Hogg-Harris Lumber Company in 1909; profile from the American Lumberman magazine.  
Source: American Lumberman "A Big Factor in the Yellow Pine Trade: A Portrayal of the Hogg-Harris Lumber Co., St. Louis, and Its Associated Manufacturing Institutions." American Lumberman (Jan. 30, 1909), 59-74.





Among large operators in yellow pine who have made extensive preparations for an unusually large business to ring the new year, now so generally conceded to be a foregone conclusion, is the Hogg-Harris Lumber Company of St. Louis, Mo.

It is universally recognized as all important that in order to be able to compete successfully for and handle satisfactorily the heavy trade so close at hand preparations, ample and of a permanent nature, must be made. The first and most essential of these is an abundant supply of timber; next it is necessary to have facilities for properly converting this timber into merchantable lumber and last, but not least, is the necessity of adequate transportation facilities for supplying the various markets quickly.

How well the Hogg-Harris Lumber Company has fortified itself in all of these conditions is shown in the following sixteen pages, wherein is depicted by pen and camera the net result of a personal inspection conducted by the American Lumberman a careful perusal of which will convince any one not acquainted with this selling concern, if there be any, that shrewd foresight, long experience and executive ability have planned and brought together as an entity this superb collection of splendid resources.

In discussing chronologically the several ramifications of this large yellow pine institution it is fitting first to speak of the parent or selling company.

This is strictly a selling company, and it is now in the ninth year of its existence. During its life it has achieved a reputation for straightforward business dealing second to none in the country. The four members of the concern are all experienced lumbermen, the president, vice president and secretary having been engaged in the lumber business from boyhood. The treasurer also had a thorough lumber training and is now identified with railroad construction work. The company has a well organized sales department and splendid mill connections. The officers of the Hogg- Harris Lumber Company are:

President—George R. Hogg, St. Louis, Mo.
Vice president—James F. Ball, Pollock, La.
Secretary—C. J. Harris, St. Louis, Mo.
Treasurer—Marshall Rust, St. Louis, Mo.

The personnel of this concern represents a happy combination of executive ability, salesmanship and sawmilling. The general offices of the concern are in the Wright building, St. Louis, where Mr. Hogg, Mr. Harris and Mr. Rust make their headquarters. Mr. Ball makes his headquarters at the mill at Pollock, La.

The Hogg-Harris Lumber Company handles the product of five mills and makes shipment direct from these mills. To give the reader an adequate idea of the vast resources of this selling company a pen and camera picture of each of these mill properties follows in the order in which they were visited by a staff representative of the American Lumberman.


This concern is located at Pollock, La. The company also has a mill at Ball, La., and handles the output of another mill of 60,000-foot capacity at White Spur, La. The combined output of the three mills is 225,000 feet a day. The properties of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, at Pollock and Ball are in line to develop into first class plants of a size which will compare favorably with the average plants throughout the south. The plans at Pollock are being carried out rapidly, and will create a plant which can manufacture and care for lumber as well as the best. Mr. Ball is a very capable and progressive business man, and the backing of timber adjacent to these plants assures their continuous activity for many years. In the company’s timber is a larger portion of large longleaf pine than commonly is found, and the general average is good. The attitude of employees and officials gives evidence of excellent discipline and earnest cooperation in the business. The business is already large, and the tendency seems to be toward bigger and better things in the future.

The company was organized and incorporated under the laws of Louisiana January 1, 1905, succeeding J. F. Ball & Bro., which firm had been operating since 1890. The capital stock of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, is $100,000. The officers are:

President—J. F. Ball, Pollock, La.
Vice president—R. L. Ball, Pollock, La.
Secretary and treasurer—J. W. Ball, Pollock, La.

Evolution of a Big Industry.
The history of the company dates back to the close of the war and centers in the operations of C. E. Ball, of Pineville, who for many years—it might be said until the coming of the railways into that country in 1885—supplied the bulk of the lumber used in Rapides Parish and in the city of Alexandria. The beginning was with small portable mills, operating where timber supplies were most conveniently obtainable and could be gotten to the markets then accessible. In addition to the local demand a considerable business was done by river, lumber being shipped as far south as Baton Rouge. Of the family of six boys, the present officers of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, assisted their father in his lumber business. In 1893 the business was operated under the name of C. E. Ball & Sons and so continued until 1900 when, at the death of the father, the name became J. F. Ball & Bro., and at the formation of the present company, in January 1905, it became the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited.

