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Friedmeyer's California Construction Supplies

(Est. 1879 as Mengel's Lumberyard)


From the 2000 History of Moniteau County:

This California, Missouri, business was originally located at 605 North High Street and known as Mengel's Lumberyard for 37 years. It covered what is now the 911 location and the vacant lot to the east; northwest of the Courthouse.


"The lumberyard of W. H. Mengel was devastated by a fire September 21, 1901. According to newspaper accounts, 'very little was saved.' Damage was estimated at $14,000. The yard was rebuilt, and Mengel remained in business until 1916, when he sold out to C. J. Harris."


George J. Friedmeyer became manager at this time. He had started out in the 1890's working in a lumberyard in Bunceton. After moving to Jefferson City for a while, George took over management of the C. J. Harris Lumberyard (begun in 1888) at Pilot Grove. The story goes that Pilot Grove had only two years of high school at the time and George wanted more for his children. Hence the move to California, Mo.


Arthur M. Friedmeyer worked for the company and subsequently took over the management of C. J. Harris Lumber Company in 1932 from his father, George.


Arthur managed the C. J. Harris Lumber Co. until it was sold to Steward Lumber Co., who intended to close the business here in California. When this reality struck home, Arthur and his wife Irene purchased the yard December 21, 1966. It was at this time the name was changed to Friedmeyer's California Construction Supplies.


In 1969 Arthur Norman Friedmeyer left his position with the Army Aviation Systems Command in St. Louis and joined his parents in the business in downtown California. He remained with California Construction Supplies until 1977, when he and his family moved to Ft. Wayne, Ind., to study at the Seminary there to become pastor in the Lutheran Church.


In 1977, Earl left a position as Program Analyst in Kansas City and moved with his family to California and joined the business.


On October 7, 1979, a fire destroyed the family business, burning it to the ground, and destroying or severely damaging every building to the south on the same block.


In April, 1982, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Friedmeyer and Mr. and Mrs. Earl Friedmeyer had a Grand Opening of the new California Construction Supplies building on Highway 50 West.


Arthur was active in the business until his death in July, 1991, and Irene continued to be involved until a few months before her death in September, 1999.



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