Carrying on family tradition

By Jeff Zeringue / Louisiana Logger

Just about every father hopes to pass something of value to the next generation, hoping that the legacy started will live on. For Clay and Craig Ingles, the hand-off came a bit abruptly, but they are rising to the challenge.

The Ingles brothers are carrying on the family business of logging to another generation at a young age. Clay, 31 and Craig, 24, have transitioned Ingles Logging into two companies: Clay Ingles Trucking and JCI Logging (the JCI stands for Jamison Craig Ingles).

Wallace Wayne Ingles ran Ingles Logging for 35 years before his death in June 2018. A few years before, Wayne Ingles helped his sons get started in showing them the ropes of running their own businesses: managing people, jobs, taxes and all that goes with operating a logging company.

“He taught me everything,” Clay Ingles said, which included more than just running a business.

One of the important things the younger Ingles learned from their dad is bigger doesn’t always mean better. It might not have been by direct instruction but by experience.

“Dad grew (the business) fast,” Clay Ingles said. “He had 15 crews and I figure he had 70 hands.”

The sons said they remember family vacations when they were young. Oftentimes the family would be out enjoying themselves and soon their father would receive a business call. That meant he spent a lot of the time on the phone taking care of a problem at work.

“There was so much going on,” Craig Ingles said.

“It was so much stress,” younger brother Craig Ingles said.

That stress is what the brothers fear had affected their father’s health. About five years ago, Wayne Ingles fell ill at the shop and was taken to the hospital, the brothers said. It was determined ulcers were the cause of his illness. Soon after his condition improved and everything returned to just about normal.

Almost as quickly as the illness subsided it returned. This time, however, the ulcers could not be cured. Then, only a few days short of his 60th birthday, Wayne Ingles succumbed.

In continuing their father’s legacy, the Ingles have downsized considerably.