under the flagship Woodard brand, wrought iron, cast aluminum and tubular aluminum products are manufactured using the finest materials available, state of the art finish systems, and quality control systems second to none in our industry.
The Woodard Furniture Company is still going strong, however, no longer owned by the Woodard family. It has had several owners and in 1996, a new plant was constructed in the Owosso Industrial Park which is nearly a city block in size. Wrought Iron outdoor furniture is manufactured there and over the last 100 years this product has found its way to customers around the world, including the White House.
George W. uses Woodard Furniture
at the Texas Governor's Mansion
Dean Woodard employees in 1951
Lee L. Woodard and Sons, Inc. was sold to the Wickes Corporation in 1969. In 1984 they announced the sale of the Woodard line to Crown Home Furnishings, Inc. In 1995 Woodard Furniture moved from their S. Elm Street location to a new factory located on South Delaney Road in Owosso Township. The name Crown Leisure was never able to replace Woodard, so in 1996 their parent company, CC Industries, announced that they would be officially known as Woodard Furniture.
Woodard, LLC, a CC Industries Company, today is a leading design and producer of wrought iron, aluminum, and all season wicker outdoor furniture presented under the Woodard, Woodard Landgrave, and Lyon-Shaw brands. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Woodard, LLC, has manufacturing facilities in Owosso, Michigan and Hangzhou, China.
Woodard Station . com
Woodard Station . com
Shiawassee County History