Jimmy Wyrick awarded Texas Treasure Business Award
HENDERSON COUNTY–Jimmy Wyrick of Athens Lumber and Supply Company was awarded the first ever Texas Treasure Business Award by the Henderson County Historical Commission (HCHC) at the Henderson County Commissioners’ Court Tuesday, June 11.
Wyrick was awarded the honor by HCHC Vice Chair Liz Smith Tuesday morning for his long-standing service to the Athens and surrounding communities. Smith discussed the history of the award and how special being able to hand it out for the first time was since it was created by the State in 2005.
“We don’t have a single business with this award yet,” Smith said as she smiled and pointed back towards Wyrick who sat in the back.
The requirements for someone to receive the award is that you have to have been a continuous for-profit operation in the State of Texas for at least 50 years, have continued to operate the same or a very similar type of business as it did at least 50 years ago, have a continuous record of employment for at least the past 50 years, continue to operate as an independent, for-profit business and maintain a good business relationship with the State of Texas.
At the time Wyrick took over for his father, two other lumber suppliers were in the area. As of now, Wyrick’s is the lone remaining lumber supplier.
“The main advertisement he had in those years were local newspapers, high school yearbooks and annual phone books. Then came the Internet and social media. Mr. Wyrick doesn’t use those for advertising,” Smith said. “Most of our customers don’t use those anyway, so I haven’t bothered either,” Wyrick said. “That alone makes Mr. Jimmy Wyrick and Athens Lumber and Supply Company a true Texas treasure,” Smith stated as Wyrick received a rousing ovation from the court.
Henderson County Commissioners’ Court Judge Wade McKinney expressed the sentiments of those in the court by handing a special certificate to Wyrick to recognize his business and his standing in the community. McKinney also spoke on the significance of the award given to Wyrick during the morning court session.
“It is an honor, along with all the other accolades we can give when it comes to being in business that long. We know it can’t be easy and we thank you,” McKinney said.
Wyrick also spoke on how it’s been for him to have run his business for so long and the relationships that he has built in the community, all the while keeping his business running smoothly and keeping it a mainstay in the Athens community.
“I want to thank my cousin Sarah Brown, who is the President of the Henderson County Historical Society,” Wyrick said. “And the people who really helped me out, aren’t here, like my father who started this business. I’ve worked there about 60 years myself from when I was in high school before going to college, but the rest of my life I’ve been at that lumberyard. I also want to thank the Henderson County Commissioners’ Court for this honor and I’m going to try my best to keep this business open as long as I can.”
In other business, commissioners:
• approved previous minutes from meeting held June 4.
• approved a refund request for overpayment of taxes from the Henderson County Tax Assessor Collector in the amount of $52,784.03.
• approved the Henderson County 9-1-1 Communications District financial income and expenditures for the fiscal year ending April 30.
• approved a request from the Sheriff’s Office to use inmate labor for cleanup at the King Cemetery in Precinct 1.
• approved the financing by the New Hope Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation of a health facility located within Henderson County for Quality Senior Housing Foundation of East Texas, Inc.
• selected three public members and three alternates for the Salary Grievance Committee.
• received financial reports.
• approved two right-of-way permits for Soil Express and Encore for a crossover at County Roads 2803 and 2805 and Aqua Texas at County Road 4307 for a ¾” water line in Precinct 4.
• approved a budget amendment for a part-time position at the District Attorney’s Office.
• approved payment of bills in the amount of $478,923.54.
• tabled a 2019 Solid Wastes Disposal bid for a later time.