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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: OR-1
Corporate Name: A. K. Norris
Local Name: Norris Mill
Owner Name: A. K. Norris, leased to Thomas and Van De Mark, and leased to W. F. Stewart & Co
Location: Orange
County: Orange
Years in Operation: 5 years
Start Year: 1877
End Year: 1881
Decades: 1870-1879,1880-1889
Period of Operation: 1877 to November 19, 1881
Town: Orange
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber, sash, doors, windows
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Other
Power Source: A 100-horsepower steam engine with three boilers.
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 35000: 1880
Capacity Comments: 35000 to 40000 feet daily
Produced:
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: A sawmill with 4-gang saws and one circular, two planers, and a sash, door and window factory.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Texas & New Orleans
Historicial Development: A. K. Norris moved his machinery from his milling operation in Wisconsin to Orange in 1877 to start a new sawmill. The operation was located on lots 3, 4, and 5 in block 1, Orange. Alexander Gilmer apparently contested the ownership of the mill house in June 1878, but did not win. In September 1878, Thomas and Van De Mark leased the mill. Later it was leased to W. F. Stewart & Co, Galveston, in October 1879. The Stewart mill, according to the 1880 Census, was capitalized at $20,000. An average of forty-five workers for eleven and a half hour days drew daily wages of $3.50 for skilled labor and $1.50 for unskilled. Stewart paid $20,000 annually in wages. The plant operated for the twelve months of the reporting period. From sawlogs worth $60,000 and supplies valued at $5,500, the mill manufactured ten million feet of lumber valued at $95,000. The sash and door factory employed six men and remanufactured 40,000 feet of lumber. The company did not do its own logging. The mill site burned on November 19, 1881. Because of losses of almost $30,0000 and quite an amount of lumber as well, W. F. Stewart & Co. and Norris did not rebuild the mill.
Research Date: MCJ 3-23-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson