"Timber Resources of East Texas": profile of the Kirby Lumber Company as published by the American Lumberman magazine in 1902.  
Source: American Lumberman. "Timber Resources of East Texas, Their Recognition And Development", originally published in American Lumberman November 22, 1902. Chicago: American Lumberman, 1902.
This long-form article is broken up into the following chapters. Click to jump to that section:
  I. Southwestern Development  
  II. The Man -- A Personal Study  
  III. The Kirby Lumber Company -- Formation  
  IV. Details of Mill Organization  
  V. Transportation Facilities  
  VI. General Offices and Officers  
  VII. Purchasing and Sales Departments  
  VIII. Location of Markets -- Export Trade  
  IX. The Commissary Department  
  X. The Hospital System  
  XI. Tram and Logging Department  
  XII. Logging Camps  
  XIII. Characteristics of Southern Pines  
  XIV. Departments of Manufacture  
  XV. The Mills -- Beaumont Realty Values  
  XVI. Beaumont -- Saw Mills [Mills "A", "B" and "C" -- ed.]  
  XVII. Beaumont -- Planing Mills [Planers "A", "B" and "C" -- ed.]  
  XVIII. Mill "D," Orange; "E," Silsbee; "F," Lillard, Texas  
  XIX. Mill "G," Call, Texas  
  XX. Mill "H," Kirbyville; "J," Roganville; "K," Sharon; "L," Village, Texas  
  XXI. Mill "M," Woodville; "N," Mobile; "O," Fuqua; "P," Bronson, Texas  
  XXII. New Mills "R," Bessmay; "S," Browndell; "T," Kirbyville, Texas  
  XXIII. The Houston Oil Company  
  XXIV. In Conclusion  
  Index of Illustrations  
  General Index  

Timber Resources of East Texas

Their Recognition And Development By John H. Kirby,

Through The Inception And Organization of The Kirby Lumber Company of Houston, Texas,

With A Discussion of Related Oil Interests, Financial Plan, Manufacturing Economies, Market Advantages, Etc. Etc.

With Illustrations And Text By Staff Representatives of
The American Lumberman, Chicago

Being Chiefly A Reprint From Its Edition Of
November The Twenty-Second, 1902

  CHAPTER I. Southwestern Development  

Industrial developments in the southwest during the past five or ten years have been on an ever-increasing scale. The rich returns offered legitimate investors have induced financiers all over the country to invest their capital in a section which is now leading the country in rapidity of development along new lines—departures which have yielded big returns to those directing and controlling them.

In even the superficial mind the largest state in the Union—Texas—is associated instinctively with large enterprises, and neither the superficial nor the observant have been disappointed in their expectations as to the magnitude of the enterprises of a state larger than the average European country. This realization is notable not only with regard to speculative ventures, like oil and the semi-hazardous business of agriculture, but with regard to those in which the element of chance is practically eliminated. Paramount among those of the class last named is the lumber business.

In no period has this fact been more clearly demonstrated than during the year 1901, the natal year of the Kirby Lumber Company. This concern, the largest in the United States, was chartered on July 5, 1901, with an authorized capital of $10,000,000, and an option on twenty-two of the best lumber producing plants in the state of Texas.

Of these plants, eight were finally dismissed from the available list, and the remainder were purchased. The formation of the Kirby Lumber Company was not, as is so often the case, merely the consolidation of the various firms under one management; the plants and properties were purchased outright, and the former owners and managers found, in lieu of their interests, well tilled pockets but no saw mills. Those who sold to the new concern were not asked to agree never to enter the field again. Their interests in certain plants and standing timber were bought, and all that was asked of them was a clear title to the property purchased by the new company.

The taking over of these fourteen mills, representing as they did many millions of dollars' worth of property, was a notable event in the industrial history of Texas.

The formation of the Kirby Lumber Company has furnished an almost inexhaustible theme for the press, not only of the southwest but of the entire Union. The extent of this company's holdings and the plans for exploiting them have been subjects for widespread criticism and comment favorable and to the contrary. The man who made the company possible has not, however been swerved from his course on this account. His plans are as clear and concise now as they were when first conceived and unfolded to colleagues. The creator of an industrial and commercial enterprise, or combination of enterprises, as great as this is no ordinary man, and full appreciation of this involves a study of the man himself.

  CHAPTER II. The Man--A Personal Study  

Forty-two years ago, on a little farm in Tyler county, in east Texas, there was born to John Thomas Kirby and Sarah (Payne) Kirby a male child, the seventh that had blessed their union. A year or so after the birth of the child, who had been christened John Henry, the family moved to Woodville, which was the county seat of Tyler county, a small village about thirty miles from the place of his nativity. This removal was necessitated by the election of the lad's father to the office of sheriff, which office he continued to fill until the call to arms in 1861. Mr. Kirby resigned his office, moved his family and slaves to a farm in Polk county and cast his fortunes with the south.

The history of the family during the next five years is but a repetition of that of thousands of others. All was sacrificed upon what was considered the altar of personal liberty, and all was lost. At the end of the struggle a man, worn out by weary campaigns, stripped of his property and slaves and all but penniless, returned to his family, who had fared none too well during his absence. A farm was purchased in Tyler county, near Peach Tree village, and the father started to retrieve his fortunes.

John Henry Kirby, then a boy of 6 years, had all the necessary qualifications for a useful American citizen of the future. The war left but a faint impression on his youthful mind, but the bitter days of the reconstruction are still green in his memory. He had three things that augured well for his future: Health, a loving mother and the advantage of having his own way to make in the world.

It is interesting here to note the ancestry of this southern financier. The Kirby family is an old American one of English descent and can trace its progenitors back to three brothers of that name who came to America before the revolutionary war and who were later soldiers in the continental army. After the struggle which ended in the independence of the colonies one of the brothers, Edmund Kirby, moved to Virginia, where he married Mary Shepherd, and later this family located in Stokes county, North Carolina. Here it was that the grandfather of John Henry Kirby—James Kirby—was born.

John Thomas Kirby was the first of the family to move to Texas, going to the Lone Star State from Mississippi in 1850.

The name of John comes from both sides of the house. On his father's side Mr. Kirby is a lineal descendant of John Thomas Longino, whose children's children have won such distinction in the south. John Thomas Longino, a distinguished Italian nobleman, was banished from his native country in 1773 for political reasons and came to the western hemisphere after that freedom denied him in his native land. He settled in North Carolina, where he married Mary Ransome, and their daughter, Elizabeth Longino, became the wife of James Kirby. Houston Longino, the present governor of Mississippi, is a member of the family.

Mr. Kirby's education began at the age of 19. Under his mother's tutelage he had learned to read and write and this taste of the riches of the written field whetted his appetite for greater knowledge. At the age stated his father sent the young man to school for a year. His career dates from that time. After the close of the country school he secured funds for a term at the Southwestern University, at Georgetown, Tex., by teaching and by working in the office of the tax collector at Woodville. His desire for information as to the accomplishments of great men who had preceded him and of those who were making the history of his time grew in proportion as he catered to it.

Books on all subjects were bought and devoured; when he finished with a work he was master of its contents. His desire for literature was so great that he often traded his books for others, and where possible borrowed from those more fortunate than himself. From the mass of knowledge assimilated he deducted one great fundamental truth. The world was made for man; its riches were his; its resources waited but for the master hand to develop and subdue them to his will.

A close analytical survey of Mr. Kirby and his life reveals one primary cause of his great success, not only as a financier, but also as a man. Whatever man has done, that man can do. Confidence, patience and a thorough knowledge of one's weak and strong points are necessary to the successful carrying out of any plan. It is true of minor things and true of great matters. The principle is the same whether applied to teaching a dog tricks or to circling a continent with an iron roadway.

This man, this former farm boy, is today looked upon as the leading southern financier. and is hailed as the Moses of Texas and the southwest who has smitten the stubborn but pregnant rock of Texas resources and opened the way for a period of industrial and commercial development never before equaled in that section. His career furnishes a lesson to the young generation of what applied industry will accomplish, and his success is a striking example of what may he done by any young man in the land who will put into operation the cardinal principles which have brought the subject of this sketch out of the background and backwoods and made him the prominent figure he is.

There never has been a crisis in the world's history but what some man has been found who was large enough and thoroughly capable to handle the question, whether it were social, political or commercial. A big man with a big mission requires a big mind, and this is true whether his mission he war, politics or religion. Big undertakings are only small ones on a larger scale; the same characteristics which go to make a small success are necessary to a great success.

In one particular the life of Mr. Kirby differs widely from that of most of the prominent men of today. It is the rare exception that a man carves out a fortune in his native section. Usually, though why is only one of many queries of the same general nature, the adventurous man goes to some distant country or city to woo the goddess Fortune. The opportunities offered by the resources of a section in which a man is reared are often unseen by the eyes of those to whom they should be most familiar. Mr. Kirby's choice of his field of action stamps him as one of the few who are not dazzled by the glittering promises held out by sections other than his own. He realized the worth of the pineries of east Texas, and by his labor in bringing them to the attention of men able and willing to develop the lands he gained a fortunate not only for himself but for many of his associates.

Early association turned his attention to the law, and after a thorough course in a school in which he was both master and pupil he passed the required examination. His studies were prosecuted during leisure moments, though it was while serving as clerk in the Texas legislature in 1882, 1883 and 1884 that the realms of legal lore were most thoroughly explored. He then had access to the law library of Hon. S. Bronson Cooper, at that time state senator, but who during the past few years has been the member of congress for the second congressional district of Texas. The use made of his opportunities during the years spent in the Texas legislature in the capacity of clerk was made apparent one year later, when he was admitted to the Texas bar.

Shortly after beginning the practice of law Dame Fortune knocked at his door and was hidden to enter. Some Boston parties were in trouble about a land deal and needed the services of an attorney to settle the matter. The same energetic traits that had made an attorney of the farmer boy won this important case for him. They won far more. The confidence of the eastern capitalists was gained and resulted in the formation of the Texas & Louisiana Land & Lumber Company. This was in 1886. From this time until the present Mr. Kirby's career has been marked by the formation of company after company for the exploitation of the rich resources of eastern Texas. The first lumber company organized was for the purpose of manufacturing lumber and purchasing timber lands. This was followed by the launching of the Texas Pine Land Association, of which corporation Mr. Kirby became general manager.

His interests became so great that in 1890, in order to be able to see people and to be seen by them, he moved to Houston, where he has resided ever since. Mr. Kirby was then 30 years of age and was at the head of two of the largest timber companies in Texas.

The difficulties and loss caused by the logging methods then in operation, as well as the immense quantities of timber that were inaccessible on account of lack of transportation facilities, next attracted his attention. In 1893 he conceived and carried to successful termination the building of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway, which penetrated the heart of the eastern Texas pine district. The force of his character is shown by this accomplishment. The panic of the succeeding years carried many of the strongest institutions in the country to the wall, but the road was built. How is a question that few understand. Even those engaged with him in the enterprise scarcely know how the money for carrying out the plans was obtained. The road when sold to the Santa Fe system ran north from Beaumont a distance of about. seventy-five miles and right-of-way had been secured for its completion to San Augustine and thence to Center, fifty miles farther to the north. The road is today a part of the Santa re system and is a substantial dividend payer.

It was after disposing of the railroad that the great scheme of eastern Texas was presented to his mind. This embodied nothing less than the purchase of the various tracts of timber lands then on the market in east Texas. He had confidence in his plans, and inspired a confidence in the minds of his associates which has since been amply justified by results. The timber lands purchased during the panicky times of 1893-96 are today worth many times the prices paid for them. Capitalists were tired of holding as an investment tracts of timber that were apparently inaccessible to transportation. It was Mr. Kirby's chance to buy timber and get it at his own figure. He continued to purchase as long as there was any offered sale, regardless of the expressions of others that he would go to smash with the timber which had proven a burden to former owners. The plans for uniting his vast holdings were then in process of formation. He would form a lumber company able to take contracts for bills of timber and deliver them to any part of the world; a company that would be able to fill any order, regardless of its magnitude.

His plans, together with the resources he was willing to put up as an expression of his faith in them, were laid before critical eastern capitalists, and the result was the formation of a $10,000,000 lumber company. Ready cash was needed in large quantities, but was forthcoming and has been ever since when necessary. The company now owns and operates the mills of what were previously fourteen companies, viz., the Reliance Lumber Company, the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, the Beaumont Lumber Company, all of Beaumont; the Bancroft Lumber Company, of Orange, Tex.; Texas Pine Land Association, of Silsbee, Tex.; Yellow Pine Tie & Timber Company, at Lillard, Tex.; Cow Creek Tram Company, Call, Tex.; Kirbyville Lumber Company, Kirbyville, Tex.; Roganville Lumber Company, Roganville, Tex.; J. F. Keith Company. Sharon, Tex.; Village Mills Company, Village, Tex.; Southwestern Lumber Company, Mobile, Tex.; Doucette & Chapman, Woodville, Tex., and the T. H. Hackney Lumber Company, Fuqua, Tex.

Mr. Kirby was the leading spirit in the formation of the Houston Oil Company, which owns the lands and timber which have been contracted for by the Kirby Lumber Company. This concern is capitalized at $30,000,000 and has assets to its credit of nearly $50,000,000, mostly in yellow pine stumpage, though owning and controlling some of the best oil lands and oil interests in Texas. There is an important part in the industrial upbuilding of the state to, he played by this company, and the men behind it are fully capable of carrying out their parts.

In every enterprise with which Mr. Kirby has been connected he has accomplished what was expected of him and earned the highest praise and eulogiums of his friends and co-workers. He was receiver of the Houston Electric Railway Company and with skill and judgment put its affairs into splendid shape. He is president of two banks that rank among the most successful in Texas. He is at the head of the Southwestern Oil Company, a producer, refiner and distributor of oil, with headquarters in Houston and branches in all the principal cities of Texas; and in addition he has various interests, not the least of which are in connection with recently located oil fields of that section. Properly to enumerate his position it may be stated that he is president of the Kirby Lumber Company; president of the Planters' & Mechanics' National bank, of Houston; president of the First National bank of Austin and president of the Southwestern Oil Company.

Upon his return from New York in the fall of 1901, after having successfully financed the Kirby Lumber Company, Mr. Kirby was the recipient of a monster demonstration the counterpart of which was never given to another son of Texas. The representative citizens of the state as well as of the city of Houston gathered to do honor to the man and the occasion. On the evening of November 12, 1901, there were gathered in the parlors of the Rice hotel at Houston men not only from all parts of Texas but from the leading cities of the Union. The demonstration came as a complete surprise to Mr. Kirby and will linger in the memory of each guest present.

During the past few years many political honors have been offered Mr. Kirby, but he has steadily declined them with one exception, which was to accept an appointment from Governor Savers, of Texas, as one of the board of commissioners to take charge of an exhibit of the resources and products of the Lone Star State at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, to be held in St. Louis in 1904. He has been elected president of the commission, and it is only in keeping with his past record to predict an exceptionally fine showing on the part of his native state, if energy and industry can make it such. A recent honor, not political, was his enthusiastic election, in early August of this year, to the presidency of the Transmississippi Congress.

What Mr. Kirby personally regards as the greatest exhibition of confidence in himself was displayed by a young lady, a Miss Lelia Stewart, many years ago when he was at the tender age of 23. At that time Mr. Kirby had only himself to offer, but this was considered sufficient. He was married November 14, 1883. They have one child, a daughter, Miss Bessie Kirby, now about 17 years of age.

Mr. Kirby is a thirty-second degree Mason, a Knight Templar and a member of the Houston lodge of Elks. He belongs to the Houston Club and also the Manhattan Club of New York.

Mr. Kirby has not amassed his fortune from the wrecks of others. He is a creative genius, not a destroying power. He has enriched, not impoverished, those with whom he has been associated. No man ever lost a dollar or suffered a heartache by placing confidence in him, though probably no man has ever been more abused financially by his friends; yet he never deserted one of them, and his purse is always open. He began his education at 19; married at 23; was admitted to the bar at 25 and at 35 his remarkable executive ability had attracted the attention of conservative financiers. During the fourteen years he has been in active business he has worked eight hours a day for himself; eight hours encouraging his friends, relieving the distress of the needy, frustrating his enemies by his cheerful indifference to their criticisms and cheering on to some useful employment every man and every boy who came within the range of his influence.

No man living was ever more faithfully or capably served by a guardian of his time in the capacity of private secretary than is John H. Kirby by Ernest J. Eyres. Mr. Eyres is genial, polite and attentive to all callers. He does all in his power for the convenience and accommodation of those who wish to see his chief, but Mr. Kirby's desires are with him decisions of last resort, beyond possibility of discussion, and argument to the contrary is but “sweetness wasted upon the desert air.” He makes no engagements for himself; his time, his brain, his heart are centered upon but one thought—how he can best serve his principal. Private Secretary Eyres is every minute an illustration of “a message to Garcia.” He is 38 years of age and first met Mr. Kirby in Tyler County, Texas, in 1886, and no one is able to tell just when and how he became private secretary, but he fills that place. One must see Eyres to get to Kirby, and there is no other route.

  CHAPTER III. The Kirby Lumber Company--Formation  

The Houston Oil Company was granted a charter by the state of Texas July 5, 1901, with an authorized capital stock of $30,000,000. The capitalization of the company is double that of any other Texas corporation.

The company is authorized by its charter to prospect for oil and to market and refine it when produced; to build pipe lines, tank cars, tank steamers and other similar apparatus which may be found useful and necessary in carrying to a successful issue the plans of the company.

The basis on which this company was capitalized at the enormous figure represented was the ownership in fee simple of 918,000 acres of land in east Texas, rich in oil deposits, and bearing on the surface longleaf pine timber worth as . it now stands about one and one-half times the capital stock of the company.

John H. Kirby was the prime mover in the organization of this company. The discovery of oil at Beaumont, which electrified the world, turned Mr. Kirby's attention to the many places to the north and east of the location of the first strike where oil was actually known to ooze from the ground. He secured options on the land in question as well as on the plants which were then engaged in cutting the timber. The scheme of the double organization was then formed and carried to a successful termination. At this time the extent of the lake of oil or the extent of its accessibility was not known, and many, experts included, were confident that it came from the coal fields of Arkansas and Missouri. The question is still a matter of dispute among the experts, the others being satisfied with matters as they now stand, regardless of the origin of the oil.

The timber holdings of the Houston Oil Company represent its main asset. The main body of the company's holdings lies in the famous Neches valley, celebrated for its fine timber lands and good oil prospects. The extent of the holdings is shown on the accompanying map. Timber and oil lands are owned in fee simple in Jefferson, Liberty, Hardin, Tyler, Newton, Jasper, Sabine, Polk, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Aransas and a number of other counties. The pine timber on these lands is estimated to be worth at the present time about $40,000,000, and is increasing in value constantly.

The accompanying map shows the extent of the timber holdings of the Kirby Lumber Company and the Houston Oil Company in the eastern Texas longleaf pine district. As will be seen from the shaded portions of the map, the land owned by these companies embraces the major part of the longleaf pine lands of Texas. The significance of this company's holdings and contract is becoming more apparent as knowledge of the difficulty in securing tracts of timber in extent sufficient to warrant the construction of new mills becomes more widely known.

During the past few years the position of timber lands and the facilities for turning the standing pines into merchantable products have been reversed in their relations. Formerly an operation was rated by the character of the mill and equipment used in cutting timber into lumber; now the first question asked regarding a company engaged in the production of lumber is, “What kind of timber has it, and how much?” It is an easy matter to construct mills for the purpose of cutting lumber, but under present conditions it is extremely difficult to secure a body of timber sufficient to justify the construction of a mill.

With the facilities now at the command of those who wish to build a saw mill plant it is possible to construct one in a comparatively short time. Better and cheaper methods of manufacture are coming into use every year. The saw mill plant of today is a seemingly animated body, each part of which works in harmony with every other part. Compared with the plant of a previous decade the mill of today is mechanical perfection.

The extent of the timber owned and contracted for by the Kirby Lumber Company has been treated under another appropriate head, and it is mere reiteration to state again the magnitude of this feature. The development of the last six months, during which time the company has selected the location and ordered the machinery for three new mills in order to increase the output that it may correspond with the demand, illustrates in a forcible manner the fact that available timber holdings are today the basis on which any company engaged in the production of lumber may hope to operate.

There is timber on the lands shown on the accompanying map capable of supplying the mills of the Kirby company for the next twenty-five years, and this without cutting a stick under twelve inches in diameter at the first cross cut. Under the methods of forestry to be employed in utilizing the present supply of timber larger than the minimum stipulated not only will the smaller timber be given advantage of the increase in girth which the years will naturally add to it, but when the big trees that now overshadow the younger growth and absorb much of the nourishment in the soil shall have been removed the increase in growth in the younger trees will be greatly accelerated. A tree cannot be grown in twenty-five years, but the life of a forest such as owned by the Kirby company can be perpetuated indefinitely.

The first directors of the Houston Oil Company were: Col. John Wilcox Brown, president of the Maryland Trust Company, Baltimore, Md.; Finis D. Marshall, cashier Continental National bank, St. Louis; Harry T. Kent, St. Louis, president Southern Oil Company; N. D. Silsbee, of Boston, who is heavily interested in Texas commercial developments and who controls large Texas interests.

In addition to the above, the following well-known Texans are also interested in the company: S. B. Cooper, the veteran congressman, of Beaumont; O. C. Drew, W. W. Willson, B. F. Bonner, M. E. Foster (editor of the Chronicle), and Joe H. Eagle, all of Houston.

After the formation of the company it entered into a stumpage contract with John H. Kirby for the sale to him of 8,000,000,000 feet of longleaf yellow pine timber. Under this contract a tree unless capable of producing a log 12 inches in diameter at the small end shall not be cut. This contract with Mr. Kirby as an individual was assigned, with the consent of the Houston Oil Company, to the Kirby Lumber Company, the latter obligating itself to be bound by the same restrictions imposed upon the original vendee.

The mills now owned by the Kirby Lumber Company are capable of producing about 350,000,000 feet of merchantable lumber each year, but under the terms of the contract it has bound itself to construct additional mills, increasing the total output by 50,000,000 feet during the next five years, by the same amount for the succeeding five years, and in like manner until the company's mills shall have a capacity of 500,000,000 feet annually.

The timber cut by the Kirby Lumber Company is to be paid for in the following manner:

For the first 350,000,000 feet $3 per 1,000 feet.

For the second 350,000,000 feet $3.50 per 1,000 feet.

For the third 350,000,000 feet $4 per 1,000 feet.

For the fourth 350,000,000 feet $4.50 per 1,000 feet, and $5 a thousand for all additional timber cut and used. The payments under this contract are to be made semi-annually on January 10 and July 10 of each year.

The fact that the Kirby Lumber Company has agreed to pay $5 a thousand for all of the timber used except the first 1,400,000,000 feet has had a stimulating effect on timber values of the south. Of late years yellow pine stumpage has increased in value steadily, and it is today one of the most readily accepted securities offered by the south. It is one of nature's indestructible gifts to man and puts the latter to no expense in preserving it. The forests owned by this company will increase rather than diminish in value as the years go by. Time will add stature to the trees and make merchantable product out of many of the saplings of today. The company has recognized this fact.

The Houston Oil Company has arranged to anticipate the payments accruing to it under its contract with the Kirby Lumber Company. By the terms of this contract the lumber company is bound to purchase not less than 350,000,000 feet at prices varying from $3 to $5, during the next five years, and thereafter from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 feet of timber at $5 a thousand feet. This gives the Houston Oil Company an income varying from $1,050,000 in 1902 to $2,250,000 in 1916. In order to anticipate these payments timber certificates are to be issued bearing interest at 6 per cent, payable semi-annually in gold. These certificates shall not be issued for a larger aggregate than $11,000,000. Of this amount $6,485,539 in certificates has been issued, of which $6,000,000 only are at present offered for sale or have been placed. The remaining $5,000,000 will be issued as deemed advisable by the company.

The certificate entitles the holder to a beneficial interest in the contract with the Kirby Lumber Company, which has been assigned by the Houston Oil Company to the trustees for the benefit of the timber certificate holders, and stipulates for the cutting of timber by the Kirby Lumber Company in quantities and at prices sufficient to realize during the next ten years about $20,000,000 in excess of what will be required to retire the timber certificates, principal and interest, which have already been issued.

The performance of this contract is guaranteed by the Houston Oil Company, which places all of its property under a first mortgage to the owners of the timber certificates. In addition to the property enumerated, this mortgage included a recently acquired 51-100 interest in the so-called Sabine Pass property, which embraces about 14,595 acres of land with a water frontage of about three miles on Sabine Pass harbor at the railroad terminals.

The monies paid in by the Kirby Lumber Company, which are secured by a first mortgage on all the property of the Houston Oil Company, will be more than sufficient to redeem the certificates maturing for any one year, in addition to the payment of the interest on outstanding certificates and stock. To illustrate, take 1905: The Kirby Lumber Company will purchase that year 350,000,000 feet of timber, paying for it at the rate of $4.50 a thousand, or a total of $1,575,000, which, added to the oil company's income from other sources, gives a total of $1,662,500. The interest account for this year amounts to $331,200; the amount of certificates to be retired $420,000, leaving a surplus to be applied in retiring other certificates in 1905, which the company reserves the right to do, of $914,200. The contract with the lumber company has been assigned to the Maryland Trust Company, which is acting as trustee, and will be used in retiring the timber certificates as above stated, after satisfying all other obligations of the company.

The authorized capital stock of the Houston Oil Company is $30,000,000, divided into 300,000 shares of a par value of $100 each. Of the stock issued or to be issued later, 200,000 shares are common and the remaining 100,000 shares preferred stock. The preferred stock is entitled to a 6 per cent cumulative dividend, payable semi-annually out of the surplus in the company's treasury. The common stock is entitled to such dividends as the board of directors may see fit to declare. The company reserves the privilege of redeeming the preferred stock at 105 with accrued dividends.

The 8,000,000,000 feet of pine timber purchased by the Kirby Lumber Company at the prices mentioned represents a value of $38,250,000. If for any reason the amount of lumber cut by the Kirby Lumber Company should fall below the specified number of feet it is stipulated that the amount of stumpage named in the contract shall be paid for, and the timber represented thereby shall be owned by the purchaser.

  CHAPTER IV. Details of Mill Organization.  

When the sawmill plants which go to make up the property of the Kirby Lumber Company were finally transferred to it, men who had grown up in the work, whose early life and more mature years had been spent in cutting pine lumber, severed their connection with the trade, in the majority of instances never again to take up the calling.

The new management took possession of its property, but there was little or no change noticeable in the manner in which the plants were operated. In the majority of cases the old force was retained, with the possible exception of the chief executive, and in instances even this office was filled by its former incumbent. Heads of departments were selected and installed in their various offices. There were no delays, no false starts in getting the new order in operation. The chief difference was that the manager of a mill, who previously had to secure as well as to fill orders, could now turn his entire attention to getting out the stock, his duties being limited and defined. It is this centralization or specialization of detail work, which has since been adhered to, that has given rise to the present prosperity of the company.

Each department of the work around a mill was put in charge of capable hands, and the province of this executive was to see that everything was in shape and to keep it in that condition. One person whose entire attention is given to a certain duty or study attains a proficiency in that one line that is impossible where the mind is distracted by half a dozen claims on the attention of the worker.

As large as this company is, however, and vast as are the interests it represents, it by no means controls the lumber output of Texas. There are at present something like 350 saw mills operated in the state and of this number the company owns and controls fourteen, counting the mill destroyed recently by fire.

At the time these mills were purchased they represented a cutting capacity of about 950,000 feet daily. Since then the company has been engaged in remodeling and increasing the capacity of a number of the mills that have exceptionally fine timber supply, and in addition thereto has planned the construction of three new mills. The original purchases included fourteen mills with a capacity as indicated by the following table:

Letter, Location, (Former Name), Capacity.
A* Beaumont -- formerly Reliance Lumber Company -- 75,000
B* Beaumont -- formerly Texas Tram & Lbr. Company -- 75,000
C** Beaumont -- formerly Beaumont Lumber Company -- 80,000
D* Orange -- formerly Bancroft Lumber Company -- 80,000
E Silsbee -- formerly Texas Pine Land Association -- 70,000
F Lillard -- formerly Yellow Pine Tie & Timber Co -- 40,000
G Call -- formerly Cow Creek Tram -- 100,000
H Kirbyville -- formerly Kirbyville Lumber Company -- 35,000
J Roganville -- formerly Roganville Lumber Company -- 40,000
K Sharon -- formerly J. F. Keith Company -- 75,000
L Village -- formerly Village Mills Company -- 85,000
M Woodville -- formerly Doucette & Chapman -- 30,000
N Mobile -- formerly Southwestern Lbr. Company -- 85,000
O Fuqua -- formerly T. L. Hackney Lbr. Company -- 80,000

Total daily cut of all mills purchased 950,000
*Operated double time
**Destroyed by fire

From a point of mill efficiency, the showing made by the above table is not so great as would naturally be expected from the number of mills involved. It must be remembered, however, that the original purchases of timber lands carried these small plants with them. Since the purchase of the lands the company has continued to operate the mills, but at the same time has been energetically carrying out plans for the construction of modern equipped plants with which to replace the smaller mills. In addition to this several of the above saw mills have been remodeled and will in a short time be ready for operation. The increase in the production of the plants in question is not included in the above schedule. In some cases the output will be more than doubled, and all of the mills will receive, in time, attention in this respect.

