William Daniel Wadley, 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, Third Series. Chicago: American Lumberman, 1906. pp. 73-76. Original courtesy University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Texas Transportation Archive
William D. Wadley

Although all Americans, and the intelligent of most other nationalities, are willing to grant to the plodder the measure of success consistent with the effort put forth, still there is a disposition in the business world to demand immediate returns for expended energy. A decided pressure is felt in the modern manner of doing business, which renders it difficult for the plodder to keep up with the procession, and, as time is worth more than anything else on the market, he who can save any of this valuable adjunct to success finds those who recognize his worth and are willing to pay its equivalent. One who has recognized the value of time and who has profited thereby is WiUiam Daniel Wadley of San Francisco, California.

Although he is yet on the sunny side of the meridian of life, Mr. Wadley is a remarkable man in many respects. His has not been a life made easy by a rich, indulgent father. The proverbial golden spoon never has shed its baleful influences over his life, robbing his efforts of their individuality; but from the time he was a barefooted boy, driving a sawdust cart, until today, as the active force in one of the largest lumbering enterprises in the Golden State, he has been the architect as well as the builder of his own fortune.

William D. Wadley is a product of Arkansas. D.M. Wadley, the grandfather of W. D. Wadley, moved from Jackson, Tennessee, to Marshall, Texas, shortly before the Civil War, in which struggle he bore an important part, having been in charge of the gunpowder works of the Confederates at Marshall. Shortly after the close of the war the Wadley family moved to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where the senior member of the house engaged in the manufacture of lumber in connection with several members of the Allen family, among the latter being H.J. Allen, W.B. Allen, E.T. Allen and one or two others. W. D. Wadley's father, W. G. Wadley, the son of the powdermaker, assisted his father in the operation of the mill. The relations between the two families who owned and operated the mill were very close and became more intimate after the marriage of W. G. Wadley and Miss Emily Allen. Born to this couple, on August 30, 1872, was a son, William Daniel Wadley. The parents of the child resided at Arkadelphia at this time and continued to live there until the boy was a healthy lad of five summers.

In 1877 Allen Bros, moved their planing mill to Texarkana, and it was there that the Wadley family took up its residence and where young William laid the foundation for his education, passing creditable examinations in the grammar and high school of Texarkana. A few years later -- 1885 -- Allen Bros, built a sawmill and a planing mill at Queen City, Texas, about two miles northeast of Atlanta, Texas, on the Texas & Pacific Railway.

Here began Mr. Wadley's first active connection with the production of lumber, and since then he has been steadily engaged in the industry. His services at the plants of Allen Bros. embraced labor in every department. After his graduation from the station of a sawdust cart driver he was given a position as fireman on his father's locomotive, which pulled a train on one of the first logging roads built in that part of Texas. About this time, between 1885 and 1887, a partnership was entered into between the senior Wadley and Allen Bros., the firm taking the title of Allen Bros. & Wadley.

Young Wadley continued in the employ of the firm and gradually worked his way up through the successive stages of lumber manufacture, serving as feeder of the planing machine, as a grader and in numerous other capacities. His work was interrupted in 1887 in order that he might take a course in methods of transacting business, which was studied at Draughton's Business College, at Atlanta, Texas. After finishing this course he returned to Queen City, where he kept the books for the firm until the scarcity of its timber supply compelled the seeking of a new location to carry on operations. Allentown, Louisiana, was decided upon, and in 1891 the firm was actively engaged in operating its plant at that place. The town is located on the Louisiana & Nickel Plate road, forming a line of communication from the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific, at Wadley Junction, to a point a few miles north of Allentown.

Young Wadley*s business education was supplemented by a special course at the Southeastern University, at Georgetown, Texas, which was completed in 1892. Upon his return to Allentown, although only twenty years of age, he assumed complete charge of the office of the firm, in which he had secured an interest several years before. No change in the personnel of the firm took place until 1894, when the style was changed to Allen Bros. & Wadley, Limited, which company was organized with W. D. Wadley as secretary and treasurer.

Notwithstanding the demands on his time in consequence of his official position with the company, Mr. Wadley was able in the succeeding years to help organize and keep in operation two other companies as well. One of these was the Bienville Lumber Company, which was organized, in 1900, at Alberta, Louisiana, a town twenty-two miles southeast of Sibley, at the intersection of the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway with the tracks of the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific. Mr. Wadley was president of this company, which operated a mill with a capacity of 75,000 feet of lumber daily. In 1901 he was instrumental in organizing the AUen-Wadley Lumber Company to do a wholesale business for the purpose of disposing of the cut of the mills at Alberta and Allentown. He was president of this concern also.

The scene of Mr. Wadley's greatest success and also of his present activities is laid in California. The possibilities in the great redwood country attracted his attention and in 1903 he secured an interest in what is now the Empire Redwood Company. The officers of the concern are C. T. Crowell, president; E.W. Davies, vice president, and W.D. Wadley, secretary and treasurer. The mill plant of the company is located at Gualala, Mendocino County, California, the mills having a daily output of 100,000 feet. Mr. Wadley, as manager of the mill, has been responsible, in a large measure, for the heavy increase in the volume of business since he took hold of the operations.

Mr. Wadley married Miss Mamie Rogers, of Queen City, Texas, the sweetheart of his boyhood, December 12, 1896. The couple has one child, a daughter, born November 6, 1898.

He is a member of the Scottish Rite bodies and is a consistent Mason, is a member of the Albert Pike Cathedral, Little Rock, Arkansas, and of Sahara Temple, of the Mystic Shrine, at Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

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.