Union Saw-Mill Company at Huttig, Arkansas in 1907; excerpts from American Lumberman magazine.  
Source: "A Graphic Story of the Frost-Trigg Interests in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas", American Lumberman, March 30, 1907. Chicago: American Lumberman, 1907. pp. 51-114.

January 28, 1905, the AMERICAN LUMBERMAN gave to the world the first great illustrated story of the Union Saw Mill Company, covering thirty-two full pages in this publication.

In the first Union Saw Mill Company story reference was made to the happening as the coming of a "Light in a Dark Corner." That light now radiates over a territory sixty-five miles long and twenty-five miles wide, and burns brighter each day of its history.

At that time the timber holdings, both timber land and timber rights, aggregated 90,000 acres. November 1, 1906, the timber holdings, all told, amounted to 340,000 acres, 94,343 acres of this ownership being land held in fee simple. The land and timber possessions of the Union Saw Mill Company are almost entirely situated in Union county, Arkansas, and Union parish, Louisiana.

Foundations for the first saw mill at Huttig, Ark., the home of the Union Saw Mill Company, were laid in February, 1904, and in August of that year the mill produced nearly 2,500,000 feet of lumber. The first lumber was made in the first mill erected in Huttig on June 14, 1904.

Timber Operations at Huttig.
Timber is delivered to the mill of the Union Saw Mill Company at Huttig by the Culbreath Logging Company, over the lines of the logging railroad owned by the Union Saw Mill Company, and laid and operated by the Culbreath Logging Company, and over the tracks of the traffic lines mentioned below.

The total railway mileage actually in use and now in process of immediate building aggregates, all told, forty-five miles. Twenty miles of this is built of 56-pound steel and twenty-five miles of 35-pound stool. The Union Saw Mill Company to facilitate its logging operations also has trackage rights over the Little Rock & Monroe railway, the Farmerville & Southern railroad and the Eldorado & Bastrop railway, aggregating 113 miles.

In the service of the Culbreath Logging Company and the Union Saw Mill Company, all told, are seven locomotives.

The car equipment for timber hauling and camp use is very complete, consisting of 162 logging cars, fourteen camp cars, two cabooses, seven hand cars and four speeders.

The work of loading the timber on the cars in the woods is done with three "American" log loaders, and the logging operations are now done from three camps. With the equipment specified 300,000 feet of logs are daily put into the pond at Huttig.

Log Handling at Huttig.
The logs are handled into Mill No. 1 at Huttig from a made pond, 400x600 feet in area, which will soon be enlarged to a pond 600x800 feet in area, from which both mills at Huttig will be served and which when completed will hold at least 3,000,000 feet of logs.

The No. 2 mill, which will be referred to later on, has been logged to date from a canal or sluice way 600 feet long and fifty feet wide, which runs directly north from the north end of the mill, the trains of logs being run in upon either side and the logs dumped directly into the canal. With the log pond finally enlarged this canal or sluice way will be merged into the enlarged pond.

The Saw Mills at Huttig.
The saw mills at Huttig, when in full operation, in that halcyon time when this present Desert-of-Sahara car famine will be past, will consist of four complete band mills, housed in two complete buildings about 720 feet apart, both saw mills standing north and south in general direction and located east of the Little Rock & Monroe railway. Besides the lumber making facilities of these mills they contain facilities for lath manufacture to the extent of 140,000 lath daily.

Saw mill No. 1 contains two band mills of the No. 3 Allis-Chalmers type, with 8-foot wheels; three block carriages; 12-inch shotgun feeds, and a double Allis-Chalmers 9-saw edger; with all other necessary complementary machinery and a lath mill equipment which will produce 50,000 lath daily, all driven by a Filer & Stowell 24x48 inch Corliss engine.

The average cut of Mill No. 1, day run, ten hours, is 100,000 feet. It has cut, however, ns much as 164,263 feet of inch boards in eleven hours, this having been its banner run.

Mill No. 2 was erected in 1906. Ground was broke for its erection March 15 of that year and it began sawing lumber July 17, 1906. This mill is contained in a building 80x140 feet in area and is of the type of construction not ordinarily seen in saw mills anywhere Concrete has been used so profusely in the foundation of this mill building that it would not be an exaggeration to say that it stands on a solid rock 80x140 feet in area, as this concrete composition extends in proper thickness entirely under the building.

This building was erected to contain, when complete, two band mills with full quota of edgers, trimmers and all necessary collateral machinery and besides this, probably the largest lath mill equipment in the yellow pine country. However, the unprecedented car shortage has precluded the necessity for a full equipment of this mill at the present time and it contains today, besides the lath mill outfit, one complete Filer & Stowell band mill equipment of 14-inch saw on an 8-foot wheel, the carriage run by a 12-inch shotgun feed. The present capacity of the one band now running is 50,000 feet, day run, and ample space has been provided for putting in another band mill. The refuse is cut up by two Diamond Iron Works "hogs" and utilized for fuel purposes.

The power house just west of mill No. 2 contains nine Casey & Hedges boilers, 72 inches in diameter and 18 feet long, each in marine setting, with Dutch oven. This power is drawn on for steam for the fourteen dry-kilns, electric light and ice plants, and is connected with planing mill and fire pumps at water works station, so as to furnish steam in event of accident to the regular equipment.

Dry Lumber at Huttig.
The dry kilns are remarkably complete. They are of three kinds, the National, the Standard, and another very superior affair, largely made useful by the constructive skill of the local mechanical engineers of the Union Saw Mill Company.

The dry kiln rooms now in use number fourteen and will hold when full 535,000 feet of lumber and when run full capacity will turn out not less than 280,000 feet of bone-dry lumber daily.

Storing and Dressing Lumber at Huttig.
At least 60 percent of the lumber product of the Union Saw Mill Company goes through the dry kilns. The lumber is handled from the mills to the kilns by the usual chain sorter, from which the No. 2 common and the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 dimension are taken to the yard.

The kilns are situated between the two mills and the lumber is sorted as to lengths on an edge | sorter of mammoth dimensions and run through kilns in the usual manner.

Mule dollies are used for transferring lumber from the various points, either to the yards or from the yards to the planing mill. Twenty mules are used to handle the product. No stacking is done at night.

The product of the Union Saw Mill Company runs 36.8 percent to B and better.

Two rough lumber sheds are utilized, 105x240 feet in area each, and there is a shed for lath, 22x224-1/4 feet; thus 3,500,000 feet of lumber in rough shape can be stored at this place.

The dressed lumber shed, which is located south of the planing mills, is 118x216-1/2 feet in area and holds 1,500,000 feet of dressed stock.

The planing mill is contained in a building 80x252 feet in area, and north of the planing mill building is a boiler house 42x62 feet in area. The engine to transmit the power is a Filer & Stowell Corliss, 22x42 feet in size. Most of the machinery in this planing mill was manufactured by the Hall & Brown Wood Working Machine Company, of St. Louis, Mo. There are also some S. A. Woods machines.

Railroad Facilities at Huttig.
The Union Saw Mill Company has the advantage of two traffic lines which under ordinary circumstances provide ample shipping facilities, but which in these troublous car shortage days do not count for much.

At Huttig are ample loading docks and a trained force of men competent to load out 600 cars of lumber a month the year round, but there has been no use for such ample service at Huttig since September 15 last, entirely on account of inadequate car service.

The main railroad at Huttig is the Little Rock & Monroe railway, a branch of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern railway, which connects with a series of branches of that road reaching the main line at Gurdon, Ark. This railway also connects with the "Queen & Crescent" line at Monroe, La., and with the Texas & Pacific at Alexandria, La.

Another traffic line has headquarters at Huttig, the Louisiana & Pine Bluff railway, chartered to run a line twenty miles to the north and west and which has in actual operation in sidings and tracks about Huttig and in the main traffic line running from Huttig to Dollar Junction, Ark. (a junction point on the Eldorado & Bastrop branch of the Iron Mountain railroad), all told, about eight and one-half miles of track.

There is a passenger train over the Louisiana & Pine Bluff railway which connects Huttig, Ark., with Eldorado, Ark., in a triple daily service carrying the United States mail, passengers, baggage and Pacific express.

Just now surveys are being made with a definite view to extending this road, possibly as far north as Pine Bluff, Ark. It will certainly be built for at least twenty-five miles north, and with this end in view W. E. Atkinson, a well known civil engineer in the southwest -- the gentleman who built the Little Rock & Monroe railway -- has been engaged to take charge of the engineering.

Machine Shops at Huttig.
The machine shop at Huttig, Ark., owned by the Union Saw Mill Company is one of the best equipped and best managed institutions in Arkansas, not only as regards its equipment for taking care of all the work to be done about a great saw mill plant like that of the Union Saw Mill Company but in a general sense as well.

This plant has been so measurably enlarged in the last two years that it will receive especial mention. It is practically a separate institution and can be and often is run in a particularly separate sense. It has been largely responsible for a fairly good equipment of the Little Rock & Monroe railway during the last few months, as well as looking after repairs and rebuilding the necessary Union Saw

Mill Company equipment.
In connection with the machine shop are a pattern shop and a complete foundry, equipped to make everything that is apt to break about this or any other saw mill plant.

In this machine shop locomotives have been completely rebuilt and log cars can be built throughout.

In connection with the machine shop and in its yards, as it were, is a commodious roundhouse, arranged to hold eight locomotives and fitted with a regular turn table.

The roundhouse and machine shop buildings are fitted with pipes and the necessary apparatus by which drills for both wood and iron work are run pneumatically.

Huttig Lights and Telephones.
The electric plant at Huttig is a very complete affair and is necessarily out of the ordinary in size, because more than the ordinary effort is made at Huttig to spread such comfort as electric light will bring throughout most of the homes in the town, and, again, the policy of the institution is to run the plant at night whenever such a thing is a business necessity.

The electric light plant is located in a building in the machine shop group, which is also used for the ice factory. There are two machines for the production of the light, one of 60 and the other of 100-kilowatts. Each machine is run by a separate high-speed Brownell engine.

The entire plant, store, emergency hospital, offices, hotels -- both white and colored -- and the principal dwellings of Huttig are electrically lighted.

Installed at Huttig is a most complete telephone service. At points considered most necessary are, all told, nineteen receivers with at least fifty miles of line.

Several long distance telephone lines in southern Arkansas are connected in a more or less intricate way one with another, and in the office of the Union Saw Mill Company is a local long distance office.

Fire Protection at Huttig.
It is undoubtedly no exaggeration to say that the water supply at Huttig is superior for fire fighting purposes, for steam making purposes and for drinking water in the homes to that of any other place of like size in the southern states.

A wonderful reservoir containing thirty-five acres of surface has been constructed and holds water enough at all times to run the plant, and if need be the town, and furnish plenty of water supply for fire fighting purposes for a period of six months.

The supply from which is used the water that is needed in the homes for drinking and cooking purposes is obtained from four flowing wells. From these wells flow naturally each day 400,000 gallons of water. The capacity of the wells is increased, however, by deep well pumps, so that their output can be run up to 800,000 gallons for the four wells each twenty-four hours.

The water from these wells is put into two ground tanks which hold 150,000 gallons and from there is pumped into an elevated tank which holds 50,000 gallons. This artesian water, besides being used to supply the town, is also utilized for the ice plant. The water piping that permeates the town of Huttig and all portions of the plant is nearly 55,000 lineal feet long and is made up of 12-inch, 8-inch, 6-inch, 4-inch and 3-inch and smaller pipe as to diameter.

There are many small pumps for boiler feed etc., and two particular pumps have keen installed for pressure of water for fire protection, as have an Underwriter’s of 500 gallons per minute capacity and another of similar type of 1,000 gallons per minute capacity.

In use at Huttig are 4,000 feet of hose of all sizes, many hose carts for the use of the fire companies, and in various parts of the plant, ready for immediate service, sixty-five hydrants, 300 water barrels and 600 buckets.

There are four complete fire companies which practice in a competitive way and for the practice itself upon four separate days each week, each practice session consuming an hour. There are twelve trained men in each company and these companies are all under the supervision of A. Newby, superintendent of lumber manufacture in the day time, and W. H. Wheeler, who is superintendent of manufacture during the night hours. One general watchman and four assistant watchmen are maintained to keep the night vigil for protective service against conflagration.

The Mercantile End at Huttig.
The mercantile end of the Union Saw Mill Company at Huttig is maintained for no other purpose than the accommodation of the employees of that plant and the inhabitants of Union county, all of which is proven by the fact that it did a business in 1906 of $223,091.24 and showed a profit of only 8 percent, which certainly substantially proves that there is one "company store" at least which is a benefaction rather than an incubus.

This store at Huttig is probably one of the most complete general stores in a town of its size in the world. In it are employed, all told, fourteen people -- experts in their various lines -- to look after the business.

The business in this store is divided into departments of dry-goods, groceries, hardware, drugs, millinery, furnishing goods, boots and shoes and meats. The meat market is equipped with four large cold storage rooms in which all kinds of fresh meat, oysters, perishable supplies etc. are kept.

The Model Farm Near Huttig.
Just beyond the western limits of Huttig there is being wrought out of the rolling red and white hills, which have but recently been covered with pine trees, a really model farm. This farm is a company affair, incorporated as the Union County Farm & Dairy Company, and its management has spent several thousand dollars in clearing and planting, during two seasons, with very encouraging results. Many hundreds of peach and pear trees are in flourishing growth, thousands of strawberry plants show their dark green leaves on the southern slopes, and several acres hold grape arbors, besides fields devoted to alfalfa, oats, potatoes, onions and other garden truck. A competent farmer is in charge of all this agricultural work.