During the last few months the Kirby Lumber Company has begun the erection of three additional mills, with capacities ranging from 100,000 to 250,000 feet for each day of ten hours. In addition to this, several of the old mills are being overhauled and new and additional machinery put in. The mill at Call has been rejuvenated and machinery added to the present equipment sufficient to bring the capacity of a 10-hour run up to 150,000 feet a day.

The mills have been systematically repaired and kept in condition since they were purchased by the company, and in many instances a large amount of new machinery, has been used to replace that which had been allowed to deteriorate from natural wear. This plan of keeping matters in shipshape order all the time and everything about the mills up to a high grade of perfection is having the desired result, and breaks and accidents, frequent at first, have continued to decrease as the practical details of the plan have become effective.

  CHAPTER V. Transportation Facilities  

The lands from which the Kirby Lumber Company will cut the present stand of timber are traversed by a network of railroads, centering in Beaumont and extending from that point in all directions. Three systems with as many branches penetrate from Beaumont to the northeast, south and west. Of these is the Southern Pacific, paralleling the coast from Houston to New Orleans, with a branch from Beaumont north to Nacogdoches, where a junction is formed with the Houston, East & West Texas railway. The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe enters this field by a branch line from Somerville, connecting at Silsbee with the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City, and from this point, over the line of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City, to Beaumont. The latter line formerly was known as the Kirby line and was purchased by the Santa Fe system some time ago.

The Kansas City Southern railroad has connection with all the roads centering at Beaumont. From Beaumont the road runs in a southeasterly direction to Port Arthur, a distance of about eighteen miles.

The Gulf & Interstate railway leaves Beaumont in a southwesterly direction. The ultimate terminus of this road will be Galveston, and when completed it will form an air line from Beaumont to that port.

In addition to the Southern Pacific line, which now extends north to Nacogdoches, the company is contemplating an extension of this branch which will connect with the Houston & Texas Central line south of Dallas and form an outlet for the direct transportation of the mill products to Dallas, where good connections can be made with all roads entering the territories, Kansas and adjacent states.

The Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City line, now owned and operated by the Santa Fe people, has been extended to within a few miles of San Augustine and a right of way has been secured for the road to Timpson, where it will connect with the Houston, East & West Texas railway, the latter road being an air line from Shreveport to Houston.

The Orange & Northwestern has been completed from Orange to a junction point with the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City at Buna, Tex., where the company purposes to erect its largest mill. This will form an outlet to the eastern markets via the Orange & Northwestern and Southern Pacific railways either to the gulf or by rail to destination.

These lines of railroad give the company access to all the markets of the southwest as well as to the great central and northern states. In addition to these, several other lines have been surveyed and the promoters have secured charters from the state for their construction.

The Houston, Beaumont & New Orleans Railroad Company secured a charter during the past spring for a line from Houston to New Orleans via Beaumont, which would penetrate a section of timber country heretofore inaccessible for want of transportation facilities. It is understood that the International & Great Northern interests are fathering this proposed road.

The St. Louis Southwestern railway or “Cotton Belt” has secured an amendment to its charter authorizing it to extend its line south from Lufkin to the Sabine river, there to connect with the timber roads of east Texas. This will form a direct connection with the St. Louis market as well as intermediate stations along the Cotton Belt lines.

The importance of the timber products of east Texas has been recognized by the railroads throughout the country, and especially is this true of the roads to the west, where new sections are being opened up steadily, giving rise to a big demand for lumber and similar commodities. The Santa Fe recognized the fact when it built the Somerville branch and bought the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City line. In a report made by this company regarding the east Texas pine industry it states:

In a comparatively new and growing community like that served by the Atchison system the demand for forest products is almost ceaseless. Our territory east of the Rocky mountains, embracing nearly 5,000 miles of road and reaching a very large number of towns and cities is barren of trees available for lumber and looks to other regions for its supply, so that our company has been compelled to divide its lumber revenue with the roads originating this business. The largest tracts of forest now remaining in the United States are the longleaf pine districts located in southeastern Texas. The Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway has a line of seventy-five miles in length (including eleven miles of branches) from Beaumont, Tex., north to Rogan, with an extension of sixty-one miles still further north to San Augustine, the greater part of which has been completed and is now in operation. This line penetrates the heart of the Texas timber country and is now delivering to connecting lines the lumber originating at the mills located along its right of way.

The Orange & Northwestern, although only a short line, forms an important link in this network of railroads. Lumber from the Orange mills, destined for points to the north, can be routed by this line and in this way avoid the delay which may be caused by a congestion in the Beaumont freight yards. The haul is much shorter, and there is usually a saving of a day to a day and a half when cars are routed by the Orange & Northwestern. The same is true when freight is consigned in the opposite direction. The road is used for transporting export bills from interior mills to Orange, when it is found necessary to distribute such bills among interior mills for cutting.

As will be seen from the map on page 22, the roads enumerated form an outlet for mill products in every direction to the north, east and west, as well as afford an all-rail route to new and old Mexico. In addition to these means of sending lumber to points of consumption, the close proximity of the gulf furnishes unrivaled facilities for filling export orders. The method of shipping in vogue at Orange, with reference to both Mexican and European orders, is discussed in connection with the plant at that point. This class of business is received by sea-going vessels at Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, either from rafts formed by the timbers shipped or from barges which are loaded at the wharf of the Kirby Lumber Company at Orange.

The connections formed by the Texas & New Orleans railroad with the docks at Sabine place another seaport at the disposal of the company, which can be used to great advantage in shipping the products of the interior mills destined for foreign points. The importance of this port, situated as it is about midway between Galveston and New Orleans, deserves special recognition.

The mouth of the Sabine river, or what is known as Sabine Pass, the body of deep water connecting Sabine lake with the gulf, is about 125 miles east of Galveston. It is the only natural port between Galveston and New Orleans and has an average depth of 24 to 43 feet. Through the Sabine channel the waters of the Sabine and the Neches rivers pass to the gulf, and these streams are navigable for a considerable distance by ocean going vessels and by tugs and light draft boats as far up as Beaumont on the Neches, and Orange on the Sabine river.

At present the Texas & New Orleans is the only railroad which has connections with this outlet, but the necessity for a port in this vicinity is so great that the other trunk lines at interest are seeking amendments to their charters so as to permit them to secure connections for this point, either directly or over some competitive line, enabling them to send the surplus products originating on their lines to outside markets, and especially is this true in regard to the surplus cut of the Kirby Lumber Company.

The necessity for a port of entry at this point on the gulf is becoming more manifest each year. The developments along industrial lines now under way in the southwest, which are actual and not suppositional, have created a demand for cheaper means of marketing the surplus. The great grain sections of the central and southwestern states, whose surplus products go far toward supplying the deficits of foreign countries, are located much nearer the gulf, both geographically and by rail, than to the eastern seaport towns, and those engaged in grain and stock raising are seeking the cheapest and quickest way of turning their productions into money. While the foregoing is true of grain and other agricultural products, Sabine Pass is the Mecca toward which the eyes of the lumbermen of southeastern Texas are turning as a gateway through which they can send their foreign orders.

To the north and east are the greatest tracts of pine and cypress in the United States, and the lumber wants of the world are pouring into the offices of those engaged in cutting this timber. Adequate transportation facilities have been provided for sending the stock from the mills of the Kirby Lumber Company to the gulf by both rail and water carriers.

While the natural advantages of the harbor are greater than those offered by any other port along the coast, there is still a great deal of work to be done, either by the government or by private enterprise, before it can be considered complete and ready for operation. At present the water at Sabine City near the mouth of the river, and where it is proposed to build the additional wharves, is from 30 to 40 feet deep. This does not imply, however, that there is a channel of this depth from the gulf to the wharf landing. The natural advantages have been increased by wisely directed labor, so that there is now a water course, protected by jetties from the open waters of the gulf to Sabine wharves, which is not less than 24 feet. deep at any point, and from this depth varies to as much as 40 feet in the deeper places.

The government has made appropriations from time to time for the prosecution of the work of maintaining the open water way from Sabine to the gulf. In 1896 it authorized a continuing contract for the improvement of this port to the amount of $1,050,000, to be appropriated as needed. In 1897, $350,000 was expended in the work and an additional $100,000 for a dredge boat to be used in deepening and widening the channel over the bar between the harbor and the gulf proper. This left an unexpended $700,000 of the total amount set aside for this purpose. Of this amount $400,000 was used in 1898, and the remainder has been used since that time in perpetuating the work first done. The Kirby Lumber Company has been instrumental in furthering the plans for the development of this port.

Oil and lumber are the chief commodities that have been sent through this port during the past two rears. The former has probably exceeded the latter in point of value and tonnage. The construction of pipe lines from the oil fields of southern Texas to the loading racks of the exporters at the seaboard has made it possible for the oil companies to send their products direct from the well to vessel by means of pumping stations. The cost of loading was thus reduced to a minimum. This feature of the oil fields of Texas has never been duplicated by any other field, and it stands today as one of the greatest advantages of the Texas El Dorado.

As an outlet for the vast array of agricultural products of the sections to the north, east and west it is without a rival. The trade with the West India islands is growing steadily, and in exchange for the lumber, cotton goods, grain and other products of the central west come the fruits and products of the luxuriant southern isles. Sabine Pass is the natural and near outlet for this section to the new haven of commerce, and is also one of the most valuable ports through which to reach the great west with products from the West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America. As these new fields are developed the present commercial relations between the countries will be cemented together in bonds of mutual advantage, and the commodities interchanged must necessarily pass through this or some other gulf port.

During the past few years many improvements have been made in the way of substantial business and residence houses, several new hotels, a new depot for the Southern Pacific, a custom house, wharf slips with railroad terminals alongside, the slips capable of receiving vessels drawing twenty to twenty-four feet of water. The water front immediately adjacent to the town is reserved for switching terminals, warehouses and other conveniences.

The town at the nearest point is two and a half miles from the coast line, about four miles from a fine sand and shell beach and five and a half miles from the outer end of the jetties. It lies directly in front of the best natural harbor on the gulf coast, where the water is deep enough to float the largest ocean vessel and extensive enough to accommodate the commerce of a great city.

Sabine Pass was a town before the civil war. The Texas & New Orleans line of railroad was completed to this point in the early '50s, long before the present line between Houston and New Orleans was projected. At that time it was used to send freight from the interior to Sabine, where the Morgan line of steamers received it and carried it to destination. Cotton, lumber and live stock, the first two articles predominating, were shipped from this port to distant points. At that time nothing had been done to deepen the channel across the bar, but taking advantage of high tides and the soft mud bottom, vessels drawing eight. to ten feet of water—and even more—readily made their way up to the loading docks. At the end of the civil strife but little remained of the former port. Business houses and manufacturers had closed or had been forced out of business. The railroad to the north had been abandoned. Depots, factories, mills and residences had been burned or allowed to decay. It took years to repair the damages inflicted during the four years' struggle, and it is only of late that the port has assumed anything like the importance it formerly enjoyed.

During the Spanish-American war the government erected two fortifications for the protection of the harbor, one located near the inner end of the west jetty, which was equipped with four guns of small caliber; the other, at about the same point on the east jetty, was provided with a modern 8-inch breech-loading rifle, of the type made famous by Dewey and Schley. As a further protection the channel was lined with torpedoes and mines. The brush with Spain was not prolonged for a sufficient length of time to test the efficiency of these precautions.

The Houston, Beaumont & New Orleans railway is expected to build to Sabine Pass next year and also the International & Great Northern. A charter has been secured to the state line at Sabine Pass, which will give another gulf outlet to the Gould system of the west and southwest, including the Missouri Pacific railway.

Sabine Pass is today a subport of entry and delivery in the customs district of Galveston, with authority to enter and clear vessels, receive duties and to perform such other services and receive compensation therefore as the exigencies of commerce may require. It is the most convenient port through which to ship the foreign orders of the Kirby mills and is being used for this purpose by the company.

  CHAPTER VI. General Offices and Officers  

The intricate affairs of the Kirby Lumber Company are directed by its general officers from its home in Houston. When the company was launched the offices occupied the second floor of the Planters' & Mechanics' bank on Main street, but these quarters soon became too small, and shortly afterward the sales and accounting departments were given an entire floor on Franklin street. The two offices are connected by a rear passage, which practically puts all the offices on one floor, as the distance traversed by the passageway is short.

Many of the heads of departments retain their private dens in the bank building, the new offices being used chiefly by the sales and accounting departments of the company. Both buildings are light and airy, with good ventilation insured by numerous skylights and front and rear windows. In summer the offices are cooled by a large number of electric fans.

It is the personnel of the officers more than the location or kind of buildings occupied by them that commands the admiration of the investigator. The men who are today guiding and controlling the affairs of this giant company have one common qualification: They are all men of ability and experience. Theory goes only a very short distance with the management. Practical plans that produce results are eagerly sought after and discussed. The men as a class, as will be seen from a perusal of the sketches given, are in most instances the product of their own ambitious exertions. Hard blows from the teacher Experience have taught them the value of thoroughness, of the practical and have given them a true conception of their own abilities and the fact that a certain cause will produce a certain result. They are by no means believers in perpetual motion and are willing to expend the necessary nerve and brain force to keep matters progressing steadily.

When it is considered that the majority of the men who are now engaged in furthering the plans of this company—and the same is true of nearly every other industry of the south—passed through the dark days of the strife of the '60s and that all witnessed a part of the gloomy times of the reconstruction, the strides they have made in commercial and industrial progress are among the most noteworthy events of the history of our land. Many of these men began life without the rudiments of an education, but despite the fierce struggle for existence they succeeded in some manner, some hardly know how themselves, in accumulating a stock of knowledge of men and practical things that has in a manner replaced the lack of a college training.

The men who make up the staff of the Kirby Lumber Company have all stood the test of actual operations. In the formation of a company as large as this, representing as it does the investment of many million dollars, too much attention cannot be given to the men who control the detailed operations. On the economical conduct of the minor affairs of a company depends in a great measure the success or failure of the concern. There is a large mail order house in Chicago which estimates to a minute fraction of a cent the cost of advertising, the question of profit depending on which side of the ledger the fraction stands. While there is perhaps more latitude to be allowed in conducting lumber operations, still success or failure is largely written by those who conduct the minor details.

Those who control the affairs of the company are not, however, all of the south. There are men in the company's employ from all parts of the continent. Lumbermen of experience from the pine woods of Maine, from the Michigan forests, the Virginia mountains and from far off Canada are represented in the list. The American nation today owes its strength and force to the many people who have combined to produce the American. The art and handicraft of the world are represented by the American people, and the same is true, though in a lesser degree, of these men of many states who are engaged in one of the largest lumber operations in the Union. The man from Maine and the man from Virginia occupy adjoining desks and exchange cigars, in addition to swapping stories of their various experiences. In this way the methods of operations in all parts of the country are discussed and the best and most economical chosen, and this is (lone without in any way trespassing upon the authority of any head of department. The best evidence of the worth of these men, however, will be found in the results arising from their efforts, which have universally been satisfactory.

At the time the Kirby Lumber Company began operations Mr. Aldridge resigned his position as superintendent of trains and tracks of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway to accept that of manager of trains and logging operations for the new company. On first acquaintance few would recognize in this quiet, unassuming gentleman an authority on logging operations. Beneath this quiet appearance, however, is hidden a force that is felt, and felt to be admired, by those who come in contact with him in either a business or a social way. While by no means a talkative man he has a fund of quaint humor at his command which he uses to advantage on occasions.

He was born in Limestone county, Texas, on May 26, 1863. His boyhood days were spent in Mississippi, but when 19 years of age he returned to Texas and began his career as a railroader, which ended only when he was asked to accept the position of assistant to the president. His intimate acquaintance with the various departments, together with his long association with Mr. Kirby in the past, gave him a peculiar fitness for this post, which at times invests him virtually with the powers of the president in many matters during his superior's absence.

Mr. Aldridge has never been handicapped by a “pull”, and his work is characterized by a thoroughness that is due solely to conscientious effort. He knows how to do things himself, as well as to tell others how he wants them done. His apprenticeship included service in every capacity from brakeman up to superintendent of a railroad. He has been continually with Mr. Kirby for the past nine years, and this has given him a knowledge of the latter's methods of doing business that is invaluable to both.

Judge Shaw was tendered the position of secretary of the Kirby Lumber Company in April last, and took charge of his office May 1, 1902. His duties are not confined strictly to the usual routine appertaining to a secretaryship, as his knowledge of legal matters often makes him valuable in other ways.

His people came from “'way down east,” where, as he states, they “pry the sun up in the morning and set him going for the day.” They moved to Galveston, where the subject of this sketch was born. The judge is a veteran of the civil war, having entered the army when a mere boy, and served to the close of hostilities. He was then of an age when most boys are still surrounded by home and parental influences. Left to himself at the close of the strife, without parents or means, he shipped to sea for a couple of years, but finding the life distasteful quit the billows and settled in Houston.

His first employment there was as city agent for the Daily Times, where he remained for two years, part of the time acting as proofreader, bookkeeper, etc. From this time on he tried a number of employments. He established a bookbinding establishment which he operated a year; then acted as bookkeeper for the First National bank for three years, leaving this employment to accept a position with Crosby & Hill. After the dissolution of the firm he remained with Judge Hill, a nephew of Senator Ben Hill, of Georgia, and was put in charge of a certain part of the business, constituting the attorneyship of the lines which now compose the Southern Pacific system in Texas.

A lawyer he has since remained. The position as railroad attorney was retained for about eighteen years, after which, Judge Hill having severed his connection with the railroad interests, Judge Shaw began practicing for himself.

Kind but, as he terms them, “mistaken” friends later induced him to enter politics, and his compliance with their solicitation was due in a measure to the loss of certain property by fire. He was defeated for city attorney, though running ahead of his ticket, but was later nominated and elected county judge of Harris county. He lost the nomination at the primaries during the second election by one vote out of over 7,000 cast.

He was married in 1869 and has two children, one of whom is now house surgeon at St. Joseph's Infirmary, Houston, and the other a civil engineer at present employed in Louisiana.

Judge Shaw makes no mention of where he secured his education, but in common with many others of the south must necessarily have picked it up as he went along. His contact with the rough side of the world has not embittered him in the least; he is today one of the men of whom the south boasts. He is an interesting talker, a fluent writer, and blessed with a sunny disposition that endears him to all with whom he comes in contact.

James L. Kirby, the only brother of John H. Kirby, was born in Lawrence county, Mississippi, in 1843, and is now 58 years of age. Little of his life was spent in Mississippi, however, for he settled in Tyler county, Texas, in 1850, and in 1863, when 20 years of age, entered the confederate service and continued until the close of the war. In 1891 he was appointed by District Judge Ford receiver of the Summit Lumber Company, and has been continuously in the lumber business since that time. For the past six years he has most ably filled the position of general superintendent of the Texas Pine Land Association, with headquarters at Silsbee. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby will hereafter make their home in Kountze, Texas. Their only son, Dr. Henry S. Kirby, resides at Silsbee, where he is company physician for the Kirby Lumber Company in addition to his private practice, while their only daughter, Mrs. Austin M. Hill, is a resident of Woodville.

James L. Kirby is a conservative, careful and thorough business man, and being seventeen years older than John Henry, the latter feels that much of the credit for his abundant success is due to the loving counsel and conservative advice of his elder brother. James L. Kirby is a splendid type of the quiet, unobtrusive but true southern gentleman. He makes no parade of his work or his business, but he has always been successful and he counts his friends almost to the full limit of his acquaintances. He is especially popular in the home office, and it was a source of a great deal of disappointment to the entire force when it was decided that he could handle his portion of the business better from Kountze than from Houston, as until recently it was expected that Houston would be his home.

The treasurer of the Kirby Lumber Company is W. B. Fariss, a resident of New York city. Mr. Fariss has been prominent in the financial organization of the company and his time is chiefly occupied with these broader details, leaving the local routine work of the treasurership to the assistant treasurer, who resides in Houston.

As his office naturally suggests, Mr. Helbig handles the cash for the company. He has been engaged in this occupation for so long that it would require a tram engine to haul the load if the money that has passed through his hands were gathered into one pile. He has been associated with Mr. Kirby for the past eleven years, and is one of the oldest men who have followed in this energetic mover's lead.

In 1897 he was given charge of the accounting office of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway, which penetrates the immense forest reserves held by the company. He held the position of auditor of this system for four and one-half years, and the manner in which he discharged his duties was so satisfactory that he was called to the Houston office when the new company was organized.

Mr. Helbig is a busy man but does not let this fact rob him of his innate courtesy, although he has a reserve of manner which makes him present an appearance of formality on occasions. Underneath this apparent reserve is a heart that is all gold and one that is ever ready to serve his friends, who are legion.

This important department of the company is being conducted at present by Messrs. Haskins & Sells, certified public accountants. The firm is represented by H. A. Dunn, who is acting auditor for the Kirby Lumber Company.

A new system of accounting is being installed by the acting auditor. All matters pertaining to the properties with respect to former owners are being closed as rapidly as possible. A new set of books is being opened for keeping the records of the company. The work is progressing rapidly under the able guidance of Mr. Dunn.

The Kirby Lumber Company has as the members of its board of directors the following gentlemen, of wide and varied experience covering in the aggregate all the departments and activities of the company: John H. Kirby, Houston, Tex.; F. A. Reichardt, Houston, Tex.; H. Baldwin Rice, Houston, Tex.; F. M. Aldridge, Houston, Tex.; Theodore S. Wilkin, Houston, Tex.; James Brown, New York City; G. Hunter Brown, New York City; Wm. Wiess, Beaumont, Tex.; J. Frank Keith, Beaumont, Tex.

At the last meeting of the board of directors it was decided to elect from the members of that board an executive board. This board, as the name implies, was created for the purpose of carrying out the active operations of the company. The personnel of the board is: John H. Kirby, Theodore S. Wilkin and F. M. Aldridge. The affairs of the company are thus placed in capable and willing hands who have both the ability and the will to carry out their details.

  CHAPTER VII. Purchasing and Sales Departments  

The purchasing department of the Kirby Lumber Company is presided over by W. W. Willson. The province of this department of the company's affairs is confined principally to purchasing supplies for the commissaries, though it also keeps the mills supplied with all necessary materials for repairs.

Mr. Willson has an office in the general office building of the company at Houston. Requisitions for supplies of any character are forwarded to him and then sent to the general storekeeper at Beaumont to be filled, if the articles desired are kept in stock, or purchased and forwarded to the point making the requisition if not on hand. The varied nature of the requirements of the different stores calls for a large assortment of goods, there being practically nothing manufactured that cannot be secured through this department.

The sales department of the Kirby Lumber Company is maintained for the purpose of disposing of the cut of fourteen mills. In view of the constantly increasing demand for longleaf pine timbers and lumber the company has plans on foot to build five more. This is being done so that the general sales agent, Samuel T. Swinford, and his corps of assistants may not lack the munitions of war.

Mr. Swinford claims that the duties of his department are to “sell lumber.” The purpose for which Mr. Priddie's office was created is to “sell lumber”, and Ray Wiess was given his present position as assistant to the general sales agent for the same purpose. The duties of a department of this magnitude were perhaps never before summed up in such concise terms. These two words cover a world of meaning and somewhere in them are concealed the labors of an entire department.

How is it done? Mr. Swinford undoubtedly knows, but prefers to keep the secrets of his office inviolate. He has the true conception of his duties and is proving his ability to carry this conception to a realization.

Walk into the office of the general sales agent and one is met with a quick, peremptory, “What can I do for you?” The words in some manner lose their sting and gruffness and the tone in which they are uttered is belied by the genial light in Mr. Swinford's eyes and the good humored half smile that plays around his lips. None of the force or directness with which he deals with those who come in contact with him is lost, however, and it is this faculty of keeping the main object of the visit ever in view that has made him the salesman he is today. It is not to be deduced from this, however, that his time and attention are given to business to the exclusion of everything else.

In writing of the sales department it is impossible to get far from the head of it, whose force and personality pervade every nook and corner. Their concentration reminds one of Gilbert and Sullivan's “Pooh-Bah.” So long as you deal with this end of the business you are in contact with its director. Mr. Swinford can talk for hours and can tell a very plausible story of Hamlet with Hamlet relegated to obscurity.

The company at this time employs no traveling salesmen and the greater portion of the business is secured through correspondence. The demand for lumber during the period of the existence of the company has been so heavy that a number of its largest orders have been closed at the company's offices in Houston, those men purchasing it coming there for that purpose. After the orders are received, it is the duty of the sales department properly to distribute them to the various mills, attention being given to the matter of freight in this instance and usually the mill with best facilities for filling an order is given notice to get it out. This is dependent in a great measure, however, upon former orders. the grade of timber being furnished that particular mill at the time, and upon other governing factors.

Mr. Swinford is an untiring worker whose office hours bear enough elasticity to accommodate the day's business, whether it be large or small. He has the happy faculty of meeting the prospective purchaser and discussing the matter under consideration in a friendly manner which robs it of all formality. He generally figures that the buyer wants lumber and he wants to sell it. This is a simple proposition and one he usually succeeds in solving.

In addition to his. abilities as a salesman Mr. Swinford is an all-around timberman and, given the equipment of a mill and the quality of logs being supplied it, he can determine accurately in advance the result of a run for a certain period, and his calculations seldom vary to any great extent from the actual results. He has been actively connected with the lumber trade for over thirty years; as a result of his actual experiences there is not a department that is not familiar to him.

Ray Wiess, or “Ray,” as he is more familiarly known, shows the hereditary trait. It is scarcely to be wondered, considering his ancestry, that he is a lumberman. His father, and his father's father are as well known in lumber annals as is the history of the yellow pines of east Texas. Ray Wiess was born and reared at Beaumont, where lumber was king. His father, Mark Wiess, was then actively engaged in the manufacture of lumber, but gave his son free choice as to his occupation. After finishing his education, which was begun at Beaumont and supplemented by a course at the state university at Austin, he returned home, where for a short time he worked for the Long Manufacturing Company. When this concern went under he decided that newspaper work would about suit his tastes and from that drifted into civil engineering. Later he decided to visit Europe.

Kipling in one of his stories causes Mulvaney to say that once the pipeclay has entered a mans system he belongs to the army forevermore. When young Wiess returned from Europe he drifted as naturally to the lumber service as a log drifts with the current. This time he went with the Reliance mill and from this on he has remained a faithful adherent to the lumberman's camp.

After the Reliance mill passed into the hands of the Kirby Lumber Company he was given the position of local sales agent at Beaumont, which he filled to the satisfaction of the general agent, which is saying much. On July 1, 1902, he was tendered the office of assistant to the general sales agent, which position he now fills. During Mr. Swinford's absence he acts in his stead, virtually assuming the office of sales agent for the time being. The photograph of Mr. Wiess shows a young looking man; twenty-eight years have passed away since he first saw the light.

W. A. Priddie, western sales agent, with headquarters at Kansas City in the lumber building (Keith & Perry), is an important factor in helping to move the 25,000,000 feet of lumber the company sells each month and is increasing his sales steadily in order properly to place a full share of the 40,000,000 feet which it is proposed to sell in the near future during each thirty days. Mr. Priddie came into the employ of the Kirby company from the Reliance mill, where his position as sales agent had given him an acquaintance with lumber dealers through the south and west that is hardly equaled by that of any other man.

Mr. Priddie is of Virginia extraction, but has been in Texas so long and has formed so many intimate acquaintances among Texas lumber dealers and manufacturers that many are prone to believe him a product of the Lone Star State. He has a business air about him that brings results and his position as western agent for the company has been filled to the satisfaction of all. The buyers are pleased, the company satisfied and Mr. Priddie spends his leisure time in looking up new business for the Kirby mills.

The Beaumont sales office is in charge of D. E. Chapin, who is known as city sales agent at that point. When this position was vacated by Ray Wiess, young Chapin stepped into office. The best testimonial of his worth comes from those in authority, whose comment is that saying he fills the position acceptably is putting the question mildly. Mr. Chapin is a young man with large experience, polished manners and discriminating judgment.

  CHAPTER VIII.: Location of Markets--Export Trade

It is the location of product or property that gives it its chief value. The proximity of a market for a commodity has much to do with the profit accruing to the owner or producer. Illustrative of this, using a broad term: A cargo of gold would be worthless on a desert isle unless some means were at hand to bring it to civilization; a rich harvest might be garnered in central Africa, but aside from supplying food for the worker, would be valueless. So in considering any industrial proposition—the accessibility of a market and the probable competition which the product will encounter after being placed on the market are matters that deserve consideration.

In this connection a brief review of the lumber situation, embracing the source of supply and demand, will prove of value.

Broadly speaking, trace a line beginning at the northern boundary of the United States and following the Red river of the North south to Fargo, N. D.; thence southeast to Minneapolis; then in a southeasterly direction to about Clinton, Iowa; following in this direction, with a rounding curve so as to leave extreme eastern and southern Illinois in the timber area; thence crossing the Mississippi below St. Louis, the line then sweeping westerly to the southwest, taking in the extreme corner of southeastern Kansas, a little of Oklahoma Territory, nearly all of Indian Territory east of the Choctaw Nation, thence southeasterly and then south to Galveston. This territory was in its original state solidly timbered, and that to the west open prairie, with, of course, exceptions in both instances.

This summary of timber lands of the United States embraces the forest growth at the time the country was first discovered. Since then a large part of the timber has been cut and used.

The early settlers in the east found abundant timber suitable for building homes. This was cut from ground cleared for agricultural purposes, and it was not until many decades had passed that there was anything approaching a lumber trade, except in the way of export. The growth of the lumber industry depended largely upon the character of the timber. During the early history of our country there was enough soft wood in every state to supply the demand—white pine in the New England states, New York and Pennsylvania; yellow pine in the Atlantic and southern states; poplar in the Appalachian mountains and in all Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana.

Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota had more than enough soft pine for their needs and have been since their early history heavy distributors of the wood. Thus it will be seen that each state was able to supply its own demands for lumber.

Naturally there was an early preference expressed for those woods which combined strength and lightness with ease in working. Pine was the favorite in the north, with poplar counting second in popular estimation. In the south cypress was first used and later yellow pine. Longleaf afterward became a great favorite, especially for flooring, timbers, etc., which was due somewhat to the reception it met with abroad when exported for such purposes.

Naturally some of the states possessed less timber than others, and as the home supply disappeared these states early became a market for the product of timber sections. Along with the exhaustion in thinly timbered tracts was a rapidly developed scarcity in the source of supply, which necessitated opening up new fields of supply and new outlets for distribution.

A careful summary of the situation a few years after the civil war shows that in addition to the prairie country west of the Mississippi, which was then being rapidly opened up, central and western Illinois, northern Missouri and Iowa were heavy purchasers of building lumber. The demand was enormous and urgent and the lumber trade of the Union may be said to date from this period. This demand was supplied principally from the forests of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and it required all the output to meet this sudden and heavy trade. The eastern states, which had theretofore secured a large part of their lumber by boat from the sections referred to, were thrown upon their own resources, which resulted in the rapid depletion of their native forests.

The localities which first felt this pressure were those directly tributary to the consuming markets or sections, and this factor caused the white pine of the New England states practically to disappear. The poplar of the central states is rapidly decreasing; the pitch pine of the southeast is not the factor in lumber circles today that it was a few years ago. The white pine in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota is showing the effect of a half century's drain upon it, and the lower peninsula of Michigan, once the most important white pine section, is now comparatively insignificant as a white pine producer. The Wisconsin product is decreasing year by year, while only Minnesota holds its own, and that state will probably maintain its present volume for but a few years.

The drain upon the white pine resources has been two-fold, coming from both the east and the west. The price has advanced so much, owing to the big demand for the lumber, that it has become necessary to seek a substitute. Even were the price not an obstacle, it does not exist in sufficient quantities to supply the requirements of the country. The country has used substitutes for twenty years and many have been adopted. The east has clung to white pine, as also have certain sections of the west which lie close to the white pine producing section, making delivered prices comparatively low. The necessity for substitution, regardless of price, has been felt, and the question of price alone has been of sufficient importance to change practically the entire complexion of the trade in many sections. So much for generalities, which, however, bring the question of supply and demand up to the present.

Twenty-five years ago Texas was a heavy buyer of white pine lumber. Today practically none enters the state, except in the shape of sash and doors, and even these goods are now being made from yellow pine and cypress. Kansas is almost wholly supplied by the yellow pine mills of the south, and the product of the southern mills is coming into general use in northern Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, and even as far up as the Dakotas. Yellow pine is slowly but steadily being substituted throughout the states west of the Mississippi river and east of the Rocky mountains, and is making rapid headway east of the river as well.

The estimated quantity of sawn lumber for 1899 was 35,084,166,000 feet, which included hardwoods, conifers, shingles, lath, sawn ties, etc., as well as lumber proper. Of this amount the southwest—Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas—produced 5,425,000,000 feet, or a little over one-seventh of the entire product of the country. The product of the country at large is about one-third hardwoods and two-thirds softwoods. Arkansas produces about equal quantities of hard and soft wood; Louisiana 70 per cent pine; Missouri produces more hardwood than pine, and the cut of the Texas mills is practically all pine. The total cut of pine timber for the four states is given at about 3,800,000,000 feet, and of this total Texas cut 1,200,000,000 feet, or about one-third. The four states furnish about 20 per cent of the entire cut of coniferous lumber, or even a larger proportion if the cypress be included.

For the marketing of the product of the mills .of the Kirby Lumber Company, as well as that of other Texas mills, there is an exclusive territory. The empire of Texas lies to the west and depends solely upon the Texas manufacturer for supplies. Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and. part of Nebraska are much nearer the Texas mills than the others, considering direct lines of transportation. The location is the most advantageous with respect to the great and growing Mexican trade, both New and Old Mexico. Upper Mississippi river points, Chicago and the great northwest are as close to the Texas forests as to those of any other section producing longleaf pine lumber.

Comparing the situation of a manufacturer in east Texas with one in Alabama, the latter would appear to have a wider distributing territory, with better facilities for distribution by both rail and water than has he of east Texas, and this latter point is true, but the Alabama manufacturer has not an exclusive territory. Direct competition is met with from manufacturers in Mississippi, Georgia and the Carolinas in pine, and with those of Tennessee and Kentucky in other competitive woods, and moreover many of the most important markets are reached on even terms by rail and water by the Texas producer.

In regard to export, the close proximity of the gulf, combined with the quality of the timbers which the longleaf pine makes possible gives this company an advantage over any other section in competing for foreign business. The lumber can practically be loaded from the mill to the boat, and this is naturally a great saving in handling the stock and in many instances gives the Kirby company the advantage of a freight charge which other companies in localities at a greater distance from the gulf have to bear.

Oregon, Washington and parts of California are today the greatest timber countries in the United States, if not of the world. There is, however, but little danger to be apprehended from competition by the Pacific coast manufacturer, owing to the high freight rate. As a commercial proposition distance and the mountains cannot be overcome and there will always remain a difference in the cost of placing the goods of from $5 to $7.50 a thousand feet in favor of yellow pine, when delivered in what is regarded as territory common to both sections. This fact will furnish a basis for the continued growth of the value of yellow pine as competition from other woods decreases.

There is then an exclusive territory to the west and northwest. There is the constantly growing trade with the Mexicos to be satisfied from this district besides a foreign demand that is increasing as the usefulness and durability of the southern pines become known in other countries.

The geographical location of forest growths whose product is competitive with yellow pine lumber, the bounds circumscribed by commercial requirements and other factors, therefore, outline a wide territory for the certain distribution of the pine of the south for the present and the comparatively early future. With the elimination of practical competition from the Pacific coast and with the resources of the northern forests dwindling so that as a competitor they may be regarded as a negligible factor, that territory is increasing with marked rapidity and its bounds will widen with the advancing years. A vast territory must perforce look to the south generally—to the southwest particularly—for its supplies of lumber, and one enterprise eminently fitted to meet that requirement, which has adapted itself to its scope and is further adapting itself to it is the Kirby Lumber Company, whose general offices and headquarters are at Houston, Tex.

The increasing foreign demand for southern pine lumber has given rise to an export business that is steadily growing in volume. This business is one of the first importance to the southern manufacturer. When domestic trade is dull and the railroads are not buying the attention of the producer is turned to the outside world for a market for his product. Naturally the amount of business that is procurable is due to the price made, and that is hinged on the cost of delivering the goods. The location of the Kirby Lumber Company's mills is most advantageous. The mills at Orange and Beaumont have facilities that cannot be duplicated except by others similarly located. The remaining mills of the company are not barred from participating in this character of business, however, as the lines which penetrate the pineries center at Beaumont and Orange, the Orange & Northwestern being the outlet to the latter point. The railroads make special rates on this class of business.

During the latter part of 1902 and the beginning of 1903 the demand from this source was exceptionally heavy. The foreign demand not only is an advantage in helping to dispose of the lumber cut, but also helps to maintain prices. During a dull season the surplus stock is sold and prices keep well in line, and when the outside call for lumber is combined with the demand from trade centers of this country, prices are shoved up a notch in consequence.

  CHAPTER IX. The Commissary Department  

The commissary and purchasing departments of the company are so closely related that it has been deemed expedient to combine the two. W. W. Willson, the general purchasing agent, has been placed at the head of both departments under the consolidation. He is assisted in his efforts by Messrs. Chas. D. Crawford and M. J. Godfrey. Both of his assistants are gentlemen of large and varied experience in mercantile pursuits.

The territory of the company has been divided into two districts and placed in charge of Messrs. Godfrey and Crawford. The supervision of the commissaries at Santa Fe points north of Silsbee has been given to Mr. Godfrey, while those at Silsbee and along the Texas & New Orleans and Missouri, Kansas & Texas railways are in charge of Mr. Crawford.

Mr. Godfrey spends a great deal of his time on the road visiting the numerous stores under his charge. He is in close touch with the local conditions at each place and has a knowledge of the conditions obtaining at each store that enables him to assume a commanding position which amounts in substance to personal supervision of the daily transactions made. His personal popularity with the men in charge of the local stores is proof positive of his wise administration of affairs and also of his sense of what is due them as well as himself.

Trained under the personal tutelage of G. A. Mistrot, the merchant prince of Texas, his mind is capable of containing many problems at once, even though his hands may at the same time be engaged. Personally he is the prince of entertainers, always courteous and measuring up to the full requirements of the position he holds.

Under his energetic management the commissary has proven an unqualified success. There is an impression prevalent among many that a company commissary is merely a polite name for “hold-up.” Baseless stories regarding the prices demanded and the class of goods furnished by commissaries have been widely circulated and among a certain class have gained acceptance that it is difficult to efface. As a matter of fact, the goods furnished by the commissary department of the Kirby Lumber Company differ in no particular from the stock held by those dealing in general merchandise.

A visit to any commissary maintained by this company shows the majority of the stock to be of standard manufacture and all of a durable and wholesome nature. The prices asked by the company storekeepers differ only in conformity with the freight rate they are forced to pay.

The local storekeeper is held accountable for the goods in his charge and he buys and sells as though in business on his own account; the only difference being that in buying he makes requisitions upon the general office at Houston, which are approved and forwarded to Beaumont to the storekeeper to be filled and are then entered against the commissary making the order.

The establishment of these stores at logging camps and other out-of-the-way places is a prime factor in opening up country heretofore inaccessible on account of the distance to the nearest place at which provisions and other necessities could be secured. There are few points where the outside trade would justify the maintenance of a store carrying a stock in any way equal to that held by the stores of the company, and this being the case the settlers in the adjacent country are enabled to secure articles that otherwise would be beyond their reach or procurable only at great inconvenience and cost from larger towns. With a place close by where they are sure of getting the necessities of life those desiring to try a turn of fortune's wheel in the pine lands of east Texas are given an added opportunity to do so.

When the mills at Beaumont were transferred to the Kirby Lumber Company there were three store houses—or commissary departments—belonging to the various companies then in operation. These were consolidated.

For several months after the new company had secured control the commissary was continued at Beaumont, but later it was deemed expedient to close the store there as far as local trade was concerned. After the closing of the company's store house the men were informed that the checks with which they were furnished were receivable at their face value by any storekeeper in the city. With these checks in their possession the men were at liberty to visit any store desired and make their purchases. The beauty of the arrangement was that while it provided the men with a means of subsistence for the month it prevented them from running into debt and kept them within the bounds of their income. It obviated the necessity of the stores giving credit to many hundred workers and insured the material comfort of the employees. Up to the date when weekly payments were inaugurated the plan was in effect of issuing to the men when desired checks for the amounts standing to their credit on the company's books, but after weekly payments were made the company left it to the men to save enough from their pay to live on during the next week and the issuance of checks was abandoned.

The checks used are interchangeable and are good at any store house maintained by the company, regardless of its location. When received by other stores they bear a close resemblance to ordinary bank checks or due bills which have been issued by the company and which will be redeemed when presented. This accounts for the readiness with which they are received by outside stores.

The main store house of the company is located at Beaumont and the commissaries at other points are supplied from this depot. By a system of checking the general office is kept posted regarding the amount of goods held by the general store keeper and this system is supplemented by inventories which are taken at regular intervals. When a store keeper makes a requisition on the general office an order Is forwarded to the store keeper at Beaumont in duplicate. After the order has been filled the original is checked “O.K.” and returned to Houston and the duplicate is placed on file for the information of the Beaumont office. The store keeper acts in the same manner as a branch commercial house and is guided and controlled entirely by the head office. The only advantage he possesses over an ordinary branch house is that there is no possibility of loss through failure or bad bills, as each individual is responsible for the goods consigned to his care.

The company has now completed the construction at Beaumont of a new two-story warehouse, 100 x 150 feet, which will be used in lieu of its present room as soon as completed. The old store house, formerly used by the Texas Tram & Lumber Company as a commissary, has been found inadequate and in the future will be used as an auxiliary supply station.

Staples form the principal commodities handled by the company. Flour, meal, bacon, hams, tobacco, canned goods of every description and other everyday articles make up the list of necessities, though the goods handled by the company are by no means limited to the articles mentioned. Clothing, dry goods, fancy groceries, notions, gloves, of which a great many are sold, and the general stock of a crossroads store are furnished for the use of the employees and other customers.

The general store from which the individual commissaries receive their supplies is located at Beaumont and is now in charge of W. G. Woodard, general store keeper. Mr. Woodard was formerly manager of the commissary at Village Mills. He held that position with the company until his promotion to the management of the stores at Beaumont, which he has filled in a very satisfactory manner for several months.

  CHAPTER X. The Hospital System  

The hospital service established and maintained by the Kirby company is the most complete of any private institution in the south. The old fee system, which called for the payment of a certain amount each month for medical services, has in a manner been consolidated and the scope of the department enlarged upon.

The surgeon-in-chief has headquarters at Beaumont, where the largest force of men employed at any one place is on the pay roll. There is a local physician or medical attendant on the pay rolls of the company at every point at which a mill or logging camp is maintained. This local man is supplied with drugs by the commissary department, and it is his duty to attend to all the employees of the company when they apply to him for advice or medicine.

The system is patterned closely after that of the hospital service of the various railroads. A certain sum is paid monthly by each employee. This guarantees to each the attendance of a physician when necessary. At Beaumont it insures this only to those directly connected with the company, but at most of the other places it includes the family of the worker as well. At many of the camps and small towns the doctor stationed there by the company is the only one for miles, and in addition to his company practice the farmers and planters of the vicinity depend upon him in time of trouble. At these places where the family is included in the list of those to be treated free of charge the worker is sure that the bills for medical attendance will never run over a certain sum each year, which is the aggregate amount of the monthly payments retained by the Kirby company. It is an American application of the Chinese plan of paying the doctor only while the patient remains well.

The plan embraces in its details the care of an employee in case of an accident of a serious nature. When such an event is reported to the head office at Beaumont, especially where an injury calls for an operation, the chief surgeon usually attends to the call in person, and in exceptional cases special means are provided for reaching the sufferer with the least possible delay. In the meantime the local physician has done all in his power to alleviate the sufferings of the injured man. Where the accident is of a very serious nature and the illness resulting therefrom likely to prove of great duration the patient is removed to a hospital at Beaumont, where the hest medical and surgical attention is devoted to the patient.

The Kirby company has a force of about 5,000 men and accidents to life and limb cannot therefore be infrequent, though none of a fatal termination have been reported for several months. The prompt attention given to minor injuries, such as mashed fingers, cuts and bruises, is often the means of saving the injured member and sometimes the life of the wounded man.

The fee is $1 a month, which amount is withheld from the wages of each employee. In the event that the employee be disabled for more than a month the fees stop when he ceases to draw his pay, but the medical attention is continued until the sufferer has fully recovered. At first there was some complaint made by the men when they found they were to bear a certain part of the expenses of this department, but since the scope of the plan has been demonstrated by practical application and the advantages of a combined effort by all interested in the system have been realized all dissatisfaction in respect to the company's plan has disappeared.

An average negro with ordinary health can have more the matter with him in a given time than a half dozen white men. Those in charge of the various stations meet with some queer customers. As soon as the whistle sounds the medicine man is besieged with applications for a part of his store. With grotesque faces, contorted by imaginary ills, the blacks approach him for advice and assistance. It is often difficult to distinguish the pretender from the afflicted. The easiest way of disposing of such cases is to give them some harmless drug in connection with a string of words of unusual length. Nothing pleases them more than to be told they are suffering from a disease with a technical name a foot or two in length. Their vanity is apparently appeased when this becomes known, and they go home with a feeling of self importance that would be comical were it not often piteous.

  CHAPTER XI. Tram and Logging Department  

The tram and logging department of the company is under the guidance of F. M. Aldridge and R. L. Weathersby. Mr. Aldridge is the manager of the department and his efforts are ably seconded by those of Mr. Weathersby. Both gentlemen have had a great deal of experience in the conduct of railroad and logging operations in various parts of the country prior to their connection with the Kirby Lumber Company.

Mr. Weathersby is a frank, unassuming gentleman whose principal aim in life is a determination to “get there” regardless of the toil necessary to success. He was born at Monticello, Lawrence county, Miss., on the 5th day of July, 1870, and resided at that place until 18 years of age. In 1888 he moved to Chester, Tex. It was not until 1893, however, that his career as a railroader began. He entered the employ of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway as assistant in its shops, but shortly afterward went on the road as fireman. Soon after he was transferred to the tram road operated by the Texas Pine Land Association in a similar capacity, and from this humble position to superintendent of the association's logging operations was the next step made by this progressive young man. He was one of the assets of the Silsbee and Lillard mills when they were assigned to the Kirby Lumber Company and early in 1902 was tendered the position of general superintendent of the tram roads and logging operations of the company.

Mr. Weathersby has worked in every capacity of the logging business from the shops to the position of general superintendent and is intimately acquainted with the work in all its phases. He has the rare faculty of pleasing both employer and those he employs and during his nine years' experience in the several capacities he has served the company complaint has never been lodged against him.

A. L. Harris occupies a very useful position with the company. It is his duty to receive and place all requisitions for cars, keep records of cars received and forwarded and see that the books are kept free of demurrage claims, or at least reduced to a minimum.

Mr. Harris was born at Homer, La., thirty-two years ago. At the age of 14, left to shift for him self, he migrated to Texas. After a stay of about four years in the Lone Star State he went to Michigan to attend college, but returned to Texas after graduating, when he entered the telegraph service, sharing the usual routine of operators by drifting from one place to another. In May, 1897, he first became identified with the Kirby interests, at that time holding a position as operator on the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City road. The abilities of the young operator received recognition and soon afterward he was made chief clerk to Superintendent F. M. Aldridge and later was given the position of trainmaster, which he held until August, 1901, when he was gathered into the fold of those serving the Kirby Lumber Company.

This department is at present operated on a local or individual plan; that is, each mill has its own logging roads under separate management. In harmony with the improvements in other lines, however, the company has a great many changes in view which will tend to combine the individual into something like a general system. Surveyors are now at work staking out a line from Call to Camp Trotti, which will open up a line of communication from the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City junction to the Sabine river, a distance of nearly thirty miles. A part of this distance is now traversed by tram road. The line at Trotti extends ten miles in a northwesterly direction from the camp and there is now a good road bed for the greater part of the way. It is intended to connect the tram at Call with the Trotti road. Not only will this open up a large tract of timber lands that heretofore have been out of the reach of the separate mills but it will afford a means of communication and transportation for freight that will greatly reduce the high prices now paid (25 cents a hundred pounds) for hauling goods from the railroad to the camp. The country through which this line will pass is settled in a measure, and the additional facilities it will afford for transporting farming implements and supplies will tend to induce others to take up farms in that section. The main object, however, and the one for which the road is being constructed, is to enable the mill at Call to secure timber for cutting from the great stretch of forest lying to the east of that site, and in order to save the loss involved in sending logs by water from Trotti to the Orange mill, which amounts to 10 or 15 per cent in sunken and lost logs. The road will be a narrow gauge when completed, but the bed will be constructed with a view of widening it whenever desired and ties of a standard length will be used on the new part, which will enable the Kirby company to put in standard gauge tracks when desired.

It is also the intention of the company to connect Village with the lines of railroad centering in Silsbee. When this road shall be completed it will form a connecting link from Village to the Sabine river, a distance of seventy-five miles or more. The main object in building this is to avoid the charges made by the railroad in hauling loaded cars from points on the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway to Beaumont, where connection is made with the lines of roads centering there. In the shipment of a car of lumber destined for west or northwest Texas, it is necessary to pay freight both ways for a total distance aggregating 100 miles or more and this will be obviated when the road between the points mentioned shall have been constructed.

  CHAPTER XII. Logging Camps  

The detailed operations at the different camps are much on the same basis. The company has at present thirteen logging camps, which cut on an average monthly about as follows:

Camp & Feet Cut
Buna (ships to Beaumont) -- 4,000,000
Trotti (logs Orange mill) -- 3,500,000
Bancroft, La. (logs Orange mill) -- 2,500,000
Kirbyville, Texas Tram (ships Beaumont) -- 2,000,000
Call (at present logging to Call mill) -- 2,000,000
Village (supplies home mill) -- 2,000,000
Silsbee -- 2,000,000
Ariola -- 1,500,000
Mobile -- 1,250,000
Woodville -- 500,000
Roganville -- 1,000,000
Fuqua -- 1,150,000
Lillard -- 1,000,000

Total, log scale -- 24,400,000

This gives a total of about 24,400,000 feet of logs cut each month, which are furnished the various mills and by them reduced to lumber.

The logging camps are operated under a distinct head and are given numbers instead of letters as in the case of the mills. The commissary department comes under a still different head and separate figures are used to designate the various stores. Each store and camp has a local manager and superintendent who is answerable to the general superintendent at a certain point; the latter in turn reports to the head of his department.

The log scalers at the mills using the rivers for log pens are instructed to report the mark on each stray log that the company cuts, and at the end of each month the total of each brand cut is compiled and a remittance made to the owner of the brand.

As previously stated all the logs used by the Kirby company mills at Beaumont are shipped in by rail. Prior to the destruction of mill “C” it required the combined energies of the logging camp at Buna and the steam logger formerly used by the Texas Tram & Lumber Company at Kirbyville to supply the three mills. After the fire which destroyed mill “C” the latter camp was shut down for a time to enable the remaining mills to catch up with the logs that were then held in reserve, but operations have been resumed since then.

J. G. Kelcher has charge of the camp at Buna and the company operates two locomotives and ten to fifteen miles of tram roads. The force employed varies with the amount of new track under construction, which makes the pay roll fluctuate from fifty to as high as 100 men. The road here is standard gauge. The trucks are taken from the railroad siding by the company's engine to the woods and are there loaded. After a sufficient number of cars have been loaded they are coupled together and the engine takes them to the siding, where they are made into a train and sent into Beaumont.

The logging camp at Buna furnishes sixty to seventy-five cars of logs for the Beaumont mills each day, and comes first in the camps maintained by the Kirby Lumber Company in the amount produced each month, which averages about 4,000,000 feet, log scale.

The method of operation has been systematized. The standing timber has been cut in and around Buna a distance of four to five miles from the station. A main line is established and maintained, and from this numerous branches are laid into the very heart of the forest. The trees, after being felled and reduced to proper length, are hauled to the switches and placed on skids. As soon as enough logs to fill fifteen to twenty cars have been so placed the switch engine runs a number of trucks into the spur, which are uncoupled and left directly parallel with the skid of logs to be loaded. As soon as the cars have been placed the loaders make their appearance with oxen, mule and horse teams. The short skids leading to the tops of the trucks are placed in position. A chain, one end of which is attached to the truck, is thrown around the first log, the other end is then made fast to the motive power (ox, mule or horse) and the team is started. The creaking of the skids mingles with the shouts of the driver and the cautionary words of the loaders who lend a guiding cant to the log on its progress to the truck. The log trembles on the edge of the car and then rolls slowly into place. The loading chain is caught by the man on the car and again fastened, and another member of the genus pine makes its appearance on deck. Log follows log until the car has been piled high with the fragrant trunks of pine. A chain is passed over the top of the load from either truck and the key log, usually a heavy one, draws this taut and the car is ready for shipment. The loaders move on to the next car and repeat the performance, until a train load is ready for the Kirby mills at Beaumont.

This is the method of procedure where teams are used to draw the logs on the trucks. Oxen and horses are used for this work and both animals arrive at a high state of perfection. The cuts used show both the horses and oxen at work. The former are naturally the more intelligent and the span of grays used at this camp have received such a thorough training that practically the only thing the driver has to do is to hook and unhook the loading chain. The animals are of heavy build, large boned, gentle and possess a large share of the property known as horse sense. At a word of command they start and keep the log moving steadily until they feel the chain slack. The command to “whoa” is hardly necessary, for when the log bumps into place the team is at a standstill and as soon as the chain is loosened they turn of their own accord and take their station near the car in position for the next pull.

The company keeps one to three teams of these animals at each logging point and they are valued at $300 to $400 a span. The oxen move slower, but get there just the same. The illustrations given of the oxen used by the Kirby company at its various camps show some fine animals among the stock. There is practically no limit to the strength of these beasts and once started they can apparently pull anything that is loose at both ends. The companion picture to the view of the horses at work shows them tugging at a log two feet in diameter and thirty feet long. The weight of such a stick is tremendous, yet they loaded it with but little effort. “Bull drivers,” as they are termed, have little difficulty in managing their yokes. In one respect they resemble poets in that they are evidently born and not made. It is next to impossible for many people to secure anything like good work from a three yoke team of oxen, as the secret of their management is inherent with some and impossible with others. The work of hauling the logs to the skids is done principally with mule teams. Four to six mules are hitched to one of the big wheel drags, the logs caught up by the grappling hooks and the teams headed in the direction of the skids. Where the timber is very thick, the ground covered with fallen timber and the tops of trees from which logs are made have been cut the oxen are brought into service and are used to “snake” out the logs. As soon as comparatively, open ground is reached the oxen are stopped and the logs are picked up by those in charge of the big wheel carts, which carry them to the skids.

Where a steam logger and skidder are used the method is somewhat different. It is possible to load an entire train of fifteen to twenty cars without moving the skidder.

In addition to the crane which is used to hoist the logs to the cars, a steam logger is equipped with skidding cables. After the logger has been set in place, these cables, which are five to six hundred feet long and provided with tongs, are drawn by horses to the place where trees have been felled. The tongs are attached to the logs, a signal given and the machinery is started. Dead weight yields to the power applied, the log is drawn toward the logger, dodging stumps, tearing its way through the top of a fallen tree, on and on until the pine trunk is within reach of the hoisting crane. The tongs which are used to fasten the cable to the log are wedge shaped, so formed to assist the skidder in forcing its way through the tangled underbrush, tree tops and stumps which cover the ground. Horses ridden by boys are used to haul the cables from the logger to the spot where the fallen pine trunk lies. The horse and boy follow the cable back to the logger, the tongs are released and the cable again drawn out for another log. These cables are worked from both sides of the logger, and all the logs within reach on both sides of the track are drawn to the cars and loaded.

The empty trucks, with the logger resting on a flat car next to the engine, are run out until the machine is brought slightly more than abreast of the pile. The supports to the skidder are set and the machine by its own power is raised clear of the car on which it rested. Everything is then in readiness for operation. The engine attached to the cars pulls far enough forward to place the front log truck in position so that the swinging crane will be directly over it. The machinery is started, and guided by a lever which controls it, the crane moves outward until the tongs at the end of the cable are directly over a log. A reversal of the lever tightens the iron clamps on the log; the machinery carries it back until the stick is directly over the car, when it is stopped and the log drops into place. Loading with a steam logger is perhaps faster than with oxen or horses and is less expensive. The feed bills at a logging camp are one of the greatest items of expense and naturally where machinery is used this outlay is not incurred. The Kirby Lumber Company operates two steam loggers, one at Kirbyville and one at the Bancroft camp.

A steam logger in full operation closely resembles pictures of the celebrated octopus used as symbolic of the trusts. The crane which loads the cars is only one of the tentacles of this pine and steel animal. On either side is a skidder which is used to draw the logs up within reach of the loading crane. These are kept constantly at work and the creak of the iron cables, the “chuff, chuff” of the engine, together with the lively movements maintained by those who have the machine in charge, make the scene a very animated one. As soon as one car has been loaded another is brought into place and so on until the last one is reached. The train of logs is ready for its journey to the mills. When all the logs that can be reached by the 600-foot cables have been snaked in the skidder is dropped onto its car and quickly set up farther along the tram. It has three drum engines, for the two skidding and one loading cable, with ample steam boiler, water tanks, etc.

Forty-five to fifty cars of logs make up a train load and these are brought into Beaumont by the railroad company for a fixed charge. Usually two or three trains are made up and shipped each day from the Buna and Kirbyville camps combined. The logs are dumped into pens at Beaumont, and — the story of their progress remains to be told.

