Ruffin & Payne, Inc. had its beginning in 1892 when Mr. Joseph Fourqurean helped set up his son, Joseph P. Fourqurean along with Thomas C. Ruffin in a business selling coal, fire wood, some lumber and animal feed for the dairy farmers around Richmond. The business was named "Fourqurean and Ruffin" and located on a piece of land owned by Mr. Fourqurean in northside Richmond adjacent to the Highland Park neighborhood.
Early in the 1900s the lumber and building materials portion of the business increased to the extent that the company began to phase out coal and firewood sales. As sales increased the company expanded its operation next to Highland Park by purchasing another block of land in order to build additional storage sheds and a woodworking mill shop.
In 1912 Mr. Fourqurean sold his share to his partners - Thomas C. Ruffin and R. Tyler English and the company was renamed "Ruffin & English". In 1916 Mr. English sold his interest to Albert W. Payne and later in 1925 the company was incorporated under the current name as "Ruffin & Payne".