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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: JA-18
Corporate Name: Kirby Lumber Company Mill U
Local Name:
Owner Name: Kirby Lumber Company Mill U
Location: Evadale, FM 105 north of tracks and historical marker
County: Jasper
Years in Operation: 28 years
Start Year: 1903
End Year: 1930
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919,1920-1929,1930-1939
Period of Operation: 1903 to 1931
Town: Evadale (Ford's Bluff)
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 256 workers in 1918
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Produced pine and cypress lumber and cypress shingles. 1928: longleaf and shortleaf yellow pine.
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: 60000: 1928
Capacity Comments: 60,000 feet per day. 1928: 60,000 feet in sawmill and 70,000 feet in planing mill
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Single circular. 1928: Circular, planing mill, edgers, trimmers, dry kilns
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf, Beaumont, and Kansas City (later Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe) 14-mile logging road
Historicial Development: It is not known if Kirby built or bought his mill at Evadale, but by 1903, Kirby Lumber was making shingles there. The Kirby Lumber Company evaluation done in February 1904 remarked that preparations were then being made to convert the mill into a “cypress lumber as well as a shingle mill.” It was also remarked that the mill could cut long leaf pine supplied over the rails of the Gulf Beaumont and Kansas City line, located just north of the mill, during dry seasons. A log boom was installed in the fall of 1905. The listings for the 1905 and 1907 Reference Book of the Lumbermen's Credit Association note that this was a shingle mill only. A Southern Lumberman report of September 1908 noted that the Kirby mills at Evadale and Bessmay would begin operations again on the first of October. The mill was one of the lowest producing mills in the Kirby chain) but also one of the most consistent. Throughout the 1920s, the mill averaged about 50,000 per day and thirteen million board feet per year. The mill appeared in Kirby records until at least 1929. It is believed the mill closed in 1930. 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. The site of this mill was originally called Ford's Bluff in the Kirby records of 1904. John Henry Kirby, however, later renamed the town Evadale, after Miss Eva Dale, the music teacher at the Southeast Texas Male and Female College in Jasper. The mill employed an average of 256 workers during the year ending December 31, 1918.
Research Date: JKG 9-10-93, 12-6-93, MCJ 04-11-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson