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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: MO-48
Corporate Name: Conroe Lumber Corporation
Local Name:
Owner Name: Conroe Lumber: J. H. Kurth, Jr., president; E. L. Kurth, vice president; J. L. Spotten, secretary; J. H. Castleman, superintendent. Delta Land & Timber Company, a Central Coal and Coke Company subdivision.
Location: Adjacent to the southern city limits of Conroe
County: Montgomery
Years in Operation: 25 years
Start Year: 1915
End Year: 1939
Decades: 1910-1919,1920-1929,1930-1939
Period of Operation: Delta, 1915; Conroe lumber leased then bought, 1933 to 1939
Town: Conroe
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 1,096 in 1906; 4000,1928; 2547 in 1934; 100 houses,1935
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Both companies had a history of manufacturing products from southern yellow pine and hardwoods.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam-powered engines.
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 150000: 1928
Capacity Comments: Delta Land & Timber milled 100,000 to 150,000 feet daily and planed 200,000 daily feet in 1928. Capacity would have been similar for Conroe Lumber Corporation, for it made no major technological changes at the sawmill.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Delta installed either two band saws or a band saw and a 52-gang saw. 1928: Band sawmill, planing mill, resaw, trimmers, dry kilns, logging road, electric light plant, and commissary
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: International & Great Northern, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, and a 20-mile logging tram road, the Conroe, Byspot & Northern.
Historicial Development: Central Coal & Coke Company announced in 1914 that its subdivision Delta Land & Timber Company would construct a sawmill facility at Conroe. The mill began operations on July 8, 1915. Fire, in 1924, ravaged the plant, destroying twelve Moore dry kilns, 1.4 million feet of lumber, a cooling shed, two big sorting sheds, and 2599 feet of an overhead monorail system. Delta Land & Timber leased the complex to Conroe Lumber Company in 1933 and then sold it to Conroe Lumber in 1935. The Conroe Lumber Corporation operated the Delta (4-C) mill, on lease, from July 1933 until the end of October 1935. Ownership of the mill then transferred to Conroe Lumber the first week of November, 1935. Included in the transfer was the old J. O. H. Bennette logging tram, the Conroe, Byspot & Northern, with two Delta locomotives and seventy-five to eighty log cars. Throughout Conroe Lumber operations, the mill was poorly supplied with logs. The mill was closed often, sometimes for a month or more, because of this reason. Use of the Delta tram was closed, and logging was done off spurs on the main lines. Conroe Lumber had rail sidings (for banking logs) at Rye, Timber, and Kountze, on the Santa Fe, and at Crockett, on the International & Great Northern. The availability of timber was sporadic, and, when it did come, managers reported logging operations in a favorable light, commenting that the loggers were trying hard "to beat the band." The mill permanently closed in November, 1939, because of a lack of timber.
Research Date: JKG 923-93, MCJ 03-19-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson