Door-maker Steves & Sons Inc., one of San Antonio’s oldest businesses, began as a lumberyard near the Alamo.

Edward Steves started the enterprise in 1866 after emigrating from Germany.

He was bringing in “cypress from Louisiana and longleaf pine from Florida” by the late ’70s, and had relocated the business “near what would become the Sunset Station railroad tracks” and shipped his wares, according to San Antonio Express-News archives.

There is “not a habitation in southwest Texas or northern Mexico … that has not got one or more planks about it from the yards of Steves & Sons,” a local newspaper reported at the time.

The company eventually branched into doors and windows.

Employees produced aircraft propellers for the Army Air Corps during World War I and worked on Liberty ships during World War II. After the war, the business gave its profits to the government as thanks for the Steves sons’ safe return from military duty.

After the war, the business went back to making products for homes and continued to expand.

Today, Steves & Sons operates plants in San Antonio; Richmond, Va.; and Lebanon, Tenn. It employs between 1,100 and 1,400 people companywide, including about 800 workers in San Antonio.

The business recently began construction on a 100,000-square-foot addition to its Humble Avenue facilities.

The expansion and new equipment will help it ship more products and manufacture upward of 16,000 doors per day in San Antonio.

We talked to Sam Steves and Edward Steves, fifth-generation owners and brothers, about the biggest challenges facing the industry and how the coronavirus has affected the company. Sam is president and chief operating officer of the company, and Edward