Independent Stave Breaks Ground on $18 Million Marshall County Mill

Independent Stave Breaks Ground on $18 Million Marshall County Mill

Bill Stephens

September 21st, 2016



FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin today joined local officials in Benton and Independent Stave Co. LLC executives to break ground on the company’s second Kentucky mill, which will produce barrel staves for the bourbon and whiskey industries.

The $18 million project will create 47 full-time positions and provide the company with additional production capacity and flexibility.

“Our state always welcomes new additions to its flourishing bourbon industry, particularly when it’s by a group with Independent Stave Company’s track record,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Independent Stave Company’s growth over the past two years speaks volumes about its ability to thrive in a competitive market. We are grateful for their continued investment  and look forward to watching their success in the months and years ahead.”

ISC will construct a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art stave mill on a 48-acre property in Marshall County. Company executives expect to complete the project by July 2017. The company’s Morehead Wood Products mill in Rowan County opened in September 2015. Since then, it added second and third shifts, increasing employment to more than 100.

The Morehead mill supplies – as will the new Marshall County mill – the company’s cooperages in Lebanon, Ky. and Missouri. The new stave mill will increase the number of barrels the cooperages craft each year. The company’s previous sourcing of white oak logs from Marshall County factored into its decision to select the site.

“We are committed to pursuing any project or product that will support the continued growth, innovation and quality of Kentucky’s bourbon industry and the wine and spirits sectors as a whole,” confirmed Brad Boswell, ISC president. “This mill is a strategic addition to our portfolio and representative of our long-term vision to serve our customers with a diverse range of high quality barrels and ever-increasing supply. This investment also mirrors current and future expansion to our cooperage operations, which will bring our production to record levels. It’s an exciting time for our family business as we support the growth our customers are also experiencing.”

ISC, a family-owned cooperage company, reaches distilleries, wineries and breweries in more than 40 countries. The Boswell family founded the company in 1912, first as a domestic supplier of staves, and today as a cooperage company crafting a wide range of barrels and oak products. More than a century since its founding, ISC still embraces the core values of family, innovation, community and hard work.

The company owns six stave mills in total – one in northeastern France – and five American oak mills. Those include the Morehead facility, two in Missouri, one in Indiana and one in Ohio. ISC also owns and operates six cooperages. In 1983 it purchased the Lebanon, Ky. cooperage, known as Kentucky Cooperage, where it currently employs 400 people.

Sen. Danny Carroll, of Paducah, wished the company well moving forward.

“I am glad that ISC has completed its project and will soon be up and operating,” Sen. Carroll said. “It should be a point of pride for Marshall County that it has a new economic partner so involved in one of Kentucky’s fastest-growing industries. I wish ISC well in all of its future endeavors and I look forward to the company’s partnership with our local community.”

Rep. Will Coursey, of Benton, laid out why this event is so special to the community.

“Today’s groundbreaking is important for four special reasons,” Rep. Coursey said. “First, it represents a major step forward for ISC and, second, it is the latest in a string of positive job announcements for Marshall County. This new site will add even more value to a hardwood industry that already leads the South, and it means we are about to play an even larger role in Kentucky’s booming bourbon business. I’m proud to see ISC take this step, and I want to thank its leaders for investing here and creating so many jobs.”

Benton Mayor Rita Dotson noted the significance of the additional employment.

“We are excited to see ISC construct their state-of-the-art stave mill in our community,” Mayor Dotson said. “The added investment and jobs will be most important to our local economy and workforce.”

Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal said he’s eager to watch the company grow.

“ISC is locating their second mill here in Marshall County,” Judge Neal said. “They will bring 48 new full-time jobs and an estimated $12 million to the county. We look forward to watching this company grow in our community and have a positive economic impact to the area.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March preliminarily approved American Stave Co., a subsidiary of ISC, for tax incentives up to $750,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.  

Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $200,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

The company can also receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.

More information on ISC and American Stave Co. is available at and

A detailed community profile for Marshall County can be viewed at

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