With one press salvaged from a fire that destroyed “The Ennis Daily News,” Garner Dunkerley, Sr. started what is today the largest wholesale printing manufacturer in the nation—Ennis, Inc.
The year was 1909 and with Ennis, Texas located in the heart of the central Texas cotton region, cotton tags became the primary business of the new company. By the 1930’s company management saw the growth in business forms and in 1937 the newspaper portion of the company was sold to finance expansion into forms production.
By the 1940’s, the company, now known as Ennis Tag and Salesbook Company, began to concentrate on expanding its business forms line. Knowing that Ennis customers, living and working in the communities they served, had developed a close contact with the consumer, Ennis committed to serving this distributor market.
Realizing that their customers were becoming
more dependent upon the service and products that Ennis could supply, during the 1950’s Ennis expanded its product line to include unit sets, register forms and continuous forms. The company was fast becoming a one-source supplier for this new market.
Starting in 1949 Ennis expanded with the opening of a second major plant in Chatham, VA to serve the eastern part of the U.S. Then in 1956, a third plant opened in Paso Robles, CA to serve the western market. DeWitt, Iowa became the home for a snap-a-part plant in 1967. These plant openings paved the way for a period of acquisition beginning in 1967. During the next four years Ennis acquired plants in Portland, OR; Ft. Scott, KS; Wolfe City,
TX; and Knoxville, TN. The expansion
allowed Ennis to offer customers better service, more versatile product lines and closer proximity to regional markets.
Ennis and its customers prospered.
During the 1970’s Ennis turned to a new direction to continue its growth. Single product plants were added in Moultrie, GA and Coshocton, OH. These new plants provided flexibility and production efficiencies that translated to better service to each
of their marketing areas.
The acquisition of Admore in Macomb, MI in 1991 began a new surge of acquisition activity. From the nineties to today Ennis has grown into new product lines and markets with the acquisitions of industry leaders like Adams McClure, Northstar, General Financial Supply, Calibrated Forms, Block Graphics and Trade Envelopes. In 2004, Ennis expanded its product offering with the acquisition of Alstyle Apparel, an Anaheim based apparel manufacturer. This acquisition doubled the size of the company to more than $500 million in revenue.
Today Ennis consists of two distinct groups: Printing and Apparel. Our large and diversified product offering make Ennis a great partner for distributors. Ennis is grateful to its many customers who have contributed to this long and successful history. As customers present new opportunities, Ennis is well positioned for the many challenges that lie ahead. In the future, as in the past, Ennis will continue to be your “Partner
to Grow With.”