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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: HE-19
Corporate Name: Major Jerome Davis
Local Name: Davis Mill
Owner Name: Major Jerome Davis
Location: Three miles west of Chandler on Highway 31
County: Henderson
Years in Operation: 21 years
Start Year: 1928
End Year: 1948
Decades: 1920-1929,1930-1939,1940-1949
Period of Operation: About 1928 to about 1948
Town: West of Chandler
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Chandler in 1940: 600 to 800
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Railroad and bridge timbers, crossties, shingles, dimension, rough and dressed lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: 8-cylinder straight-line gasoline-powered Buick and Packard motors
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 planer with surfacer-matcher
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Unknown
Historicial Development: According to Keith Davis, his father, Major Jerome Davis, was a farmer, rancher, and businessman of Chandler, Texas. He owned two farms and a filling station in Chandler during the 1920s. As the Depression developed, Major Davis expanded his economic opportunities when he bought a shingle machine and placed it in a pasture on one of his farms, located on Highway 31, three miles west of Chandler. Impressed by the fact that he had made money selling his shingles, he invested his earnings in purchases from an order house and developed a small, left-handed sawmill complex during the next year. His sawmill and planing mill were powered by eight-cylinder straight-line Buick and Packard engines. Working with a crew of six to eight men, Major Davis bought stumpage, harvested sawtimber with mules, and trucked the cut to the sawmill, where he milled timbers, crossties, dimension, rough and dressed lumber, and shingles. Davis stopped manufacturing lumber about 1948. The reasons were that he believed it was difficult to keep good workers and that stumpage was becoming more difficult to buy and access. The sawmill complex was still standing in the pasture in 1994.
Research Date: MCJ 05-04-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson