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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SB-52
Corporate Name: J. B. King sawmill
Local Name:
Owner Name: J. B. King sawmill
Location: Henry Hogan farm east of Hemphill
County: Sabine
Years in Operation: 2 years
Start Year: 1939
End Year: 1940
Decades: 1930-1939,1940-1949
Period of Operation: 1939 to 1940
Town: East of Hemphill
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Sawn lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Unknown
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 
Capacity Comments: Unknown
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Semi-portable. Could be taken apart and moved in a week.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Unknown
Historicial Development: Alfred F. Bobbitt writes that his father, A. F. “Fonzie” Bobbitt, did contract logging for the J. B. King sawmill “from late 1939 to about mid-1942.” King was doing contract sawing and milling for Temple Lumber; the lumber was delivered to the Pineland kilns. King's operation defines the essence of “peckerwood” logging and sawing, in that he could move his operation fairly quickly from one contract area to another, alight, cut out, and get out. Mr. Bobbitt explains that King first sawmilled at the Henry Hogan farm east of Hemphill in the direction of Sabinetown, “first road to the left near the Pollygotch Creek.” Early in 1940, the mill was moved to “the CCC road further east on the road running north and south just before the Sabinetown to Texas Highway 21 on the north, but only a mile or two north of the Sabinetown road.” Later that year, the sawmill moved to the Eli Low farm located on Texas Highway 87 halfway between Milam and Hemphill. It moved later “to a CC road near the Sabine River between Tatum and Easton, about seven or eight miles north, northwest of Tatum, . .”. Later in 1941 or early in 1942, the mill was at or near the Jesse James farm about a mile east of Geneva on Highway 21. It was moved next to the north about four or five miles on a red dirt road. The last place that Mr. Bobbitt knew, the mill was near the Lows Chapel School close to Pendleton “on the northern end of the north-south CCC road already mentioned.” Alfred F. Bobbitt worked for his father, first driving “a six mule/horse team log wagon . . . and then a log truck.” The J. B. King is an excellent example of the type of transient work that small sawmills did. They often worked contract for a much larger firm, setting up in a temporary location, letting “the light in,” then tearing down and moving on to the next location. Drayton Speights recalled to Vernon L. Beasley that the company had no pond and that it did not use a planer.
Research Date: MCJ 02-13-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson