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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: JE-36
Corporate Name: Kirby Lumber Company Mill B
Local Name: Eagle Mill #2
Owner Name: Kirby, Mill B. Texas Tram & Lumber Company was a subdivision of Beaumont Lumber Company. Smyth & Seale built the original mill in 1878.
Location: Two locations in Beaumont: Hickory Street, between Cypress and the Neches; by Sabine, Fanning, Neches, and Railroad.
County: Jefferson
Years in Operation: 33 years
Start Year: 1878
End Year: 1910
Decades: 1870-1879,1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: Smyth & Seale, 1878; Texas Tram, 1883; Kirby, 1902 to 1910
Town: Beaumont
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 25,000 in 1905; 65,000 in 1928.
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Finished and dimension lumber products, primarily for export to Europe and Mexico.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam engines with three boilers
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 25000: 188090000: 1900
Capacity Comments: 1880: 6,250,000 for the census year (an average of 25000). 1890: 90,000 to 100,000 feet daily.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: 1878: 5-gang saw edger, double-circular sawmill, and a log turner. A sawmill with single circular and gang saws, pony, edger, trimmer, and a shotgun feed to 4-ft, gig to 46-ft lengths, planing mill, dry kilns
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Orange & Northwestern Rwy . Texas & New Orleans Railroad.
Historicial Development: Smyth & Seale moved operations from the intersection of Hickory and Cypress streets to the end of Washington Street, on the Neches River, in 1878. Buying more than $20,000 worth of sawmill machinery and equipment from E. P. Allis and Company of Milwaukee, they quickly set up business. Financial difficulties plagued the company, which eventually resulted in ownership passing to W. A. Fletcher, John W. Keith, and S. F. Carter, also the owners of Village Mills Company and Texas Tram and Lumber Company, the latter a subsidiary of Beaumont Lumber Company and Long Manufacturing Company. This operation became a Texas Tram plant. Texas Tram quickly upgraded the equipment so that capacity became annually forty million feet of cut lumber and twenty-five million feet of planed lumber. Kirby Lumber Company took control January 1, 1902. The planing mill had a sizer, two matchers, and three moulders. The dry kilns, updated in 1899, were housed in two brick kilns and were steam-operated, able to hold 30,000 feet of lumber daily. Longleaf average grade came from two logging camps, Camp 3 at Buna fifty-two miles distant and Camp 5 at Kirbyville, thirty-five miles away by the tram road, the Orange & Northwestern. The stave unit produced 25,000 to 40,000 barrel staves of red oak and white oak per day, mainly for European export. Its appraised value in 1904 was $66,000. Mill B at Beaumont does not appear on a company Schedule of Sawmills, Planers, Etc., To December 31st, 1910. (see Interpretative Commentary for Census information and mill town statistics.)
Research Date: JKG 8-23-93, MCJ 03-12-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson