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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: OR-45
Corporate Name: Russell & Son
Local Name:
Owner Name: Russell & Son Shingle Mill. Remley & Johnson. Robert Jackson.
Location: Orange, earlier known as Madison.
County: Orange
Years in Operation: 44 years
Start Year: 1847
End Year: 1890
Decades: 1840-1849,1850-1859,1860-1869,1870-1879,1880-1889,1890-1899
Period of Operation: 1843 to 1890
Town: Orange
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Initially lumber, later shingles, saw dust.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Power from the steamer Rufus Putnam, sunk at Eaves Plantation in 1841. 1880: two 50-horsepower steam engines, two boilers
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 3000: 185325000: 1866
Capacity Comments: 3,000 feet daily under Jackson; 25,000 feet of lumber and 125,000 shingles after 1866.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sash, circular; 1880: 4-gang, circular.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Texas & New Orleans
Historicial Development: W. T. Block wrote in Cotton Bales, Keelboats and Sternwheelers: A History of the Sabine River and Trinity River Cotton Trades, 1837-1900 that Robert Jackson constructed a steam-driven sash sawmill at the “Narrows” of the Sabine, on the Louisiana side, near Deweyville about 1843. Steamboat machinery from the Rufus Putnam powered the mill. After a flood in 1847 carried away more than 50,000 feet of stock, Robert Jackson moved his mill from Turner's Ferry on the Louisiana side across the Sabine River and down river to Orange. He had a new building by 1853. A new sash saw increased capacity to 3,000 feet daily. In 1866, Remley & Johnson acquired the mill and passed it to R. B. Russell and Son. During the 1860 Census, Robert Jackson's Steam Sawmill, at Orange, Texas, was d a capital value of $7,000. He paid his crew of four a total monthly wage of $100. After the war, the mill began using a circular saw to mill lumber. It was also producing shingles. The 1880 Census revealed that the mill's capital value was $20,000. Forty-five employees worked 9 1/2 hours daily during the summer and eleven during the winter. Wages varied from $5.00 daily for skilled labor to $1.50 for unskilled. The mill ran for five months during the reporting period. From sawlogs worth $12,000 and supplies valued at $2,000, the plant produced ten million shingles valued at $25,000. Mill did not do its own logging. By 1887, it had cut fifty million shingles. Before it burned down in 1890, capacity increased to 25,000 feet of lumber and 150,000 shingles per day. The old mill site was bought by W. H. Stark and Dr. W. B. Brown for $5,000.
Research Date: MCJ 03-24-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson