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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SA-9
Corporate Name: Greer-Downs-Knoll Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Greer-Downs-Knoll
Location: New Hope, FM 354
County: San Augustine
Years in Operation: 39 years
Start Year: 1921
End Year: 1959
Decades: 1920-1929,1930-1939,1940-1949,1950-1959
Period of Operation: 1921 to 1959
Town: New Hope
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Hardwood, pine, pulpwood chips by the 1950s
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: 40000: 1928
Capacity Comments: 40,000 feet daily
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: A sawmill unit, a chipper, a debarker, a planer, and two dry kilns
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe at San Augustine
Historicial Development: A sawmill plant operated near New Hope for many years. A bill of sale dated 10 February 1921 indicates that a mill had been moved a short distance to the Whitton place about seven miles west of San Augustine and then sold to J. R. Greer and R. C. Downs, who probably moved much of the equipment to their mill location near New Hope, several miles away. Robert C. Downs was one of the owners of the lumber facility by the name of Greer-Downs-Knoll in San Augustine County. The Gulf Coast Lumberman carried his obituary in 1948. Greer-Downs-Knoll appeared in the 1957 edition of Nelson T. Samson's Directory of Wood-Using and Related Industries in East Texas. The Directory of Texas Manufacturers 1956-1958 noted that the company was a partnership, formed in 1940, and that R. E. Knoll was the manager. In 1957, the plant employed less than twenty workers in the manufacture of rough and dressed pine lumber. Oral tradition gives some information about the mill. J. Nichols told interviewer V. L. Beasley that the he believed the “Greer & Downs” sawmill at New Hope, in San Augustine County, began in the early 1920s. J. Johnson believed the mill was located about eight miles northwest of San Augustine. Hubert Busby believes that the sawmill was cutting 30,000 feet of lumber daily during World War II.
Research Date: MCJ 02-19-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson