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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: LI-51
Corporate Name: Keno Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: William Cruse, of Keno Lumber Company
Location: Keno, about four miles south of Cleveland on the Houston East & West Texas
County: Liberty
Years in Operation: 14 years
Start Year: 1890
End Year: 1903
Decades: 1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: 1890 to 1903
Town: Keno
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 200 in 1900
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: 25000: 189340000: 1900
Capacity Comments: From 25,000 feet daily of lumber in 1893 to 40,000 feet of lumber in 1900
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: Houston East and West Texas
Historicial Development: The Keno Lumber Company sawmill of William Cruse operated from about 1890 to 1903. The plant also had a planing mill, four miles of tram road, and an engine and some logging cars. William Cruse (listed as Cruise) on the 1899 Liberty County tax roll was recorded as having more than 2,800 acres on four surveys, ten horses or mules, forty-five cattle, thirty hogs, ten dogs, two wagons, $1,000 worth of manufacturing tools,and $3,000 worth in a steam engine and boiler. In 1900, sixty-three people worked at Keno. Wallace Lester was the planing mill foreman; Henry J. Jones, bookkeeper; James Derrick, yard foreman; Bud Prince, sawmill foreman; Dr. Josephus, mill physician; James Bruce, blacksmith; Elza McCann, scaler; James Browder, commissary clerk; William A. Conn, locomotive engineer; Glenn H. Prince, shipping clerk; John W. Rogers, machinist; Rosa Lewis, boarding house operator; and William Holt, woods foreman. The mill probably had a small commissary. In 1900, the Houston East & West Texas contracted with Keno to supply it some three and a half miles of rails to reach more timber; in return, the mill would have to run fifteen days each month, and when the mill closed, to give the rails back. The sawmill of Keno Lumber Company at Keno closed in 1903 or 1904f. Keno sold 145 tons of steel rails to W. T. Carter & Bro of Camden, Polk County, when it dismantled. The mill was no longer listed in the directories in 1906. In 1905, William and Talluah Cruse permitted the Cade brothers to buy timber and construct a mill on their land.
Research Date: MCJ 03-14-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson