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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: WK-10
Corporate Name: Ball, Smithers & Co
Local Name:
Owner Name: John T. Smithers. James A. Hays and William Webb, Sr.
Location: Dodge
County: Walker
Years in Operation: 19 years
Start Year: 1882
End Year: 1900
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: 1882 to 1900
Town: Dodge
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: 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: 
Capacity Comments: Unknown
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: International & Great Northern
Historicial Development: James A. Hays was a postmaster at Dodge, in Walker County, when he began sawmilling about 1882. William Webb, Sr., soon became his partner. Hays bought his tram stock from the Josserand Brothers when they left Deckers Prairie in Montgomery County to go sawmill at Josserand, in Trinity County. Mounting financial difficulties began to plague the company, and it defaulted in 1891. The company was auctioned on the steps of the county courthouse to J. T. Smithers. Ball, Smithers Company operated a sawmill in Walker County. Smithers had sold a log wagon to sawmiller C. D. Oliphant sometime before 1898. John T. Smithers bought at a public auction much of the equipment that Hays & Webb lost at default, including a boiler, a steam engine, a log wagon, a log cart, ten tram cars, a four-head planer matcher, a two-saw trimmer, a saw carriage and fixtures, a tram engine, and thirty oxen.
Research Date: MCJ 03-30-96
Prepared By: M Johnson