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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: LI-57
Corporate Name: Liberty Hardwood Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Liberty Hardwood Lumber Company. Ranger Hardwood Export Company. Kilburn Moore, Julian Ranger, Charles H. Moore, Morris Kapperl, John Neethe, and D. W. Kempner, from Galveston
Location: River, near Rayborn on Big Creek, where Santa Fe crosses the Trinity River
County: Liberty
Years in Operation: 16 years
Start Year: 1903
End Year: 1918
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: About 1903 to at least 1918
Town: River
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished hardwoods
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: 50000: 1906
Capacity Comments: 50,000 feet daily
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill and planer
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe
Historicial Development: The Liberty Hardwood Lumber Company originally began as the Ranger Hardwood Export Company about 1903. Julian Ranger and J.Henry Steele organized the company to manufacture hardwood lumber from timber situated in Liberty and San Jacinto counties, on the Romayor land grant. By 1906, the Ranger firm was in the hands of a trustee, Sam T. Swinford, a Kirby Lumber Company associate. Swinford sold the firm back to Julian Ranger in May 1906, and the name of the new lumber firm became Liberty Hardwood Lumber Company. Kilburn Moore bought Liberty Hardwood in June 1918 for $262,000 and assumed all liabilities. Kilburn was the son of Charles Moore, Chairman of Miller-Vidor Lumber Company; Charles also an officer and stockholder in Liberty Hardwood. Kilburn was a director of Miller-Vidor. The output of the Ranger - Liberty Hardwood mill was shipped over the rails of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe. According to a 1904 Santa Fe shipping circular, the mill was located at Rayburn, but the lumber company's post office address was at River, a few miles east of Rayburn. The mill's capacity was rated at 50,000 board feet per day. Keeling noted that the Big Creek and Trinity Valley Railway 8-mile logging tram road of the Liberty Hardwood Company was headquartered at Big Creek.
Research Date: JKG 12-14-93, MCJ 03-14-96
Prepared By: J Gerland, M Johnson