Improvements at Fostoria (Gulf Coast Lumberman, 1941)  
  Source: "Improvements at Fostoria", Gulf Coast Lumberman, July 15, 1941. Bound in a scrapbook in the collection of Lester Haines.  
Foster Lumber Company at Fostoria, Texas  
Beyond this sea of logs, the Fostoria mill hums impressively.  
  Improvements at Fostoria  

Would you like to buy eight mules? Foster Lumber Company would have sold them to you last April when they installed a new type of transfer truck at their Fostoria, Texas, mill, especially designed by their master mechanic, F. A. Thomas, and built by the Fostoria machine shop.

This new type of truck replaced eight mules used to haul transfer wagons carrying lumber from the dry take-down sheds to the rough storage sheds. Besides watching this new type of truck operate with ease and swiftness, the GCL sawmill visitors on a recent visit to Fostoria also inspected the two new Moore cross-circulation kilns which were completed earlier this year.

The new Moore cross-circulation kilns were put in to reduce costs, to increase the capacity of Fostoria's already highly efficient double cutting band mill, and to improve the drying quality. The old style kilns were converted into the Moore cross-circulation type by the Fostoria mechanical department under the supervision of W. E: Graff, installation supervisor of Moore Dry Kiln Company.

So perfect was the installation that after the kilns were started, it was not necessary to make any adjustments. Since the new Moore kilns make it possible to stack the lumber edge to edge on the cars, Fostoria is able to kiln dry the increased production of their mill. The new kilns provide a higher quality kiln dried lumber product.

The old method of handling the dry lumber at Fostoria included the use of wagons, hauled by mule teams, which were backed under the stacks of dry lumber, and after live rollers rolled the lumber onto the wagons, these vehicles delivered it to the rough sheds where it was kept until needed for dressing and shipment. The new truck, which replaces the wagons, is really an ingenious piece of machinery. It's a regular International cab-over-engine chassis with a special truck body behind. The metal sides of the body are about three feet tall and the width of the bed itself is about three feet.

The Fostoria machine shop installed in the bed of the truck four rollers. The rear roller is geared to the drive shaft of the truck and is controlled by the truck driver in the cab, who can, by putting the roller in forward motion, load the truck from the dry take-off. Then at the rough sheds he unloads the lumber by merely putting the rear roller into reverse. This means that one man and one truck handles the transfer of all the dry lumber at Fostoria and the truck driver does not even get out of the cab!

The mill property itself at Fostoria is as neat as a pin and entirely free of scraps of lumber and other debris which usually collect around a sawmill. The town is a lesson in civic beauty and public pride. From Highway No. 59, a new paved road enables the visitor to reach Fostoria without getting off the pavement, and the entrance to Fostoria is marked by a new white picket fence which adds a great deal to the attractiveness of the sawmill community. A second large park has been provided for the town's people by Foster Lumber Company.

Fostoria is operated by the Foster Lumber Company of which Ben Foster of Kansas City, Missouri, is president; J. F. Foster is vice president; Geo. W. Foster is treasurer; and James M. Foster is secretary. Sales of the Fostoria mill are handled by Trinity River Lumber Company of Houston, Texas. This wholesale lumber company, besides representing Fostoria, represents several other fine mills in Texas. Ben Foster is president of Trinity River, Russell Palmer of Houston is vice president and treasurer, Harry G. Dean, also of Houston, is secretary and sales manager.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.