Kirby Lumber Company at Roganville, Texas, in 1902; excerpts from American Lumberman magazine.  
Source: American Lumberman. "Timber Resources of East Texas, Their Recognition And Development", originally published in American Lumberman November 22, 1902. Chicago: American Lumberman, 1902. pp. 153-162.
  Excerpt from "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 -- 1,150,0000
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.

  Excerpt from "CHAPTER XX, Mills H, J, K and L”:  

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.

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.