After completing his military service, seeing action in the European Theatre of Operations including the Battle of the Bulge, Cecil was honorably discharged on December 23, 1945, and settled in Los Angeles where he went to work for the National Plastic Company, NAPLASCO, in 1946. It was there that he learned the “plastics business”, which was still in its infant stages. While at National, he noticed a folding machine sitting idle and after inquiring, found that no one knew how to run the machine. Working all night, he figured out for himself how the machine operated and learned to make plastic sheet protectors. This kind of initiative led to his promotion to plant manager.
Meanwhile, his younger brother, Tirey spent much of his high school time involved in sports, playing football, basketball and running track at Seymour High School and developing his life-long competitive nature. After graduation, he attended Pepperdine University in California where he also played football. Tirey then went on to a business partnership in the excavation business with Melvin Delzer in Selby, South Dakota. In March of 1951, Tirey was drafted and served at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland until his discharge in March of 1953.
Immediately after his discharge Tirey drove from Maryland to Los Angeles to meet Cecil and finalize their business plans. With military service behind them, the Samsill brothers decided it was time to pursue the vow they’d made in that cornfield back home twelve years before. By this time Cecil had been working for six years at National Plastic and was successful in his job as their plant manager. While it was difficult to leave this secure environment, he knew that there would probably not be a better time for them to step out on their own. With Cecil’s knowledge of plastics manufacturing and Tirey’s competitive nature, the brothers returned to Texas, this time to Fort Worth, and began the preliminary steps required to start their own business.
Licenses and permits were obtained and April 1, 1953 was declared the official opening day of Samsill Brothers Plastic Company. The company’s first location was in downtown Fort Worth at 106 West 15th Street in a rented space behind the Richelieu Bar, where the Fort Worth Water Gardens are located today. Plastic badges and protectors were hand-folded and molded in an oven, and a domestic sewing machine was used for stitched products. From that first location, the company moved to the garage of the home Cecil, Jean, their two oldest daughters, Celia and Mary, and Tirey shared. The garage had a dirt floor, which proved to be a very difficult environment for producing clear plastic products. Their next move was to a home with a cement garage floor, where a neighbor’s complaint about the noise in the quiet residential area prompted another move in 1955 to rented space on Nashville Street.
Business was so good that Tirey soon had to quit his second job at Brakefield Electric. The business was not the only thing to experience growth and excitement. In 1954 there was an addition to the Samsill family when Tirey fell in love with Loretta Culpepper and they were married on October 9, 1954. Tirey and Loretta were blessed with a son Mark and a daughter Susan, who each have three children of their own.
In an early 1956 newspaper article and advertisement, the company had adopted “Chrystal Clear” as a trademark and had over 165 stock products, mostly manufactured from clear plastics. Samsill Bros. big break came in 1956 when they were awarded a GSA contract to make 6 million sheet protectors for the U.S. government. According to Cecil, this was the most significant factor in its accelerated growth. The contract forced the company to invest in automated equipment to handle the volume of business it generated. The Samsill brothers worked with Don Reeves’ machine shop on developing high speed folding equipment that would convert raw material into finished folded product. They could produce sizes from 2.5” x 1.5” all the way up to newspaper size, 24” x 18.5”. They eventually bought the machine shop and brought it into Samsill as CDT (Cecil, Don, and Tirey) Corporation.
As their business grew, they expanded until they had three rented spaces on Nashville. The brothers bought their first building in 1958 when an old ice house across the street from their rented properties became available. Once this building was converted and a second story added to accommodate RF sealing equipment, the growing company had 9,000 square feet of manufacturing space.