Trotti is perhaps one of the most picturesque of the logging camps operated. The camp site proper is located two miles west of the Sabine river. At the time the selection of a location was made it marked the western terminus of the logging operations then owned by the Newton County Tram Company. Since that time, however, the men of the saw have cut their way ten miles to the northwest, leaving in their wake a tangled mass of tree tops, with here and there the base of a tree protruding and an occasional lone pine tree to mourn the departed greatness
of its house. The feature of the timber in and around the camp is and has been the uniformity of the trees, most of which are of a size varying from eighteen to thirty inches. There are spots however, where the virgin growth has apparently been destroyed at some time during the past, and in such places the ground is thickly covered with young trees, varying from a few inches to a foot in diameter.

T. J. Trotti, the superintendent of the logging operations at this point, was the founder of the Trotti (otherwise known as the Klondike) camp. Mr. Trotti has been engaged in cutting timber and supplying mills with the trunks thereof for the past twenty-five years. At the beginning of his operations the logs were cut near the river and hauled to it by mule or ox teams. As the stand of timber in close proximity to the river disappeared it was found necessary to establish some other means of transportation. Mr. Trotti then secured a locomotive and track and began operations on a larger scale. In 1898 his interests were merged with those of Downs & Ellingston, the combination forming the Newton County Tram Company, which they operated until bought out by the Kirby interests, when he was retained as superintendent. Mr. Trotti is an all around timberman and by a casual inspection of a tree can judge to a nicety the amount and nature of its lumber contents.

A trip along the railroads which penetrate the pine reserves of eastern Texas shows a work of destruction going on that is perhaps equaled in no other timber section. The extent of forest growth that has already disappeared before the swinging ax of the woodsman, supplemented by the saw, is incalculable, and while the remaining timber lands are far in excess of those that have been cut they are not so advantageously located and it is now necessary to build logging roads in order to reach them. Some of the roads run for miles through the remnants of a once thickly grown forest of pines. In some instances there is enough young timber standing to justify a second cutting, but in others there is practically nothing left save blackened tops and charred stumps, the two extremities of late monarchs. Leaving this scene of desolation, the train plunges ahead and enters another stretch where as far as the eye can reach is nothing but pines. The interested watcher who had about concluded that all the timber had been cut then arrives at nearly the opposite conclusion, and is ready to believe that only the trees within easy reach have been garnered.

The remaining forests are indestructible. Every year the grass and other debris on the ground burns, which keeps the forests free from the dangers of a conflagration. The tops of the trees are too high in the air to ignite from the burning grass and needles and the yearly fires are the chief source of protection.

There is the contrast of life and death between the appearance of a forest before and after being denuded of its trees. After the woodsmen are through with a section its appearance is dreary beyond compare. In place of a vista of gray trunks, with a green canopy overhead, is a stretch of ground littered with tops, the needles turned sere and drooping, while here and there is a lonesome trunk which some defect has rendered unfit for the sacrificial altar, or the body of a smaller member of the departed whose immature growth saved it from the ax. It is a relief to turn from this gloomy prospect to the mellow light of the virgin forest, where possibly man has never trod before, and to stand in awe and admiration alone with nature and her children. A bird lights on a low limb and pours out a song of thanksgiving—happy in that light and life and liberty are its portion; the wind rustles through the top branches of the giants, singing a low, caressing lullaby, and all is still and peaceful where nature is not disturbed or disfigured by the hand of man.

On the edge, between the was and the is, a far different scene meets the eve. There is life, but of a far different nature. The former was nature's exposition of the word, the latter man's; and despite the apparently ruthless hand of the latter the sight is one of animation and commands the admiration of the spectator.

The individuals of the forest, which are apparently legion, pay not the slightest attention to the pigmies at work so busily around their feet. The thought that dangers threaten them is never felt. They begin the day in the same dreary fashion thousands of others have opened and closed. The sun casts a faint glow upon the eastern sky birds wake and set up their chorus of welcome to the new born day; the light in the east grows broader; then a brilliant streak of fire is momentarily seen in the cast. These become more frequent, until the whole earth is lighted by the glow of the rising sun and nature wakes and bows in homage. Man, too, has wakened early, and ere the freshness has departed from the morning air is busy at his self-assigned tasks. The roar of the locomotive with its burden of rumbling trucks and half awake men is heard; they reach the spot where their labors are to begin, and then ensues a scene of activity that causes the drowsy giants momentarily to bestir themselves.

Two of the pigmies approach the base of a lordly pine and for the moment curiosity gets the better of its habitual indifference, and it watches with interest their maneuvers. One goes close up and an ax is sunk deep into the sap. A shudder passes through the very heart of the tree; then summoning all its resolution it assumes its former air of content and turns its attention to the love song of the south wind. Nothing daunted by the manner in which their attack is received, the two insects set to work. A small notch is made with the ax. The other of the pair passes to his partner one end of a bright instrument several feet in length, one side of which is adorned with sharp scallops. With this small instrument the two go to work. The pine has forgotten them. Now and then it sighs as though something unusual were about to happen, but the song of the south wind bears a lullaby which has stilled all its fears and no attention is paid to nature's admonitions. Deeper and still deeper the bright saw bites into the trunk, and then comes a time when, aware of the damage intended, the tree settles to the task of defending itself. The first move made by the giant thwarts the designs of the “fellers,” but only for a short time. A sharp pointed wedge is inserted into the path of the saw and the ax is again brought into requisition. Several sharp blows of this free the saw from the clutches of the now thoroughly aroused pine. Its further struggles are unavailing. The saw is again set in motion, and the tension produced from the insertion of the wedges causes it to cut all the faster. A tremor passes through the body of the doomed pine which reaches to the topmost branches. It waves its arms wildly for help, it totters a moment as though on the verge of a collapse. Ah! The south wind again comes to its assistance, and once more it is firmly established on its base, but only for a moment. The wedges are driven deeper into the crevice which gapes from the insertion, there is a short silence as the top careens outward, then a stir as the pine slowly bows to the will of fate. The tree loses all hope of succor, its very spirit seems severed from its life, and life itself hangs by a thread. Farther and farther from the place it once so proudly occupied it swings, farther even than the hardest wind ever forced it, and now it is conscious of falling, of sharing the fate it had witnessed others suffer during late days. Swifter and swifter grows the descent, and with a crash which breaks and mangles its shapely limbs it reaches the ground.

The victors stand a moment to recover from the struggle and then proceed to sever the trunk in pieces. This is the work of only a few moments, and as soon as it is finished the despoilers move away to their next victim. This is the manner in which the Kirby company secures its 25,000,000 feet of logs each month.

There is a stir among the dead branches as approaches the driver of the big two-wheeled concern which is used to haul the logs from the place where they fall to the skidway. “My! but it is a beauty,” he exclaims as he views the fallen prize. Whistling softly to himself, he attaches a pair of tongs to the end of one of the cuts, mounts the wheel horse and clucks to his team. The four trained animals throw themselves against their collars and the strain is answered by a movement of the log. Half carried, half dragged, the log reaches the skidway, where in company with others it awaits its turn for the loaders. There is a creak of the links against each other as the log slowly mounts the skids; the tramp of the oxen as they tug at their burden, the crack of the driver's whip, and ere it is aware of it the erstwhile monarch lies closely with others on the top of the truck.

A train is made up with much shouting and bumping and the journey to the river begins. From its position on the top of the heap the late haughty pine can see mile after mile of forest which has been cleared of timber.

Finally the river is reached. The men who have accompanied it on its journey hither now loosen the chains that bind the pine to the truck, insert cant hooks and “prize” it from its resting place. It drops to the chute with a bound and begins a rapid descent, reaching the water and plunging below the surface. Here there are many others of its kind, but there is ample room for all. Some grow sullen and, drinking too copiously of the new surroundings, sink to the bottom. Others, of a wild, uncontrollable nature, refuse to be governed by the gentle current of the river and succeed in floating into some isolated bayou, or make their way into the swamps during high water, where they become entangled in the vines and there turn slowly to their original elements; but the major portion reach the destination for which they are intended and serve the purpose for which they were shipped.

Quite a village has sprung up at Trotti, which is located about two miles west of the Sabine river. Here the headquarters of the logging operations are maintained and the majority of the men employed in getting out the logs are domiciled at this point, although some of the sawyers live closer to the scene of actual operations. The village nestles in its setting of evergreen pines, a picture of sylvan peace and prosperous activity.

The company owns forty of the shanties at Camp Klondike and there are nearly as many others which belong to those living in them. The ground rent on which they stand is given the owners of the houses free of charge, but those living in houses owned by the company are required to pay a light rental.

In all there are about 100 men on the company's pay roll, whose remuneration ranges from $1.50 to $3.50 a day. On an average they dump into the river 3,000,000 feet of logs each month, which after their hurried rail journey float leisurely to the Orange mills.

There has been no formal attempt to lay out a town site and the streets of the camp present a delightful confusion, winding in and out of the trees which shade the homes of the workers. The view given shows the home of the superintendent, which is a fair sample of the inviting looking homes of the loggers.

About half of the men employed at the camp are in a state of single blessedness, or otherwise left to shift for themselves, and to accommodate, these men the company has opened a boarding house where they can be supplied with table board at a low rate. The pictures of the interior of this adjunct to the camp show the cook and his wife preparing the noonday meal. Everything about the boarding house is clean and wholesome, though the men are more inclined to solid foods than to dainties. Nearby farms furnish a bountiful supply of delicious peaches, nectarines, pears, etc., which add materially to the comforts of the table.

There is a public school maintained by the state which has a rather unusual term, the holidays coming in March, April and May and the remaining nine months being devoted to studies. The pupils are bright, intelligent looking young Americans whose complexions have been tinted by the forest light, their eyes brightened by healthy bodies and healthy minds. The school has about seventy-five scholars and the daily attendance is much above the average. Through the kindness of their instructor a picture was secured of the scholars, taken immediately in front of the school house, and this will perhaps speak in better terms for the scholars than would a sea of words.

The method of logging mill “D” at Orange, Texas, is mentioned in connection with the discussion of that plant. The logging camp formerly operated by the Bancroft Lumber Company is still used to supply this mill with logs. The site of the camp is twenty miles west of De Quincy, a point on the Kansas City Southern railroad. The camp is located in the heart of the longleaf pine district of Western Louisiana.

The camp is not connected by rail with the outside world. A stage makes regular trips between De Quincy and the camp and carries mail, passengers and freight from the railroad station to the men employed in cutting the timber. Non-perishable supplies are brought up the river by a small steamer at such uncertain times as there is a sufficient stage of water.

The Kirby Lumber. Company has a steam logger, tram engines and all necessary equipment at this point for operating a successful logging camp. The timber is equal to the best grown in Western Louisiana.

It is at night that the camp assumes its most inviting aspect. Then all the rugged outlines of fence and shanty and tangled debris are softened by the rays of the moon or the dimmer light from the stars, while the mysterious shadows of the great monarch forests awe the visitor unused to the scene. From the distant “quarters” come the songs of the negroes, who half chant, half sing their southern melodies, keeping a time distinctly their own, the interludes perhaps tempered by the most innocent of all known sounds —the laughter of a child. The married men return to their homes to enjoy the society of their wives and children, while those not so blessed, spend the evening in friendly games of dominoes or planning hunting expeditions for their next holiday. Retiring time comes early where there is so little of the artificial to keep the inhabitants awake and by 9 o'clock quiet reigns over the entire camp.

In the outer air, in the life-giving scent of the pines, a light gleams yellow from the distant cabin of a belated would-be sleeper and the deep black of the night is intensified by the flickering light of a dying camp fire. From the recesses of the forest come mysterious voices, subdued to almost a holy calm; afar off the bark of a watchdog, the faint cry of a cock deluded by the rays of the moon. The giant pines keep watch like God's sentinels where all is peace; human life sleeps.

  CHAPTER XIII. Characteristics of Southern Pines  

That longleaf pine ranks first of the four southern pines is due to the quality of the lumber produced and the uniformity of its growth. The species is distributed throughout the southern pine section in a belt about 125 miles in width. It is a product of the southeast as well as of the south and southwest, but it is in the latter district that the best and heaviest stands of timber are to be found today.

The government report of the southern pines shows that the stand of longleaf varies from scattering trees to as much as 4,000 to 6,000 feet, board measure, to the acre. There are tracts in both Texas and the Louisiana district, however, that will average from 10,000 to 12,500 feet, board measure, to the acre for many thousands of acres. The heaviest growth of this timber now remaining is in central eastern Texas and in the western portion of Louisiana. There is also a heavy tract of longleaf in northern central Louisiana.

The holdings of the Kirby interests embrace a large part of the east Texas longleaf section, which is estimated at about 2,890,000 acres, of which amount the Kirby mills will cut the timber from 1,240,000 acres, the greater part of which is now in its virgin state. This comprises nearly one-half of the longleaf pine of Texas and is located in the very heart of the longleaf district. In addition to this is a considerable tract in Calcasieu parish, Louisiana, which is recognized as the most prolific longleaf pine district in the United States. The Louisiana timber is separated from the Texas holdings by the Sabine river. The two tracts are so similar in general appearance and productiveness as to be almost identical. The heaviest growth on the Texas side is near the Sabine, where many thousands of acres will yield an average of at least 10,000 feet of timber to the acre. From this the holdings of the company extend westward to within a short distance of the Trinity river, but as the western boundary line of the longleaf belt is reached the timber grows less compactly and the production on the western extremity is much less than near the river and includes some shortleaf pine.

At a distance of 150 to 175 miles from the coast the longleaf pine gives place to the shortleaf variety. In Texas this is in the neighborhood of the central part of San Augustine and Sabine counties and this point also marks the northern boundary line of the Kirby timber holdings. The longleaf district is hedged and surrounded by shortleaf pine, extending to the north, east and west, with a narrow fringe of the same timber along the southern boundary.

The country near the southern boundary line is flat and imperfectly drained and in many of the lower places the soil is water-soaked the greater part of the year. Farther to the north, however, the country rises to a higher level. The topography of the country is much the same as farther west, where the undulating swells stretch away in apparent endlessness. The tops of these swells or ridges are covered with a thick growth of longleaf pines. The low lands between these ridges support a mixture of oak (water and post), ash, hawthorne, magnolia and an occasional pine tree, either longleaf or loblolly, generally the latter. The magnolias are frequently found, sometimes in groves and sometimes singly.

The term “hard” or “yellow” pine is often used indiscriminately when speaking of southern pines, not only by the lay brethren but even by those who use the woods as well as those engaged in turning them into lumber. To paraphrase a colloquial phrase, “All pines look alike to most people.” There is, however, nearly as much difference between the various southern pines as between the various members of the conifer family.

Southern pines are divided into four distinct woods, viz.: Longleaf, which is found in all sections of the south; Cuban pine, which abounds along the Atlantic coast and is what might be called a tidewater wood; shortleaf, which is found much farther to the north than any of the others, and usually on higher ground, and loblolly, or swamp pine, which nature uses to fill in at odd places, not only in the swamps but on the, higher ground as well. While it is oft times found on high ground, it thrives best in moist soil, as its name indicates. The promptness with which it colonizes old fields and clearings and the tenacity with which it retains from one generation to another the ground once gained illustrate the important part this tree will assume when the present plans of the Kirby Lumber Company shall be matured.

There is no sure method of distinguishing the different pines after they have been cut into lumber. Placed in separate piles it would be an easy matter to designate one as longleaf, one as shortleaf, and one as loblolly, but the dividing line between the different species is so indistinct that a piece of lumber could easily be taken from one pile and placed on another, and unless it was typical of the species. the change could not be detected. A dark shortleaf plank with rings averaging about fifteen to the inch would pass readily for a stick of longleaf pine, and the same is true relatively of a coarse-grained longleaf board. Loblolly bears the same transition and owing to the variation in the grain. is often more difficult of detection.

A synopsis of the characteristics of each, showing the manner in which they differ in grain and fiber, is the best means of illustrating the variance in the construction of the woods.

Longleaf: The specific gravity of kiln dried longleaf pine ranges from .50 to .65 and it weighs about 36 to 38 pounds to the cubic foot. The character of the grain, as shown by the cross section, is fine and even. The annular rings are quite uniformly narrow and in old trees average from 20 to 25 to the inch. The color of the wood is from dark reddish yellow to reddish brown. The sap on a longleaf pine tree rarely exceeds three inches and is often much less.

Shortleaf: This wood has a specific gravity of .45 to .55 and the average weight is about 30 pounds to the cubic foot after being kiln dried. The grain is variable and much coarser than the longleaf, with wide rings, near the heart, which are followed by a zone of narrower rings, formed as the tree grows older. These rings are never less than four (generally from 10 to 15) to the inch. In some trees, however, the grain is exceedingly fine, which makes it difficult to distinguish it from longleaf pine. It bears a larger proportion of sap wood, usually amounting to about four inches. The color is white, shading to reddish yellow.

Loblolly: The specific gravity of loblolly is about the same as that of shortleaf, ranging from .45 to .55, and it weighs about 31 pounds to the cubic foot after being kiln dried. The grain is variable, usually coarse, with from four to eight rings to the inch. Loblolly probably varies more in general characteristics than any of the other pines, as it seemingly absorbs some of the character of its neighbors. In color it varies from yellowish to reddish and orange brown. The sap is heavy, ranging from three to six inches.

The wood of the longleaf is heavier and stronger than is that of any other pine offered on the market. The average weight is about 38 pounds when kiln dried, and where the board is all heart, with none of the lighter fiber included, the weight will be two to three pounds more to the cubic foot. There is a difference also in the weight of the butt cuts and those made at a distance of fifty to sixty feet from the base of the tree. This decrease in weight, which is met by a proportionate decrease in strength, ranges from 15 to 20 per cent. This would naturally indicate that the heavier timber was the product of the early growth of the tree, or that as the young sapling added volume to its stature the young growth was compressed. The wood of the longleaf seasons easily and without injury. The outer or lighter portion will turn blue if not properly cared for, but all-heart lumber will season and retain its brightness however handled. About ten per cent of the volume is lost in drying. The holdings of the Kirby Lumber Company are almost entirely composed of longleaf pine.

Red-heart is a disease which at one time was thought to render a tree totally unfit for merchantable' purposes. Of late years, however, and since the extent of the timber available for commercial purposes has become more generally known, much of the prejudice formerly held against lumber cut from trees affected by red-heart has died away. For common lumber and boards to be used in making packages etc., the defective heart is of little consequence.

There is a small proportion of trees affected by this disease in every forest, ranging from a small number of trees to as much as 10 per cent of a forest. In the Kirby holdings near Call, especially to the west of that plant, some ravages of fungi have been noticed. As yet the company has not considered it advisable to turn this class of timber into lumber, owing to the heavy demands made on the mills, which render it imperative to produce a certain amount of prime lumber each day.

The first intimation that a tree is affected with this disease is given by the gradual dying of the smaller limbs, which finally fall off in consequence of the rotting of the wood around their base. After the limb falls there remains a hole or diseased spot in the trunk of the tree, which is replaced by a large fungus growth (called punk holes, or punk stools). The heart wood of the tree becomes of a reddish color, soft, sappy and full of small channels, due to the tearing down of the walls of the wood cells which are filled with mycelium, the spawn of the fungus. Punky or red-heart trees are usually found on the ridges of the poorest soil. It is quite frequently the case that superannuated trees are found affected with this rot.

Among the timbermen of southeastern Texas this decay is ascribed to a number of causes. The most generally accepted theory is that. the trees receive too much moisture, and this causes the decay. A large part of the timber lands of eastern Texas has a substratum of heavy clay. Those who have grown up in the pine lands claim that for some reason the underground drainage becomes clogged and the roots of the trees, being continually immersed in water, drink to satiety. In this condition they fail to extract the necessary amount of nourishment from the ground, and in consequence the tops begin to die. This is followed by the appearance of the punk, which is supposed to poison the sap. From this on the disease acts relatively much in the same manner as blood poisoning among human beings. In support of the theory it is claimed that a wet season is followed by the appearance on a great number of trees of punk stools, a sure sign that the tree has fallen a victim to red-heart.

It has been only a short time since tracts of timber lands could be secured and worked at prices far below the intrinsic value of the products, but that time is no longer. During the past few years the vast tracts of timber in the southwest have passed into the hands of capitalists who recognize the value of their property. The prices asked by the owners of pine sections today are more in proportion with their true worth. The depredations formerly committed on railroad and public lands have ceased. The reckless waste of former times has given place to more economical methods of working in timber and logging camps. A body of timber, such as has been contracted for by this company, is in itself a veritable gold mine, and with the constantly increasing value of the products of the saw the present value will be vastly increased before any great amount of the timber shall have been cut. The recent stiffening in the value of southern pine stumpage is due in a great measure to the price set by the Kirby Lumber Company.

In the matter of growth the various species differ widely. The longleaf pine apparently makes the same progress each year and grows no faster during the spring months, when all nature takes on a new and strenuous vitality, than during the dry summer and fall months. This is shown by the light or spring grown wood and the dark or summer wood. There is a slight difference in this respect during the early life of the tree; but the variation is very slight when compared with the difference shown by shortleaf pine. The annular rings are sharply defined; they are, as stated, widest near the pith, and grow uniformly narrower near the outer edge of the tree. In the inner part the rings frequently measure one-twelfth of an inch, while near the bark on old logs they are generally about one-twenty-fifth of an inch, and oft times only one-fiftieth. In old trees the sap is made up of from 70 to 100 rings, showing that the wood of any one ring remains in the older trees from 70 to 100 years in the sap-wood condition before it changes to heart. In young trees the period of transition is much shorter and varies from 25 to 40 years. Each annular ring consists of two clearly marked parts, the inner, a softer and whiter part, which is the spring growth, and the outer, a much harder and darker portion, which is the summer or fall growth. The amount of summer wood varies in different parts of the tree. At the base it usually forms about 45 per cent, but near the top of the tree only about 24 per cent of the wood is of summer growth.

The proportion of summer wood contained in a piece of timber has much to do with its weight and strength. The light colored wood of each annual ring has a specific gravity of about .40, while the dark wood or summer growth has a specific gravity of from .90 to 1.05, so that the weight and strength of a stick are greater or less in proportion to the amount of summer wood it contains, which varies according to distance from the butt of the tree.

The forests of the United States have been handled much in the same manner as the minerals, as though nature had stored up a certain amount of crude material for the children of men which would not be renewed after once exhausted. Interest in the preservation of our forests has grown during late years. It is now generally realized that the time to provide for a future forest is when the first tree of a virgin forest crashes to the earth, for it is possible so to cut the original forest that it can reproduce itself in a natural manner, and that is the intention of the Kirby Lumber Company, which controls today the largest body of longleaf yellow pine owned by one interest in the United States.

The lumber world of today is looking toward the pineries of the south for the staple of lumber industry, and it is accordingly as forests are treated, carefully or recklessly, that they will continue for a longer or a shorter time a source of wealth to the south, and a source of pride to those who have had a hand in preserving and conserving this great natural body of wealth producing timber for future generations.

  CHAPTER XIV. Departments of Manufacture  

The career of this very pleasant gentleman began at old historic Cape Girardeau, Mo., March 5, 1853, and not only does he delight in being the “old man” in age, but his connection in time and continual service with John H. Kirby covers a greater number of years than that of any other officer of the present organization.

Since 1875 Mr. McNeeley has been actively engaged either in railway work or in the lumber business and he has been associated with .Mr. Kirby since that gentleman began the active development of his east Texas interests.

In the organization of the Texas Pine Land Association he filled the position of assistant superintendent, and as a direct result of this association the building of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway from Beaumont was begun. He assumed the position of general superintendent and had charge of the construction of this road, and for his energy and close application to the duties assigned him too much credit cannot be given.

He took an active part in the organization of the John H. Kirby Tie Company in 1890 and when the Kirby Lumber Company was organized in its present form he was made manager of the tie department, a position which is of extraordinary importance and next to that of the general manager, as this department has filled some of the largest contracts ever made in this country. He appreciates the appointment as a testimonial of the confidence of Mr. Kirby, with whom he has been associated for so many years.

Mr. McNeeley is as full of energy as he was on his twentieth birthday, and is one of the most affable, agreeable and entertaining gentlemen connected with the Kirby Lumber Company.

The management of mills for the Kirby Lumber Company is in charge of Theodore S. Wilkin, probably the best known designer and builder of saw mills and saw mill machinery in the United States. Mr. Wilkin has been in the saw mill business thirty-five years. The details of putting the various mills of the Kirby Lumber Company under one management and straightening out this part of the work have been performed under his direction. How well this has been accomplished is shown by the results obtained. The mills are running steadily at their full capacity; old and worn out machinery has been replaced by new; the mills have been strengthened at every weak point; a system of operation has been laid out and closely followed, and all of this work has been planned and carried out in a space of a little over six months. He is a member of the executive board of directors recently formed.

Prior to Mr. Wilkin's connection with the Kirby Lumber Company he had designed and built some of the largest mills in the United States, and he has probably constructed more plants for cutting timber into commercial lumber than any other one man in the Union. He is probably better known to the trade as a designer of mill machinery than as an operator of mills. He is patentee of several kinds of oscillating gang saws and originator of the only steam compensating gang saw ever built, as well as of several steam nigger patents, among them the well known “Hoo-Hoo” nigger. He was the first man to invent a process for putting tension into saw blades with a roll. He built the first machine that ever rolled a saw, and this cannot be dispensed with in filing rooms today.

Personally Mr. Wilkin is a very pleasant gentleman, with a fund of quaint humor at his command. He is an interesting talker, and the wealth of his experience, gathered in all parts of the United States, enlivens a chat with him upon any subject that may come up.

Walter S. Reitzell, chief clerk to Theodore S. Wilkin, manager of mills for the Kirby Lumber Company, was born near Freeport, Ill., on June 10, 1870. When about 12 years of age his parents moved to Erie, Pa., at which point Mr. Reitzell secured an education. After completing the branches in the common school he was connected with the real estate firm of J. W. Shannon & Co., and later with other real estate and insurance companies.

His first experience in the lumber business was in 1898, when he was connected with the gang and saw mill machinery business with W. M. Wilkin. After severing this business connection, Mr. Reitzell was tendered the position of treasurer of the Pine Hill Lumber Company, of Pine Hill, Ala., which he filled until that company sold out in the early part of the present year. He began work for the Kirby Lumber Company on October 25, last, as chief clerk to Theodore S. Wilkin. Mr. Reitzell has had a large experience in lumber operations of the south, and is in every way qualified to fill the position he now occupies.

  CHAPTER XV. The Mills--Beaumont Realty Values  

The beginning of the lumber industry at Beaumont antedates the civil war by a number of years. That city was one of the first large producers of yellow pine lumber in the south. During the early days of the industry the manufacturer was indebted to the Neches river for logging facilities, for transportation of the finished product to the gulf and for water with which to run the machinery of his mill. The mills at that point have borne an important part in the struggle made by the yellow pine manufacturers for recognition of their products, and the excellence of the goods made by the mills there established a reputation for the city that has been maintained throughout all of the successive changes that have been made in the industrial conditions of the south and is being accentuated by the Kirby Lumber Company, which now controls the plants at that point.

The site was chosen partly on account of the transportation facilities afforded by the river, but mainly owing to the close proximity of the limitless pine forests of east Texas. In the early day of the mills the river acted both as logger and as conveyor of lumber after it had been manufactured, and to a certain extent this is true today, although other means of transportation have been provided of late years. The bosom of this stream bore the logs to the saw mill and, after they were manufactured into lumber, furnished means of sending them to the markets of the world through the gulf port towns. It was due to this reason almost exclusively that the early reputation of the town as a lumber producer was established. At that time the present lines of railroads leading to and from the city had not been conceived, and there were no means provided for the distribution of lumber except through the channel stated.

Although the capacity of the mills was relatively small the lack of distributing facilities made it imperative that the operators should seek an outside market for a large part of the lumber produced, and in this way the early reputation of yellow pine of the south was established, and the early recognition of the public that there was merit in the article of commerce offered by the east Texas manufacturer has never been allowed to lapse.

The disruption of all social and industrial conditions caused by the civil war was the first setback offered to the progress of the early manufacturers. During this bitter struggle developments in all lines ceased, there was practically no demand for the lumber after it had been manufactured, and the facilities offered by the Texas & New Orleans railroad, which was completed just prior to the outbreak of the war, were withdrawn and the rolling stock of that line was used by the confederates for the transportation of munitions and men. The ports were closed against the exporter and the interior was in a disordered condition which rendered all classes of business hazardous and remuneration problematical.

The roads completed at that time, after being deprived of their equipment, were allowed to deteriorate and the line to Sabine Pass was partially destroyed. The line between Beaumont and Houston was finally abandoned, and it was not until 1873 that the railroad company began to re-operate trains on this line, an action due to legislation which required that it either operate its road or forfeit its franchise. This was the needed stimulus to activity, and the Texas & New Orleans road was then repaired and put into operation and finally became a part of the great Southern Pacific system of today.

The first mill established at Beaumont was under the direction of Messrs. Long and Carroll, who were instrumental in building the plant of the Long Manufacturing Company, which concern was engaged in the manufacture of cypress shingles and whose plant was located on Brake's bayou, about 200 yards from the point where this stream empties into the Neches river. The plant has since been abandoned and the site is now occupied by a creosote works, located a short distance from mill “A” of the Kirby Lumber Company.

