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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: LI-74
Corporate Name: Peoples Lumber & Supply Company
Local Name: Peoples Lumber & Feed Company
Owner Name: Peoples Lumber & Supply Company with Joe E. Harris and son, Bob Harris
Location: Dayton
County: Liberty
Years in Operation: 25 years
Start Year: 1932
End Year: 1956
Decades: 1930-1939,1940-1949,1950-1959
Period of Operation: 1932 to 1956
Town: Dayton
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Pine lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 20000: 1940
Capacity Comments: 20,000 board feet daily
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Unknown
Historicial Development: The Peoples Lumber & Supply Company at Dayton was listed in 1957 edition of Directory of Wood-Using and Related Industries in East Texas. Jonathan Gerland, archivist of the Tyrrell Library at Beaumont, interviewed Bob Harris on February 23, 1995. Mr. Harris stated that his father, Joe E. Harris, bought the Dayton sawmill lumber yard of South Texas Hardwood Company (W. W. West) in 1928. Harris moved the retail lumber business into an old rice and feed store warehouse in Dayton town proper, and assumed the name of Peoples Lumber and Feed Supply Company, modeled after the name of the feed store. Harris supplemented his retail and feed business in 1931 by using “groundhog” sawmills in the area to mill rough lumber into derrick timbers for local oil companies. The Depression had created a relationship between oil companies and sawmills; this continued until derricks were made of steel. Bob Harris built a stationary steam sawmill plant at Dayton in 1932. It operated until 1956, when Bob, Joe E. Harris's son, left milling because of still labor competition with oil and shipping interests in southeast Texas. Joe E. Harris also owned veneer operations at Newton, 1936-1938, and Spring, 1936-1940.
Research Date: JKG 12-14-93, MCJ 03-14-96
Prepared By: J Gerland, M Johnson