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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-83
Corporate Name: Champion International Corporation.
Local Name:
Owner Name: Champion International, Inc. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. Georgia Pacific, Corp. Formerly, Reynolds- Wilson Lumber Company, Southwest Forest Industries, Southwest Lumber Mills, Corrigan Lumber Company, and Edens-Birch Lumber Company.
Location: Corrigan: off Highways 59 and 287
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 74 years
Start Year: 1923
End Year: 1996
Decades: 1920-1929,1930-1939,1940-1949,1950-1959,1960-1969,1970-1979,1980-1989,1990-1999,
Period of Operation: 1923, Edens-Birch (Corrigan Lumber Company, Southwest Forest Industries, Southwest Lumber Company). 1967, Reynolds-Wilson. 1969, Lou-Pac, Inc. 1974, Champion, Int'l.
Town: Corrigan
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: 1928: Hardwood and pine, specializing in crossties and cypress shingles and hardwood flooring. 1970s: plywood and particle-board. 1990: plywood and veneer.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: 1947: Diesel 165-horsepower engine. 1966: Steam, Electric.
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 25000: 192870000: 1958
Capacity Comments: 1928, 25,000. 1958 to 1966, 70,000 feet. 1972, 72 million square feet of plywood.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: 1928: Circular sawmill, planing mill, edgers, trimmers, dry kilns 1947: Circular saw, edger. 1953: 8-ft band head rig, resaw, edger, slashers, trimmers, planing mill. 1966: an electric band, barker, resaw, chipper, edger. 1971: particle-board and pi
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Houston East & West Texas (now Southern Pacific) and Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine (abandoned 1936). The company operated its own steam logging tram road.
Historicial Development: W. F. Edens moved his mill from Nathan to Corrigan in 1923 and ,formed the Edens-Birch Lumber Company. A company town was attached to the firm. A new mill was built in 1935, according to a 1952 article of The Gulf Coast Lumberman. In 1946, Corrigan Lumber Company (Jim Ben Edens, Sam Crawford, and H. V. Kiley), leased the Corrigan site and also leased then bought Cleveland Manufacturing Company, another W. F. Edens' firm. A fire in 1952 led to a newly rebuilt mill including a band head rig, a shot gun feed, a straight-line resaw, and a new drop sorter. On November 27, 1953, another fire ravaged the mill, destroying a pine planing mill, four storage sheds, the hardwood flooring plant, and two and a half million feet of lumber. In 1958, the firm had become the Edens-Birch Division of Southwest Lumber Mills, an Arizona-based operation headed by Edens. Jim Ben Edens was president and Lee Ben Zeagler of Lufkin, vice president. The new Corrigan mill with an electric band sawmill could cut 70,000 feet daily. Southwest Forest Industries sold its Edens-Birch division at Corrigan to Reynolds- Wilson Lumber Company in 1967, which sold it to Georgia-Pacific Corporation in 1969. Later, a Georgia-Pacific subsidiary, Lousiana-Pacific Corp., ran the facility. The mill continued manufacturing and selling rough lumber, dressed lumber, shavings and sawdust. In 1972, it produced forty-three million board feet. Georgia-Pacific built in 1971 a pine plywood plant with a 160,000,000 square-ft capacity for $10,000,000, adding 350 new jobs and a local payroll of $2 million. The new plant would be two miles north of Corrigan. The sawmill operation at the old Corrigan complex would be phased out with the opening of the plywood plant. Champion International exchanged in 1975 properties in Montana, California, and Washington for this plant. The mill was closed in 1975 for modernization, adding a particle-board plant producing seventy-two million that year. Champion International Corp. in 1995 continues to produce plywood and veneer at Corrigan.
Research Date: MCJ 02-27-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson