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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: CK-4
Corporate Name: Chronister Lumber Company
Local Name: Wildhurst
Owner Name: 1896: C. J. Chronister, E. R. Maddox, and A. P. Brindley. 1901: Louis Lipsitz, S. W. Littlejohn. 1911: A. Harris as secretary-treasurer, who became general manager in 1914.
Location: Wildhurst, (Chronister's Siding, Durham Switch): highways 2707 and 2723
County: Cherokee
Years in Operation: 49 years
Start Year: 1896
End Year: 1944
Decades: 1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919,1920-1929,1930-1939,1940-1949
Period of Operation: 1896 to 1944
Town: Wildhurst
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 123 in 1905, 400 in 1928; 260 in 1934
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Yellow 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: 75000: 1928
Capacity Comments: 75,000 feet daily in 1928
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: 1928: Circular sawmill, planing mill, edgers, trimmers, dry kilns, two large Baldwin locomotives, twenty-eight logging cars, thirty-two miles of logging tram, commissary, thirty-five tenant houses.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt)
Historicial Development: Milton A. Smith moved his small sawmill from Beaver Creek to Chronister's Siding about 1900. Chronister Lumber Company was incorporated in 1898 with a directorate of C. J. Chronister, E. R. Maddox, and A. P. Brindley. On January 1, 1901, the new officers were J. Lipsitz, president, and S. W. Littlejohn, general manager. The town became Wildhurst after the Smith Mill was purchased by Louis Lipsitz and S W. Littlejohn. Additionally, the C. J. Chronister “little” and “big” sawmills and planing mills plus the commissary, locomotive, logging tram equipment, and tenant company were sold to Chronister Lumber. Sam Littlejohn managed the Chronister operation nearly its entire career. Chronister was listed in the 1905 and 1907 Reference Book of the Lumbermen's Credit Association ratings as a mill manufacturing yellow pine lumber. The owners enlarged the mill and improved its cutting capacity, replaced oxen and mules with logging trams, and added a planing mill. In 1915, the company mill at Wildhurst was reported to be cutting daily 75,000 feet of yellow pine. The company mill and planer at Bodan was relocated to Wildhurst in 1923. On December 15, 1944, with the consent of all stockholders, Chronister Lumber Company was dissolved, and the mill buildings, the commissary, and the tenant housing were dismantled and moved. According to John W. Smith, the mill foreman from 1919 to 1944, claimed that no strike ever occurred at Wildhurst. Although seventy-five percent of the work force was African-American, no black foreman ever worked at Wildhurst. The highest paying jobs blacks could get were block setters and edgermen. Each worker received the same rate of pay for his job. The blacks were segregated, of course, and had their own housing, dance hall, and probably school and church.
Research Date: MCJ 12-08-95
Prepared By: M. Johnson