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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-116
Corporate Name: Southland Paper Mills, Inc.
Local Name: New Willard
Owner Name: Southland Paper Mills bought Sabine Lumber and Texas Long Leaf. Thompson and Tucker Lumber Company became Texas Long Leaf on December 16, 1912. King Creek Lumber Co is associated with this operation. Thompson-Tucker Lumber Company.
Location: New Willard: at 116 and the Southern Pacific depot
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 49 years
Start Year: 1909
End Year: 1957
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919,1920-1929,1930-1939,1940-1949,1950-1959
Period of Operation: June,1909 to April 17, 1957
Town: New Willard, originally Freeman
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 600 in 1928. 518 in 1934. 600 in 1940. 145 tenant houses.
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Producing all grades of finished and unfinished pine lumber and timbers, specializing in flooring by 1915.
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: 110000: 1915150000: 1928
Capacity Comments: 110,000 board feet daily in 1915 and 1928. 125,000 on the planer in 1928. Would increase later to 150,000 feet daily.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: A complete lumber mill, including a saw mill proper with a double band, dry kilns, and planing mill. In 1928, a band, planing mill, edgers, trimmers, dry kilns, logging road, electric light plant
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Houston East & West Texas at New Willard and a company tram road
Historicial Development: After exhausting timber reserves for its Willard plant and with large stumpage reserves in Polk County, the Thompson and Tucker Lumber Company established a milling site at New Willard in 1909. By June of that year Mill A, a 50,000 daily-capacity saw mill, averaged 28,795 board feet daily in 134 days while Mill B, a planned 150,000-foot daily-capacity double band mill was under construction. Mill B began operation in January, 1910. Mill A was phased out. The mill pond could store two million feet of logs. Through several corporate restructurings, the plant remained a Thompson family interest with significant corporate and capital support from the Foster Lumber Company of St. Louis. It later became a part of Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company, which was a creature of Sabine Lumber Company of St Louis, as was King Creek Lumber Company. Hoxie H. Thompson served as an executive officer of Sabine Lumber. At a meeting of stockholders, on September 24, 1947, H. H. Thompson noted that all indebtedness accrued since 1907 had been paid and that the company had been in a state of liquidation since 1931. Thompson recommended that the company be dissolved. Southland Paper Mills bought the Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company operations at New Willard and Trinity in the summer of 1952, and Thompson-Tucker dissolved that fall. In March, 1953, the company operating name was changed to Southland Paper Mills, Inc.Lumber Division. The plant closed April 17, 1957. New Willard, from the beginning in 1909, was a company town, with 125 tenant houses, at least two hotels, a school, drugstore, a meat market, an office, and a post office. The next year, it had expanded to 145 houses, two schools, plus other conveniences. New Willard Cattle Company wintered their livestock at the Willard Demonstration Farm on the company's old mill grounds in Trinity County. The company baseball team was the New Willard Trimmers. Company tram operations used locomotives, a steam skidder, a steam loader, logging cars, and a log loader.
Research Date: JKG 7-27-93, MCJ 02-27-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson