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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: CK-5
Corporate Name: Lancaster Corp
Local Name:
Owner Name: Felder Brothers Lumber Company. Grady and Ray Felder. Lancaster Corporation of Fort Worth.
Location: Alto: .85 mile west on highway 21 from intersection of 21 and 84
County: Cherokee
Years in Operation: 19 years
Start Year: 1947
End Year: 1965
Decades: 1940-1949,1950-1959,1960-1969
Period of Operation: Felders, 1947 to 1955; Lancaster, 1955 to mid-1960s.
Town: Alto
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Pine and hardwood
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Diesel, gasoline, and electric
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 50000: 1950
Capacity Comments: 50,000 feet daily (three mills)
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Possibly a circular sawmill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Unknown
Historicial Development: Oral histories reveal that the first Felder brothers mill had been “put together” with parts “out of a junkyard,” crafted by Bob Landrum and powered by a UD-21 gasoline engine. H. C. Polk, Jr., and Grady Singletary recalled that the Felder brothers second mill was a “loan-out” mill from Rube Sessions. Sessions offered the brothers the use of the mill if they would bring their rough lumber to him. They were looking for somebody to buy the lumber and also for a better mill.” They ran the “loan-out” mill on Boxes Creek near the Lynches Chapel village. The Felder Brothers operated several more mills during a twenty-year business career. They had a little “peckerwood” mill on Sulphur Branch (Bog Branch), a diesel sawmill on Wire Creek near the Neches River, and then a big diesel sawmill three miles north of Weeping Mary, and a diesel/electric sawmill on Highway 21 two miles west of Alto. The three mills were capable of producing 50,000 feet per day. The Felders shipped their hardwood cut to Lingold Flooring in Crockett for a number of years. The Felders sold a planing mill to Grogan Brothers for $6,000 in 1951. Lancaster Corp. which bought a number of smaller sawmills in the 1950s, had the Felder mill by 1955 and operated it for about ten years before closing the operation down.
Research Date: MCJ 12-08-95
Prepared By: M. Johnson