5444 Commercial St SE Salem, OR 97306 | 503-581-1611
Jim Blackman was born in 1931 in Hysham, Montana, and moved near Salem, Oregon in 1939. Clint Kilgore was born in 1926 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He grew up in Oklahoma and Texas during the depression, before moving near Salem, Oregon in 1942. Clint and Jim worked together at various lumber yards, including Salem Building Supply, Service Lumber Company and Linn County Lumberyard, prior to May of 1956, which is when Clint leased a lumber truck, found a space in a paint shop warehouse, and ordered a phone. He was now in the lumber business called Clint Kilgore Building Materials. Jim became his equal partner in June of 1956, which is when the name of the business became Kilgore Blackman Building Materials. Clint became the office man and in charge of phone sales. Jim became the driver, bookkeeper, and blue print reader. All materials were loaded by both men by hand. In the early months of 1957, they hired their first employee, a full-time driver. At this point in time their business was almost all contractor trade.
Kilgore Blackman continued to buy surrounding properties as they became available, eventually totaling houses and a motel on five acres of land. They were known as the lumberyard “way out there, halfway to Albany”, but they needed the space for the dreams they had for the business. Each year they tried to improve with new sheds and new equipment. Their first forklift was bought in 1964. In 1965, Clint and Jim bought Keizer Builders Supply. They owned this until the early 1970's when they decided to sell it. Also, during the 1960's, they opened Oregon Hardware and Appliance in Redmond Oregon, owning it for four years, before selling it. In 1979, they remodeled Kilgore Blackman, adding more retail space with office space above. They also added a computer in 1986, which was a huge improvement over the typewriter.
In 1998, the store underwent its biggest remodel to date, adding 8,500+ square feet of retail space.
In 1989, Clint and Jim were still the decision makers, but decided to take a step back from the business. The long-standing, loyal and trustworthy employees were able to take over the daily business operations. Over their many years in business, Clint and Jim gave back to their community supporting local causes, mainly focusing on local youth sports programs. They even made the news during the big Keizer flood of 1964, using their flatbed truck to rescue people. Clint passed away in 2001 from complications from a prior stroke. At this time, the Blackman family purchased Clint Kilgore’s half of the business from the Kilgore family. Jim passed away in 2007 from complications from a fire accident, that exasperated the cancer in his body. Today, Kilgore Blackman Building Materials is owned and operated by the Blackman family. Their hope is to carry out the legacy that was started by both their father and Clint.
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