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Stephens Cedar Yard began in December 1939 when John T. (Jack) Stephens and his wife ran a gas station and grocery store on Highway 39, just across the road from where Tom Moore started Moore Lumber Yard.
One Saturday afternoon, Cecil Baldwin came to Ingram with some cedar posts to sell to the local cedar yard. He found the yard closed, though, and came into the grocery store in desperation, hoping to find someone who would buy his posts. He had a month old daughter and needed some supplies. He was depending on being able to sell his posts in order to buy what they needed from Jack.
Jack told him to unload the posts out back, grade and stack them, and tell him what the cedar yard would normally pay for them. He bought the posts from Cecil as a favor, but by Monday morning he had made his money back plus a good profit. So he decided to open a cedar yard. His wife disagreed with him buying the posts to begin with, as it took a large portion of their cash from the drawer, so he kept the money separate from the gas station and grocery store. They divorced soon after, but he kept the cedar yard and moved it just down the road to the intersection of Hwy 39 and what became known as Indian Creek Road.
In late 1948, to accomodate the growing inventory, Jack bought 6 acres from Tom Moore behind what is now T. J. Moore Lumber Yard, and moved the business to its current location on Washington Street. In 1961 he sold a half interest in the cedar yard to his brother, Thad Stephens, with the other half going to Jack’s son, J. T. Stephens. A few years later Thad bought J. T. out and became the sole owner of the cedar yard.
Thad’s son, Jerry Stephens, went to work at the cedar yard in 1964, and later purchased the business from Thad in 1982. Jerry's son, Tye Stephens, after a 20 year career as a professional range and wildlife biologist, came back to help Jerry with field operations in February 2016. Incorporating his expertise in habitat management and his insight as a ranch realtor, Tye has added a new level of service to the operation. In December 2020, Tye officially purchased the cedar yard from Jerry, carrying on the legacy for a third generation, and making it the oldest continuously-operated family business in Kerr County. Jerry will keep doing what he loves most for as long as possible... selling cedar posts and talking with his old customers. With the support of their loving family, Stephens Cedar Yard will continue to provide quality cedar posts and land clearing expertise to the Texas Hill Country for generations to come.