"Sabine" (Gulf Coast Lumberman article on Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company at Trinity, 1937)  
  Source: "Sabine", Gulf Coast Lumberman, August 1, 1937. Bound in a scrapbook in the collection of Lester Haines.  
Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company at Trinity, Texas  
"The big Trinity sawmill is equipped with two bands and a big gang, two edgers, a Lignasan dipping tank . . ."  
Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company at Trinity, Texas  
The planer at Trinity with loading docks at right and sawmill in background.  

A man named Paul Sanderson has been living and making lumber history at Trinity, Texas, for the past fifteen years. He is president and general manager of the Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company, a corporation that operates two very large sawmills at Trinity and New Willard, Texas. He is likewise the executive manager of two other excellent concerns, the Sabine Lumber Company, of Zwolle, Louisiana, which operates a new sawmill at that point; and the Sabine Lumber Company, a different corporation entirely, whose business it is to market the lumber products of this group of mills just mentioned, with sales offices at Houston and St. Louis.

Mr. Sanderson represents the third generation of large-scale lumber folks. His father is N. P. Sanderson, life-long lumberman and now retired. N. P. Sanderson married the daughter of a famous old-time lumberman, the late W. T. Ferguson, of St. Louis. W. T. Ferguson, the grandfather of Paul Sanderson was the original lumber partner of the late Wm. Buchanan, of Texarkana, and was likewise associated for years in business with that other veteran Southern lumber producer, the late E. W. Frost, of Texarkana, father of Mr. E. A. Frost of the Frost Lumber Industries. Paul Sanderson got his lumber education for many years at Zwolle, Louisiana, and moved to Trinity fifteen years ago when their group of interests, the Sandersons, J. W. Reynolds, the Fergusons, and others, bought the Trinity and New Willard operations and holdings of the Texas lumber family of Thompsons.

This story is mostly about the plant at Trinity which was visited the other day by some GULF COAST LUMBERMAN folks. While Paul Sanderson is president of the Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company which owns Trinity, Sam Crawford is the general superintendent there. Sam has been with this group of lumber manufacturers some thirty years, operating various of their mills. He has been in charge of active operations at Trinity for the past five years. He was guide of THE GULF COAST LUMBERMAN expedition over that plant.

The first thing he said was: "We make the best short leaf lumber on earth here at Trinity. Our customers list seldom changes. Sometimes a dealer strays away for a while, but he always comes back." Of course you have to make allowance for a man talking about his own lumber product, so instead of taking his word for it, we went out and looked for ourselves.

The sawmill at Trinity is equipped with two bands and a big gang, two edgers, a Lignasan dipping tank, and the lumber handling method through the mill and out into the plant is direct and efficient. The lumber that does NOT go to the kiln is pulled off the chains after being dipped. That which goes to the kilns about 70 per cent of the output goes from the mill transfer chains to an automatic edge sorter, then is loaded on kiln cars.

Realizing the need of kiln drying even more of their product than they do, the present set of Moore kilns is immediately to be rebuilt and refitted in a manner to make it possible for them to kiln dry their whole output. The same thing is going to be done at their New Willard plant.

Careful drying, both air and kiln, careful grading, and extreme effort at perfect dressing in the planer is the secret of Trinity's long success with its customers. The lumber you see going into cars at the loading dock is very, very beautiful lumber. On their timber dock you will find splendid dense timbers of goodly size. As you stroll along the loading dock they point out to you the color, the grain, and splendid finish of the lumber to back up the statement of Sam Crawford, previously made. It does look grand. The planer is brand new, having been built just three years ago to replace one that burned, and is modern in every respect.

Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company at Trinity, Texas  
Sam Crawford, efficient general superintendent at Trinity.  

They manufacture about three and one-half million feet of lumber at Trinity monthly. Three big storage sheds house all their kiln dried stock. Their crews are mostly made up of veteran employees who have lived and worked right there all their lives.

The biggest story at Trinity is the timber story. When they bought the Trinity and New Willard properties fifteen years ago they had a fine stand of long leaf yellow pine to cut, so they named the corporation the Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company. They thought they might have five to eight years supply of timber. Their long leaf has been cut out long ago, but instead of approaching an end to their timber supply, at the end of fifteen years they find themselves, according to the figures of Mr. Sanderson, with a whole lot more timber today than they thought they had when they first started operating there. He has been adding continuously to their timber holdings. Trinity and New Willard cut out of the same forest, the mills being about forty miles apart, and today they have about 300,000 acres of timber land. The growth of their timber has been enormous. Mr. Sanderson says that it would be easy for them to close one of these big mills, and leave the other one with a continuous supply of timber for all time to come.

He figures some of these days on having a pulp and paper mill located in this territory and thinks it very practical for such a mill to have an eternal supply of pulp wood through the tremendously fast growth of small pine in their region.

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