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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SH-79
Corporate Name: Gunter Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Gunter Lumber Company. Joe Sherman. Buck Williams and sons Grover, Houston, and Elmer.
Location: Patroon: two different sites in town
County: Shelby
Years in Operation: 21 years
Start Year: 1940
End Year: 1960
Decades: 1940-1949,1950-1959,1960-1969
Period of Operation: From the 1940s to the early 1960s
Town: Patroon
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 100 in 1946. A commissary and some tenant housing.
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Probably steam
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: Sawmill and later a planer
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe
Historicial Development: The Williams had been in the sawmill business in the counties of Nacogdoches and Shelby during the 1940s. W. Hall remembered when interviewed by Vernon L. Beasley that “Williams Lumber” had been sawmilling during the 1940s before it moved to Mauriceville. This mill was located in the forks of the road near Don Dickerson's Cafe. Joe Sherman bought the mill and moved it to the north side of town. The Sabine County Deed Records reveal that Joe Sherman and M. D. Spinks owned the Sherman Lumber Company in 1940. In 1947, Joe Sherman drowned in the Sabine River. The obituary revealed his sawmill was near Patroon, in Shelby County. Sherman was thirty-nine years old when he died. W. E. Gunter et al, on December 31, 1949, sold the Gunter Lumber Company to James A. Gunter et al for $65,000 in cash and notes. Equipment included nine trucks, an Allis tractor, eight log trailers, three floats, seven mules, sawmill and equipment, and 500,000 feet of lumber. Three years later, James A. Gunter sold the mill back to W. E. Gunter et al for notes of $65,000. The mill 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 reported that J. H. Gunter had formed a partnership in 1953. The small plant of less than ten workers was producing finished pine lumber. History of Shelby County noted the mill burned in the early 1960s. The Handbook of Texas reported that in 1946 Patroon had several sawmills, a school, two stores, a church, and about one hundred people. Ricky Lout told Vernon L. Beasley that Houston Gunner operated a sawmill plant and company town at Patroon during the 1950s. Gunner provided his workers with a commissary and tenant housing.
Research Date: MCJ 02-29-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson