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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: CK-23
Corporate Name: Edwards Brothers Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Hugh Clete Edwards and Robert Lee Edwards
Location: Two miles north of Rusk: east of 69, north of 343, west of tracks
County: Cherokee
Years in Operation: 22 years
Start Year: 1936
End Year: 1957
Decades: 1930-1939,1940-1949,1950-1959
Period of Operation: 1936 to 1957
Town: Rusk
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Other
Power Source: Steam: two boilers, one Monarch Corliss 16-inch by 24-inch steam engine
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 75000: 1945
Capacity Comments: 75,000
Produced:
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: A circular sawmill and a planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: St Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt)
Historicial Development: Brothers Hugh Clete and Robert Lee Edwards bought the lands of the defunct New Birmingham Development Company near Rusk and established the Edwards Brothers Lumber Company in 1936. The brothers previously ran sawmills in Arkansas and in Bastrop County, Texas. Edwards Brothers became Cherokee County's largest lumber manufacturing concern. It sold its products through the W. H. Norris Lumber Company. R.L.'s death in 1951 and H.C.'s illness at that time prompted the company to begin liquidating its assets. The cutting capacity probably was close to 75,000 feet daily. The new electric planer was installed in 1951 and was powered by a 100-horsepower General Electric (440 v. @ 870 rpm.) motor. Receipts from Lufkin Foundry, however, are found within the company's records dated as late as 1957. And, in that year, it was listed in Samson's Directory of Wood-Using and Related Industries in East Texas. Cherokee County History states that Robert Lavelle “Billie” Edwards, son of Robert Lee Edwards, sold the mill in 1952. Mrs. Robert Lee Edwards ran the commissary, assisted by Rosalie Byrum Kitchens who was succeeded by her sister, Eula May Byrum Daniels until the mill closed. C. F. Mehner worked as bookkeeper and office manager, and J. C. Banks later became assistant bookkeeper. Some of the workers included, among a work force of about twenty-five to thirty, W. C. Kyle, sawyer; S. T. Love, millwright; and O. C. Beasley, shipping clerk. A 1952 list of assets to be liquidated reveal the following: the mill had at least one 3-block carriage and a Cox oscillating steam log turner. The cutting equipment included a single circular saw mill, a 40-inch 3-saw edger, and three 20-inch edgers. A blade inventory included six circular bladesa a 90-tooth 7-gauge 62-inch circular saw, and five 48-inch saws calibrated the same as the 62-inch. The plant had one dry kiln.
Research Date: JKG 9-23-93, MCJ 12-08-95
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson