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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: JA-7
Corporate Name: Kirby Lumber Company Mill J
Local Name: Roganville
Owner Name: Kirby Lumber Company. J. H. and W. T. Hooker as Rogansville Lumber Company.
Location: Roganville (Rogan), along railroad tracks
County: Jasper
Years in Operation: 32 years
Start Year: 1899
End Year: 1930
Decades: 1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919,1920-1929,1930-1939
Period of Operation: Hooker Bros, 1895; Kirby Lumber, 1902 until closed in July 1930.
Town: Roganville (Rogan)
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 300 in 1902; 1000 by 1910s; 800 in 1928
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: General lumber products and hardwood flooring. 1928: longleaf yellow pine.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam: two Corliss engines and four boilers.
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 70000: 190455000: 1928
Capacity Comments: 40,000 feet of lumber daily before 1902. 70,000 feet daily in 1904. 55,000 feet each on sawmill and planer in 1928.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: This sawmill had a circular originally, and bandsaw under Kirby ownership with edger, trimmer, and 32-foot shotgun feed. It included a planing mill and acquired kilns in 1905. 1928: Band, planing mill, dry kilns, logging road.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf Beaumont and Kansas City Railway (later Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe)
Historicial Development: The Kirby Lumber Company's Mill “J” at Roganville was originally built by the Hooker Brothers (J. H. and W. T.) in 1899 as the Rogansville Lumber Company. The Hookers constructed a seven-mile tram road to the southeast. The newly formed Kirby Lumber Company acquired the mill on January 1,1902, and began to make mechanical improvements to the facilities, converting the circular saw mill into a single band mill before 1904. J. H. Hooker remained with the mill after its sale to Kirby, serving as mill superintendent. The mill was valued at $38,500 in 1904, before the addition of a dry kiln. By 1905, a dry kiln was added to the saw mill and planer. Kirby operated the Roganville sawmill at least through February 1929, but it is believed the mill was closed by July 1930. However, a company map of 1935 shows Roganville's Mill J as one of the company's mills. The town of Rogan (Roganville) was named for Charles Rogan, a friend of John Henry Kirby. The Kirby commissary at Roganville served not only Kirby employees and their families, but much of the surrounding farming community. Thickety Creek, near Roganville, was described in a 1902 American Lumberman publication as “a poet's dream of sylvan loveliness.” By the end of 1900, the town had a good hotel, an express office, a freight office, and depot. Geared locomotives were used in logging operations to negotiate what Kirby officials called “rough” countryside around Roganville. The mill employed an average of 242 workers during the year ending December 31, 1918. Kirby Lumber company announced in November, 1930, that it was going to close all its mills with the exception of three pine mills until further notice because of the effects of the Depression. Roganville, according to Webb, continued to be the headquarters of Kirby's Camp Eleven until 1937, when it was closed and all installations removed.
Research Date: LT 08-09-93; JKG 12-27-93, MCJ 12-07-95
Prepared By: L. Turner and J. Gerland, M Johnson