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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: JE-37
Corporate Name: Kirby Lumber Company Mill C
Local Name:
Owner Name: Kirby Lumber Co. Beaumont Lumber Co with W. A. Fletcher, F. L. Carroll, J. W. Keith, Mrs. J. M. Long. The Yellow Bluff Tram Company was its logging outfit.
Location: On the southern edge of the city on the Neches River
County: Jefferson
Years in Operation: 26 years
Start Year: 1877
End Year: 1902
Decades: 1870-1879,1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: 1877 to 1902
Town: Beaumont
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 25,000 in 1905
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished lumber, dimension lengths
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: 1880: 100-horsepower steam engine. Steam with electric lighting by 1904.
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 60000: 188885000: 1893140000: 190125000: 1877
Capacity Comments: 1888: cut 60,000 feet daily, planer 50,000 feet; 85,000 feet in 1893; 140,000 of yellow pine in 1901.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill, planing mill, dry kilns, including a circular, edger, trimmer, shotgun feed for 36-ft to 40-ft. 1880: 5-gang saw, double-circular saw two boilers. Steam feeders added in 1888.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe Rwy; Orange & Northwestern Rwy; and the Texas & New Orleans.
Historicial Development: Frank L. Carroll, his brother George W. Carroll, John C. Ward, and John N. Gilbert (of the Long and Company) chartered the Beaumont Lumber Company in March 1877. Acquiring the W. D. Black sawmill in Orange, the Company dismantled it, moved it to Beaumont, and reassembled it as the first of its mills; it had a daily capacity of 25,000 feet. Next to the Black sawmill, the Company erected a double-circular sawmill purchased from E. P. Allis and Company of Milwaukee; it could cut 40,000 feet daily. By 1893, the band saw could cut 65,000 feet daily and the pony circular saw was cutting 20,000 feet daily. Eventually the Carrolls and Gilbert forced Ward out of company affairs and W. A. Fletcher, their brother-in-law became a partner with them. Acquiring land on the Neches River near the Beaumont dock area, two mills were built on the fifty acres. The 1880 Census recorded a d capitalization of $35,000. An average of thirty-five men and six boys worked eleven hours daily for a skilled wage of $3.00 and unskilled of $1.50. The annual wage was $18,000. Raw materials included $50,000 worth of saw logs and $2,200 in mill supplies. Ten million board feet and two million shingles were produced for a value of $78,000. Logs were floated on the Neches and its tributaries; Beaumont did most of its own logging. Longleaf average grade came from Camp 3 at Buna (fifty-two miles) and Camp 5 at Kirbyville (thirty-five miles) by the company tram, the Orange & Northwestern. The planing mill had a sizer, five matchers, and a moulder. The steam-operated dry kilns operated in a two-room brick building; it had a 25,000 foot capacity. Kirby Lumber Company acquired the plant, which it named Mill C. During the first week of June 1902, fire destroyed the saw and planing mills, the dry sheds and kilns, and all the stacked lumber. The mill was not rebuilt.
Research Date: JKG 8-23-93, MCJ 03-12-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson