By 1853 Jesse Warren (1814-1885) and his partner Joseph Moore (1821-1871) had established a millwork machine shop on Nashville’s High Street. Four years later, the nearly fifty employees of Warren & Moore were using the era’s most modern steam powered equipment to produce balusters, newels, sash, doors, blinds, moldings, and dressed lumber of all kinds.
Jesse Warren Jr. (b. 1853) and his brother Joseph M. (b. 1855) continued their father’s business tradition. In 1874 they established a business at 30 South Market Street specializing in paints, oils, glass, and artist’s materials but also offering sash, doors, blinds, and other building materials. Two years later, Warren Brothers Company moved to the corner of Third Avenue and Church Street, remaining there for the next fifty years.
From 1892 to 1911 Joseph Warren also served as general manager of the Edgefield & Nashville Manufacturing Company. Sometime before 1910 Jesse Jr. left the company, and according to family lore, “went west.” The company continued under Joseph Warren and his descendants, Joseph Warren Jr. (1877-1943) and Joseph Warren III (1907-1968).
In 1909, capitalizing on the success of Warren Brothers in the paint business, Joseph Warren Jr. founded the Warren Paint and Color Company. This firm attained international distinction and today continues its operations on Wedgewood Avenue, its location since the early 1920s. Around 1927 Warren Brothers moved to Broadway, before relocating to Seventh Avenue and Harrison Street in 1936. The latter site is now a part of the Bicentennial Mall.
On May 22, 1967, Pacific Mutual Door Company purchased Warren Brothers and built it a new plant on Massman Drive, where the company began operations in 1975. Operating as an independent branch of the parent company, Warren Brothers Sash and Door company continues to distribute wholesale millwork in the Mid-South.