Born into a family of 27 children, Doyle Green learned strong work ethics at an early age. His parents were farmers of cotton, peanuts, hogs, cows, goats, and chickens in the Dellwood/Two Egg area.
When Doyle was 13, his father died, after being drafted in the Army and while serving in the infantry. Only two years later Doyle’s three older brothers left to serve in World War II. Young Doyle went to Haines City, Florida, to stay with his sister. Since he was only 15 years old, no one would hire him. The resourceful Doyle took out a $500 accident policy for a 20-year period, which cost him at that time 10 cents a week. Then, he lied about his age to obtain a job sleeving juice boxes for WWII soldiers overseas.
The job ran out when the warehouse was empty, so he returned home with a little money and helped his mom with the farm. According to Doyle, Mr. R. Hamilton was working for Lovett’s Grocery Store in downtown Marianna on Green Street, where Nifty Cleaners used to be located. Piggly Wiggly was in the same building with Lovett’s Grocery Store and Dr. Pierce lived in a house where Regions Bank is today. Doyle began working for Mr. Hamilton in produce at Lovett’s Grocery Store at $13 per week. After he had a little experience under his belt, he changed over to A & P, which was located in the Russ Building next to where Watson’s Medequip Store is today. A & P paid Doyle $23 a week and he worked there for four years.
While he was working for A & P, Doyle lived with the Wynn family near the former Marianna High School location on Daniels Street. Mr. Wynn was a beverage agent for the State of Florida. Eventually, Doyle moved to Daffin Bottom, where he lived with the three Wynn brothers. A & P transferred him to Tallahassee, where he earned $32 a week. There was just one problem. His rent was $18 a week. Doyle requested to be transferred to another location, where he would have cheaper living quarters. The company denied the transfer and he quit.
Doyle returned home and Mrs. W. B. Sangaree hired him to work at her gas station. Doyle went to work at 5 a.m. and delivered kerosene around town. At 8 a.m. Mrs. Sangaree helped him with the deliveries. Once the deliveries were complete, he returned to the station to work until 8 p.m. Doyle worked six days a week for $23 per week.
After three months Doyle left his job at the gas station, but was unable find local employment. So, he returned to Haines City to pick oranges. On the first day when his pack was half-full and his ladder slipped, Doyle decided this job was not for him either. Doyle began traveling home. In Lake City he purchased an Army motorcycle for $50 and picked up an AWOL Army hitchhiker.
Once Doyle was back in Marianna, he stopped at Lambe’s Welding. Mr. Lambe’s son-in-law asked the owner to give Doyle a job. Doyle was hired to sweep the floors for $23 a week. Mr. Lambe had owned a Pontiac Oakland Business in the late 1920s that had been unsuccessful. So, he had opened a black smith shop to make hooks and set grabs for loggers. Mr. Lambe was an extremely smart man. He took the motors out of some old cars he had and hooked them to P & H generators. This created portable welders. He bought oxygen out of Mobile, Alabama when he started out. He made a generator using carbine in the top and acetylene gas to form a cutting torch for welding.
Doyle was drafted into the Army and served two years as a computer operator on M31 radars. When he returned, Mr. Lambe gave Doyle his job back. After the war was over around 1945, Mr. Lambe built a building for his son and son-in-law. Mr. Lambe wanted his son to be an engineer, but he became a physician. Percy Wilson married Mr. Lambe’s daughter, Hope, when he was working at Graham Air Force base as a radio technician for the Air Force. After Doyle returned, Percy left the area to work for what is now known as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Doyle continued to work for Mr. Lambe. Eventually, the blacksmith business was no longer profitable. However, Mr. Lambe was a good instructor. Over time Doyle learned all aspects of the business. Doyle bought a lot on Jackson Street, and for 18 years he managed the business and hired help. During this time he fell in love with Mamie Ayers, but her mother would not allow marriage until the young woman finished high school. After he married Mamie, their family grew to include two children, Van and Kevin. Van lives in Tallahassee and works for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Kevin has one child Taylor Green. Kevin died suddenly on Dec. 4, 2018.
In 1965 Doyle bought the shop and built the business. He was a firm believer in working beside his employees. He worked as a welder, machinist, and blacksmith, and continued to sweep floors. He has one employee who has been with him for 54 years. In 1985 Doyle purchased some containers for leasing. He sold the chemicals and supplemented his income.
Doyle ran for County Commissioner twice and State Representative once. In retrospect, Doyle is glad he was not elected. He was in the Elks Club for 44 years and the Kiwanis Club for 40 years. He also served in the Marianna Jaycees. Doyle is a member of First Baptist Church and the Fishermen Sunday School Class. As a business man Doyle built three commercial buildings.
Doyle is now 91 years old and works every day. Doyle has been a successful business man for many years, despite his father dying when he was very young and his fifth-grade education. Mamie worked at Citizen State Bank for 21 years and for the Jackson County School Board in records for 14 years. Mamie now works as the secretary for Lambe’s Welding. Every day is a challenge in the welding business, but Doyle loves seeing and helping people.
Hurricane Michael hit Lambe’s Welding hard. Doyle lost $250,000 in inventory and $800,000 in pine trees. The building that belonged to Mr. Lambe is completely destroyed. Dr. Greg Lambe owns the property now and there are no known plans for rebuilding. Doyle is operating in temporary buildings at the site and out of the Cake by Marti building.
Visit Doyle Peel at Lambe’s Welding Supply, LLC at 4407 Jackson Street Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Doyle and Mame can be reached by phone at (850) 209-0476. What a great man and business to have in Marianna! Visit the City of Marianna’s website at http://www.mariannafl.city/335/New-Businesses-and-Other-Community-News to learn more about businesses in Marianna.
Kay Dennis, MBA, MPA, A.I.C.P., is the director of Municipal Development for the City of Marianna.