Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SH-57
Corporate Name: Dierks Lumber & Coal Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Dierks Lumber & Coal Company. W. M. Waterman Lumber Company.
Location: Waterman, sixteen miles south of Timpson, east of the Attoyac River
County: Shelby
Years in Operation: 13 years
Start Year: 1908
End Year: 1920
Decades: 1900-1909,1920-1929
Period of Operation: About 1908 to 1920
Town: Waterman, south of Timpson
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 200 tenant homes, segregated commissaries and churches, a large hotel, a post office, depot, barber shop, and a drug store.
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Laths, ties, lumber, timbers, piling.
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: 100000: 1915
Capacity Comments: 100,000 in 1915
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Band saws, kilns, planing mill, sawmill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf, Coast & Santa Fe, and the Texas & Gulf Railroad
Historicial Development: W. M. Waterman sold half of his company to Vandervant Lumber Company of Kansas City, Kansas, in 1905. The name remained the same, and the officers were W. F. Ingham, president, W. M. Waterman; vice president; and G. W. Beach, secretary. The Waterman Lumber Company built a second mill in Shelby County about 1908. It was located sixteen miles south of Timpson and connected to it by the company tap-line and logging tram road, the Texas & Gulf. In October 1908, the company, now named the Waterman Lumber and Supply Company, with Hans Dierks, president, W. M. Waterman, vice president and general manager, and F. J. Bushaw, secretary-treasurer, issued company bonds in order to finance large yellow pine and hardwood sawmills at Waterman. Timpson and Waterman were connected by Waterman's private telephone line in 1906. The 1910 Census records for Shelby County that 210 employees worked in Waterman's mills. McCoy does record that labor difficulty occurred in 1913, with nails being driven in the logs. She records that about 200 tenant homes were built. The community also included segregated company commissaries, and churches, a large hotel, a post office, depot, barber shop, and a drug store. The Union Church was shared by Methodists, Disciples of Christ, and Baptists. The community had its share of violence, particularly after moonshine came in with Prohibition; several murders were committed in Waterman. In 1915, the Dierks Coal and Lumber Company, with Hans Dierks, president, and Waterman superintendent, was cutting 100,000 board feet daily of yellow pine, cypress, oak, gum, hickory, ash, walnut, and cottonwood. Bowman and McCoy are inaccurate in their estimates that the mills shut down between 1912 and 1914. W. T. Block is probably closer to the date in his belief the yellow pine mill closed in 1920. Frost Industries of Nacogdoches bought out 47,000 acres of stumpage in Shelby County, and the Waskom mill and lands in Harrison County.
Research Date: LT 08-17-93, MCJ 02-29-96
Prepared By: L Turner, M Johnson