Several years after the shingle works had been in operation, or about 1870, W. A. Fletcher, the late president of the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, became interested with the firm, then known as Long & Son, and the firm name was changed to Long & Co. This firm established the plant of the Beaumont Lumber Company in 1877. In 1878 Harry W. Potter, Mark Wiess and John Ward built the mill operated by what later was known as the Reliance Lumber Company. The plant' of the Texas Tram & Lumber Company was constructed in 1880 by Smyth & Seals, the firm name afterward being changed to Smyth & Caswell, the mill at the time of its construction being known as the Eagle mill. This brief outline brings the history of the mills up to recent times, when the lumber producers at Beaumont comprised the Beaumont Lumber Company, the Texas Tram. & Lumber Company and the Reliance Lumber Company, all of which were transferred to the Kirby Lumber Company on January 1, 1902.

Beaumont is today one of the most widely known cities of the earth. When the Lucas oil well was “brought in” in the early part of 1901 the world stood agape, with a smile of incredulity at the claims made by those who were instrumental in making this discovery. This feeling of distrust soon vanished when the true status of the strike was made known.

Then ensued a period of bustling activity, of speculation, of frenzied financiering. “Wildcat” companies sprang into existence in a night. Machinery was sent speeding to the scene of the strike by chartered express trains. Everything and everybody was eagerly seeking a chance to secure a block of ground in or near the known field. The people had become oil crazed; they thought of it, talked of it, speculated as to its possibility and dreamed of it at night. The word was on the lips of every Texan and those of about half of the remainder of the population of the United States. The strike was the greatest in the history of petroleum production. The historian went to the records and showed an admiring public the tremendous fortunes that had been made in oil by those who had held lands in the Pennsylvania and other oil fields of the east. Many of the records have been far surpassed by those who owned ground on or near Spindle Top.

Beaumont at that time was little more than an average country town and owed whatever importance it then possessed to the lumber interests within its limits. During the exciting times just referred to these were relegated to the background and few if any of the many who visited the city gave them a passing thought. They had been overshadowed by the magnitude of the new industry which the “spouter” on Spindle Top made possible, but the Kirby Lumber Company went soberly ahead cutting lumber and selling it as well.

The history of this wonderful field is too well known to need a detailed account. Gusher after gusher was added to the number of wells, but mixed with the successes of the many came the reports of failures of those who had secured ground outside of the oil belt, until in a comparatively short time the extent of the field became generally known.

The accommodations available for a town of from 5,000 to 7,000 people proved inadequate when the influx of visitors began. Hotel accommodations were soon exhausted, and the private boarding houses underwent a similar experience. Men of foresight then began the erection of new dwellings and hotels, but this required time, and during the interval necessary for the completion of these buildings the visiting public made the best of facilities afforded, slept in tents or on coverless spots they could secure.

The building boom which started eighteen or twenty months ago apparently has reached its height at the present time. The city today has the appearance of an immense construction yard. The streets are in some places made almost impassable by the accumulation of building material which has been deposited thereon ready for the skilled hands of the workmen.

The class of buildings being erected shows the faith reposed in the future of the city by those who have the work in charge. Five- or six-story office buildings, constructed after the latest approved models, equipped with elevators, water, electric lights and other modern conveniences, are a common sight on Pearl the principal business street, and the majority of this work is being done by Beaumont men, with Beaumont capital. The number of new dwellings which have been constructed or which are now under process of construction is legion. Whole blocks have been added to the city in a number of instances, and this line of work has kept pace with the amount of building done in a business way.

The local demand for lumber and building timbers has been unprecedented. Naturally the amount of building that has been done in the city has required a tremendous amount of lumber, and this consumption of the product of the saw mills has been increased by the use of heavy timbers for many purposes for which iron is used in other cities. Timbers are used for girders in many instances instead of the customary “I” beams, the use of the wood in this particular being accounted for in the saving of time gained thereby, as it has been difficult to secure prompt shipment of iron for construction purposes. The facility with which the timbers can be supplied by the Kirby mills has been a contributing factor in their use, and the difference in the cost of the two is considerable.

Another source of local demand has been the enormous amount of lumber used by those interested in developing the oil field. The lumber for a derrick similar to those in use on Spindle Top aggregates a total of several thousand feet. When this total is multiplied by the apparently innumerable derricks which now cover the hill the aggregate amount is enormous. A view of Spindle Top today shows hundreds of these wooden skeletons, and a birdseye view of the field gives the impression of an immense field of some prehistoric plant, sown by giants with a carelessness which caused an unequal distribution of the seed from which they sprang.

Still another use found by the oil men for timbers is for the lining of the great earthen storage tanks which are being constructed just off the hill. These reservoirs are built partly below and partly above the ground and are lined with 6-inch timbers from top to bottom. The earth removed when making the excavation is banked around the outside of the reservoir and serves to keep the oil from seeping away, while the timbers hold the earthen banks in place, the whole forming an excellent as well as a very cheap mode of storing the product of the wells.

The property now owned by the Kirby Lumber Company at Beaumont constituted what was originally the town site. Since the oil strike, however, local building has received an impetus and the town now extends a mile or so beyond the properties in all directions west of the Neches river.

The discovery of oil sent land values soaring skyward at a really alarming rate, and many made their fortunes from the enhanced value of their property. The value of Beaumont city property, however, did not immediately reflect the rise in real estate values near the oil field. Shortly after the oil strike the holdings of the Kirby Lumber Company in the city of Beaumont were appraised by a conservative board and the value placed at $1,000,000. This increase in the value of city property has steadily continued and the property owned by this company is now estimated to be worth at least 50 per cent more than the original appraisement.

It is a well known fact that the south is just awakening to a realization of the worth of its land with respect to both country and city property, and in view of the past increase and the present steady growth of property values there is no limit to be set on property values. The end is not in sight, and the conservative advancement is due to the increase in industrial activity throughout the southwest.

  CHAPTER XVI. Beaumont--Saw Mills  

The destruction of the mill “C” by fire in June of this year left the Kirby company with only two mills—”A” and “B”—at Beaumont. Prior to the fire which destroyed mill “C”—formerly known as the plant of the Beaumont Lumber Company—all three of the saw mills at this point were operated full time, and in addition mill “A,” or the Reliance mill, was run night and day, which increased the output one-third, giving the company the product of four mills. Since the fire which robbed the company of the lower mill the other mill has been operated double time, and in this manner the reduction in the output caused by the destruction of the lower mill has been overcome. The mills are now operated twenty hours out of the twenty-four, and the result has so far been quite satisfactory, although the cut during the night hours is hardly equal to that of the daylight run.

The mills at Beaumont were built pretty much on the same plan. They were all located near the business part of the town on the right bank of the Neches river, which rises sharply above the level of the stream, giving the plants the benefit of a water front without danger of an overflow. The river affords excellent facilities for constructing logging pens and the edge of the stream for miles near Beaumont is lined with log pens and booms, capable of holding in reserve many million feet of logs for the saws of the various plants of the Kirby Lumber Company.

In addition to immunity from damage during high water, the banks of the stream serve another purpose equally as advantageous. The mills at the water's edge are fully two stories high, but by the time the timbers reach the end of the live rolls they are only on a level with the car floors, the rise in the banks affording space below the floor, where the cutting machinery is situated, for the engine rooms and boilers. The lumber comes from the saws at a proper level for loading, and this does away with the necessity for elevated track lines so noticeable in southern mills. This is common to both mills and the same was true of mill “C” before it was destroyed by fire.

One noticeable feature of the mills at Beaumont is that except for the lumber which comes from the saws direct and is kept on the trucks and platforms awaiting assortment or shipment there is none to be seen. The yards are located at a distance from the mills proper, and the lumber is carried from the mills to the various yards on trucks by a locomotive. The yards used by mills “B” and “C” are a full quarter of a mile from the river front where the mills are situated, and this gives a protection from fire that was illustrated when mill “C” burned. The mill was a total loss in every respect, and had the lumber been piled anywhere near the plant it would have also been consumed, as the local fire department is not capable of coping with a fire of this magnitude when fanned by a heavy wind. The yard at the old Reliance mill is back of the planer and fully 200 yards from the site of the saw mill. There is an open space between the mill and the planer at least 100 yards wide, and the isolation of the two plants serves as a protection against the communication of fire from one plant to the other, should a blaze start at either.

A man with two mills under his supervision and those mills operating twenty hours out of each twenty-four, can readily be accredited a busy man, and this is true of W. L. Fort, superintendent of the mills of the Kirby Lumber Company at Beaumont.

Mr. Fort began his career as a saw mill man at Lake Charles about twenty years ago. In 1889 he went to Beaumont, where he started in with the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, acting as sizer and general helper. The knowledge of operating gained through his connection with various parts of the work around the mill made him the company's choice for foreman a year and a half later, and this position was, retained for ten years. At the end of that time he resigned to purchase an interest in the Yellow Pine Tie & Timber Company, at Lillard. To use his own expression: “I guess I was included in the deal when the plant at Lillard was purchased by the Kirby Lumber Company, as I have been with it ever since.” Mr. Fort's abilities as a saw mill man, however, were such that it was considered a waste of good material to allow him to remain at Lillard. He was transferred to Beaumont and given charge of the three Beaumont mills, and has since exercised a general supervision over the plants at that point.

The Kirby mill, known as “A,” is located on the right bank of Brake's bayou at the northern end of Beaumont, about a quarter of a mile above the spot where the bayou empties into the Neches river. The still waters of the bayou form an ideal logging pen and are still used for storing logs, although few if any come down to the mills by the water route. When the mills were constructed, however, they were dependent entirely upon the river for logging facilities, and provisions for securing and caring for the logs put in the river above were increased steadily in order that the equipment should not forge ahead of the ability of the company to supply the mills with rough stock for the saw.

Up to within the last few years this method of supplying logs was adhered to, although considerable complaint was made in regard to the loss occasioned by logs going astray in the swamps during high water, escaping from the booms and floating out to the gulf in a rise, and from other sources of loss, such as becoming water logged and sinking. This led to the adoption of railroad shipments of logs.

This plant was operated by the Reliance Lumber Company, .the members of which have been noted lumbermen, until the formation of the Kirby company, which now controls the property, though the former concern was not incorporated until March in 1889.

The accompanying illustration shows the canal which was cut by the Reliance people in order that logs might be secured from the Neches without the delay, trouble and expense of towing them up the bayou a short distance, but an operation demanding considerable time and materially increasing the cost of supplying the mill with cutting material. During a stage of low water, however, it was found necessary to float the logs to the mouth of the bayou and to hold them there until the incoming tide had furnished power to move them to the pen connected with the log carrier. Formerly this canal was kept full of logs and the once proud patriarchs of the forest lay meekly side by side awaiting their turn with the sharp-toothed executioner. Now all is changed and the water flows unobstructedly through the channel once a scene of picturesque beauty and activity. The railroad has superseded the river as a highway for the logs.

The loss rising from the sources previously mentioned—high water, sinking and runaways—caused those in charge of the mills at Beaumont to set about securing some other means of transporting the trunks of the trees from the forests to the mills. The necessity for another method was emphasized by the depletion of the timber along the water courses. Each year the mill men were compelled to haul their logs farther and farther before starting them on their journey down the Neches to the mills, and as a result of the use of considerable quantities of gray matter in this connection the mill operators decided upon shipping their timber by rail from the forests to the manufacturing points. While the first cost of transportation would be greater, the amount of timber saved that would otherwise be lost, if the old method of floating were continued, would more than compensate for the increase in the cost of moving the stock.

The mills at Beaumont are now supplied entirely by this method. Timber is cut along the lines of, road leading through the pine forests to the north and is shipped by rail to the mills, where the logs are dumped into the water pens, there to wait until their presence is required at headquarters. The transfer of the logs from the cars to the pens is made with but little trouble, and it is the work of only a few minutes to unload an entire train. At the point of disembarkment the road is built on an incline which throws the side of the log truck next the river much lower than the opposite side, enabling the loggers to dump the entire car by simply starting the log on the outer lower edge, and as soon as one car has been unloaded another is pulled upon the incline and the pen is soon covered by layers of timbers, intermixed with foam.

The logs for the Kirby mills are dumped from the cars to the log pen, and throw clouds of spray high in the air. They dive beneath the surface of the stream, only to appear farther down and then float lazily away. Passing on through the bayou under the impulse of the gentle current as it moves outward, they are taken in tow by the man who feeds the modern endless chain log haul-up. With his assistance their noses are poked into the chute leading to the log deck, and they again make their appearance in the sunshine, glistening in the freshness of their prolonged bath, which has robbed them of the dust and sand accumulated on the railway trip. Their progress after starting on this journey is swift and bewildering. Upon reaching the log deck level the steam flippers roll them from the trough to the log deck. Their sojourn there is limited.

The steam trip creaks and bows its three heads to the “nigger.” There is an involuntary start made by the log and an instant later the “nigger” has kicked it into place, the dogs are tightened and the carriage rushes away to the saw, bearing in its tight embrace food for the ravenous monster which, though continually feeding, is never satisfied.

There is a sound of exultation as the sharp toothed circular welcomes another victim, a cry of protest from the unwilling sacrifice, and all around the hum of innumerable belts, pulleys, saws and the accompanying shouts of scores of dust begrimed workers. A sudden reversal sends the carriage back with one side of the log shorn of its rough coat. There is a short pause. The carriage is again sent bounding forward; again the saw eats its way rapidly through the stem of a once lordly pine, this time closer to the heart. There is an instant's pause during the next return of the carriage and the “nigger” bobs saucily up, giving the bewildered pine a kick which forces it to turn a complete somersault. The dogs are again set and another side is laid bare in its pristine freshness. One or two more trips back and forth, with an occasional kick from the “nigger,” reduce the erstwhile log to a respectable member of the genus tie.

When the board which reduces it to the required size has been severed the heart of the log grows faint. The glare and noise of its new surroundings, combined with its own nudity, are a new and strange experience. There is no time for hesitation, however; the bed on which it has fallen moves slowly and steadily and the noise of the interior is forsaken for the glare of the bright sunlight. There is one more ceremony to be observed ere his tieship is fully initiated. When leaving the saw his length was the only thing in the way of size of which he could boast and he is deprived of even this comfort as he nears his journey's end. There is a sudden accession in the outward movement, then a slight backward motion, and then—a cruel little saw has moved cautiously toward it, there is the “s-s-s-sh,” the crunching of fibers between the teeth of the swinging cut-off, another forward motion and again the swinging saw descends, and yet again, and, deprived of all its early greatness, reduced to an ordinary 6x8-8 tie, the erstwhile tree begins a new life of usefulness, humble but necessary. The live rolls continue to carry the tie forward until rough hands pick it up and store it snugly away with hundreds of others, so much alike that all identity is lost. The car is filled, coupling made, a bump, and the order for the C. O. D. Railway Company has been cut by the Kirby mills and is on its way to its destination.

A different fate has befallen other parts of the log after leaving the saw. The first cut moves out over the rollers until it reaches a point immediately over an opening in the floor. It is caught by a man stationed there for that purpose, who plunges it into the depth below. A steady, continuous motion carries it out of the semi-blackness into the broad sunlight, out over the bayou to the swamp on the other side, where the “jumping off” place is. A sudden plunge downward and the bark and sap go to their doom, either to become a part of the sodden ground or to make friends with the wind and be carried about in his strong arms until the sudden friendship ceases and the elements which go to compose this 'part of the tree mingle again with the earth from which they sprang.

The second cuts meet with a better fate. They journey only a few feet, when they are raised suddenly from the live rolls by a device which is operated by the man whose duty it is to feed the 8-saw edger. There is a sudden pressure as the board enters between the rollers which clamp it, and soon the end of the slab reaches the saws, which dance merrily through the length of the board, reducing it to standard dimensions.

More live rolls, and the trimmer is reached. Here the length is determined automatically and the intermediate saws are depressed while the ends are trimmed to the required length by the remaining buzzers.

The sorter now comes in for a share of attention. It carries the various strips of lumber to those whose duty it is to sort and grade it. Roustabouts then pile the strips on trucks, and when these are filled they are moved' to the yard in tow of a pair of Texas mules—long-eared, reckless looking beasts, with the usual accompanying mulish temper, their disposition indicated by the length of their ears.

Log follows log in rapid succession, but the same routine is gone through with by all when timbers of any size are cut and at the end of a 10-hour run the result is 75,000 feet. When the mill is cutting yard stocks the rolls leading to the tie or timber part of the platform are not in use.

The waste burner at Kirby mill “A” is situated in the edge of the swamp just across the bayou, and the carrier is protected by a constant stream of water which is kept spraying on the carriage. This fire has not been out for years, although at times—as when during a temporary shutdown—it is apparently lifeless. At one time the mill had been closed for a week, and it was found expedient to lower the pile of coals and ashes, owing to the dangerous height it had attained. A couple of darkies were given hose and long pikes with which to extinguish the embers. They worked two days and thoroughly saturated the fire bed. Picks and dump carts were brought into requisition and the work began. Before they had lowered the pile many feet live coals were again encountered, which the wind fanned into a blaze. The rain and fire combined reduced the residue to almost a bricklike hardness, and when a reduction is contemplated it is necessary to use sharp pickaxes in order to loosen the debris.

Mill “B” was formerly the Texas Tram & Lumber Company's plant, but is now known by the above title. It is a single circular saw mill, supplemented by a gang saw, edger and trimmer, with all other necessary auxiliary machinery. A drag saw, operated by a small, direct connected engine, is used in cutting logs the required length. Separate engines furnish power for the gang and the circular, and the cut from the two saws is kept separate. The side boards, after passing through the edger and the trimmer, are loaded from one side of the platform and the gang sawed material from the other. After being loaded on trucks the lumber is hauled to the company's yards, about a quarter of a mile to the west, and what was not so long since the western boundary of Beaumont, where the dry kiln, is brought into use.

A No. 1 Hoyt sizer is in operation at the tail end of the mill and special bills calling for dressed timbers are sized at the mill instead of being conveyed to the planer and from there shipped to destination. This was the first machine of this kind ever installed in the mills of the south, though since then a large proportion of the mills have followed the example of W. A. Fletcher in adding this convenient and money-saving device.

In addition to the machinery usually found in a mill of this character, mill “B” is equipped with a set of stave machinery, capable of turning out from 25,000 to 40,000 staves a day. These staves are cut from the slabs, which are a total loss in most other operations. The completed staves are carried on a conveyor to a point about 100 feet from the mill, where they are assorted and thence conveyed to the yard where they are stacked. These staves are used principally in making salt barrels and other cheap packages, and owing to the fact that the material from which they are cut would under ordinary circumstances be a dead loss are quite an item in utilizing the entire tree. Another minor saving at this point is the firewood which is picked from the slab conveyor. After being cut into proper lengths it is carried to a point just south of the mill, where it is accessible to wagons. The Kirby company uses about all of the tree at this plant; there is practically no waste.

The refuse burner at mill “B” is built in the river and a huge sheet iron screen protects the frame work of the conveyor from the flames; safety is further assured by the constant spray of water which drenches the uprights supporting the carrier. The cut shows a dense cloud of smoke arising from the “little hell,” the end of the conveyor, with support like the rigging on a ship rising out of the smoke cloud and, in the foreground, the lower end of the log pen. Behind the cloud of smoke are the opening to the log haul-up and the machinery which operates the specially arranged device for pulling the logs into the lower end of the pen and holding them there. This consists of a stationary cable on which a cable with grappling hook runs. When it is desired to force logs down to the foot of the conveyor the grappling tackle is attached to a heavy log, the engine started which raises it from the water, and the draw is set in motion. The logs so raised are allowed to rest on the top of the floating timbers, and as the cable is drawn in they are naturally forced toward the spot desired. This machinery is so arranged as to be used in either direction and the logs can be forced either up or down stream, though there rarely is occasion to send the timbers up the river.

Before the adoption of the present method of supplying the mills with logs—i.e., shipping them in by rail—the mills were dependent on the river for transportation and, owing to the low stage of water during a considerable portion of the year, large booms or “log pockets” were constructed upstream and a sufficient quantity of logs kept on hand to run the mills during the dry periods referred to. These booms or pens are still maintained, though but little use is being made of them at present. They were used, however, even when the logs were dumped into the river at a point about three or four miles from town where the railroad crosses the west branch, but this dumping ground has since been abandoned and all the logs for the Beaumont mills are now hauled to the ponds directly connected with the mills. There is storage capacity in the pens mentioned sufficient' to hold 6,000,000 feet of timber in reserve.

Mill “B” is one of the most productive belonging to the company and cuts on an average about 150,000 feet in a run of twenty hours, and this combined with the output of the Reliance mill gives a total of about 300,000 a day for the two mills now operated by the Kirby Lumber Company at Beaumont.

The plant of the Beaumont Lumber Company was built in 1877, but it was not until 1882 that the company was incorporated and at that time some minor changes were made in the official register, W. A. Fletcher disposing of his interest and a new board of officers being elected.

The mill was situated at the lower edge of town, directly opposite the court house, and the site occupied a large part of the neck of land formed by the curve in the river at that point. Following the winding of the river, it was two miles from the site of the Texas Tram & Lumber Company's plant to that of the Beaumont Lumber Company, but only a short walk below it when a direct route was taken.

All that is now left of this fine plant is a heap of twisted, blackened iron, a portion of the platform on which rest the charred embers of a part of the timbers fresh from the saw on the day the fire occurred. Not a vestige of the woodwork of the building was saved. The slab conveyor and supports, the rolls on the platform, in fact everything was swept clear.

This was a double circular and band mill of the Allis-Chalmers pattern and carriage and head blocks of the same make, with Prescott shot-gun feed. A lath machine was in use at the mill, and edgings of a dimension suitable for lath were culled from the refuse conveyor.

  CHAPTER XVII. Beaumont--The Planing Mills  

Planing mills are one of the indispensable adjuncts of modern lumber manufacture. The various mills of the Kirby Lumber Company are well equipped in this respect. There are three up-to-date planing mills maintained at Beaumont, which are operated full time throughout the year. These mills are now in charge of John F. Stunkel, who for many years was in charge of the planer at the Reliance Lumber Company's planing mill prior to the time it was purchased by the Kirby Lumber Company, and who was retained in' that position after its purchase by the present owner. Mr. Stunkel has had additional experience in the management of this part of lumber operations in other parts of Texas. While acting as superintendent of the planing mill for the Reliance Lumber Company, he also had charge of the shipping department. The evidence of the positive energetic character of this gentleman is best demonstrated by the increased movement of material through the planing mills at Beaumont. This accelerated movement is not due to any material increase in orders, as the company has always been pressed for material with which to fill orders on hand.

In addition to, the three planing mills at Beaumont, the company operates a number of others at different mill points. Probably the best equipped planing mill, aside from those at Beaumont, is the one at Call. There is also a well ordered planing mill at Orange and one at Village Mills. Of the new mills which are now under construction mill “R,” to be erected at Bessmay, Texas, will be equipped with one of the most complete planing mills ever constructed in the south, and will have a capacity of 250,000 feet of lumber daily.

Planers are a modern institution. Our forefathers managed to do without them without apparently realizing their absence, but the same is true of street cars, electric lights, telephones and a host of other conveniences that are now everyday necessities.

Planers might fittingly be termed the tribute the mill men pay to usage. Ordinarily speaking, they are used for dressing lumber, but in the literal meaning of the term and taking it for granted that the little girl was correct when she said her mother was undressing a chicken when taking the feathers off, it might be said that they are used to undress it, as they take from it its rough coat and leave in lieu thereof a sleek, glossy surface which may or may not be the hide of a plank or timber. Certain it is, however,. that they are a necessity of today and one of the most valuable assets possessed by a mill when in proper hands.

One hundred feet to the north of saw mill “A” is located the planer known on the company's books as “A.” This is separated from the plant which furnished it rough stock (the Reliance saw mill) by an open space of possibly 100 yards. The yard stock and strips for the matching and molding machines are transferred from the saw mill to the planer on trucks drawn by mules. The stock intended for the dry kilns is carried directly to the elevator which runs from the ground to the platform, where it is sorted and loaded on the dry kiln trucks. Leaving the dry kilns, the lumber is again loaded on trucks and is then sent to the sheds to be stored until needed. The shed room at this plant is capable of storing about 3,000,000 feet of stock for the machines.

Farther to the northwest lie the yards connected with this mill, which usually contain from 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 feet of lumber, though at the time the views of the mill were taken there was only 4,000,000 to 4,500,000 feet in stock. The alleys of the yard are traversed by switches and cars can be loaded directly from the lumber piled on the yard in a large number of instances. The yard is perhaps the best arranged of any attached to the Kirby mills and is conspicuous for its inviting looking alleys.

The capacity of the dry kilns ranges from 40,000 to 50,000 feet a day. The kilns are of the Sturtevant pattern and consist of three rooms, two 16 feet wide and one 26 feet wide, with an even length of 72 feet. They are located in the rear of the power house and convenient trams lead from them to the planer building.

The planer stands to the left of the principal entrance to the yard and directly opposite the power house, where a 60-inch Brownell boiler furnishes steam for an 18x24 engine, and this power is also used to run the sash and door works when in operation. The planing mill contains two Woods matchers with a daily capacity of 10,000 feet; one surfacer for all around work; one 10-inch matcher; a gang edger; one Hoyt sizer; cut-off saws; resaws; a picket header; one barrel header and numerous other auxiliary machinery necessary for a complete up-to-date plant. The planer building covers an area of 160x200 feet.

The daily average made by this planer is 75,000 to 80,000 feet. The capacity of the shed directly connected with the mill is between 400,000 and 500,000 feet and in this is stored lumber which is used for stock purposes, so that the least possible time is wasted when a machine is changed from one kind of work to another. Two recently constructed sheds have been added to the equipment and will increase the storage capacity of the mill about 1,000,000 feet, making the total shed capacity—including other sheds—about 4,000,000 feet.

The force of men employed at planer “A,” including the yard gang which sorts and piles the lumber, is about ninety-five.

The scraps from the various machines are utilized in the barrel header and this has proven a source of considerable revenue to the Kirby company.

This plant is situated six to eight blocks from the saw mill which supplies it with rough cutting stock. As in the former case, however, the yard on which is stored the surplus stock of the mill is connected directly with the planer. The yard here is large and commodious, but owing to the universal low state of stock has a bare appearance in places. Loading switches are connected directly with the yard, so that, as in the case of mill “A,” little expense arises from this source.

The planer is equipped with two Fay duplex matchers; two Woods 12-inch inside molders; one 15-inch inside molder of the Hall & Brown pattern; one 8x30 combination surfacer and matcher; one 14-inch Schenck flooring machine; one band resaw; one Greenlee rip saw table; one picket header; two cut-offs; filing rooms, and other necessary conveniences.

The power furnished is derived from two 60-inch by 16-foot Brownwell boilers which are used to drive an 18x24 Allis-Chalmers engine, which is also used to drive the double 60-inch Sturtevant fan. The general arrangement of the plant is much the same as at the old Reliance mill. The sheds are capable of carrying more lumber than is the case in the former instance and the yards are more extensive, but the general plan of the plant is much the same.. This is the only one of the three planers at Beaumont which does not operate its own electric light plant. Both the Reliance and the Beaumont Lumber Company's planers have motors for generating electricity which is used in lighting the plants at night. At present the mills are being run ten hours steadily and are receiving most of their material from the mills for which they were at first constructed, as the arrangements for handling the timber in that manner are very simple and complete.

The dry kilns are of the Sturtevant pattern, the same as are in use at the upper mill and of about the same capacity. They are divided into three rooms, one of 20x90 and two of 16x90 feet, with tracks running to and from them to the mill and planer. The kilns are located at the extreme western edge of the yard, on an elevated platform which contains trucks for shifting the seasoned lumber from the kilns to the shed and thence to the planer. Green stock from the saw mill is sent to the kilns by an elevator, which carries it to a point where it is loaded on trucks preparatory to taking the trip through the warm climate. Planer “B” is located further from the mill furnishing it stock than either of the other plants of the Kirby Lumber Company at this point.

Since the destruction of mill “C,” planer “C” has been supplied from the. remaining stock on hand at the time of the fire and also in part from the Kirby up-country mills which have no planer attached.

This planer is constructed on entirely different lines from the other two. It is much more compactly built and the working room, storage sheds, dry kilns, boiler and engine rooms are practically under one roof. The distance at which it is located from the saw mill undoubtedly saved it from destruction at the time the latter burned. A steel rail tram formerly connected it with the saw mill; the twisted ends of the track are all that is left of this line.

A spur from the Southern Pacific, which is also connected with the other lines entering Beaumont, forms switching facilities and enters the premises along Main street, on which it faces, and this railroad also connects it with the company's yards on the western edge of the town. An elaborate system of spurs and switches formerly connected the saw mill with the yard and the planer, but the planer ends of these are all that are now used.

The planing mill floor covers a space of about 65x150 feet, but adjoining this and under the same roof is a dry shed 40 feet wide by 125 feet deep. The switch enters on the southern side of this dry shed and cars are loaded from the hand trucks which run from the machines to the outer shed. Immediately in the rear of the planer is an immense dry shed, used principally in storing dressed stock. Between this and the planer is a depressed track, and the trucks moved from the planer to the shed or vice versa are pushed out on a transfer truck and then conveyed to the desired alley, where they leave the shifting truck for the final destination. Half hidden by giant oaks and cypress in the rear of the dry shed are the dry kilns. These were formerly reached by the trucks from the saw mills by a raised tram line and the same method is now used in transferring lumber from the cars when shipped in from the outside mills to the kiln rooms. From the kiln the lumber is sent by truck either to the dry shed or to the planer, as above described.