Huttig, the Model Town.
The subhead above does not require the qualifying words "saw mill." Huttig is a model town without qualification, but it would not do to let it go at that. There are many reasons for this statement, some of which were given in a former article. At that time, however, many of the advantages of Huttig over other towns of its class were only planned -- were just ideas, in incubation.

Dr. R. E. Rowland, assisted by Dr. J. E. Bailey, is employed to look after the general health of the 1,700 inhabitants of the little town of Huttig, and there is an emergency hospital down near the railway station, but it seems to the writer that the doctors have a great deal of time in which to cultivate their admirable social qualities and the emergency hospital is principally a storage place for glittering instruments with horribly long names. The doctors are bright and shining members of the community who could not be spared, and the emergency hospital is of course a necessity -- a precautionary necessity -- but really there is an abstract condition at Huttig which, try as they may, the builders of most saw mill towns find hard to possess, and that condition is found in the topographical lay of the ground on which the town of Huttig is built and the magnificent artesian water supply, which in itself is better medicine than any drug store affords.

The topography of Huttig makes it a town of natural drainage so that the possibility of fevers and malaria is practically wiped out.

The social, physical and spiritual comfort of the inhabitants of Huttig has been looked after very closely and made a matter of policy and principle of the Union Saw Mill Company by C. D. Johnson, its founder and president. A great amusement ball, 100x112 feet in area, has been erected, fronting on the main street of Huttig just north of the general store, and contains a pool and billiard ball and bowling alley, as well kept as in the larger cities; a model bakery and confectionery store; a tastefully decorated and fitted ice-cream parlor, and beyond that there is a large skating rink, substantially tented over, and beyond that a Chinese laundry, and on the opposite side of the street a restaurant which keeps open and in service day and night.

Huttig maintains a high class ice and refrigerating plant of 10-ton daily capacity and in the summer months ice water for drinking purposes is piped to all parts of the manufacturing plant of the Union Saw Mill Company for the constant use of the men at work.

There are three well regulated hotels in the town of Huttig, among them the Union hotel, for the accommodation of some of the heads of departments who do not care to undertake housekeeping, and for the special accommodation of transient visitors, who are numerous. This main hotel is as good a $2 a day hotel as there is in Arkansas.

Another hotel is maintained for the use of the white laboring men who wish hotel accommodations, and there is still another hotel in the negro quarters for their use.

The educational facilities of Huttig are of a very high class. A school is maintained for white children, on a par with the usual high schools of small cities, which is presided over by four teachers, and there all the grammar grades and more advanced English studies are taught and, besides this, music, bookkeeping and stenography. This school is maintained in a large two-story building situated on a commanding knoll in the white residence quarter of Huttig, and during February, 1907, 175 pupils were enrolled.

This school is supported by the usual 5-mill tax and is created for the special use of the town of Huttig, which is constituted a special district. Any deficiency that may occur in the necessary funds to sustain this school is made up by subscription, by the patrons, and the school is maintained nine months out of the year.

A negro school is maintained in the negro quarter of the town, also by tax and subscription, where sixty negro pupils are taught the common branches by competent teachers.

The particular pride of Huttig is its magnificent church building, erected by the Union Saw Mill Company, adjoining which is a public library of about volumes, which library is open every evening from 7 to 9 o'clock. The Rev. John Bererton, a liberal preacher of prominence and great ability, has had charge of the Union church services and the pastorate of Huttig for over two years.

A large church building has also recently been erected for the use of the negroes of the town.

There are commodious lodge rooms in the school building where prosperous bodies of Blue Lodge Masonry, Odd Fellowship and Woodmen of the World meet regularly for work and instruction.

The Union Saw Mill Company maintains well fitted up dwellings of all sizes and characters to contribute to the comfort of its employees who desire homes. The dwellings in the possession of the company are over 250 in number.

All the public service buildings of Huttig -- hotels, schools, churches, amusement halls etc. -- were erected and equipped by the Union Saw Mill Company and donated to the various uses mentioned.

A savings department is connected with the Union Saw Mill Company and taken care of in its offices at Huttig, and now has on deposit over $24,000 of the savings of the employees of the company. This savings department pays 4 percent on deposits -- granting privilege of withdrawal at any time -- and is patronized by all classes of the Union Saw Mill employees. This department has been in operation since May, 1905.

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.