John Hamer was the first Hamer to dive into the lumber industry in the early 1900’s. John worked at a logging camp for a company called Predergast. He fell in love with the camp cook, Sally. They married and had a son who they named James Prendergast Hamer.
In 1937, James P. Hamer started the J. P. Hamer Lumber Company that grew to include 7 sawmills, two truck flooring plants and several dry kiln locations. He actively promoted good forestry practices. In 1957 his efforts were recognized when he received the West Virginia “Conservationist of the Year” award. James P. Hamer was considered the “dean” of West Virginia sawmillers by those in the industry.
His son, James C. Hamer, worked for the company full time after graduating from college. Eventually, they sold the lumber company, and three years later, Jim C. Hamer founded the Jim C. Hamer Company.