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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: JE-56
Corporate Name: Reliance Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Otto Ruff. A. J. Ward. E. L. Goldsmith and M. W. Reagan. Property changed ownership several times. Mark Weiss, James F. Ward, H. W. Potter, and W. P. H. McFaddin. See Reliance Lumber Company at Beaumont.
Location: Beaumont
County: Jefferson
Years in Operation: 15 years
Start Year: 1859
End Year: 1873
Decades: 1850-1859,1860-1869,1870-1879
Period of Operation: 1859 to 1867. Reliance bought the equipment and site in 1878.
Town: Beaumont
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Ca. 1,000
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber
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: 
Capacity Comments: 1860: 1,000,000 board feet during the reporting period of the Census
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: In 1859, a single-circular sawmill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: None
Historicial Development: Otto Ruff, one of the many immigrant Germans that influenced the social and commercial development of Texas, bought a Steadham (Indiana) sawmill to Texas in 1859. He cut more than a million board feet in the next year. A. J. Ward bought the mill in 1860 and used it on behalf of the Confederacy. After the War, E. L. Goldsmith and M. W. Reagan bought the sawmill but both died during the 1867 yellow fever epidemic in Houston. After their deaths, the property changed ownership several times, and the mill remained abandoned until 1878. Mark Weiss, in 1878, partnered with James F. Ward, H. W. Potter, and W. P. H. McFaddin to form the Reliance Lumber Company. They bought the site and its equipment. See Reliance Lumber company entry at Beaumont.
Research Date: MCJ 03-12-96
Prepared By: M Johnson