MILO — A longtime Yates County company has apparently gone out of business after the parent company in Tennessee filed for bankruptcy amid a police investigation.
Calls to Woodtex on Route 14, near Himrod, could not be completed Thursday. Another call to company headquarters in Tennessee also could not be completed, and an email was not returned.
Woodtex was started in 1983 by Sanford Lapp, who moved to Yates County from Lancaster County, Pa. It originally sold backyard sheds but later sold modular cabins, gazebos, horse barns, and garages.
Sanford Lapp died in 1994 and his wife, Barb, took over with help from their sons, Kent and Ben. The brothers took over the business in 2010 and branch offices were opened in South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee.
The Times looked into the local closing after a recent Facebook post by Mary Maslyn.
“This post is not intended to berate a company or start a fury of negative posts. It is meant as informational only,” Maslyn wrote, noting she paid for a shed but has not received it, and would be contacted by the attorneys handling the bankruptcy. “I have dealt with Woodtex in Himrod for years and have nothing but good things to say about the folks there. This is out of their control. Just wanted to give folks a heads up in case they have ordered a shed or other structure.”
While Ben Lapp stayed in Yates County to be branch manager there, Kent moved to Tennessee and started Riverwood Cabins. The company is based in Franklin, near Nashville, and makes prefabricated cabins.
According to a recent article in the Tennessean, Nashville’s principal newspaper, Riverwood Cabins took in more than $4 million in customer deposits for prefabricated cabins it did not deliver before it declared bankruptcy. Franklin police are investigating.
The company was collecting deposits from new customers as recently as mid-January, even as buyers who said they placed orders as long ago as December 2018 grew increasingly concerned because their cabins were never delivered. Some families lost their entire life savings, the Tennessean reported.
According to the paper, a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee noted that bankruptcies are pending for four of Riverwood Cabins’ affiliated companies — Woodtex of Tennessee, Woodtex of Texas, Woodtex of New York, and Woodtex LLC.
Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike said his department has had no criminal complaints against Woodtex locally.
“It’s pretty vacant down at the site, where there used to be many buildings,” Spike said.