The first railway to be extended to Alexandria was the Texas & Pacific, in 1885, and for the building of this road C. E. Ball furnished ties for twenty miles of the roadbed. In 1890 he located a permanent mill at what was then known as Leven (now Tioga) on the Iron Mountain railway, six miles north of Alexandria, and operated there two years. He sold out in December, 1892, to Julius Leven, and built a mill at Ball, a few miles farther north, which has been rebuilt and enlarged four times since then, increasing the capacity from 15,000 feet for the original mill to 75,000 feet for the present mill. Mill No. 3 was completed in shortly before the death of C. E. Ball, with of 50,000 feet. This mill was burned August 3, 1906 was immediately replaced by the present structure put into operation in December of that year.

In 1907 the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, purchased the mill site and improvements had survived a fire in June, 1906, at the plant of the Big Creek Lumber Company, at Pollock, La., together with the timber holdings of that concern in Grant parish. To these holdings were added the in Grant parish known as the Gould estate.

Rebuilding operations at Pollack began in January, and the new mill began sawing in June following. plant at Pollock now is a high class modern saw mill and when the improvements now being made shall have been completed the equipment will be fully up to approved modern standards.

For convenience in handling the business of the concern the underlying companies of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, are known as follows: The Iron Mountain Lumber Company, Pollack, La.; Sweet Home Lumber Company, Ball, La.; Sandy Creek Lumber Company, White Spur, La. The general offices of the company are located at Pollock, La., and 50 percent of the output is sold through the Hogg-Harris Lumber Company, of St. Louis. The balance of the output is marketed through the main office at Pollack, La.


The Iron Mountain Lumber Company, a branch of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, is located at Pollock, La., on the east side of the Valley branch of the Iron Mountain railway, seventeen miles north of Alexandria. The residences owned by the company and all other buildings are also to the east of the railway, while the old town of Pollock lies to the west. The mill and town sites cover sixty acres, with the manufacturing plant at the north end. Big creek forms the northern part of the site and has been dammed to make the log pond. The backwater thus obtained extends nearly a half mile to the west, affording unlimited space for log storage, while the numerous small bays make it possible to sort and store the logs of various kinds so that they are readily available for the orders in hand and can be floated in such bodies as are wanted to the foot of the mill incline. The drainage is excellent.

The timber holdings lie entirely in Grant parish, to the northwest of Pollock, and are located from one to fifteen miles from the mill. The tract includes 72,000 acres, of which 22,000 has been cut over. The original tract was estimated to contain 500,000,000 feet and of this amount 450,000,000 feet yet remain, which will provide the three mills at their present capacity with logs for twelve years longer.

In the Iron Mountain Company’s Timber.
The timber is longleaf pine, cutting an average of 10,000 feet to the acre. The land is in rolling hills, which afford fair logging road grades and solid soil for logging operations at all times.

In the purchases of timber 8,000 acres came from the Big Creek Lumber Company and 64,000 acres from the Gould estate.

The purchase was made August 1, 1907. The land is all owned in fee simple. In cutting the timber the stumps are cut to eighteen inches by fourteen sawyers. The logs are hauled to the railroad by six Bender slip-tongue carts and four Lindsay 8-wheelwagons,and for this work and the loading operations eighty oxen are used. Thirty men are employed in the woods operations under Woods Foreman B. P. Lewis. In the loading operations the work is done with oxen and twenty-five cars a day are loaded with an average of 4,000 feet to the car. The cost of loading is in the neighborhood of 25 cents for the Iron Mountain Lumber Company operation, while for the Sweet Home Lumber Company the cost with the McGiffert log loader is 15 cents. The logging operations of the two companies are being conducted in continuous tracts, and in some cases the references will apply to both operations. Eight cars are handled to the main line on the spurs and fifteen on the mainline to the mill at Pollock. One camp is maintained twelve miles northwest of Pollock and consists of fifteen portable houses and a commissary.

The railway by which the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, supplies the mills at Pollock and Ball is known as the Natchez, Ball & Shreveport Railway. The branch to Pollock has a length of fourteen miles in the mainline, and ten miles of spurs. It is laid with 56-poundsteelon pine ties. The car equipment consists of forty flat cars each forty feet long. Two locomotives are used;one40-tonLinia rod engine and one 65-ton Lima Shay engine. The grades have a maximum of 4 percent, but are mainly easy; the curves are moderate. Twenty men are employed in the railway service.

The officers of the railway are the same as those of the lumber company and the offices are at Pollock.

Saw Mill, Yard and Kilns.
The saw mill of the Iron Mountain Lumber Company is located at the northeast corner of the site in Pollock. It stands in a general east and west direction. It is two stories in height, built of frame with composition roof, and is 46x220 feet in area, with an addition 16x20 feet to the south for the filing room. The machinery is Filer & Stowell throughout and consists of a circular mill carrying a 60-inch saw and 40-inch top saw. The carriage has three blocks and trailer and will carry 40-foot timbers. The shotgun is 12 inches in diameter and 52 feet long. The edger is 60 inches wide and carries five saws. The trimmer is 32 feet wide and carries fifteen saws. A Hoo-Hoo nigger is used. The engine is located under the mill the machine floor of which is so arranged that there is plenty of room. The engine is a Filer & Stowell rocker valve type, 22x30 in size. The engine bed and the mill foundations rest on concrete. The power plant is located in a building 26 feet north of the mill, 40x70 feet in size, built of V-crimped iron, and consists of three Houston, Stanwood & Gamble boilers 60x16 and one 72x18, with dutch ovens, all in brick settings. The fuel room, in the same building, is 16x40 feet.

The electric light plant is also located under the and consists of a Westinghouse dynamo of 50 kilowatts, 250 volts, D. C., with capacity of 1,000 lights of 16-candlepower. The service is installed and is extended to all parts of the plant and the better residences. The lumber is handled to the yard and planer by fifteen hand dollys. It is stacked up and down from the trams in the yard. The stock to be carried on the yard will be 4,000,000feet and on hand at the present time is slightly in excess of that amount.

The dry kilns consist of two rooms, 20x120feet each, with capacity of 40,000 feet of lumber. They are of the Standard variety, built of frame on concrete foundationsl,ocated200feet south of the mill and supplied with steam from the sawmill batteries.

The rough shed is to be located west of the dry kilns and will be 70x200feet in size.

Planing Mill, Shipping and Fire Protection.
The planing mill, to the west side of the site, next to the railway tracks, is 84x100feet in size and contains six machines, including timber sizer, two matchers, 12-inch molder, edger and circular resaw. The capacity is 100,000 feet of lumber a day. The powerhouse is located thirty feet south of the planing mill, in a building 12x40feet in size, which contains the boiler, engine and a fuel vault
10x12. The blow pipes were installed by the National Blow Pipe & Manufacturing Company, of New Orleans, and are of the slow feed type, with double 50-inch fans.

The shipping platform extends along the planer for 300 feet, and the timber docks are located on each side of the tram from the planer to thesawmill,600 feet in all.

The shipments of lumber are distributed as follows, in order of importance as given: Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma and other sections in smaller proportion. The lumber is shipped over the Valley division of the Iron Mountain railway.

For fire protection, a tank of 35,000 gallons capacity, located on a tower sixty-feet high, is provided. The fire pump is an Underwriters 750-gallon per minute pump, with 10-inch suction and 8-inch discharge, while the mains are of 6-inch diameter with 4-inch laterals. Two thousand feet of 2-1/2-inch hose is provided in addition to three standpipes having swivel joint direct connected nozzles. Big creek furnishes an abundant water supply for fire and mechanical purposes, while shallow wells afford a fine quality of water for domestic use and drinking purposes.

Business Department and Population.
The mercantile department is in charge of E. W. Ball and is located in a building 60x100 feet in area, one-half of which is two stories in height. The stock carried averages $15,000; the annual business amounts to $144,000.

The office is located in a one-story frame building 30x60 feet in size, containing three rooms, with accommodations for the officials of the several lumber companies and the railway.

