The workforce at the O'Sullivan Industries plant in Lamar is down to a few dozen now, according to the Lamar Chat message board on Lamarmo.com. (A link to the site is featured on the right-hand side of this page.)
Having a site like Lamar Chat has been one way of helping people deal with a horrible situation. In just a few short years, a plant that at one time employed more than 1,200 now appears to be down to two digits.
Among the posts on the message board:
"My hubby is still there, he is the last computer programmer they have now."
And this one, posted just a little over three hours ago:
"All of maintenance but 5 people just got their walking papers."
From the sounds of the posts on the message board, Lamar residents are not just rolling over and crying about the loss, but plan to fight to keep things going. Oldtimers remember that when the LawnBoy plant closed in the mid-60s, Tom O'Sullivan came to town and built something even better. The Tom O'Sullivans of this world are few and far between, as the Newell Rubbermaid Mafia that succeeded the O'Sullivan clan at the company's helm found out, but here's hoping that history repeats itself and another major employer will find its way to Lamar.