The engine at this point is the largest of any of the three planers, about 140-horse power, with a 28x36 cylinder. The equipment at this mill is slightly heavier than at the others mentioned and consists of three 9-inch Hoyt matchers, with a daily capacity of 20,000 to 30,000 each; one Hoyt 30-inch surfacer, capable of dressing 35,000 to 80,000 feet a day; one 8-inch Fay surfacer; one Hoyt gang edger; one picket header; two cut-offs, and all other necessary auxiliary machinery.

The planers of the Kirby Lumber Company at Beaumont are run ten hours each day, while the saw mills are operated twice this time.

Literally, the noise of a mill, in full operation or otherwise, has no commercial value. In this respect a lumber factory resembles a packing institution where every part of the pig except the squeal is made to serve some purpose. So it is with the modern mill of today. Nearly every part of the log is put to some use, and at many plants only the sound of the machinery is lost.

But is it really a loss? The sound of the whistle at morn is the only means of identifying time that many possess. The work of the early part of the day is accordingly regulated by the shrill scream of the escaping steam, as in piercing tones it summons the laborer to his daily toil. People living in mill towns have become so accustomed to the continuous drumming roar of the revolving machinery and the chug, chug of the engine that without it something of life seems wanting. There is a companionship in noise which after once being cultivated can hardly be dispensed with. Those who live within sound of the sea are lonely and ill at ease when beyond reach of the sound of its breakers, and relatively the same is true of the inhabitants of mill towns. Construct a noiseless mill and it would be difficult to find operators to man it.

A plant in full operation, even in the daytime is a scene of apparently endless confusion. Men dart here and there; the creak of whirring belts and pulleys is lost in the sharper cry of the cutting machinery; conversation has been reduced to a sign manual, or what might be termed a natural language. On closer inspection, however, it is found that the seeming confusion is in reality the working out of systematic order. Every man has a certain duty to perform and the work of most of the employees keeps them confined to narrow limits. The scene as a whole is one to inspire the poet or the philosopher with material for a rhapsody or a lyrical effusion. The work of each man is separate and distinct, and yet the different parts are so closely related and are interdependent to such an extent that it is impossible for one or more to shirk their tasks without interfering with the work of others, and in this way they are closely bound together, one dependent upon the other for the prompt fulfillment of each duty as it comes to hand.

Much could be written about the appearance of the mills by day, but it is after darkness has closed around a plant that the best picture is presented. The noise of the running machinery is intensified by the stillness of midnight; the smoke of the refuse consumer and the escaping steam from the boilers wrap the plant in a mantle of unreality. Through this misty halo the light of the electric lamps pours from every crevice. The longer the beholder gazes the deeper grows the impression that the scene before him is the result of imagination; that nothing in life could produce this enchantment. The light, the noise, the bustle are softened by the surrounding darkness; it is the one spot within the limits of vision where man has not sought the customary repose. Vague forms hover restlessly about or dart on apparently purposeless missions from place to place. The log carriage, bearing its burden of timber and humanity, loses its prosaic character and is turned into a plaything for the sport of gnomes and genii. Back and forth they swing as though every thought and purpose of life had been brushed aside in the abandon of their mad frolic. The hours grow heavy by their accumulated weight, then turn small, increase in size, and still the hum of the revolving machinery fills the air. Suddenly a transformation takes place. The sharp sound of the whistle momentarily drowns the softer noise; there are hurrying and scurrying among the workers as the lights disappear one by one, and soon darkness and quiet reigns over the scene of former bustle and turmoil—the 20-hour run has been completed and the men' depart for their homes.

Attention will be given this in connection with the different mills, but a general summary is here presented. The workers are about evenly divided as to color, taking the mills altogether and deducting an average. The skilled labor, however, is principally performed by white men, which leaves the greater portion of the rougher tasks to the colored element. Some exceptions to this rule might be mentioned, as for instance the day sawyer at mill “B” is a negro and is accounted an excellent workman, but as a general proposition the skilled labor employed by the Kirby Lumber Company is white men.

The darkies lend color, life and humor to any work in which they may be engaged. There is a good humor about the average colored laborer that is seen in no other class of men, and to this may be added a picturesqueness that cannot be duplicated. They are not without flaw as a source of labor, as many have found to their cost, but with proper supervision excellent returns can be had from their exertions, though they must be guided and controlled.

A belle of the season who would successfully defy all who have aspired to her social pre-eminence has need for tact to no greater degree than has he who would guide and control a gang of the colored laborers of the south. The one who does must be full master of his men in every sense of the word. Brutality will not answer, though in individual cases it has been found a potent inspiration to faithful performance of tasks assigned. On the other hand, leniency and mildness are often mistaken by the recipients for fear or uncertainty, with a result that either a new force of laborers or a new superintendent have to be secured. The average “coon” has a bad habit of “laying off” whenever he feels so inclined. One of the foremen of the Kirby Lumber Company summed up the conditions in a few words. “A darkey,” he said, “cannot work with 'four bits' in his pocket. As soon as he has that much ahead he must get a day in which to spend it.”

A notable exception to this rule is Dave Moore, of the group on page 23 who for the last twenty-five years has been employed at the mill of the Texas Tram & Lumber Company and later by the Kirby Lumber Company in various capacities. During that time he has gradually worked his way up until now he is receiving nearly $100 a month, the best part of which is saved. He is worth between $8,000 and $9,000, and from his wages and house rents has an income of nearly $200 a month. Few of the laborers of the south make any effort to save anything from their wages, and especially is this true of the darkies whose love of good living and fancy clothes, not to mention their infatuation for cards and “de bones,” absorbs their meager earnings even faster than they are received.

The picture of the dusky Hercules shown above is a good likeness of Black Mack, probably the strongest and most compactly built negro in the state. He has been employed for years as a lumber piler at yard “C” of the Kirby Lumber Company at Beaumont.

While no serious trouble has been experienced by the company on account of scarcity of labor there have been times when some inconvenience was felt which was due in a great measure to the propensity among the negroes to lay off for a day or even longer. At the Beaumont mills, where labor is at a premium, this habit has to be endured to a certain extent. The call for labor from the oil field is so great and the wages paid prove such an attraction that the men in charge of this part of the work are sometimes at their wits' ends to keep a full force on hand. It was mainly for this reason that the company changed its method of paying the men from monthly to weekly settlement. Even before this method was adopted the men were able to secure the greater part of the money coming to them in checks, with which they could purchase whatever they desired from the stores at Beaumont, getting full value for their commissary currency. The company does not run a store at Beaumont and has not had one there for several months.
The storekeepers agreed to accept the company's currency at its face value, and as the women expressed a preference for the privilege of inspecting the stocks at the different stores before purchasing, the commissary store of the company was closed about June 1 last.

Illustrative of the amount of change going on constantly among the workmen at the company's plants at Beaumont, the pay roll for June, during which month the company had about 1,000 men at work, contained the names of nearly 1,800 men, showing that the personnel of the force had been almost entirely changed in thirty days. These changes are nearly altogether among the rough laborers, as there is apparently no desire on the part of the skilled artisans to desert their posts. The most peculiar thing in regard to the flitting of the men is that it does not arise from dissatisfaction or opportunity to better their condition, but nearly altogether from restlessness and a desire for a change.

  CHAPTER XVIII. Mills “D,” “E” and “F”  

The likeness of the clear eyed, self-possessed man shown herewith is that of George W. Bancroft, the founder of the Bancroft Lumber Company at Orange, Tex., and now superintendent of the company's plant at that point. Mr. Bancroft began to gather his lumber experience at the early age of 12, when with the world before him he started to work in a shingle mill. The mill was run by his father and older brothers, and aside from the performance of his daily tasks he gained a thorough knowledge of the manufacture of shingles. This active connection with the manufacture of lumber and shingles was interrupted at the age of 18, when he went to school for a year, taking a thorough commercial course. After completing his studies in this line he returned to his former place of business and took active charge of the office.

When the Bancroft Lumber Company was formed, in which organization he was a prime mover, he took charge of the office work as to both the records and the sales, and later spent considerable time on the road as a salesman. After the death of T. Bancroft, in 1896, the company was incorporated, the brothers all taking stock and continuing the business as formerly. The company has met with success worthy of the efforts put forth and was doing a lucrative business when it accepted the offer to make its plant one of the mills in the Kirby consolidation.

Mr. Bancroft is now 35 years of age, one of the best posted lumbermen in the southwest, a pleasant talker and has a thorough knowledge of his business to the most minute details. In addition to overseeing the affairs of the plant under his charge he has found time to organize the Orange National bank during the past year and is president of that institution.

The mill was constructed by the Bancroft brothers and is one of the largest and most conveniently arranged of the entire number. At the time it was built it was decided that the best way to secure good work from the men employed was to give them ample room in which to move about, and the saw mill building proper is an extremely commodious affair for a single circular mill. The mill is built on the right bank of the Sabine river, about a quarter of a mile from the center of the town. The circular saw is supplemented by a 4-saw gang edger; a 2-saw self-feed trimmer; picket header, and all other necessary equipment. The planer is equipped with two flooring machines, a No. 1 Hoyt's sizer, re-saw, swing cut-off, etc.

The mill was built by the Bancroft Lumber Company in 1888. The officers of the company before the ownership changed hands were A. J. Bancroft, president; E. W. Bancroft, vice-president, and George W. Bancroft, secretary and treasurer. There was no change in the official roster until the company was merged with the Kirby Lumber Company.

The floor on which the machinery is located is at an elevation of ten to twelve feet and the lumber is switched from the mills on hand trucks which run on iron tracks raised to a level with the mill floor. The yard is built close in to the mill and an elaborate system of fire protection has been installed to guard against the ravages of possible conflagrations. The office of the company is located at some distance from the mill, on the water's edge, and, as shown by the cut, presents a cool, inviting appearance.

The yard is connected with the main lines of road by a complete system of spurs and switches which parallel the stacks of yard stock, enabling the workmen to load directly from the lumber piles. Adequate shed room has been provided for storing the finished lumber such as flooring, ceiling, etc., and between the sheds, which are built facing each other, runs the switch from the railroads so that dry stock can be loaded at any time despite stormy weather, without danger of becoming wet.

There is no dry kiln connected with the plant, but in lieu thereof an unusual system of piling lumber. has been inaugurated which does away with the necessity for an artificial dryer. The boards and yard stocks are stacked in narrow tiers between stationary supports erected for the purpose. These stationary bins are from six to ten feet wide, are built facing the elevated truckways, and several are used for each size of stock. As soon as one is filled it is roofed over and left to dry and another one is started. Lumber for shipment is taken from the oldest stack of the material desired and when stocks are in a normal condition this plan assures a constant supply of material in prime shipping condition and does away with the danger from blackening; which sometimes damages stock when left too long in storage.

The mill is now used principally in cutting bill stuff and timbers for export. The larger part of the company's export business is gotten out and shipped by the Orange mill. The location of the mill and the easy accessibility of sea-going vessels from Orange, connections being made via the Sabine river and Port Arthur, were potent influences in deciding the company upon adopting this plan of procedure. Material for both the European and Mexican trades is cut by the mill and either rafted to the coast or shipped to the port by barges, from which it is transferred to the sea-going vessels for final transportation. Very little stock is now cut for interior shipment and the greater part of the lumber so made is from the side boards or trimmings of the logs from which the heavy timbers for export are secured. A fair estimate of the lumber shipped to interior points from the Orange mill places the figure at from one-fourth to one-third of the total output, the remainder being shipped to foreign countries to supply the orders received by the Kirby company from that source.

Two special grades of lumber are gotten out and shipped to European ports. One is selected logs from which a block of timber containing 35 cubic feet of lumber is cut. These timbers are made any size, but must contain the desired number of cubic feet. The illustration given shows a stick of this timber making a leap into the river from the chute leading from the elevated track. These timbers are collected in the water, made into rafts and towed to the side of the vessel waiting at Port Arthur and are taken on deck directly from the water, thus saving lighter charges, which would amount to about 50 cents a thousand. Another cut shows men making these timbers into rafts for shipment. So great has the demand for this class of lumber become that a large percentage of the logs that come up to the specifications of this material are so used. The mill is now being run night and day to enable it to keep abreast with the orders received.

The other special grade manufactured here is what is known as prime lumber, which is gotten out especially for export. It grades about 95 per cent clear and is in big demand by manufacturers of furniture on the European continent. The mill cuts 300,000 to 400,000 feet of this stock each month and shipments are made after allowing the material thirty days in which to season. The heavy demand for longleaf pine from foreign countries has given the Kirby Lumber Company an exceptionally good trade in this material during the past twelve months.

Liverpool, Hamburg and Rotterdam dealers are especially anxious to secure consignments of this lumber. Any size is available that is 9 inches or wider by 12 feet or longer, 1 or 2 inches in thickness. The stock is shipped in the rough. The high reputation established and maintained by the manufacturer of this stock has caused it to become a recognized standard and the demand for it has steadily increased.

Two cuts are given of men loading a barge with bridge timbers for Mexican ports. A great deal of the timber cut which will not grade up to the requirements for export to European cities is devoted to filling orders for bridge timber for Mexican consumption. These barges when loaded are towed to the port where by its own lighters the Kirby company transfers the material to the vessel destined for the desired port. The cost of towing is placed at about 50 cents a thousand and the lighters are allowed 40 cents a thousand for loading the timber, making the entire cost of transferring it from the mill to the vessel 90 cents. The lighters are operated independently, are charged with all expenses they incur and are then given credit at the rate of 40 cents a thousand feet for handling the stock.

There is no commissary maintained by the company at this point, as the close proximity of the Orange stores renders this unnecessary. The Kirby company employs here about eighty-five men, including mill, planer and yard force.

The plant is logged entirely by river, the logs being put in singly at the camps maintained on both sides of the river farther up. Storage booms with capacity of 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 feet have been provided for holding a reserve supply of cutting stock. Every advantage has been taken of the river in order to increase the capacity of the log pens and in some instances where the river makes a sharp bend a canal has been cut through the neck for the passage of boats and the old river bed is utilized for storing additional logs. The booms extend twenty miles above Orange. The necessity for these precautions has been demonstrated by the low water at certain seasons of the year which prevents the company from receiving logs from the camps. Very little attention is paid to the logs until they begin to make their appearance along the company's booms, when men stationed along the river take them in charge and store them away, filling the lower pens first as a matter of course. It is estimated that from 8 to 10 per cent of the logs put in the river by the logging camps are lost. Some of these become water-logged and sink and others go astray in the swamps. There is not so much loss from this latter source. Logs stranded in the swamps can be gotten out during high water, while only those whose specific gravity is too great are lost beyond recovery.

Twenty-one miles north of 'Beaumont the Beaumont division of the Santa Fe forms a junction with the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City road at a small town called Silsbee. This junction point is primarily the result of logging operations in eastern Texas. It was founded and has since been maintained exclusively by the lumber interests represented in that vicinity.

In 1894 the Texas Pine Land Association established headquarters for its logging operations at this point. This association had entered into a contract with the Reliance Lumber Company of Beaumont to furnish the latter 2,000,000 feet of logs monthly. In filling this contract it was discovered that a large percentage of the timbers cut could not be floated to Beaumont because of the specific gravity of the logs causing them to sink. Trees showing this sign were marked and left standing. The amount of timber not available for floating to Beaumont was so large that some means of utilizing it had to be devised.

Two years after the beginning of the operations in this district the association completed a small mill for the purpose of cutting this part of the timber. The plant, when ready for operation, was capable of cutting in the neighborhood of 40,000 feet a day. The mill continued in operation under the management of J. L. Kirby, for the Texas Pine Land Association, for about two years. During the early part of 1898 the capacity of the mill was increased to 60,000 feet for a 10-hour run, and 'it was leased to the Industrial Lumber Company for a period of three years, the lessees agreeing to furnish a sufficient quantity of logs to operate the mill for a given consideration. This lease expired June 30, 1901, a few months prior to the date when the Kirby Lumber Company assumed control of the plant.

C. P. Myer was put in charge for the new management and has continued to direct operations at both Silsbee and Lillard, the latter a small mill plant a few miles to the east, ever since. Mr. Myer is a thorough mill man. He is a graduate of the eastern Texas school of practical mill men, and his apprenticeship embraced work in every capacity around a modern saw mill. Mr. Myer was born in Newark, Ohio, in August, 1868. He went to work for a railroad company in its shops at an early age, and after serving the company for some years went to east Texas, where he became fascinated with the lumber industry, and has been employed in producing lumber ever since.

The mill, while a heavy producer, cannot be termed a strictly up-to-date plant, as many of the modern conveniences have not been installed. The local management, however, has a habit of obtaining results that is certainly surprising. The plant is equipped with a single circular saw, with modern log carriage propelled by a shot-gun feed. The power for operating the plant is adequate in every way. Edger and trimmer are located at the tail end of the saw and live rolls carry the finished stock to and from these supplementary machines.

From Silsbee the logging road extends due north about twelve miles. The logging equipment consists of three standard gauge locomotives, fifty logging cars or trucks, about fifteen miles of trackage, including switches and spurs, and all other necessary equipment for operating an up-to-date logging camp capable of supplying the amount of timber used by a mill of this capacity. Some of the employees engaged in logging operations make their headquarters at a logging camp on this road known as Redding.

It is the intention of the company to connect Silsbee with Village, a distance of about thirty miles, through an unbroken forest of longleaf pines. This will insure a constant supply for both mills for many years and will prove a decided advantage to both plants.

A few miles to the east is located the plant at Lillard, a station on the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway, where it branches from the Santa Fe at Silsbee. The company operates a small mill of the single circular pattern at this point which has an average capacity of about 40,000 feet. This plant was erected in 1898 by Charles Martin and others, who formed the Yellow Pine Tie & Timber Company. The builders continued operations only a short time and then sold the plant to Messrs. Fort, Eastman and Johnson, who are also interested in the United Export Lumber Company.

The plant with timber holdings. passed into the hands of the Kirby interests in January, 1902, and was put under the same management as the Silsbee plant.

Former difficulties under which this mill labored, due to failure of machinery, which at one time gained for it an unenviable reputation, have now been overcome. A new man has recently been placed in charge of the machinery and no trouble has been experienced lately.

J. C. Cowart is superintendent at Lillard. Mr. Cowart was formerly with Mr. Myer at Silsbee, where he imbibed freely of mill operation lore, which he is now putting to excellent usage. The logging end of the operations is looked after by Dock Ward, who was with the company prior to its absorption by the Kirby interests. In connection with the saw mill a small dry kiln and a planer are operated at this point also. The plant when first constructed was laid out with a view of being sufficient unto itself so far as getting out finished products was concerned, and for this reason the dry kiln and planer were installed.

The mill is supplied with logs by a tram road extending to the east a distance of about eight miles. There are two narrow gauge engines operated here, and logging cars and loading stock sufficient to keep the mill supplied with logs constantly.

  CHAPTER XIX. Mill “G,” Call, Texas

Mill “G” is one of the boasts of the company. It is endowed with what might be termed the power of individuality—the knack of doing things just a little better than others. When a special bill is wanted, and wanted “right off,” mill “G” usually has something to do with the prompt execution of the order. The mill has been noted for its activity since its foundations were laid in the early '90s. The recent alterations which have been made places it oh a level with the most modern lumber cutting plants in the south.

The magnificent timber supply available for the use of this mill undoubtedly has a great deal to do with the ability of those in charge to turn out such splendid results. The location of the mill places it within range of the best growth of longleaf pine in Texas, and from the densely studded forests which border the western bank of the Sabine this mill draws its supply of logs. This point is to be connected with the logging camp at Trotti as soon as the proposed road between the two shall have been completed. This connection will be advantageous to both places, and will place the company's forests more freely at the disposal of Mill “G.”

The mill at Call, formerly known as the Cow Creek Tram, was built by George A. Adams during the first of the 90's. In 1899 the first structure, which was not so commodious as the present mill, was destroyed by fire, and on the site of the destroyed mill was reared the present structure, which, while only a single circular mill at present, produces 100,000 feet daily. The average cut for June, 1902, was 97,000 feet, this being obtained by taking the output for each day, the sum total being divided by the number of days the mill was operated, giving the average for the month. This is the largest monthly average of any mill operated by the company.

Call station is located two and one-half miles from the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railroad, but is connected with it by a standard gauge railroad operated by the company, with adequate terminal facilities at the junction of the two roads. All switching is done by locomotives owned and operated by the Kirby company. The empties are taken from the siding where they are placed by the railway company and loads are substituted by the engine crew of the company, who are kept busy handling the cut from this mill after it is loaded on the cars.

From Call the tram road runs back into the timber lands from four to eight miles, and all intermediate timber has been cut by the loggers in supplying the saw. The logging facilities at this point are ample to provide a daily feast for the saw and, as shown by the illustrations, are of the horse, mule and cow variety. The former company did not, however, derive its name from this feature but from the river or creek of the same name which flows north and south at a distance of about seven miles to the east. At one time this marked the boundary line of the timber lands held by the company, but additional tracts have been bought and the company's holdings reach to the west bank of the Sabine at present.

Although the present capacity of the mill is large, plans for additional equipment have been made, and the work of installation is now under way. The mill is now provided with a single circular saw, with shot-gun feed and the fastest return of the carriage obtainable. This is supplemented by an 8-saw edger, which is often used as a resaw in splitting large timbers. The trimmings from the edger saws are thrown on a bed of carriers which move slowly toward a gang of slashers. After passing from the slashers the waste material drops into the refuse carriers, which convey it to the burner. Leaving the edger, the stock made from the side boards or first cuts passes farther to the rear, where an automatic trimmer reduces it to the nearest even length. After passing through the trimmer the boards are deposited on live rolls which carry them farther out and toward the tail end of the mill, where the sorter is located. From this point the lumber is either taken on trucks to the piles designated or carried to the dry kilns.

The present arrangements for sorting and storing the lumber will be very much changed when the contemplated improvements shall have been made, and instead of using trucks for carrying the lumber conveyors will be used almost entirely. The site of the yard is to be changed, and it will in the future be located south of the mill at a distance of about 100 yards, instead of to the south and southeast, in close proximity. Men are at work now clearing up the ground for the new yard and as soon as this shall be done the stock on the old yard will be moved to the new location.

The machinery will be increased by the addition of a band saw, with a 12-inch feed to carriage, and one edger. The present trimmer will be moved to the center of the building and later will be used for both saws. The new saw will be provided with an individual edger. No increase will be made in the power plant, which is able to produce force enough to run the new equipment in addition to the old. The engine used now is a Corliss, with a 28-inch cylinder and a 48-inch stroke, equal to about 200-horse power. It is fed by three boilers, 66 inches by 18 feet, and in view of the extra power desired three additional boilers, 66 inches by 16 feet, will be installed. The furnaces are fed with sawdust exclusively. This is carried to the boiler room by a chute and is fed directly to the flames by a specially arranged distributor, which practically does away with the duties of firemen, one man taking care of the three. The boiler house is brick, with Dutch ovens.

The present dry kiln has a capacity of about 30,000 feet a day. The plans for the improvements include the erection of two more of the same size. Under the new arrangement the sorter will leave the lumber destined for the kilns practically at the kiln doors, where it will be loaded on the trucks and placed to dry. After leaving the dry kilns the stock will be taken to sheds near the planer, to be stored until desired. The dry kiln is provided with separate steam generators, which will be increased so as to provide for the two new ones to be built. The method of firing in use at the plant which generates the steam for the kilns is somewhat peculiar. After supplying the boiler room with sawdust for fuel, there is nearly as much as required for the purpose sent to the refuse burner by blow pipes. Instead of utilizing this for fuel for the kiln furnaces, as economy would suggest, the founders of the plant had wood furnaces put in, and they are in use today. The wood for firing has to be hauled some distance and this keeps one team busy. This will be changed when the plans of the Kirby company have been fully matured.

Close to the kiln boiler room is the electric light plant, which is used to light the mill when it is necessary to work by night and which also furnishes light for the company's store room and office. It is operated for only a short time each evening, and usually is stopped at 10 at night, except when a night force is worked.

The planer, which is located in front instead of at the rear of the saw mill, is equipped with a No. 2 sizer and matcher, combined; four flooring machines; one inside and one outside molder; one picket header; two resaws; a two-saw edger or rip saw. The engine which furnishes the power for the planer is larger than is often found in a plant of much greater capacity, having a 20-inch drive with a 30-inch stroke, and is supplied with steam by two 66-inch by 16-foot boilers. The planers will be remodeled when the other repairs are made, and while no additional machinery will be put in the changes will be very advantageous for the workmen and will greatly facilitate the handling of rough and dressed stock, both as it comes to the machines and as it leaves them.

In addition to the machinery enumerated, at the tail end of the saw mill is located a 20 x 30 sizer. This sizer is placed at the end of the live rolls, and timbers which are to be surfaced can be passed through it without rehandling. This machine can accommodate anything not over 20 by 30 inches and a great deal of money is saved by its use.

When the additional equipment shall have been installed the plant will have a capacity of from 150,000 to 175,000 feet for each 10-hour run. This will make an increase in the logging capacity necessary, and also an addition to the present log pond, which will be increased to about twice its present capacity. The mill will then be a combination circular and band saw, with ample driving power, and the interior arrangement will be such as to give the best possible results with the least expenditure of labor.

After passing from the saws through individual edgers, the strips will be cut to the desired length on the trimmer now in use. At the tail of the trimmer will be located the sorter, which will be geared to a much higher speed, so as to carry the cut from both saws. From the sorter the lumber will be loaded on trucks drawn by mules, which will carry it to the new yard site.

Each alley of the new yard will be traversed by truck lines and the lumber will be loaded directly from them to be piled. The dry kiln carriages will be loaded in a like manner, but the kilns will be only a short distance from the sorter and on a level therewith. From the kilns the seasoned stock will he taken to either the storage shed or the planer as desired.

The new yard will have a separate alley for each length of stock, as well as for each thickness of the same length. Special terminal facilities for loading the stock on cars will be provided. The plans for the improvement are most minute and were drawn with a view of saving time and labor in handling the stock cut, as well as to provide for properly storing and stacking it, both in the sheds and on the yard.

A man who cuts on an average of nearly 100,000 feet of lumber a day for a month with a single circular saw, even though he is provided with the latest and quickest return power for his carriage and a fine quality of logs, is something of a novelty in lumber circles. George Moore is a young man with about twenty-five summers and an equal number of winters behind him. He has been sawing for six or seven years, and bears the reputation of being the easiest man on machinery and men in Texas. There is a fascination about the manner in which he handles a carriage loaded with its equipment of men and logs that holds the spectator spellbound. It is not that there is any ostentation or display in his work, for the contrary is true. Judging from the methodical manner in which he directs matters, on first appearance it would seem that he was very leisurely in his movements; that he was in no particular hurry, and yet despite this apparent take-your-time air there is scarcely a moment during working hours that the carriage is stationary.

A log makes its appearance on deck, the steam flippers give it a friendly lift from the endless chain carrier; it is caught and held ready for the carriage by the steam trip. The carriage at length is vacated and for a minute fraction of a second stops, but even before it has reached a standstill the hand of the sawyer has depressed the trips and at the same time the “nigger” is temporarily given his freedom. As the carriage reaches the proper station on its return, the log rolls into place, the nigger gives it a kick to make certain, the lever is reversed, and before the beholder is well aware that another log has been placed on the rack the first cut is on its way to the slashers, where it is cut into even lengths and dropped on the refuse conveyor. By the time the first slab has reached the refuse conveyor the log has at least three flat surfaces and is ready for the fourth cut. There is some difficulty experienced here, and the nigger seems impotent. A harder shove is given to the lever which controls the action of this all-indispensable nigger, and a vicious response at length forces the obstreperous log into the desired attitude and the carriage again moves rapidly forward. The “nigger” is an illustration of the boomerang; the harder the lever is pressed the harder it kicks, and the principle is so simple that one would naturally use the right method in operating it. If it is desired to move it toward one, the lever is pulled up close, and when the opposite direction is desired it is pushed away from the operator. The harder one pushes the lever the more vigorous the response, and in this regard closely resembles a man's conscience, which reacts with a violence equal to the power that overcame it.

Mr. Moore, the sawyer, has a very youthful appearance, weighs about 140 pounds, and is a thorough master of the art of producing the most lumber with the least expenditure of nerve force. He rarely raises his voice above the pitch necessary to be understood and to make himself understood prefers a motion of his hand, as is the case with most sawyers. to using loud language.

The minute a log rests on the carriage his eye glances at the cutting orders and the log is sized up. A motion of the hand indicates the kind of material he desires to produce from the particular log, and the dogs are set accordingly. There is no waste of timber, time or temper under his reign.

Call itself is a beautiful site. It is located two and a half miles east of the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway. At present there are possibly 400 or 500 people within its limits, most of whom are in some manner connected with the company's milling operations at that point. There is considerable travel to and from the town.

The company has selected a block in the center of the town site on which it intends to erect a 40-room hotel for the accommodation of employees and those visiting the place, and in view of the number who daily make the trip from Call Junction to Call station the hotel will be a blessing, as there is nor means provided at present for the entertainment of visitors other than that afforded by a few who have placed their extra rooms at the disposal of those seeking such accommodations. The lot on which the hotel will be erected has been planted with sycamore trees, which are now about two years old and present a decidedly healthy appearance.

Naturally a saw mill town, all of which has been built within the past few years, cannot boast of many advantages, but the push and energy of the present population promise many good things for the future. The town is laid off in squares, streets made and maintained; trees have been planted to replace the forest of pines which were cut when Call was nothing more nor less than a lumber camp. The site of the town is at the apex of a rising knoll, which insures good drainage. Pure water is to be found at a depth of twenty to fifty feet, the people are healthy, and the population growing steadily.

The Kirby company conducts a commissary at Call that is perhaps its largest in point of equipment and stock maintained. The surrounding country for several miles is dependent upon this store for its supplies as well as the employees of the Kirby Lumber Company at Call.

  CHAPTER XX. Mills “H,” “J,” “K” and “L”  

In addition to the logging camp maintained to the northwest of Kirbyville, which was formerly known as that of the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, and was used by it to supply its Beaumont mill, there is a small circular mill operated by the company at this point. It has an independent logging road and its own engine for furnishing logs, with about five miles of tram extending to the north.

The mill is of the ordinary type and cuts 35,000 to 40,000 feet of lumber a day, principally ties and timbers. The stock cut from the sidings is shipped to the Call yards, where all clear stuff is worked into finish, and the other is put in the yard.

To use R. B. Loveland's expression, “I was born and raised and got my first `timber sense' in. Lockhaven, Pa.,” which was at that time one of the leading saw mill towns of the state. In the fall of 1895 he went to Alexandria, La., where he became associated with the Union Lumber Company, and remained at that point until the fall of 1899, when he bought a small mill at Blanche, La., on the Kansas City, Watkins & Gulf railway, which he operated until the early part of 1902.

In December, 1901, he closed a contract with the Kirby Lumber Company to remodel the mill at Kirbyville and operate it on a contract basis. The mill was originally built by Conn & Co., of Kirbyville, but had never proved a money making investment. Mr. Loveland was given the mill to repair and operate and has made a success of it, cutting daily the full limit that can be produced by a mill of its caliber.

The operations of the mill are confined principally to timber cutting, which is the rule with most of the company's mills of this class. The output of the mill is fully up to the standard required by the inspectors, and the class of manufacture maintained by Mr. Loveland is all that could be desired.

The mill is operated on a contract basis, as stated, the company paying so much a thousand for cutting and delivering the timber on board cars ready for shipment.

The mill is supplied with logs by a 3-mile tram, which will be extended as needed. Only one engine is used to bring the logs from the forest to the mill, and the track is laid flat on the ground, which is not, however, quite so level here as at some of the other points, and the little engine pulling a train of ten or twelve cars sometimes finds it necessary to bite the load in two in order to make certain grades.

Water is supplied by a direct connected pump from a small creek a few hundred feet from the mill, and this is supplemented by wells that can be used in case of necessity, though the former source of supply has not failed so far.

The foreman, Z. T. Stump, who also acts in the capacity of filer at this mill, has a life of experience behind him that is rarely equaled. He has tried nearly all of the timber sections of the country, and knows the conditions obtaining in many sections. His principal regret now is that he did not come to Texas years ago instead of going from place to place, as he is satisfied had he done so he would now he wealthy in timber holdings.

For many years he was engaged in the manufacture of lumber in Arkansas, where through contracts for larger bills than he was able to handle the panic of the early '90s robbed him of the accumulated savings of years.

The illustration shows J. H. Hooker in a characteristic attitude—among his men personally supervising their work. His knowledge of timber and mill operations is innate. He was born and reared in the pine lands of east Texas. It was there he acquired his education, and it was there he wooed and won the present Mrs. Hooker. So it is not to be wondered that he should turn his attention to the production of lumber after reaching maturity. In 1899, in company with his brother, W. T. Hooker, he built the mill at Roganville, known on the company's card as mill “J.” The mill was operated steadily until January 1, 1902, when it was sold to the Kirby Lumber Company and Mr. Hooker accepted the position of superintendent.

The mill is a single circular with a daily capacity of 40,000 feet, and is used by the company, as are many of the smaller mills, for cutting bill stuff. The view of the company's yard shows that considerable yard stock has accumulated from the side boards. The efficiency of the circular saw is reinforced by a 3-saw edger and a 2-saw trimmer which cuts up to 24 feet, and by one Fay 6 x 24-inch sizer, with a daily capacity of 20,000 feet. The power is derived from two engines, both steam fed by two boilers 60 inches by 14 feet. One of the engines is 12 x 15 and the other 10 x 12, and one is used to drive the circular saw and the other operates the remaining machinery.

The mill is supplied with logs by a tram road which operates to the southeast of Roganville, a distance of about seven miles. The logging crew is composed of twenty-five men, including the train force. The tram was built by the Hooker brothers at the same time the mill was constructed, and has been in operation ever since.

Adequate water supply is available from a nearby creek, and the water is pumped from this to a tank constructed for that purpose on the yard site. The creek is fed by springs, and insures a continuous water supply.

The commissary business conducted by the company at this point is very large, and aside from supplying the needs of the men connected with the company it has a good trade from the surrounding country. The stock carried at this point is rather in excess of the average, and ranges in value from $10,000 to $12,000. This is due to the heavy demands made upon the company by the farmers in that vicinity, who depend upon the store for their supplies. The trade arising from this source is much in excess of that from the mill hands, although from 100 to 125 men are employed by the Kirby Lumber Company at this point.

The country surrounding Roganville is composed of a light, sandy soil, which is very productive when fertilized. Corn and cotton are the principal products, though a great deal of fruit has been raised during the last few years.

The farming interests in the surrounding country give the village an importance that otherwise it would not have. The railroad maintains a freight, express and telegraph office, which naturally is a drawing card in that section. The town is supplied with an excellent hotel and livery teams are available for those who desire to reach interior points.

The village is built on the top of a knoll and all around are the pine forests, at places showing the effects of the woodmen's ax, but on many sides unbroken. It is a typical east Texas town, the result of only a few years' effort on the part of man, yet possessing a natural beauty that knows no duplication. The nature of the soil renders mud out of the question, as the sandy formation quickly absorbs the rainfall, while the hard clay subsoil does not permit it to drain away fast enough to interfere with vegetation.

South of the town is a small stream which supplies the mill with water. It is a poet's dream of sylvan loveliness. The water is as clear as crystal after the thorough filtration it receives from the sands through which it flows in the form of springs. The bed of the creek is composed of sand, intermixed with bright pebbles, and overhead the branches of the trees interlock in loving embrace. Through this green canopy the light filters in subdued colors; the sighing of the pines mingles with the notes of the song birds. Care, anxiety and kindred feelings, the result of a strenuous life, float away. One is content, in the tender embraces of the spell exercised by the spot, just to live, without taking thought of the morrow. Such spots are numerous in the pine regions of Texas, but it would require the pen of a master to paint them true to life.

In 1886 the Hooks Lumber Company built the first mill at Sharon, or Ariola, the post office name, on the site occupied by the present plant. It is located on the Sabine & East Texas railroad, a branch of the Texas & New Orleans railroad, at its junction with the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe railway, at a point about fourteen miles north of Beaumont. The mill was operated by this company until the panic which was followed by the “hard times” of 1894-95, when the operators were forced to ask for a receiver.

Then followed a few years marked by a checkered existence, when the operation of the mill was anything but certain. The plant was then purchased by the J. F. Keith Company, of Beaumont, and operated by that concern until January 1, 1902, when it was transferred to the Kirby Lumber Company, together with the greater part of the timber and lands that had been acquired by the former company during its occupancy.

The new owners set about remodeling and repairing their purchase. A 22 x 30 Filer & Stowell engine, with a 9-1/2 inch shot-gun feed, was installed in the place of those previously used. The machinery was changed to a heavier pattern throughout, and the installation of machinery is now complete.

The present capacity of the mill is about 70,000 to 75,000 feet a day, which is produced by a single circular saw, supplemented by the usual machinery used in connection therewith.

The source of water supply is from a 6-inch well about 150 feet deep, which furnishes sufficient water for the boilers and locomotives. There is a pond built in close proximity to the mill, and during the rainy seasons this is used to furnish a supply for operating the machinery. This cannot be depended upon for a supply during the entire year, and is dry a part of each season, when the logs are handled over skidways and the mill takes its water supply from a deep well directly beneath the mill.

The present logging camp is located about seven miles to the west, and the logs are hauled from that point by tram cars to the mill. Owing to the exhaustion of the timber supply in that direction a new road is being constructed, which is being laid with 45-pound steel rails in a southwesterly direction from the mill, where the timber holdings of the company are sufficient to supply the mill to its present capacity for the next fifteen years. J. H. Roberts is superintendent at this mill, and is rapidly getting the new machinery installed and everything in first-class shape. He is engaged at present chiefly in cutting railroad ties and other railroad stock. Aside from qualifications which place him in the front rank of mill men, Mr. Roberts is courtesy personified, not only to strangers but to his men, and exacts the same courtesy from them. The mill under his management has been a heavy producer of the class of material cut by it, which is gaining a reputation for quality that is seldom surpassed.

The superintendent at Village, B. H. Rice, has many claims for recognition, both in regard to his business qualifications and as a gentleman, but perhaps his most striking characteristic is the good-humored manner in which he bows to the decision of fate. Mr. Rice was born at Portville, N. Y. Early in life he became identified with the lumber industry, and in 1878 was general overseer of the plant of Wheeler & Dusenburg at Newton Mills, Pa. After serving that firm for nine years in this capacity he resigned to accept a position with the United Rolling Stock Company. His new labors carried him to Alabama, and it was while in the employ of that company that he became acquainted with the southern pine industry. When the rolling stock company failed Mr. Rice returned to the eastern lumber regions, where he was tendered a position as superintendent of the mill and general property of E. P. Dalrymple at Port Allegheny.

During his employment by this firm he was stricken with a severe attack of Klondike fever. His sufferings from this malady were excruciating, and with hopes of securing relief and at the same time acquiring gold that would glitter, Mr. Rice embarked for the “diggin's.” This treatment was very effective in one respect at least, as not the slightest sign of a return of the fever has been noted since he landed at Seattle on his return several months ago. After his return Mr. Rice came south to accept the position of superintendent for the Kirby Lumber Company at Village, in which capacity he still remains.

Village station is located on the Texas & New Orleans railroad, thirty-six miles north of Beaumont. The plant was built and operated by the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, but was always regarded as a separate organization, having a distinct individuality, with its own officers, etc.

The stranger within the gates of the village upon making inquiries regarding the mill is soon in possession of one fact paramount: That the mill holds the world's record for the largest cut made by a single circular mill for ten hours. This record was established several years ago, and is still challenging the world of single circular mills to produce more than 253,896 feet in an equal number of hours. The operatives, however, do not make a practice of producing this amount of lumber in a day's work, and are usually content with a total ranging from 85,000 to 90,000 feet for a 10-hour run.

The Kirby company contemplates making a number of improvements which will increase the output to about 100,000 feet a day. The equipment of cutting machinery will not be changed or increased, but larger steam feed will be provided and extra power installed. The mill is one of the best equipped of its kind in the south, and is one of the most conveniently arranged. A large log pond has been constructed, into which the logs from the trucks are dumped. This enables the “pikers” to secure certain grades of logs without the trouble of moving others out of the way. An endless chain logger carries the timber from the pond to the log deck. After leaving the saw the arrangements made for handling the lumber are the most convenient of any mill owned by the company. The timbers and yard stocks are carried on live rolls to a considerable distance from the mill, where they are loaded on trucks and—if for immediate shipment—pushed directly to the side of the car on iron tramways. The trucks are on a level with the car, and transfer is made with the least expenditure of labor. The tracks on which the trucks run are four to six feet above the ground, and extend throughout the yard, enabling the lumber pilers to move the stock to the spot desired with very little trouble.

At the tail of the mill the stock destined for the dry kiln is placed on the sorter, which carries it to the platform, where the dry kiln trucks are situated. The sorter is built bridge-like over the space intervening between the two platforms and does not, as is so often the case, interfere with the handling of other stocks. After leaving the dry kiln lumber is moved farther east, or toward the railroad tracks, where it is stored under sheds until needed.

There is no planer operated in connection with the mill, and since the plant was absorbed by the Kirby Lumber Company the kiln dried stock is shipped to the planer at Beaumont. The present dry kilns are about worn out, and new ones are contemplated which will doubtless be constructed at an early date.

The mill proper is equipped with a single circular saw; one 4-saw edger and trimmer up to 32 feet; cut-offs and jack saw. In addition the mill has a complete lath machine capable of producing 20,000 lath a day. Owing to the lack of power this machine has not been operated for some time and the slabs and other stock usually cut into lath are turned into fire wood. The saw for cutting it into proper lengths is built directly on the slab conveyor, which leaves at the side of the mill. As soon as the power shall be reinforced in the manner contemplated, the lath mill will be operated daily.

The storage sheds are capable of containing 1,000,000 feet of lumber, though owing to the low state of stocks considerably less than this amount is on hand at present. The mill sites, yards, sheds, etc., cover thirty-five to forty acres just west of the Texas & New Orleans tracks in the very center of the town.

The mill is supplied with logs by a tram road which pierces the pine forests to the east for a distance of twenty miles or more. Two locomotives are employed, as is usual under such circumstances, one to place the cars for the loggers and the other to make the long haul from stump to saw mill. The road bed for fifteen miles east is excellent and it is proposed to continue this road farther to the east, making connections with Silsbee on the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railway. This would give a total of about twenty-five miles of road and would enable the company to send lumber from the mills on one road to points on another without the necessity of paying the freight charges demanded for hauling the cars to Beaumont and then back to the station desired. A glance at the map will show the advantages to be derived from this proposed system, as the two lines of railroad are nearly parallel but touch at no point except Beaumont, via which place all freight from one road to points on the other is consigned.

There are about 250 men employed, including the mill, logging camp, commissary and yard forces. The loggers are working at present in moderate-sized timber, which was selected for the purpose of cutting a part of the lumber for the Swift packing house now under process of construction at Fort Worth. They are kept busy supplying the Village mill, though when the connection shall be made with Silsbee they will doubtless supply logs to both ends of the line.

Water is supplied by wells. An adequate supply is found at a depth of 150 to 200 feet. The company has one well which is about 1,300 feet deep, from which a small stream of water flows of its own accord. Another well is a pumper and a direct connected engine is used in forcing the water to the storage tank.

The company operates a thoroughly equipped machine shop at Village, and all repairing of locomotives, engines or machinery is done at this point, as well as a great deal of outside work of other companies and other mills belonging to the company. The machine shops are located south of the saw mill in a separate building. Power is furnished by a separate engine, but steam is provided by the boilers which supply the engine which runs the mill.

  CHAPTER XXI. Mills “M,” “N,” “O” and “P”  

P. A. Doucette, the superintendent of Camp II., is a jolly, open hearted man who knows more about lumber and logging than most people can remember. He is a Canadian by birth and was born at Three Rivers, in the province of Quebec. In 1879 he came to Texas, where he secured employment with Olive & Sternenberg at Olive. He stayed with this firm for some time and then built the mill at Doucette, Tex., a small station on the Texas & New Orleans just north of Woodville. In the early part of 1899 he sold this mill and built the present mill at Woodville, which, in company with L. J. Chapman, he continued to operate until it was transferred to the Kirby interests. Mr. Doucette was then tendered the position of superintendent of the Woodville logging camp, which he accepted and still holds.

Mr. Doucette is assisted in the management of the office by Tom F. Cruse, a west Texas young man who went east to engage in the lumber industry. His first position was with the Kirby Lumber Company at Beaumont, where he remained for a short time, and he was then transferred to Woodville. He is general factotum around the office.

The mill formerly operated at this point was a single circular affair, with an average capacity of about 20,000 feet. It was constructed in January, 1900, but was not ready for operation until March, 1900. It was then run steadily until September, 1901, when it was shut down pending the negotiations with the Kirby Lumber Company, but was again set in motion in October of the same year.

The mill was logged by a tram road, which extends about three miles to the northeast and directly east of the Texas and New Orleans road. It was equipped with one single circular saw; a 2-saw trimmer; edger with four saws and a cut-off saw. The timber lands at this point are exceptionally fine and there is no break in the forest from Woodville to Kirbyville, a distance of thirty miles east. The mill was used mainly to cut ties and the sides was utilized in making yard stocks, which were shipped as fast as a sufficient amount was accumulated.

The commissary located here does an average business of $3,500 a month, and this result is accomplished in the face of competition from the other mercantile establishments at Woodville. The checks issued by the company are received by the other stores and are in turn traded out by them at the commissary.

The company's pay roll at this point had the names of about sixty men on it and included those in the mill, logging camp and commissary departments. There was only one locomotive used in hauling logs to the saw. The mill was not supplied with a log pond, the water being furnished the engines from a tank filled from a neighboring creek or, when this failed, from a well bored for the purpose.

One of the new mills will be located here, as the former plant is not deemed capable of cutting the immense amount of timber lying to the north and east of the plant. It is now nearly ready for operation.

Woodville is a village of about 1,000 inhabitants and is the county seat of Tyler county. It is not incorporated. The village is entirely surrounded with pine timber, which stretches to the west a distance of eighteen miles, and the area to the north, east and south is also grown up in pine trees.

Mr. Kirby began his professional life at this point. He studied law in the offices of Congressman Cooper, and later became associated with the present District Judge Nix. The old office still remains and a picture is given herewith. It was in this sylvan town that Mr. Kirby wooed and won his wife, and here also they experienced the first delights of housekeeping in the prettily embowered cottage of which a picture is here shown.

Mill “N” is located on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad, a short distance from the point where that road crosses the Texas & New Orleans railway. This mill has had a checkered career, and previous to its purchase by the Kirby Lumber Company had been operated by a number of firms and individuals.

The mill was first owned by Sam Allen, of Houston, and afterward passed into the hands of Dr. W. E. Trotti and associates. After the second owners assumed charge of the mill the plant was given a thorough overhauling and the new machinery set in motion in November, 1897. Later a stock company was organized and under the name of the Southwestern Lumber Company the mill was operated until it passed into the hands of its present owners. The company has rebuilt the plant, adding many improvements in labor saving machinery and greatly increasing its capacity, which is now about 85,000 feet of lumber a day.

The mill has been placed in charge of R. D. Bridges, an old-time mill superintendent, who has seen yoemanry service with several substantial concerns in the southern pine lumber regions. Under his management the efficiency of the plant has been greatly increased, and it is regarded as a splendid plant today.

The site of this mill, being the farthest to the north at the present time, brings it close to the shortleaf pines of eastern Texas. The edge of the longleaf pine belt lies only a few miles to the west of this plant, and some of the company's lands border on this kind of timber.

Many new features have been added by the Kirby Lumber Company and the general character and amount of the output of the mill has been greatly improved. This mill is admirably adapted for filling orders from North Texas and Indian Territory points, or in fact can ship advantageously to any point in the central states. The product of the mill can be sent either to the east, north or west, and shipped practically direct. The location of the different mills of the Kirby Lumber Company gives that concern an immense advantage over other operators, as while the timber lands owned by the company or collateral interests are compactly situated, the various lines that penetrate the timber belt are used to fill orders from the mills situated thereon, when possible the mill nearest the point to which the goods are to be shipped being utilized for supplying the demands of the customer. In this way there is a considerable saving in transportation charges and a consequent increase in the profit arising from the sale. This is not only true of Mill “N,” but of many of the other plants operated by this company. The mills nearest the coast are used to cut lumber and timber for exportation, but the network of railroads which penetrate the pineries all converge, and any mill can be used for cutting stock to fill an order from any part of the world.

The mill is of the single circular pattern, with steam trips, and nigger, center deck and drag saw for cutting logs to required length. All modern appliances necessary completely to equip a mill of this pattern have been installed. The Kirby Lumber Company also contemplates adding a dry kiln and will increase the capacity of the planer to correspond with the output of the mill.

The logging facilities, under the supervision of J. A. Herndon, have also been greatly improved. The roadbed has been put into first class condition and the rolling stock has been increased and repaired. A large Shay engine has been added to the equipment and furnishes ample power for moving the log trucks when supplemented by the three previously in use. The track has been built farther out and now penetrates a fine tract of virgin pine timber sufficient to run the mill for several years.

That “the old order changeth” is exemplified by the improvements to be made in mill “O” at Fuqua. This mill was built in 1901 by D. C. Hackney, who started the plant's construction the day after he arrived at Fuqua. The mill in its original condition was of the single circular pattern, with small capacity, but is to be enlarged by the Kirby company.

D. C. Hackney, the superintendent at Fuqua, has been connected with lumber interests for the past eighteen years. Before the mill operated by his brother at Fuqua was started he was with the Emporia Lumber Company, but the greater part of his experience has been with the Fuqua mill. The timber at this place was owned by T. L. Hackney, and it was through the instrumentality of this gentleman that the plant at Fuqua was built. It was purchased by the Kirby interests in January of this year.

The work of changing the plant at this point to a band mill is now under way. The machinery will be new throughout, with the exception of the edger. In addition to the 8-foot Allis band saw there will be a Giddings & Lewis steam gang saw and all other equipment necessary to bring the plant up to a point in accord with modern ideas as to what a mill should have in order to cut from 80,000 to 90,000 feet during a 10-hour run.

The building for the planer is now complete and the machinery for this adjunct to the mill is being put in and trued up. The timber at this point is shortleaf of an unusually good quality and will be used mostly in making finish lumber. The engine for the planer will be a Filer & Stowell with a 16 x 24 inch cylinder.

The town is, built in the center of a heavily wooded tract, and from the train but little is visible on account of the dense foliage. There are about seventy-five or eighty houses in the village and the population is estimated at 450 to 500.

The logging operations are in charge of T. M. Caselbery, who was formerly with the Central Coal & Coke Company. His service has been extremely satisfactory. The tram road is only two and one-half miles in length and on this account but one engine is used to supply the mill with logs.

The company employs here about 200 men in the various departments, though some months there are as many as 400 names on the pay roll.

At the time the present Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City railroad was sold by John H. Kirby to the Santa Fe system its northern terminus was but a little beyond Roganville. It was soon after extended to Jasper, the county seat of Jasper county. This work of extension has continued and at present the “Hoo-Hoo” train is the only passenger train on the line. Even from here, however, a railroad track extends for many miles north, though still in the hands of the contractors, and the only means of transportation is by the irregular work trains carrying labor and supplies by which the construction is being projected toward San Augustine, the oldest town in the state, but hitherto without railroad connections; and from there to Center, thus giving this at present isolated portion of the Santa Fe system connections with the great network of Texas railroads. The character of the timber at this point is especially fine, and when the railroad shall have been completed, will probably he the scene of active lumber operations.

North of Brooklyn about fourteen miles on this new line is Bronson, the most northerly point of lumber manufacturing operations of the Kirby Lumber Company. Last spring Bronson was a forest. Now it is an immense clearing, the pine logs from which lie heaped up in and about a new log pond fed from an everlasting spring of purest water. A new mill of modest capacity of excellent design is nearly or quite ready for actual operation and almost innumerable houses and stores have been built with lumber imported at considerable expense from down road points because the Bronson building craze could not wait for the completion of its saw mill.

There is no timber in the Kirby Lumber Company's gigantic holdings which surpasses that (up to this time undeveloped) lying along this railroad north of Jasper. One of the accompanying views shows the quality of logs which lay, awaiting the new saw mill, when the photograph was taken in August; and there are timber views also taken in a short walk after breakfast which did not bring the camerist into the heavier forest. Such is the timber which the new mill “T” to be located north of Jasper will also work.

It is not likely that any great part of the lumber manufactured at Bronson for some time to come will be merged into the general lumber output of the Kirby Lumber Company for the filling of its orders at the general offices. The great bulk of it will be needed in the development and building which will be fostered by the railroad. One feels in any part of east Texas as though development had as yet hardly begun. In and about Bronson are grand possibilities and wonderful resources entirely untouched before the coming of the Kirby Lumber Company with its 200 acre town site, its new saw mill and logging road and the enterprising activity which marks a Kirby saw mill point.

The dominating genius of Bronson is Fred Lockfield. Still a young man, Mr. Lockfield has had a varied mechanical experience. He built a Texas city electric light plant and confesses that he made the mistake of his life in not accepting stock for his services instead of cash. He was afterwards chief engineer for a large sugar refinery upon the Texas coast until malaria drove him to the pine woods, and upon top of all this he has had a number of years of experience in practical lumbering, from the stump to the yard. He was millwright of the new mill and is its superintendent.

  CHAPTER XXII. New Mills “R,” “S” and “T.”  

Where an adequate timber supply is obtainable, such as is at the command of the Kirby Lumber Company, it is cheaper to operate a few large mills than a number of small ones. It is the old question of concentration, the advantages of which have been demonstrated in many lines during the past few years. The new mills which have been planned and which are now under course of construction for the Kirby Lumber Company will be, when finished, fully equal to any now operated in the south. The plans for these mills have been carefully prepared; the locations have been selected after taking into consideration the question of timber supply and shipping facilities and amply meet the requirements.

The new mills are three in number, and are designated by the letters “R,” “S” and “T.” Mill “R” will be the largest and best equipped of the three mills, and will be built near Buna, Tex., in the vicinity of some of the best longleaf timber of east Texas. The capacity of this mill when completed will be about 250,000 feet daily. The planing mill will be one of the largest and best equipped in the south. The site has been named Bessmay, in honor of Mr. Kirby's daughter, Miss Bessie May Kirby.

The Allis-Chalmers Company booked the order for the machinery for these three mills, and it is probably the largest single order for mill equipment ever given by one firm, or ever contracted for by any machinery house. The monster plant of this company is now engaged in getting out this order. It will furnish the equipment for all three of the new saw mills.

The building for mill “R” will be constructed in the form of a cross. The head end of the mill, 94 feet wide by 68 feet long, will contain the cutting machinery. A steam drag saw will be put in at the head of the log haul-up, so that logs may be cut to a desired length in order better to adapt them to manufacturing purposes. The mill when completed will be a double band saw mill. The double log deck will be provided with two 3-arm steam kickers, for rolling logs to either deck as desired, and also two 3-arm loaders and deck stops, one for each carriage. The carriages are to be equipped with the latest design steel blocks and provided with Wilkin steam power set works, pneumatic buffers and steam feed. Two 8-foot extended bed, latest improved band saws will be placed in the mill when completed.

The second or middle section of the building—61 x 102 feet—will contain the 48-inch gang saw; two horizontal re-saws; steam feed cut-off saws; transfer machinery, and two 48-inch 8-saw edgers. The logs destined for the gang saw will be conveyed from either side by cross transfers to the center of the middle section and immediately in front of the gang saw.

The floor of the tail of the mill will be one foot below the level of the floor of the other sections. This part of the building, 68 feet wide by 16 feet long, will contain suspended back tables for the edgers; suspended live rolls under which slabs and edgings pass to the saws of the slashers, and lumber and timber transfers. The trimmers will be one 13-saw automatic overcut lumber trimmer, to trim from 10 to 32 feet, and another trimmer of the same kind and make to trim from 8 to 32 feet. On the platform at the tail of the mill swinging steam feed cut-off saws will be provided for trimming timbers that do not pass through the regular trimmers. The platform will also contain transfer chains and four lines of live rolls for moving and handling timber and lumber.

This mill was planned under the supervision of Theodore S. Wilkin, and is to contain all the latest labor-saving devices and latest improved machinery for manufacturing lumber.

The power for this plant will be furnished by two Reynolds-Corliss engines, one 32 x 60 and one 22 x 48. Both engines will be supplied with frames of heavy rolled mill pattern, with broad bearing surface to rest on foundation.

The crank shaft for the big engine will be 18 inches in diameter; fly-wheel 22 feet in diameter with a 54-inch face, and will weigh about 42,000 pounds. The speed of this engine will be about 75 revolutions a minute. The speed of the smaller engine will be 72 revolutions a minute. Both engines will be operated under a steam pressure of 125 pounds.

This mill building will be 60 feet wide by 214 feet long. This mill will be built near Weed, about eighteen miles north of Jasper, where the timber supply is unsurpassed. The sawing floor is to be equipped with endless chain log haul-up to the double deck, which is to be provided with two 3-arm steam log kickers for rolling the logs from the haul-up to either deck, and also two 3-arm steam log loaders and deckstops, one for each carriage. Both carriages are to be equipped with three steel blocks, latest improved pattern, with Wilkin steam power set works, pneumatic buffers and steam feeds. The mill will be provided with two 8-foot extended bed band saws of the latest pattern. The auxiliary machinery will consist of two 60-inch 6-saw edgers to cut from three to 30 inches wide by one to six inches thick, with 36-foot suspended back tables on channel steel, supplied with live rolls; one 13-saw overcut automatic trimmer, to trim from 10 to 32 feet; automatic transfers to carry the lumber from live rolls to edgers, and also to take slabs from live rolls to floor chains. The floor extends out on a level with the mill at the tail, and is to be provided with live rolls, transfer chains and cut-off saws for handling and trimming timbers and other material that does not pass through the trimmer. Capacity when completed will be about 100,000 feet of lumber in a 10-hour run.

This mill was designed with a view of cutting timber up to and including 70 feet in length. The building proper will be 36 feet wide by 236 feet long. The location of this mill will be adjoining the town of Kirbyville, near logging camp No. V, which will be used to supply the new mill with logs. The sawing floor is provided with endless chain haul-up to a single log deck, and equipped with two steam log kickers, one with three arms which is set at the head of the deck and to be used to handle logs up to and including 36 feet in length, and one with two arms which will be used to assist the first “kicker” in handling logs over 40 feet and up to 80 feet long. There is to be a steam log loader and deck stop in front of carriage with five arms and detachable shaft, so that two of the arms may be detached when the saw is used to cut logs less than 40 feet in length.

The carriage is to be equipped with six of the latest improved steel blocks, with Wilkin steam power set works, and is to be made in three sections, with four blocks in middle section and one block in each of the detachable sections. The carriage will be handled by a 12 x 16-inch duplex twin engine attached to middle section, and have two 16 x 24-inch pneumatic buffers, one at each end of the carriage run.

The cutting machinery will consist of one 8-foot extended bed, latest improved band mill; one 60-inch 6-saw edger with 36-foot suspended back table on steel channels; one 13-saw overcut automatic trimmer, to trim from 10 to 32 feet.

Between the band mill and the edger provision has been made for cutting into shorter lengths the long boards that come from the logs, and this will be done by transferring it from the live rolls to other conveyors which are located directly in line with the edger and provided with a steam feed cut-off saw. Automatic transfers take the short stock from live rolls to edger, other transfers take the timbers from the live rolls to another set of conveyors, which are provided with a steam feed swinging cut-off saw where the timber is trimmed and inspected. This mill will have a capacity of 60,000 feet daily.

When these three mills shall have been completed, they will place the Kirby Lumber Company far above any other lumber producing company in the world in point of capacity. Not only will it be able to turn out more lumber and timber each day, but the life of the plant is assured indefinitely.

There is not another mill in the south that will be capable of handling timber orders with the same facility as the two new timber mills known as mill “S” and mill “T.” These plants have been designed especially for cutting long timbers and will be used almost exclusively for that purpose. The other plant is for cutting standard stock sizes, and, as will be seen from the equipment with which it will be provided, is thoroughly modern in every respect.

  CHAPTER XXIII. The Houston Oil Company of Texas  

In the short space allotted to this article it is hardly possible to do justice either to the company or to the oil industry of the southwest.

The question as to the extent of the oil bearing sands of Texas has by no means been conclusively settled. When the dusters began to make their appearance at Spindle Top the oil pool was said to cover a comparatively small area, possibly not more than 100 acres. A few months later the Sour Lake field was developed and found to equal the Beaumont strike in both quantity and quality. Over at Jennings, in Louisiana, the same thing is true, and there are numberless places on the lands owned by the Houston Oil Company that will undoubtedly produce paying wells, to say nothing of the probability of other fields on a par with those mentioned.

Aside from the timber holdings of the Houston Oil Company, which will be discussed later, it is now interested in the Beaumont field and owns a large number of producing wells in the Corsicana field, the oldest in Texas, and which are among the best dividend paying properties in the state, not excepting the mammoth field at Beaumont. In addition to the foregoing, the company controls nearly 1,000 acres of land close to the Saratoga field, which is being developed.

Taking up the fields in order of their respective ages, the Corsicana naturally is first. The discovery of oil here was accidental, as is so often the case. In March, 1894, a well was being sunk for water on the corner of Thirteenth street and Ninth avenue, in Corsicana. At a depth of 1,033 feet the drill entered a stratum of oil-bearing sand. The flow of oil was cased off and the well completed to a depth of 2,580 feet, where a good supply of water was found.

It was not until 1895, however, that active developments began. Guffey & Galey, then operating in the Pennsylvania field, heard of the Texas strike and had five test wells sunk. The wells proved satisfactory, though the production was not heavy. During the first year five wells were completed, which produced 1,450 barrels of oil. The development from this time on was rapid. Storage tanks were erected and pipe lines were connected with the oil wells whereby the product of each, after having been measured in an individual tank, was transferred by this economical method to the main reservoir. Until the spring of 1898 the oil was used locally for fuel, but the output was increased so greatly that it became pressed for want of room. When the drills first began to enter the oil lake this gas forced the oil out through the pipes. In time the escapage of the gas began to tell, and in some places where it had been greater than others the well refused to flow unless agitated or started by compressed air. When this was done the flow was as strong as ever. Then, also, a number of the wells were improperly finished, the casing not being securely anchored to the cap rock, which allowed the pipe to become clogged with mud and sand. This naturally shut off the flow and in a number of instances ruined the wells so that it was necessary to withdraw the pipe and “bring” them in again. The majority of the wells on Spindle Top are being pumped, or arrangements are being made to install pumping machinery.

The results obtained by the pump are most satisfactory. The oil gushes from the pipes like water from the nozzle of fire hose. A bursted pipe on Spindle Top soon floods the street with oil. One of the Higgins Oil Company's broke and the result was that in five minutes it formed a miniature lake in the street, although the pumping station was closed down before the oil had flowed more than five minutes.

  CHAPTER XXIV. In Conclusion  

The timber holdings of the company, either owned by it or contracted from the Houston Oil Company, represent about 80 per cent of the standing longleaf pine timber of east Texas. The Houston Oil Company owns 918,000 acres, and the Kirby Lumber Company 322,000 acres, or an aggregate of 1,240,000 acres. Under the arrangements existing between the companies, the standing timber of the Houston Oil Company's lands has been sold to the Kirby Lumber Company, the latter agreeing to cut a certain amount of timber each year for a number of years, ranging from 350,000,000 feet for the first year to as much as 500,000,000 when the additional mills shall have been equipped and placed in running order. The timber sold to the Kirby Lumber Company, or which has been contracted for by it, is sufficient to keep its mills in operation for about twenty-five years.

The standing timber today of a commercial size of twelve inches and upward is capable of running the mills that length of time, including the additional mills to be erected by the company. In addition to this is a vast amount of young timber, ranging from an inch to as much as ten inches in diameter, which will be of a commercial size long before the virgin forest shall have disappeared.

Another profitable source of employment for the mills, in the event that the pine timber may become exhausted, is the hardwoods and cypress which cover the lower lands. Heretofore but little attention has been paid this class of wood in the southwest, chiefly owing to the fact that it grows almost entirely in the low lands, is in many instances difficult to get at and freight rates have been against the southern manufacturer when he contemplated entering the hardwood markets.

Cypress brakes are neither so large nor so numerous as in the neighboring state of Louisiana, where large tracts are covered with this timber. The cypress lands of Texas are confined chiefly to the low lying stretches which are usually covered with water throughout the year. The swamps are dreary enough in appearance; the gray trunks underneath festooned with clinging masses of Spanish moss, and overhead the dead naked arms of the trees, rising out of the top foliage, as if in protest against fate.

There has been some effort, though not a great one nor one long maintained, to turn the cypress into a commercial commodity, and a number of small shingle mills have been built and operated. In most cases, however, they have been abandoned, owing to the difficulty in keeping them steadily supplied with logs for the saws. The operators were forced, in the greater number of instances, to secure their logs by water. At times this could readily be done, but it was often the case that this mode of transportation could not be relied upon and the mill was forced to close down temporarily, which gave rise to dissatisfaction. As a byproduct of the great pine timber lands of the Kirby Lumber Company, however, these woods will play an important and profitable part.

The consolidation of the various mills which, together with their respective timber lands, go to make up the property of the Kirby Lumber Company, has a more important bearing on the lumber industry than at first might seem the case. Prior to its organization there was a certain class of bills which no one firm could handle. In order to secure this material it was necessary for the purchaser to do one of two things—either divide the order among a number of firms or place it with one firm and wait a considerable length of time for it to be filled. In some cases a lumber company would take a large order and then re-let part of it to other companies, but neither of these methods worked satisfactorily. In the first place, the laws of the state make an agreement as to price and grading on any article difficult to arrive at without fracturing the statutes. In the second, some of the companies were able to send out a slightly better article than others. To bring about a mutual understanding between corporations engaged in the same class of business is a delicate affair.

These were the primary considerations that first suggested the formation of a lumber company large enough to take care of orders for longleaf yellow pine lumber regardless of size. The scope of the company's plans is so great as by contrast to dwarf the details, yet large as the plans are and intricate as they may seem they were not too great nor too complicated for the master mind that conceived and shaped them.

The Kirby company is in a position to which no other manufacturer of white or yellow pine can lay claim. It has sufficient standing timber to enable its mills to operate for a period of at least twenty-five years, and this does not include the young timber that will mature during that time, which will materially lengthen the active life of the mills.

The company can produce annually for the term specified 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 feet of lumber. In addition to this the tie department is equipped to supply many thousand ties and other hewn timbers, including piling, etc. Plans of preservation and conservation are rapidly assuming shape, and under the saving methods to be employed in handling the forests, there is no possible reason why this company should not continue to cut for an extensively indefinite period from its vast timber tracts the amount of lumber its mills are capable of producing. The value of the yellow pine forest has at last been recognized, and practical plans for its preservation have been laid and are being put into practice.

In event the timber is finally removed from a part of the land the question of utilization naturally comes up for discussion. In the natural course of operations, some of the land will not again be covered by a forest of sufficient density to make lumbering operations profitable. It does not follow, however, that there is not a bright future before the owners of such lands in consequence. On the contrary, actual experiments have demonstrated that in this alternative there is a use to which the land can be put which rivals in the matter of income to be derived, the timbered lands as they now stand.

This is the raising of fruits which is now receiving so much attention in the eastern part of Texas. Outside capital is now pouring into, the state for the purchase and exploitation of a great deal of the land that has been cut over, so that today thousands of acres are being planted with fruit trees. Peaches are especially adapted to the soft southern clime, the trees producing after the second or third year and bearing with great prolificacy for a long period.

The Kirby Lumber Company has an orchard at Call which, though only a few years old, has proven the revenue to be derived from this source. Last year many car loads of peaches were grown and shipped from this orchard, and during the current year the profit to be so derived will be increased many fold. Experts pronounce the Elberta peaches grown in eastern Texas the superior of the same kind of peach grown in any other section.

On page 64 is shown a picture of the company's orchard at Call, which tells more forcibly than words the results to be obtained by properly directed work in this direction. The amount of revenue to be derived from an orchard of this kind, while possibly not so great as that arising from the lumber in the first instance, is an annual income. The profit comes in yearly, and not at the expiration of twenty to twenty-five years as the case may be, when timber is grown after the virgin stand has been removed.

It has only been during the last few years that any considerable attention has been paid to this industry. But in that time the profitableness of the lands as fruit producers has become thoroughly demonstrated, and many are now turning their attention to fruit raising. The trees grow rapidly, bear at an early age, and continue bearing for a long time. There is practically no danger of frost injuring the blooming trees, as the country may be said to be south of the frost belt, except during some unusual season.

This is only one of the many ways in which the lands could be advantageously used in case the practical forestry method of operation should prove inapplicable to any given tract. The company is almost daily in receipt of inquiries from all parts of the United States asking for cut-over lands. The railroads are doing all in their power to spread the tidings regarding the good results to be obtained by fruit raisers in Texas. It requires no stretch of the imagination to predict that the time will come when Texas will stand at the head of the fruit growing states, and the time when the land will be worth, for fruit raising purposes, more than it is today, not-withstanding the immense amount of lumber that can be cut from it.

  Index to Illustrations

Commissary, exterior, and mail stage -- 90
Log dump on Sabine river -- 88
Log, loading a., with steam skidder -- 77
Log skidder, steam, at work -- 80

Commissary building, new -- 65
Commissary warehouse, old, interior -- 55
Commissary storekeeper's rig -- 65
Office building, exterior -- 105
Office, private, Theodore S. Wilkin, general manager of mills -- 68
Office, general, manager of mines -- 68
Office A. T. Reynolds, secretary to T. S. Wilkin -- 68
Office W. L. Fort, superintendent Beaumont mills -- 124
Office A. L. Harris, asst. general superintendent trams & logging -- 75
Office Byron Wiess, accountant city sales department -- 55
Office city sales department -- 55
Office Millwright Helm -- 68
Mill “A,” perspective views -- 19, 104, 108
Mill “A,” from across bayou -- 117
Mill “A,” old logging canal -- 58
Mill “A,” log carriage -- 113
Mill “A,” view north on bayou -- 114
Mill “B,” view of -- 110
Mill “B,” firewood saved from refuse -- 109
Mill “B,” gang saw -- 113
Mill “B,” laborers, group of -- 123
Mill “B,” laborers, an early morning feast -- 69
Mill “B,” laborers, waiting for truck -- 118
Mill “B,” log jacker -- 109
Mill “B,” refuse carrier -- 109
Mill “B,” stave yard -- 109
Mill “B,” timbers, loading for local use -- 106
Mill “B,” timber platform -- 109
Mill “B,” a stick of timber -- 109
Planer “A,” exterior view -- 119
Planer “A,” an interior view -- 124
Planer “A,” flooring shed, dressed, exterior and interior -- 115
Planer “A,” lumber shed, dressed, interior -- 124
Planer “A,” lumber yard alleys -- 92, 124
Planer “B,” exterior views -- 119, 121
Planer “B,” dry kiln views -- 103, 116
Planer “B,” laborers, yard, group -- 104
Planer “B,” lumber shed, large, exterior -- 103, 107
Planer “B,” lumber shed interiors -- 26, 101
Planer “B,” lumber yard, general views -- 98
Planer “B,” lumber yard siding -- 26
Planer “B,” surfacing machine in operation -- 120
Planer “C,” birdseye view -- 125
Planer “C,” “Black Mack” -- 127

Barber shop, backwoods -- 187
Boarding house -- 188
Boiler inspector, a, at work -- 172
Commissary and warehouse -- 66
Laborers, group of -- 190
Logs awaiting the new mill -- 4
Log Pond -- 171
Saw mill “P” in construction, and log pond -- 184
Portrait—Fred Lockfield, superintendent -- 171
Timber views -- 37, 173

BUNA, Tex.
Logging—A falling tree -- 6
Logging horses at work -- 79
Logging oxen loading a tram car -- 7
Logging—Sawing down a tree -- 56
Logging scene, a typical -- 33
Miscellaneous—T. S. Wilkin, Albert Cone and a watermelon -- 70
Timber, young, on cut-over land -- 89

CALL, Tex.
Commissary, exterior -- 146
Dry kilns -- 143, 147
Logs, loading on cars -- 156
Log skidding cart and mules -- 148
Logging locomotive, cab and engineer -- 14
Logging locomotives -- 149
Logging team loading logs -- 156
Logging train -- 29
Logging train, unloading a -- 34
Logging tram, end of the -- 35
Lumber shed, dressed, and siding -- 137
Lumber shed, dressed, and dry kilns -- 147.
Lumber yard and switch terminals -- 143
Miscellaneous—the company's $10,000 orchard -- 64
Miscellaneous—Birdseye view of village and log pond -- 144
Office building, exterior -- 145
Planing mill, bird's eye view from tank -- 147
Saw mill “G,” view from tank -- 144
Saw mill “G,” “the evening whistle” -- 12
Saw mill “G,” basement interior -- 143
Saw mill “G,” blacksmith shop interior -- 15
Saw mill “G,” new filing room interior -- 143
Saw mill “G,” log pond and village -- 144
Saw mill “G,” refuse burner -- 156
Saw mill “G,” timber skids -- 150
Saw mill “G,” a derailed truck -- 57

1—Beaumont (abandoned)
2—Silsbee -- 136
3—Redding (Silsbee logging camp)
4—Silsbee (in camp)
5—Lillard -- 91
7—Call -- 146
8—Kirbyville -- 67, 91
9—Roganville -- 62, 157
11—Sharon -- 55
12—Village -- 162
13—Woodville -- 165
14—Mobile -- 186
15—Fuqua -- 176
16—Bronson -- 66

Group of oil field views -- 181
Local office Southern Oil Company -- 182
Walton farm, the oldest well on -- 180

Group of oil field views -- 178
Boilers, steam, portable oil burning -- 179
Tank cars, at loading rack -- 183

Office John H. Kirby, president -- 8
Office E. J. Eyres, president's secretary -- 17
Office W. Nelson Shaw, general secretary -- 43
Office, clerical, auditing department -- 38
Office, C. M. Votaw, assistant land commissioner -- 44
Office, clerical, land department -- 42
Office, F. A. Helbig, assistant treasurer -- 47
Office chief clerk purchasing department -- 48
Office, clerical, purchasing department -- 48
Office, outer, purchasing department, . -- 49
Office janitor, “Edward” -- 39
Southwestern Oil Company's refinery, view -- 185

Clerk's office, western sales department -- 54
Private office W. A. Priddie, western sales agent -- 51

Commissary, exterior -- 67
Commissary, interior -- 91
Filing room, Mill “H” -- 153
Log skidder, steam -- 72
Log train on mainline -- 158
Log tram engine -- 86
Log tram engine, cab and engineer -- 85
Log tram engine house -- 74
Timber views, full page -- 11, 152


Commissary and office exterior -- 91
Dry kiln -- 141
Loaded car, placarding a -- 5
Lumber storage and loading sheds -- 133
Lumber yard, a corner of the -- 137
Saw mill “F,” perspective view -- 141

LOBLOLLY—See under Pine.

LONGLEAF—See under Pine.


Commissary and office -- 176
Iron gang, the -- 78
Logging oxen and driver -- 21
Lumber yard, an alley in the -- 174
Planer, new -- 188
Portrait—D. C. Hackney -- 168
Saw mill “O,” planer in background -- 172
Timber views -- 20, 61

Commissary and warehouse, exterior -- 186
Office, exterior -- 176
Office, interior (Cut 4) -- 170
Planing mill 1, exterior -- 175
Saw mill “N” and log rollways -- 24
Saw mill from railroad track -- 169
Saw mill log ways (Cut 5) -- 170
Saw mill log ways, unloading at (Cut 2) -- 170
Saw mill boiler room (Cut 3) -- 170
Saw mill, lumber gravity rolls and sorting shed -- 169

OIL—See under Corsicana and Gladys.

Climbing after a view -- 28
Lumber yard, from tank -- 130
Lumber yard, view -- 133
Lumber yard, north end -- 156
Lumber yard, looking toward saw mill -- 129
Lumber yard view, showing method of stacking -- 132
Office, exterior -- 133
Portrait—George W. Bancroft -- 132
Saw mill “D” and boiler house -- 129
Saw mill log pen from water tank -- 134
Saw mill log pen, a section of -- 142
Saw mill water tank -- 131
Saw mill laborers, two of the -- 139
Ties, railroad -- 128
Timber chute and dump -- 136
Timber, export, raft of -- 135
Timber, Mexican railway, barge of -- 133
Timber, Mexican railway, loading raft of -- 135

Loblolly. Pinus Cubensis, transverse section -- 95
Longleaf, Pinus palustris, transverse section -- 95
Shortleaf, Pinus mitis, transverse section -- 95

Aldridge, Frank M., assistant to president -- 41
Bancroft, George W., superintendent mill “D” and Bancroft camp -- 132
Brown, Will R., car clerk, car service office. -- 75
Cole, George, office boy mill manager's office -- 68
Collier, Miss Elta, stenographer, car service office -- 75
Cone, Albert -- 28, 70
Cruse, Tom F., assistant superintendent mill -- 166, 167
Doucette, P. A., superintendent mill “M” -- 163, 166, 167
Edward, the janitor -- 39
Eyres, E. J., private secretary to president -- 17, 18
Fort, W. L., superintendent Beaumont mills.. -- 112, 124
Godfrey, M. J., chief commissary -- 63
Grant, W. A., voucher clerk purchasing department -- 48
Hackney, D. C., superintendent mill “O” -- 168
Harris, A. L., assistant superintendent tram and logging department -- 74, 75
Hathorn, L. P., chief clerk accounting department and tie & piling dept. -- 47
Helbig, F. A., assistant treasurer -- 45, 47
Helm, D. J., millwright -- 68
Hooker, J. H., superintendent mill “J” -- 154
Jones, Miss Nannie, bookkeeper -- 47
Kirby, James L., land commissioner -- 45
Kirby, John H., president, Frontispiece and -- 8
Lockfield, Fred, superintendent mill “P” -- 171
McNeeley, S. A., general manager tie and piling department -- 99
Myer, C. P., superintendent mill “E” -- 139
Nussbaum, Harry, clerk, accounting department -- 47
Priddie, W. A., western sales agent -- 52
Reitzell, Walter S., assistant to manager of mills -- 100
Reynolds., A. T., secretary to manager of mills -- 68
Rice, B. H., superintendent mill “L” -- 159
Roeder, B. G., engineer land department -- 42
Roseborough, J. G., statistician mill department -- 68
Shaw, W. Nelson, secretary -- 41, 43
Strobel, Miss Corinne, stenographer accounting department -- 47
Swinford, Jerome, jr., Beaumont, order clerk -- 52
Swinford, Samuel T., general sales agent -- 53
Tryon, Joseph, office boy -- 47
Votaw, C. M., assistant land commissioner -- 44
Votaw, P. C., second assistant land commissioner -- 44
Weathersby, R. L., assistant manager tram and logging department -- 73
Weichert, R. F., clerk land department -- 42
Wells, William, clerk car service office -- 75
Wiess, Byron, accountant Beaumont sales department -- 55
Wiess, Ray, assistant to general sales agent -- 53
Wilkin, Theodore S., general manager mills. -- 68, 70, 100
Willson, W. W., general purchasing agent -- 50
Yates, Miss Effie, clerk office manager of mills -- 68

Commissary, exterior -- 157
Commissary, interior -- 62
Logging train and water tank -- 158
Lumber piler at work -- 59
Lumber yard, two views of -- 155
Portrait--J. H. Hooker, superintendent -- 154
Saw mill “J” and log rollway. .. -- 151
Saw mill “J” and timber platform -- 151
Timber, wagon road through the -- 96

A—Beaumont, Reliance mill -- 19, 104, 108
B—Beaumont, Texas Tram mill -- 110
C—Beaumont Lumber Company mill (burned).
D—Orange -- 129
E—Silsbee -- 138
F—Lillard -- 141
G—Call -- 144
J—Roganville -- 151
K—Sharon -- 159
L—Village -- 160
M—Woodville -- 71, 168
N—Mobile -- 24, 169
O—Fuqua -- 172
P—Bronson -- 184

Commissary and office, exterior -- 55
Saw mill “K,” perspective view -- 159
Saw mill “K,” log skidway -- 160
Saw mill “K,” refuse conveyor, sorting fuel from -- 160
Saw mill “K,” water tower -- 156

SHORTLEAF—See under Pine.

Commissary, interior -- 136
Log scaler and his calipers -- 140
Log sawyers at work -- 126, 140
Logging tram, laying a -- 32
Lumber stock shed -- 138
Lumber yard view -- 134
Portrait—C. P. Myer, superintendent -- 139
Saw mill “E,” perspective view -- 138
Texas steer, a -- 13
Timber view, full page -- 76

Bronson, Tex -- 37, 173
Buna, Tex -- 89
Kirbyville, Tex -- 11, 152
Fuqua, Tex -- 20, 61
Roganville, Tex -- 96
Silsbee, Tex -- 76

Blacksmith shop, interior -- 87
Commissary, unloading supplies at -- 93
Company house, a—superintendent's residence -- 82
Group pictures -- 83, 84
Log dump at Sabine river -- 80
Logs lodged in Sabine river -- 91
Logs rolling down river dump -- 85
Log skidding cart -- 89
Log train at dump -- 30
Logging—Taking up railroad iron -- 33
Logging—Lodged tree -- 86
Mail rider -- 94
School children -- 91

Commissary, exterior and interior -- 162
Logging train -- 36
Lumber shed, interior -- 60
Portrait--B. H. Rice, superintendent -- 159
Saw mill “L,” perspective view . -- 160
Saw mill “L,” engine -- 156
Saw mill “L,” machine shop, interior -- 161
Saw mill “L,” refuse conveyor, sorting fuel from.. -- 161
Saw mill “L,” a noonday siesta -- 122

Commissary hewn tie department -- 102

Court house -- 10
Commissary and office exterior -- 165
John H. Kirby's old law office -- 9
John H. Kirby's' old residence -- 16
Logging car, loading a -- 196
Logging engine and skidway -- 163
Logging tram, a new, grading for -- 163
Log sawyers at work -- 23
Logging teams and skidway. .. -- 163
Office and commissary, exterior -- 165
Office, interior -- 167
Portrait—P. A. Doucette, superintendent -- 166
Portrait—Tom P. Cruse, assistant to P. A. Doucette -- 166
Saw mill “M,” old, exterior -- 71
Saw mill “M,” old, from railroad track -- 168
Saw mill “M,” old, log rollway -- 164
Saw mill “M,” breaking ground for new mill -- 163


General Index to Reading Matter


Banquet to John H. Kirby -- 17
Beaumont, early mill operators -- 106
Oil field -- 107, 183
Realty values -- 108
Corsicana (]ex.) oil field -- 179
Cut over lands -- 189
Cypress timber holdings -- 187
Export facilities -- 60
Export lumber and timber -- 135
Gladys oil field—See Beaumont.
Hardwood timber holdings -- 187
Houston Oil Company of Texas -- 14, 21, 179
directors and stockholders -- 23
Fires, forest, effect of -- 96
Forest perpetuation -- 97
Klondike Camp—Same as Trotti.
Labor, southern, character of -- 70, 126
Loblolly or swamp pine, characteristics -- 96
Longleaf pine, characteristics -- 94
In Kirby timber holdings -- 93
Logging by steam -- 81
Logging camps, list of -- 77
Lumber production, possibilities -- 24, 188

A—Beaumont -- 112
B—Beaumont -- 117
C—Beaumont -- 118
D—Orange -- 131
E—Silsbee -- 136
F—Lillard -- 140
G—Call -- 145
H—Kirbyville -- 153
J—Roganville -- 154
K—Sharon -- 157
L—Village -- 158
M—Woodville -- 165
N—Mobile -- 166
O—Fuqua -- 167
P—Bronson -- 168
R—Bessmay -- 175
S—Browndell -- 176
T—Kirbyville -- 177
Mill plant, an, in operation -- 125
Mills. list of -- 27
Aggregate capacity of -- 24
Oil fields—See under Corsicana and Beaumont.

Aldrich, Frank M., assistant to president -- 40
Bancroft, George W., superintendent mill “D” -- 131
Bridges, R. D., superintendent mill “N” -- 167
Caselberry, T. M., woods superintendent mill “O” -- 168
Chapin, D. E., Beaumont sales manager -- 54
Cowart, J. C.., superintendent mill “F” -- 140
Crawford, Charles D., assistant superintendent commissary -- 63
Cruse, Tom F.; assistant superintendent, camp 2 -- 165
Doucette, P. A., superintendent camp 2 -- 165
Dunn, H. A., acting general auditor.... -- 46
Eyres, Ernest J., secretary to John H. Kirby -- 18
Fariss, William B., treasurer -- 44
Fort, W. L., superintendent Beaumont mills -- 112
Godfrey, M. J., superintendent commissary department -- 63
Hackney, D. C., superintendent mill “O” -- 167
Harris, A. L., assistant superintendent tram and logging department -- 72
Helbig, F. A., assistant treasurer -- 44
Hooker, J. H., superintendent mill “J” -- 154
Kirby, Dr. Henry S., company physician, Silsbee -- 43
Kirby, James L., land commissioner -- 43
Kirby, John H., president -- 9
Lockfield, Fred, superintendent mill “P” -- 172
Loveland, R. B., superintendent mill “H” -- 153
McNeeley, S. A., general manager tie and piling department -- 99
Moore, George, sawyer mill “G” -- 149
Myer, C. P., superintendent mill “E” -- 139
Priddie, W. A., general western sales agent -- 53
Reitzell, Walter S., assistant to manager of mills -- 100
Rice, B. H., superintendent mill “L” -- 158
Roberts, J. H., superintendent mill “K” -- 158
Shaw, Judge W. Nelson, secretary -- 40
Stunkel, John F., general superintendent, planers -- 121
Swinford, S. T., general sales agent -- 49
Trotti, T. J., woods superintendent Trotti -- 82
Weathersby, R. L., assistant manager tram
and logging department -- 73
Wiess, Ray, assistant to general sales agent -- 50
Wilkin, Theodore S., general manager mills -- 99
Willson, W. W., general purchasing agent -- 49
Woodard, W. G -- 66
Timber, cut over lands -- 189
Timber, plan of payment for -- 24
Timber holdings -- 21
Resources, minor -- 187
Sabine Pass, history and importance -- 32
Shortleaf pine characteristics -- 94
Southern Oil Company -- 180
Southwestern Oil Company -- 182
Tie, evolution of a -- 114
Tram roads, projected -- 74, 75

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.