The population of the town of Pollock is 1,500. It has four churches, a 5-room schoolhouse, lodge halls for the Woodmen of the World, Odd Fellows and Masons, and the city hall for public entertainments. While the town connected with the saw mill affords comfortable accommodations for the employees the proximity of the village gives social advantage not always to be had in saw mill communities.

The lumber company employs 150 men in its various departments and is the main source of revenue to the wage earners of the community.


The plant of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, Ball, La., is operated under the name of the Sweet Home Lumber Company. It is under the management of J. W. Ball, who resides at Pineville, La., who is assisted by a cousin of the same name, residing in the Ball homestead.

Timber operations under Woods Foreman John S. Rice give employment to forty men; sixty-four oxen; four Bender slip-tongue carts; eight 8-wheel Lindsay and 4-wheel wagons. The logs are loaded on to the cars by a McGiffert steam log loader. An average of 75,000 feet of logs are loaded each day and a record of 110,000 feet in ten hours has been made. One camp is maintained. The timber holdings of the Sweet Home Lumber Company consist of 12,000 acres, equivalent to 125,000,000 feet, closely adjoining the tract of the Pollock plant.

The main line of the railway is laid with twelve miles of 35-pound steel, and there are four miles of spurs. Thirty-two skeleton log cars are used and two locomotives -- a 27 and a 37 ton Shay. The logs are stored in a pond at the mill which has a capacity of 1,000,000 feet, which is supplied by rainwater. The total number of employees is 100.

Manufacturing Equipment.
The mill building is 38x180 feet in size, with an addition for the filing room 20x50 feet. The equipment consists of a circular mill with 66-inch saw and 40-inch top saw, with twin engine feed, has capacity of 75,000 feet and cuts 20,000,000 feet annually. The carriage is a Filer & Stowell, 3-block, with trailer at each end, capable of handling timbers sixty feet in length. The edger is 60-inch, carrying five saws, and the trimmer will handle lumber thirty-two feet long and has fifteen saws. The engine is a Houston, Stanwood & Gamble 20x24 and is supplied with steam from five boilers, four of which are 54x14, and one 72x18, made by Casey & Hedges and with dutch ovens, self feed, in brick settings. An electric light plant with capacity of 700 lights is installed.

In addition to the machinery mentioned a timber sizer is installed at the end of the saw mill to take care of the side material cut from timbers. It is a Berlin, 10x30 in size.

The population of Ball is 700, and in addition to the office, store and residences it has a good school, employing three teachers, and a Union church.


The White Sulphur Lumber Company, Limited, at Jena, La., is an enterprise which is a credit to this or any other locality. A large amount of timber is still available here. The timber is of the finest quality, and the only reason for its tardy development seems to have been the difficulty, of getting it out of the hills. However, the Catahoula Central railway is handling the trains successfully and economically, and it would seem that the logging end of this proposition is in exceedingly fine shape. The operators have in mind the building of a larger and better mill, possibly on a site more suitable for growth than the present.

At the completion of the Jena branch of the Louisiana & Arkansas railway, in 1903, attention was attracted to the possibilities of developing timber holdings in the vicinity of Jena. The first mill located here was operated by the Jena Lumber Company, which continued manufacturing for a year with a small mill cutting 15,000 feet. After passing through the hands of several parties the first purchases of consequence were made by Waverly and W. L. Whitaker, Jr., under the firm name of Whitaker & Whitaker, in April, 1905, and in October of that year the White Sulphur Lumber Company, Limited, was organized, with:

President.—T. H. Garrett, St. Louis, Mo.
Vice president—Waverly Whitaker, Jena, Ark.
Secretary and treasurer—W. L. Whitaker, Jena, Ark.

The mill at this time was cutting 35,000 feet and the capital stock of the company was $50,000. In January, 1907, the capital stock was increased to $200,000 and the capacity of the mill increased to 60,000 feet. In the fall of 1906 the company had made purchases of 40,000,000 feet of timber, in addition to the 9,000,000 feet originally owned, and the wooden tram operated at that time was replaced by a chartered railway of standard gage under the title of the Catahoula Central railway. In June, 1908, an additional purchase of 50,000,000 feet was made and now the uncut standing timber aggregates 90,000,000 feet.

