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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: OR-2
Corporate Name: A. T. Chenault & John McGehee
Local Name:
Owner Name: A. T. Chenault and John McGehee
Location: Probably near the Sabine River
County: Orange
Years in Operation: 7 years
Start Year: 1866
End Year: 1872
Decades: 1870-1879,1880-1889
Period of Operation: 1866 to 1872
Town: Near Sabine River?
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber, later cypress shingles
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: 
Capacity Comments: 20,000 to 80,000 shingles daily
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill and Muzzy upright shingle machine and later a Burt 14-block rotary machine
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Unknown
Historicial Development: Chenault and McGehee began lumber milling operations in 1866, probably near the Sabine River. Chenault bought out McGehee and converted the mill to shingle making. It was the first mill in the southwest to attempt to cut shingles from cypress timber. He installed first a Muzzy upright shingle machine, which cut 20,000 shingles daily. Then Chenault installed a Burt 14-block rotary machine, which could cut 80,000. When Chenault died in 1870, the mill went out of business. However, the Beaumont Neches Valley News of July 27, 1882, reported that “Business” at Orange “ is generally dull here, although the mills are all in operation, with the exception of that of Mr. Chenault, which has been stopped for some time in consequence of the depression in the shingle market. There is at present in the yard of the above mill about three million shingles held back for an advance in price.
Research Date: MCJ 3-23-96, JKG 2-7-95
Prepared By: M. Johnson, J. Gerland