The company’s bleakest period began in October, 1929, when the stock market crashed triggering the beginning of a ten year economic slump. Rather than close its doors, as many companies did, Foxworth-Galbraith adjusted to the changed conditions and focused on financial prudence and adherence to the company’s core principles.
In November 1931, W.L. Foxworth, H.W. Galbraith, and J.C. Galbraith sent a cautious memo to all members of the organizations summarizing the company’s challenging economic situation and providing a road map for survival.
“Hoping that conditions might improve this Fall in our business, we have done very little in the way of salary reduction, preferring to take a loss for a year rather than to take steps which would entail too heavy hardships on those who have been working so loyally and faithfully with us. The result has been that we are losing money heavily every month to such an extent that the capital of this company will be perilously impaired by the end of the year.”
Recovery from the Depression was slow and steady under the leadership of W.L. Foxworth, who became president of the company in 1936, with the passing of one of the original founders, H.W. Galbraith.
For the nation and for Foxworth-Galbraith, US entry into World War II brought a new set of complexities and challenges. Many valued employees departed to serve their country in the military. Tire and gasoline rationing, complex price controls, and priority allocation systems for building materials made the daily routine of business more complicated than ever. To help provide lumber for its customers in this time of scarcity, Foxworth-Galbraith bought and operated a saw mill in Arkansas.