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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-43
Corporate Name: Freeman Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Freeman Lumber Company: James R. Freeman, Ralph Leggett. Polk County Lumber Company.
Location: Leggett: at 116 and Southern Pacific tracks
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 18 years
Start Year: 1880
End Year: 1897
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899
Period of Operation: From about 1880 to at least 1897
Town: Leggett
Company Town: 2
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
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 50000: 1893
Capacity Comments: 50,000 feet daily in 1893
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill and planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Houston East and West Texas at Leggett
Historicial Development: Freeman and Leggett may have been sawmilling at Leggett from the first days the Houston East & West Texas passed through Leggett. They bought out one of their competitors, the Polk County Lumber Company, in 1892, according to W. T. Block. The Leggett Lumber Company, possibly a company separate from the Freeman Lumber Company of James R. Freeman and Ralph Leggett, took over the lease of the former Polk Lumber Company, which had earlier conveyed it to the Y. M. Langdon Lumber Company. The Freeman Lumber Company was reported to be cutting 50,000 feet daily of lumber at Leggett in 1893. Whether Freeman Lumber was destroyed in one or two fires in either 1896 or 1897 cannot be definitively resolved now. It is known that the Galveston Daily News, September 26, 1896, reported that Freeman Lumber had been destroyed in a fire a few weeks earlier and that the firm was attempting to rebuild the mill. Ruth Peebles believes that it burned again in 1897, along with the planer and two million feet of lumber. No historical record of the Freeman Lumber Company at Leggett survives after that year. Keeling reported that the company operated a narrow gauge tram line with one tram engine. The Y. M. Langdon company had earlier obtained a lease from the Polk County Lumber Company for the latter's planing mill, situated on twenty-three acres near Leggett. A Polk County filed bill of sale records that the lease included the mill, its machinery, tenant housing and improvements, and all its lumber.
Research Date: MCJ 02-26-96, JKG 9-8-94
Prepared By: M. Johnson, J Gerland