The White Sulphur Mill and Timber.
The mill site, located three-fourths of a mile northeast of Jena, is connected with the Louisiana & Arkansas railway. The company contemplates erecting a larger plant, to enable it to handle its increasing business.

The present officers of the White Sulphur Lumber Company, Limited, are:
President—T. H. Garrett', St. Louis, Mo.

Vice president—George B. Hogg, St. Louis, Mo.
Secretary and treasurer—H. Whitaker, Jena, La.
General manager—W. H. H. Moores, Jena, La.

The timber holdings of the White Sulphur Lumber Company, Limited, lie in Catahoula and the new Lasalle parishes, Louisiana; the mill is also in the new parish. The timber is longleaf yellow pine, except small portions in creek bottoms, is mainly located southeast of the mill at a distance from three to fifteen miles and covers between 11,000 to 12,000 acres. It will cut from 8,000 to 9,000 feet to the acre.

The mill makes a specialty of cutting railroad construction timbers, 2-inch dimension, German primes for export, and rough finish.

The Woods and the Railroad.
The employees of the company aggregate seventy-five men, of whom forty-five are at the mill and thirty in the woods and on the railway. The woods foreman is Robert Watson, and in his department at the very comfortable camp four miles from the mill his woods force is accommodated in six roomy car houses, which are neatly painted and present an unusually clean and sanitary appearance. In the woods operations thirty oxen and sixteen mules are used with four Bender slip-tongue cars and three Lindsay 8-wheel wagons. Loading is done with oxen and twenty-four cars a day are loaded with an average of 2,800 feet to the car. The cars are handled in trains of eight each.

The officers of the Catahoula Central railroad are:

President—Poindexter Dunn.
Vice president—W. L. Whitaker, Jr.
Secretary and treasurer—R. I. Taliaferro.

The main line and spurs aggregate eight and one- half miles of 35-pound steel and the logging equipment consists of twenty-four skeleton cars. The locomotives are two in number. No. 2 is a 29-ton Rhode Island and No. 3 is a 32-ton Shay.

The logs are stored in a pond of 50,000,000 feet capacity, supplied by a small stream.

Sawing and Shipping.
J. T. Simmons is foreman of the saw mill, which has a capacity of 60,000 feet a clay. The mill carries a 60-inch saw; the carriage is 3-block, twenty-four feet long, with twin engine feed. The edger carries four saws. The mill is driven by a 13x18 engine and the rolls etc. by another, a 12x14 engine. Power is generated in a boiler house located north of the mill in three boilers, two of which are 60x16 and one 46x12.

An electric light plant has been installed, with capacity of 500 16-candle power lights. The dynamo was made by the Triumph Electric Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, and is 120 amperes, 250 volts capacity.

The shipping platform extends 350 feet south of the mill along the timber dock. Of the shipments 6 percent is exported to Germany and the remainder of the output is marketed jointly through the Hogg-Harris Lumber Company and the T. H. Garrett Lumber Company, both concerns having headquarters in St. Louis.


The T. U. Norton Lumber Company, of Haynesville, La., was organized in 1904 for the purpose of handling the output of the several mills in which the members are interested. T. U. Norton, of Haynesville, acts in the official capacities, while his son, A. O. Norton, is manager of the mill at Dykesville, where M. E. Norton, a nephew, has charge of the woods operation. At the point known as Norton’s Shop another mill is being operated with A. E. Norton and J. W. Norton, brothers, as manager and general superintendent respectively.

The early history of the Norton family and the present business dated back to the arrival of the father, J. W. Norton, at Homer, in Claibourne parish, Louisiana, in 1854, where he conducted a saw mill until the Civil war. He came from Troupe county, Georgia, and was en route to California, but did not go farther than Louisiana. In 1859 he located at what has since become known as Norton’s Shop, about six miles west of the present town of Haynesville. Here the family grew up, and when T. U. Norton came to an age when it was time for him to engage in business for himself he opened a blacksmith shop and for the convenience of the community added a cotton gin, to which in 1893 a saw mill of 8,000 feet capacity was added. This mill was run for seven years and the larger equipment was gradually added until the present equipment includes the saw mill of 16,000 feet capacity, and edger, combination planer etc. In this enterprise he was assisted by his brothers, A. E. and J. W. Norton. The sons of T. U. Norton grew up in the shop and mill, and in 1904 bought the old mill at Dykesville, three miles south of the shop and seven miles southwest of Haynesville. This mill was improved by the substitution of the present equipment, and has a daily capacity of 20,000 feet.

