Guy Henry Mallam, biography c. 1906
[American Lumberman magazine]
  Source: American Lumberman. The Personal History and Public and Business Achievements of One Hundred Eminent Lumbermen of the United States, Second Series.pp. 345-348. Chicago: American Lumberman, 1906.

Texas Transportation Archive
Guy H. Mallam.

A man who by his cool and sound judgment and his absolute fairness and integrity has won the respect of all who know him, and by his friendliness and good fellowship commands the affection of all of his more intimate acquaintance, is Guy Henry Mallam, of Kansas City, Missouri. While he has won some degree of material wealth, that which he most prizes is the wealth of friendship so freely extended by those who have come to know the man and appreciate the qualities which characterize him. He is a man who fills, easily and with a certain native grace, every position in which he places himself or fate decrees for him, and does it by those qualities of mind and heart described above.

He is a southerner by birth, by training and by sympathy. He was born in New Orleans, August 5, 1856. His father, Henry Mallam, was a Londoner, of Scotch and Welsh parents; his mother, Mary Ellen (Pinching) Mallam, of Irish descent, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Guy Henry Mallam was brought up as a boy in New Orleans, where he attended the public schools until he was twelve years old and then went to work as an office boy for the law firm of Semmes & Mott, the first mentioned being a brother of Admiral Semmes, of the Confederate navy.

From that time on until his first connection with the lumber business, his experience was a varied one. He clerked on a Mississippi River steamboat, and then became manager of the Angola cotton plantation, near Red River Landing, Louisiana, which was followed by operating a plantation store in Fairview, Louisiana, owned by Captain John N. Pharr. In each succeeding position he added to his general knowledge and managed to get together a little money, with which he stocked a general store at Berwick, Louisiana. Then came a great overflow of the Mississippi River, in 1882, and young Mallam's business was swept away by the flood and he was left practically penniless. He borrowed sufficient money to pay his passage to Beaumont, Texas, and accepted a position he was offered with C. C. Caswell, who, with George W. Smythe, now president of the Sabine Tram Company, at Deweyville, Texas, had just completed the "Eagle" mills.

At that time Beaumont was little more than a pioneer town and the city-bred young man probably would have gone back to New Orleans if he had had money enough; but he had no choice, and, as a wife and baby had also to be cared for, he went to work there. In 1883 the business and the " Eagle" mills were bought by the Texas Tram & Lumber Company. With that institution Mr. Mallam, with the exception of several brief intervals, remained until May 1, 1889, coming to be office manager. Until September 1, 1890, he was assistant to S. F. Carter, now president of the Emporia Lumber Company. Then, on account of poor health, he was given a position as traveling salesman. In November, 1891, under the name of Swinford & Mallam, of Houston, Texas, he formed a partnership with Sam T. Swinford, now head of the S. T. Swinford Company, of Houston. A few months later Mr. Mallam was offered the position of superintendent and general manager of the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, which led to the dissolution of this partnership with Mr. Swinford.

While he was connected with the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, Mr. Mallam was elected president of the Texas & Louisiana Lumber Manufacturers' Association, composed of the lumbermen of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. He always has been a strong association worker and has been highly regarded by other manufacturers for his integrity, ability, clear ideas and clean methods. Once, during the critical period of 1895-6, he was a member of a committee composed of some of the leading lumbermen of the South who met at Hot Springs to devise ways and means for the revision of the industry, then in a deplorable condition. Among those on the committee were Silas W. Gardiner, R. A. Long, W. E. Ramsay, R. H. Keith, I. C. Enochs and J. B. White.

During the business depression of the years named the Texas Tram & Lumber Company, the Beaumont Lumber Company, the Village Mills Company, the Nona Mills Company, all of Beaumont, Texas, organized the Consolidated Export Lumber Company. The manufacturers there felt compelled to have some other than a domestic outlet for their product, and while the results directly obtained were not especially satisfactory to them, they meant the ultimate broadening of the market in the lumber production of that country. This concern was managed jointly by Mr. Mallam and John N. Gilbert, whose ability and forcefulness were exemplified in their leadership of this almost forlorn hope.

Mr. Mallam had long given much attention to the insurance business, as a policy holder in the stock companies and as manager of one of the leading lumber institutions of the Southwest, and appreciated the difficulties under which lumbermen were operating and the inequalities of the classifications and rates made by the stock companies. While, perhaps, the premiums the companies managed to collect were not much too large, except as they included too large an allowance for expenses, the well managed and well equipped concerns were paying a large part of the losses sustained upon the poor risks. Becoming acquainted with Harry Rankin, an insurance man, Mr. Mallam decided to join forces with him. The firm of Guy H. Mallam & Co. was formed on May 1, 1899, by Mr. Mallam and Mr. Rankin. The latter was the originator of a plan of mutual insurance as applying to sawmill properties. The firm represented the Manufacturing Lumbermen's Underwriters, one of the best of the lumbermen's mutuals, with headquarters at Kansas City, to which city Mr. Mallam changed his residence. The organization was formed for the purpose of insuring first-class lumber manufacturing plants only. Mr. Rankin was an insurance man of ability and experience and entitled to every respect, but the lumbermen did not know him, while they did know Mr. Mallam and, therefore, it was to the latter that was due the subscription to this mutual underwriting agreement of more than 100 of the leading lumber manufacturers of the United States. Mr. Mallam sold his interest in the firm to Mr. Rankin on January 1, 1905.

Mr. Mallam is interested as a stockholder in the Union Saw Mill Company, of Huttig, Arkansas; but his energies now are devoted to the utilization of sawmill and forest refuse. He is treasurer of the Wood Distillates & Fibre Company, and president and general manager of the Southern Wood Distillates & Fibre Company, the operating company in the South for the parent concern. He was attracted to this proposition about two years ago by his intimate acquaintance with conditions in the South and the enormous waste of timber taking place there each day. He realized that the process was eminently practicable in that it utilizes, right at the sawmill, what always has been not only a waste but a fire hazard. By the company's process the liquid elements are extracted from the wood and the residue is suitable for paper making. It has been aptly said that the packing industry makes use of every particle of the pig except the "squeal," and, to quote Mr. Mallam, under the distillating project everything is gotten from the tree but the "bark," and even this is expected to be utilized in the future. If this new industry shall develop, as at the time of this publication seemed certain, along anticipated lines, Mr. Mallam will have been instrumental in saving and making for the South wealth almost beyond computation.

Mr. Mallam married Miss Sidonia H. Wagner, February 16, 1880. Two sons and two daughters have gladdened the couple's married life. The children are Guy H., Junior, Ellis Pinching, Sidonia Anna and Shirley Mallam.

As one of the earliest of Hoo-Hoo, he having been initiated into the concatenated order in San Antonio, Texas, April 13, 1892, Mr. Mallam never has permitted his enthusiasm for the organization to lapse. He is an Elk and takes part in all the festivities of that body.

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.