Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SB-73
Corporate Name: Norvell Mills
Local Name: Upper Mill and Lower Mill (Norvell's Mills)
Owner Name: Norvell Mills with Liston ( or Lipscomb) Norvell. Louis Letney.
Location: On Mill Creek, near Brookeland, and the intersection of the Angelina River and Ayish Bayou
County: Sabine
Years in Operation: 11 years
Start Year: 1850
End Year: 1860
Decades: 1830-1839,1840-1849,1850-1859,1860-1869
Period of Operation: Early 1830s to 1860. Sawmilling added in the 1850s.
Town: Near Brookeland
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber, cornmeal, cotton
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Water
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 
Capacity Comments: Unknown
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill, cotton gin, grist mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: None
Historicial Development: A newspaper article in 1955 mentioned a mill that Louis Letney operated where the Ayish Bayou and the Angelina River joined in the year 1832. It was probably a water-powered affair, sawing logs for local consumption. The Census of 1850 reports that the d capitalization of the mill was $3,000. Letney employed three workers, whom he paid a total monthly wage of $36. From two thousand logs, valued at $650, 100,000 feet of lumber was manufactured, at a gross value of $1,000. The Census of 1850 reveals that Letney had a second mill in Jasper County, milling 100,000 feet of lumber. According to the Sabine County Reporter, the Lower Mill of L. Norvell (Letney's Mill) was constructed during the early years of the 1830s. This combination mill was first used for ginning cotton and grinding corn. It is to be distinguished from Norvell's Upper Mill, also on Mill Creek, built in 1844, which also used for producing ginned cotton and cornmeal. Letney's mill passed into the control of Norvell after 1850. Sawing was not added until sometime during the 1850s. Norvell Mills water-powered sawmill in Sabine County manufactured 144,000 feet of lumber (valued at $1420) during the census year of 1860 The mills employed one worker, and had a $300 d capital investment.
Research Date: MCJ 02-13-96
Prepared By: M Johnson