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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: CK-11
Corporate Name: Blount-Decker Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Blount- Decker Lumber Company. Summers and Musick.
Location: North of the city pond on Shiloh Quarters Road, north of Alto
County: Cherokee
Years in Operation: 15 years
Start Year: 1908
End Year: 1922
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: 1908 until 1922
Town: north of Alto
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Cut and finished pine, white and red oak, gum, and hickory
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: 75000: 1910
Capacity Comments: 75,000 feet of lumber daily
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Single steam band and planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt)
Historicial Development: The mill site originally began as a Summers and Musick sawmill. The property came into the control of E. A. Blount of Nacogdoches. He and E. M. Decker made plans to create a larger operation. The Southern Industrial and Lumber Review in February 1909 reported that the Blount-Decker Lumber Company mill “at Alto, Texas, which has been in the course of construction for the past year, was finished during January, and the complete plant started operations on the first of the present month. The mill is an excellent one, with a single-cutting band saw full complement of machinery.” The operation also had three dry kilns, a planing mill, and an eight-mile logging tram road. E. A. Blount was president, and E. M. Decker served as general manager. The article continued that the mill could cut 75,000 feet daily and employed about 100 workers. The former mill pond is now the city pond on Shiloh Road. The sawmill appeared in a 1915 directory of sawmills as having a daily cutting capacity of 60,000 feet. The largest size stock the mill could furnish and dress was 28-feet by 16-inches by 30-inches. Yard stock was the mill's specialty, and 60% of its work was done in yard stock. This mill installed electricity during 1917 in order to capitalize on orders to support the war effort. According to Singletary, operations were conducted twenty-fours a day. W. T. Whiteman of Saner-Whiteman Lumber Company at Caro bought an interest in Blount-Decker Lumber Company in 1917. Blount-Decker ordered a dust house and conveyors in 1918 from Lufkin foundry. W. T. Block, noted East Texas sawmill researcher and writer, wrote that E. M. Decker of Blount-Decker at Alto was a relative to R. M. Decker, who operated sawmills with Warren T. Whiteman. When the operation closed, the brothers-in-law moved it to Farmersville, Louisiana.
Research Date: JKG 10-13-93, MCJ 12-08-95
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson