The Marvin Timeline
George G. Marvin arrived in Warroad, small northern Minnesota town near the Canadian border. He managed a grain elevator and lumberyard. He spent the next 70 years building a business that became a cornerstone of the Warroad community.
Percy Roberts and George Marvin established Roberts & Marvin Lumber Co.
- 1908, Roberts & Marvin Lumber Co. purchased the Canadian Elevator Company’s lumberyard and coal-yard.
- 1909, Roberts & Marvin signed their first big pulp contract with Backus & Brooks of International Falls, Minn. George continued to do business with them every year for the rest of his life.
- 1911, They handle 2,300 railway cars of pulpwood and were the largest pulpwood buyers in the district.
- 1912, The Roberts & Marvin partnership dissolved.
The Marvin Timber & Cedar Company was established. The name was changed a few months later to Marvin Lumber & Cedar Company.
The Marvin Lumber & Cedar Company was incorporated just eight years after is was formed. George G. Marvin was president and his brother, Wm. C. Marvin was vice president.
No layoffs during the Great Depression. Marvin Lumber & Cedar Company had its first year with a loss, but was fortunate to offer continuous employment without layoffs during America’s Great Depression.
George’s son Wm. S. “Bill” Marvin joined the company as the eighth employee.
That year, in an attempt to keep the company busy during the quiet winter months, lumberyard manager Harry York requested a new saw for making barn sash and door frames.
In the 1940s, to help with the war effort during World War II, the staff is increased to nearly 50 and Marvin manufactured ammunition boxes and food containers to fulfill a government contract.
The Marvin brothers in 1942: Jack, Bill, Tut, Frank and Cal.
- Tut served in the Coast Guard from 1941 to 1946.
- Frank served in the Canadian Air Force and United States Air Force from 1942 to 1945 and received both the British and American Distinguished Flying Cross.
- Jack served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1946 and earned two Purple Hearts.
- Cal served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945.
The company that become Marvin Windows and Doors was born when Bill Marvin realized that making windows would create jobs and keep returning servicemen in Warroad, after the end of World War II.
A fire destroys Marvin’s sash and door factory. The village fire department was handicapped by cold weather.
A delivery fleet was required to meet the demand for product in new geographic areas. A 1951 Chevy truck was used to deliver windows.
Marvin introduced the Stack and Strip, a versatile window that could be used as a hopper, casement or awning.
Marvin salesmen, Dan Mckinnon and Walt Krahn, criss-crossed the Midwest in Chevrolet station wagons. They spent long days on the road to sign up independent local dealers for Marvin’s growing product line.
Marvin manufactured it’s first double hung window, The Wingflex.
Marvin became one of the first companies in Minnesota to offer a health care plan to its employees.
Silver dollars totaling $24,910 were distributed to 142 employees with the establishment of Marvin’s first profit sharing distribution.
At age 76, George Marvin continued to work long hours and took an active role in the business.
Bill Marvin took over as company president.
Marvin expanded their sales territory outside the Midwest.
Fire struck again! George G. Marvin watched as fire destroyed the plant, machinery and a warehouse full of finished products. Volunteers worked to contain the massive fire as the it grew hot enough to melt glass.
Relocation offers were made, but the Marvin family remained committed to the Warroad community. “The company will rebuild in Warroad” Bill promised, “We will get back in production… just as soon as it is humanly possible… buying or borrowing machinery where we can.”
Key employees remained on directly after the first and additional men were hired as equipment was secured to produce basement window units.
A new 100,000 square-foot factory opened for production on June 27th, a year to the day after the fire, and a grand opening celebration was held. With subsequent additions, that factory is now 2 million square feet.
Marvin began making patio doors
A decade of dramatic growth. Sales soared and employment grew to about 950 workers.
George Marvin passed away at age 94.
Marvin purchased an airplane and started a corporate aviation department. Today, a fleet of four planes brings more than 4,000 customers, dealers and builders to Warroad every year for sales, tours and training. To date, the Marvin fleet has flown more than 56,000 hours without an accident or injury.
Mitsui Home Co. of Japan became Marvin’s first international customer.
Marvin became the first window manufacturer to have its entire window line certified.
Marvin reintroduced the round-top. Bob Moncrief, a homeowner from Baxter Springs, Kansas, placed the first order with Riverton Building Supply. In January 1980, Marvin took one unit to the NAHB show.“ the round top changed the face of residential housing in the United States.” – Frank Marvin
Frank R. Marvin assumed the company presidency.
Marvin built its first factory outside Minnesota in Ripley, Tenn. Today the Ripley facility manufactures Marvin patio doors.
Marvin developed the Terrace Door and introduced the “Made to Order” advertising campaign.
Frank G. Marvin Passed away.
Marvin opened a facility to produce cut wood stock in Baker City, Ore.
Marvin Windows and Doors was recognized as one of the “99 Things Americans Make Best” by Money Magazine.
Jake Marvin became company president.
Marvin partnered with Tecton Products to create Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass, a revolutionary product that is still stronger and more durable than existing fiberglass.
Marvin’s safety recognition program began.
Susan Marvin was named president of Marvin Windows and Doors.
Marvin introduced Integrity Windows and Doors, a product line made of Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass.
A new factory was built in Fargo, N.D., to manufacture the Integrity line.
Marvin was honored by the state of Minnesota with a Governor’s Award for its pollution control efforts, the first of many such awards from the states where we have facilities.
Marvin opened a manufacturing facility in Grafton, N.D
Marvin launched Signature Products, a special division that tackles the most challenging design and construction jobs.
Bill Marvin was named one of the 20th Century building industry’s 100 most influential people by BUILDER magazine.
Marvin launched its bachelor’s and associate degree program. The company partners with systems of public higher education to bring instructors to Warroad, enabling employees to earn accredited two and four-year degrees.
Jake Marvin became CEO.
Marvin introduced Infinity Replacement Windows.
Marvin produced a four-wide wood outswing ADL entry system with a Pemko sill for the White House.
The Wm. S. Marvin Training and Visitor Center opened in Warroad, Minnesota.
Marvin built a new manufacturing facility for Infinity Replacement Windows in West Fargo, N.D.
Marvin introduced the Ultimate Casement line, a revolutionary window that quickly become a top seller.
Bill Marvin passed away at age 92.
New York Times reporter Andrew Martin spent three days in Marvin’s hometown of Warroad, Minn., talking with company leaders and townspeople. He wanted to look at how a mid-sized company was navigating through the economic downturn – weathering tough times without laying off employees. “Our most significant accomplishment was that we lived our mission in the most challenging of times” – Susan Marvin
In a much-anticipated speech on the American economy, President Barack Obama discussed Marvin Windows and Doors, using the company’s story as the emotional climax of the address that commentators agreed set the terms of economic policy discussion throughout his 2012 election campaign. Obama held up Marvin as an example to the nation. Telling how Marvin refused to lay off workers even as competitors made deep cuts, he said, “That’s how America was built. That’s why we’re the greatest nation on Earth. That’s what our greatest companies understand.”
Marvin was honored with the American Business Ethics Award and the Minnesota Business Ethics Award.
The third and fourth generations of the Marvin family are deeply involved in all the facets of the company, from executive leadership to the factory floor.
Marvin purchases TruStile Doors, the leading manufacturer of quality architectural interior doors in eco-friendly medium density fiberboard (MDF) and natural wood.