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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: LI-59
Corporate Name: Liberty Lumber Company ( Fisher Lumber Company)
Local Name:
Owner Name: Charles W. Fisher, Sr., Daniel M. Fleming; later Charles W. Fisher, Jr. Liberty Lumber Company. Fisher Lumber Company.
Location: Inner Blocks, Nos. 92, 93, & 211, a mile west of downtown.
County: Liberty
Years in Operation: 19 years
Start Year: 1889
End Year: 1907
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: 1889 to about 1907
Town: Liberty
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished lumber, staves, etc.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: Unknown
Capacity Comments: Unknown
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Mammoths sawmill and planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Trinity Valley & Northern Railway
Historicial Development: Charles N. Fisher and Daniel M. Fleming organized in 1888 and built a sawmill in 1889 on the east bank of the Trinity River, about a mile west of current downtown Liberty, Liberty County. A photocopy of a chattel mortgage by Liberty Lumber Company to Jack Wolfe dated 20 May 1889 and filed 30 March 1891 reveals that the equipment included a steam engine, a steam boiler, a Mammoth sawmill with belting, shafts, saws, buildings, and etc. Because of the nature of land surrounding the town, the mills machinery “required eleven yoke of oxen to pull it over the swampy marshes to Liberty.” Water for the mill came from an artesian well and tanks. Trees were floated on the Trinity to the mill. He used the vessel Horatio, which was later sold to C. R. Cummings Export Lumber, to ship lumber to Galveston. Newspaper report of 1890 indicates that Fisher was expanding his plant, to include a new planing mill. His letterhead announced that he manufactured lumber from pine, cypress, cottonwood, oak, ash, and gum. In 1893, Fisher was reported to be planning to build a new, much larger mill. Production at the mill declined after the “lumber panic” of 1895, and, according to Fincher, closed. A hurricane, on September 13, 1897, greatly damaged the mill and the storehouse in Liberty. A county family history noted that Charles W. Fisher, Sr., came to Liberty in 1890 at the age of fifteen and opened the Fisher Lumber Company with his father, Charles N. Fisher, which operated until 1917. The family also ran mills at Seven Oaks and Livingston. He owned the Liberty Vindicator beginning in 1929 and was president of the South Liberty Oil Company. He had drilled the first rotary well in the area in 1890, from which artesian water was drawn. F. M. Blair contracted with Fisher to cut and skid logs into the Trinity River for $4,000 a thousand in 1893.
Research Date: MCJ 03-14-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson