Lane Furniture Industries has been a staple in Northeast Mississippi for more than 40 years, but its roots go back more than a century.
The company got its start in 1912 in Altavista, Va., when John Lane bought a box company. His son, John, began making cedar chests at the factory.
The company added occasional tables in 1951, case goods in 1956 and accents pieces in 1965.
Meanwhile in Tupelo, Alvin “Bo” Bland and William “Mickey” Holliman co-founded their company, Action Industries, in 1970.
Two years later, Lane bought Action. The company still is often called “Action/Lane.” Its trucking operations are called Action Transport.
Lane later drew the attention of a diversified company, Interco, which had three major divisions consisting of apparel, footwear and retailing. Interco added a furniture division in 1980. It bought Ethan Allen, followed by Broyhill. Seven years later, it acquired Lane.
But during the next decade, Interco ran into financial problems of its own, and in 1991 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It emerged from it in 1992.
In March 1996, Interco became Furniture Brands International.
Holliman, who still headed the Lane division, became president of the company, which by that time had added Thomasville to its portfolio.
In 2001, Masco sold its Henredon, Drexel Heritage and Maitland-Smith brands to Furniture Brands.