The Norton Timber.
The pine timber in Claibourne parish is entirely shortleaf. The timber possessions of the Nortons have not been at any time heavy, but purchases have been made as required for the needs of the mills.

It might almost he said that the condition of the lumber business as represented by the T. U. Norton Lumber Company at Haynesville is prophetic of the probable condition of the lumber producing sections of the south in the next quarter century. The timber which is being cut is the remnant of former great forests, from sections where it was too scattered for the larger operators to go after it, and the newer growth which has become large enough for profitable cutting. The logs are hauled direct to the mill, and the lumber to the railway.


An excellent feature of the Magnolia Manufacturing Company’s operations at Magnolia, Ark., is an abundance of well arranged sheds. Mr. Davies is the practical millman of the firm, while Mr. Shumaker is the executive head. The plant is located on the Louisiana & Northwest railway, six miles south of McNeil, Ark. The officers are: President, E. H. Davies; vice president, J. L. Davis; secretary and treasurer, C. E. Shumaker, all of Magnolia.

The company was organized in August, 1904, and incorporated under the laws of Arkansas, with a capital stock of $100,000. Previous to the organization of the Magnolia Manufacturing Company E. H. Davies had been in the lumber business in the vicinity for many years, immediately preceding that time, under the name of the E. H. Davies Lumber Company. C. E. Shumaker came from Little Rock, where he had been connected with the Ferguson Lumber Company. These gentlemen, with J. L. Davis, of Magnolia, were attracted by the promising outlook for the lumber business, and the organization of the company was the result.

Timber and Sheds.
About one-half of the lumber handled by the company has been derived from small mills in the vicinity, while up to the present time a mill with a capacity of 20,000 feet has been operated by them one mile south of Magnolia. This mill was burned November 17, 1908, and to replace that source of supply another mill of 30,000 feet capacity, located eight miles south of Magnolia near the Louisiana & Northwest railway, has been purchased and will be put into operation at once. The company now own 5,000,000 feet of shortleaf pine timber in this vicinity and other tracts adjacent can be added to the holdings as required.

In its operation of the mill and in the timber the company employ thirty-five men and in the factory and yards at Magnolia thirty men. Lumber coming from small mills is delivered at the yards at Magnolia, where the shed room for its proper care is far in excess of that usually found at a plant handling a similar quantity of lumber.

Planing Mill, Office, Population.
The planing mill is located west of the sheds and is 40x80 feet in size. The equipment consists of one Hoyt 15-inch, 4-side planer and matcher, one Berlin 15-inch planer and matcher, one Houston 10-inch outside molder, one 24-inch circular resaw, one gang rip saw, one trimmer. Power is generated in a boiler 54x14, located in a boiler house to the west of the mill, and the mill is driven by a 12x16 Southern Engine & Boiler Works engine.

The office is located at the southeast corner of the plant, in a one-story frame building, 16x24 feet, containing two office rooms.

Fire protection is afforded by a pump located at the planing mill and the mains are also connected with the ice plant to the north.

Practically all the stock handled is kiln dried, but the lumber yard will accommodate 1,500,000 feet of lumber in ease a greater supply is accumulated than otherwise can be handled.

The population of the town of Magnolia is about 2,500. It is one of the most important cotton centers of its size in the state, handling 20,000 bales in good seasons. The local demand for lumber for the town and country utilizes 10 percent of the output of the company, and the balance is handled by the Hogg-Harris Lumber Company, of St. Louis, Mo. Lumber is shipped via the Louisiana & Northwest railway to north and south connections.

The future of the Magnolia Manufacturing Company gives promise of a sturdy growth along the lines now being followed, and the rapid growth of timber in this region may afford it a supply of lumber for many years.

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