Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: WK-44
Corporate Name: L. T. Sloane
Local Name:
Owner Name: L. T. Sloane. George W. Grant.
Location: Subdistrict 152 in 1880, about two miles south of Phelps. Pine Valley.
County: Walker
Years in Operation: 26 years
Start Year: 1879
End Year: 1904
Decades: 1870-1879,1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: 1879 to 1904
Town: Subdistrict 152 in 1880, about two miles south of Phelps. Pine Valley.
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 150 in the 1890s
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: 1880: 12-horsepower steam engine
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 50000: 1893
Capacity Comments: 300,000 feet of lumber during the reporting period of the Census of 1880. 50,000 feet daily by 1890. 50,000 feet in 1893.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill and planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: International & Great Northern
Historicial Development: George W. Grant operated a sawmill south of Phelps from at least 1879 to 1891. Research by W. T. Block revealed that Colonel Grant, a native of Tennessee born in 1842, became a very influential citizen of Huntsville. He served as a county judge and as a director of Sam Houston Normal College. He bought the huge Dodge Plantation to found Grant's Colony. The 1880 Census noted that the sawmill, capitalized at $700, operated for eight months, with a boiler, a twelve-horsepower steam engine, and a circular saw. During the reporting period, the sawmill cut 300,000 feet of lumber valued at $3,000 from $1,650 worth of sawlogs and mill supplies. Grant employed a maximum of six employees. The men worked ten hours on winter days and eleven on summer days. They were paid $.75 a day. Grant paid out a total of $500 in wages. The mill's cutting capacity had increased to 15,000 feet daily by 1893, according to a newspaper article. In June, 1891, Grant sold the sawmill, 3,873 acres of stumpage, a boiler, an engine, tools, twenty-four oxen, five log wagons, and machinery, except the planing mill, to L. T. Sloane. Newspapers of the times variously located the mill at Pine Valley or Phelps; they were about one and a half miles apart. The sawmill was reported to be cutting 50,000 feet daily at Phelps in 1893, according to the “Timbered Texas” article published in the Galveston Weekly News, April 13, 1893. Sloan, who, with his son, Arthur, operated other sawmills at Elmwood, in Polk County. Webb, in the Handbook of Texas, notes that Pine Valley, Walker County, in 1896 had a population of 150, a sawmill, and two stores. The facility was located adjacent to the International & Great Northern tracks about a mile and a half south of Phelps. The post office was discontinued in 1914. According to a mortgage in 1894 to W. S. Gibbs, the mill had a tram road. The (Beaumont) Journal noted in 1894 that L. T. Sloan and Son operated a sawmill at Pine Valley, which is very close to the earlier place, south of Phelps. The mill appeared in the newspapers until 1904.
Research Date: MCJ 03-31-96
Prepared By: M Johnson