follow us on twitter   follow us on facebook  

Email Page Print Page

Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-69
Corporate Name: Knox Lumber Company
Local Name: Knox Lumber Company
Owner Name: W. H. Knox and son, Hiram Knox.
Location: Knox (Soda): one and a half miles east of Kibble intersection on unmarked county road
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 9 years
Start Year: 1903
End Year: 1911
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: 1903 to 1911
Town: Knox (Soda), east of Livingston
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 500 in 1907
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished 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: 150000: 1906
Capacity Comments: In 1906, 150,000 feet daily; In 1905 and 1907, 80,000 feet of lumber.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Band sawmill, planer, dry kilns, company short line.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Houston East & West Texas at Livingston connected to the company Livingston & Southeastern Railway Company
Historicial Development: Soda, as early as the 1860s, was a farming and lumber community, noted Ruth Peebles. Various issues of a Polk County newspaper refer to the Knox Lumber Company. William Hiram Knox, Sr., came to East Texas from the Upper Midwest, via Texarkana, and bought sawtimber land in Polk County. He built a sawmill there in 1903, which operated until it cut-out the timber on almost ten thousand acres. Lillian Marshall married William's son, Hiram, and became influential in the operations of the Knox Lumber Company. A newspaper article from May 16, 1907, noted that Knox was a company town of about 500. The mill used band saws, which could cut 80,000 feet daily. The mill was equipped with a planer and dry kilns. The Polk County Enterprise of July 1, 1909, lists the company personnel. After the company had logged out the pineries it owned, the Knoxes moved to Sabine County to continue the business of sawmilling. The Knox family men were noted for being violent. One of William Henry's sons died in a barroom brawl, according to Maxwell, while William Henry himself killed another white man for abusing one of his black workers. The company short line was incorporated as the Livingston & Southeastern Railway Company. The Beaumont Journal noted that Knox used a large tram road by 1905. On May 13, 1909, the Polk County Enterprise reported that Hiram Knox used his train to take a gathering of people from the HE&WT connection at Livingston on “a moon light picnic” out to the mill. The guests played games at the company hotel “until supper was announced. Lunches had been prepared by the ladies in the crowd and it was indeed a feast that was enjoyed by the entire party.”
Research Date: JKG 8-4-93, MCJ 02-27-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson