Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: HD-58
Corporate Name: Nona-Fletcher Lumber Company
Local Name: Nona Mills Lumber Company
Owner Name: Nona-Fletcher Lumber Co. Meeks-Anderson Lumber Company. William Cameron & Company. Nona Mills Company with Frank R. Carroll & William R. Carroll. Carroll & Son. F. L. Carroll, president; G. R. Ferguson, vice president; John N. Gilbert, secretary-trea
Location: Nona (Carrollton) , about three miles south of Kountze
County: Hardin
Years in Operation: 40 years
Start Year: 1881
End Year: 1920
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919,1920-1929
Period of Operation: Carroll, 1881-1899; Cameron, 1902-1910; Meeks-Anderson, 1910-1913; Nona-Fletcher, 1913-1920.
Town: Nona (Carrollton)
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Approximately 500
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished 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: 160000: 1906 (two mills)60000: 189060000: 1895
Capacity Comments: 60,000 feet of lumber daily in 1890, 70,000 in 1893, and 60,000 in 1905. Two mills in 1906: 85,000 and 75,000.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Two sawmills, planer, and “Arkansas” type dry kilns.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: East Texas Railroad. Texas & New Orleans.
Historicial Development: William R. Carroll built one of the first steam sawmills in Hardin County about three miles south of Kountze in 1881. The mill was in operation by June of that year, and cut ties for the Sabine & East Texas railroad, which was then building from Beaumont to Rockland. By 1884, W. R. Carroll surrendered ownership of the business to his brother, Frank L. Carroll, and the company appeared as F. L. Carroll & Son, or Nona Mills Company. The town name, Nona, was supposedly named for a “sweetheart of one of the owners.” The plant at Nona also had only one planing machine at this time and still used the primitive “Arkansas” dry kilns. These were racks constructed to dry lumber by maintaining a slow burning fire several feet below the stacked boards. Constant supervision was required to make certain the whole construction did not burn. The plant and tram were dismantled and moved to Leesville in 1899 by the owners. William Cameron and Company in 1902 took control of this mill site. Apparently the mill maintained the operating name of Nona Mills Company. Also it seems Cameron built a second mill under its own company name at Nona. In 1906, Nona Mills is listed as cutting 85,000 feet daily and the Cameron mill 75,000 feet daily. Cameron's logging tram reached the Big Thicket in 1907, and the end was in sight. John E. West was manager of the mill under Cameron ownership. Upon the remaining timber being cut out, the mill closed on May 31, 1910, and was sold to the Meeks-Anderson Lumber Company. The Meeks-Anderson operated the mill to 1913, when it sold the mill to Benton Lumber Company. Benton Lumber reorganized itself into the Nona-Fletcher Lumber Company, with Ben Hooks as principle stockholder . The mill continued running until it burned in 1920 with an estimated loss of $50,000. The company town in 1905 consisted of seventy-five houses, a commissary, a church, a dispensary, and a school with forty-six students in 1905. At least 250 men were employed by the mill.
Research Date: JKG 10-13-93, MCJ 04-14-96
Prepared By: J Gerland, M Johnson