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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-86
Corporate Name: Mardez Lumber Company
Local Name: West Lumber Company
Owner Name: Lynch Davidson & Co in 1928. Mardez Lumber Company. Benford Lumber Company. West Lumber Company. Burkett & Barnes. Bennett & Stanford. George W. Burkett & L. J. Barnes. George W. Stanford and a Mr. Bennett.
Location: Benford: four miles east of Corrigan on Highway 287
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 39 years
Start Year: 1889
End Year: 1927
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909,1920-1929
Period of Operation: About 1889 to 1929.
Town: Benford
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: About 110 workers and thirty tenant houses.
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished lumber. 1915, Pine products consisting of 70% boards, 30% timbers in 1915. 1928, Yellow pine and many types of hardwoods; crossties, timbers.
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: 65000: 190660000: 191540000: 1928
Capacity Comments: 65,000 feet of lumber in 1906, 60,000 feet in 1915. 1928: 40,000 feet.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Standard dry kiln, drying shed, an artificial pond. 928: Band, planing mill, edgers, trimmers, dry kilns.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Trinity & Sabine (Missouri, Kansas, & Texas; Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine). The company steam logging tram road, the Benford & Western Transportation Company, connected one-half mile to the Trinity & Sabine and operated thirty miles in the pineries.<
Historicial Development: George Bennet and George W. Stanford built a small sawmill about 1889 three miles east of Corrigan on the route of the Trinity & Sabine. The community became Benford, a combination of the owners names. The company probably used a small wooden tram road in logging the adjacent pineries. The mill passed to the firm of Burkett & Barnes. In April 1905, an article appeared in the Beaumont Enterprise reporting that the West Lumber Company (J.M. West) had acquired a mill at Benford mill from Burkett & Barnes on January 12, 1905. The company generally employed a little more than 100 workers and provided a commissary and about thirty tenant houses. Jim West and his partner, Lynch Davidson, operated the mill for and under the names of West Lumber Company, Continental Lumber Company, Benford Lumber Company, and Mardez Lumber (all West-Davidson interests). The Benford Lumber Manufacturing Company's mill at Benford appeared in the U.S. Department of Commerce's 1915 directory of sawmills. It is believed this mill was the same as the West mill, since Lynch Davidson was interested in both firmsWest Lumber Company and Benford Lumber Company. The only Benford mill listed in a 1928 Southern Lumberman publication was that of W.G. Ragley. No mill at Benford was recorded in the Lumbermen's Credit Association's October 1934 records. Benford, according to W. T. Block, became a ghost town by 1937. The sawmill had a 65,000 board feet per day capacity from one circular saw, and the plant employed regularly at least 110 men. The Benford Lumber Manufacturing Company's mill at Benford appeared in the U.S. Department of Commerce's 1915 directory of sawmills. It was still a Davidson mill, for The Gulf Coast Lumberman reported on December 15, 1915, that Benford Lumber would be reorganized as Mardez Lumber Company, and the latter would operate the mill at Benford.
Research Date: JKG 11-16-93, MCJ 02-27-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson