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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: TY-53
Corporate Name: Rice Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Jonas Shearn Rice and William M. Rice of Houston and Colonel F. A. Hyatt of Beaumont
Location: Hyatt, three miles south of Warren, on Hickory Creek
County: Tyler
Years in Operation: 25 years
Start Year: 1882
End Year: 1906
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: Established between 1882 and 1884 until 1906
Town: Hyatt
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 800 in 1889
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished lumber; pine and cypress shingles
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: 45000: 1885100000: 1906
Capacity Comments: From an original 45,000 feet of lumber daily to 100,000 feet per day in 1906
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: A complete sawmill with a circular, dry kilns, planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Texas & New Orleans 16 miles of company tram
Historicial Development: The mill at Hyatt was built sometime between 1882 and 1884 by Jonas Shearn Rice, William M. Rice, and F.A. Hyatt: they were advertising by September 20, 1884. The town took its name from F.A. Hyatt who soon left the business venture upon winning the federal contract to construct the first Sabine River jetties. The mill was improved in 1889, including the addition of dry kilns, a planing mill, and tram ways. In 1892, the mill burned but was soon rebuilt, and, in 1896, an ice plant was added to the mill town, supposedly the first such convenience in Tyler County. The mill prospered into the 1900s, but was probably closed and dismantled in 1906, since the Hyatt post office was discontinued in June 1907. The American Lumberman reported in May 1906 that the mill had “practically cut out all its timber and is preparing to erect a mill in Calcasieu Parish.” The expected cut out date was 1908. The Hyatt mill appeared in the Lumbermen's Credit Association published records for January 1905, but not for January 1907. The mill possibly used Hickory Creek instead of a mill pond. Fifteen miles of tram existed in 1904. The planer had a daily capacity of 60,000 board feet from 1900-1907. The community had a school of 100 pupils in 1904 while the mill employed 200 men. Apparently, the Rice Company also acted as a factor and dealer in cotton, hides, and country produce. The Rice brothers sponsored company baseball teams, playing opposition from far away as Beaumont and Houston. Both brothers played regularly on the Rice Lumber Company team.
Research Date: JKG 12-29-93, MCJ 02-1-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson