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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SM-17
Corporate Name: Epperson and McKinley Sawmill
Local Name:
Owner Name: Green B. Epperson and John B. McKinley
Location: Five miles east of Tyler on the old Mound Trail
County: Smith
Years in Operation: 20 years
Start Year: 1848
End Year: 1867
Decades: 1840-1849,1850-1859,1860-1869
Period of Operation: 1848 to about 1866 or 1867
Town: East of Tyler
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Pine and oak lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: 1860: 20-horsepower steam engine
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 
Capacity Comments: 750,000 board feet during the reporting period of the 1860 Census
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: None
Historicial Development: Green B. Epperson, according to an account of 1900, had been living in Smith County since 1848. During the years, he had served as a Justice of the Peace of Tyler for four years, on Tyler's first board of aldermen, as the first foreman of the federal grand jury in the county, and as a trustee of the M-E Church, South. Epperson operated a sawmill about five miles east of Tyler on the Mound Trail, now the Tyler and Jamestown road. It was located next to a large spring. His lumber was sold in Tyler for housing construction. The Epperson and Green mill (worth a capital investment of $3,000) as recorded in the 1860 Census kept eight employees busy at a total monthly wage of $170. With raw materials including $900 in pine, $100 in oak, and $200 in other stock, the saw mill produced 750,000 feet of pine lumber worth $9,000 and 50,000 feet of oak lumber worth $1,000. Epperson, after the Civil War, had financial problems. In September, 1865, he lost a case to P. H. Easle and was found to be indebted to Easle in the sum of $144.80. The local timber was soon cut out and the mill closed. Sheriff John B. McKinley was a partner of Epperson's. McKinley bought a another sawmill, just east of town after the Civil War, located at the Old Confederate Laboratory (see entry).
Research Date: MCJ 04-16-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson