The Noble Lumber Company, located at Noble, La., on the main line of the Kansas City Southern railway, fifty-six miles south of Shreveport, is the second plant instituted by the Frost interests.
The Noble Lumber Company as it now stands is practically owned by and is under the management of the De Soto Land & Lumber Company, of Mansfield, La., and is in itself successor to the R. L. Trigg Lumber Company, organized in 1899, the succession by the Noble Lumber Company occurring April 24, 1902. The town of Noble was founded in 1897. This town, including the saw mill population, has about 1,500 inhabitants and Western Union telegraph and Wells-Fargo express facilities.
The timber being logged for use at Noble is of a very superior quality, a fine grained, shortleaf yellow pine, comprehended in medium sized logs, running very uniform in character. These logs are brought in over a narrow gage road which runs in general direction a little to the north of west from Noble. The main line of this railroad is seven miles long and the spur tracks now in use are about five miles long. Although this road is one of short inclines and deep cuts it is logged exclusively with road engines, one being a 16-ton Baldwin, another a 30-ton Rogers and still another a 30-ton Brooks of the mogul type. The rail is 40 and 35-pound. There are used a total of nineteen cars, including one feed car. To manipulate the railroad there are altogether twenty-five employees.
Woods Operations at Noble.
The woods operations at Noble are done from one logging camp, five miles from the mill, where thirty-five houses are in use for black and white and five bored wells supply the water. This will be the logging headquarters for three or four years to come.
This is the only one of the mills of these interests where the logging is done as a part of the mill work, in a direct way, and employed to do this work, all told, are just thirty-two men.
In the line of "stock" 6 horses, 17 mules and 36 oxen are used. To get the logs to the spur side 3 carts, 3 four-wheel wagons and 3 eight-wheel wagons are used, so it can readily be seen what a varied process is the logging of the Noble Lumber Company.
A branch of the store at Noble is located in the woods for the convenience of the men installed at the woods camps.
All of this very particularly itemized story of the railway and the woods operations is entered into to indicate what a few men and a well managed small equipment can accomplish, which will be illustrated by this last statement -- viz. -- with this outfit there is delivered to the mill at Noble each working day 65,000 feet of logs.
The Saw Mill at Noble.
The saw mill of the Noble Lumber Company stands back of the Kansas City Southern railway at Noble, to the west, one-eighth of a mile, on a prominent knoll. Its general direction is north and south.
The logs are banked on two ramps on either side of a track, upon which a low decked car is run down from the log deck of the mill the whole length of the two ramps, and the logs are loaded on the car and hauled into the mill as needed.
The saw mill is a double band, but at the present time only one side of the mill is being run, which is producing an average of 50,000 feet daily, board measure. This mill bears a notable record, having accomplished the sawing of 87,000 feet of lumber in one day. It began to make lumber October 28, 1899, and has run steadily ever since.
The saw mill building is 40x170 feet in area. On the ground floor are the usual "niggers," steam trips, log loaders, line shafts etc.
On the saw floor are the two band mills, one a Filer & Stowell running a 12-inch saw on an 8-inch wheel and an Allis-Chalmers 3-block carriage, run by an 8-inch shotgun feed. The second mill is a McDonough Manufacturing Company affair and has a McDonough 4-block carriage and an 8-inch shotgun feed. This mill is not being run at present.
The edger is a 6-saw McDonough and there is an Allis-Chalmers 26-foot trimmer. The filing room on the east side of the mill building is 30x40 feet in area and contains a full complement of filing room tools for band and circular saws.
The power house on the west side of the saw mill building, 30x30 feet in area, contains two boilers, one 56 inches by 16 feet and one 48 inches by 16 feet. A Worthington double cylinder pump is used for both boiler feed and fire protection purposes and has the usual number of injectors and complementary devices. Next to the boiler house is the engine room, 18x26 feet in area, containing a Houston, Stanwood & Gamble engine, 20x28 inches. The slab conveyor is 250 feet long, the chain made up of 7/8-inch 6-inch lengths. There are three smoke stacks to the boiler plant, each sixty feet high.
Dry Kilns at Noble.
The dry kiln at Noble consists of two rooms, will hold 90,000 feet of lumber, is of the Standard variety, in area 48x122 feet, will dry 30,000 feet of lumber daily, and the lumber is put into the kiln endwise. These kilns are built of brick with very thick walls, are situated 200 feet east of the saw mill and are reached by elevated trams from all directions necessary.
The steam for use in the drying of lumber is generated in a separate boiler house, the building being 20x40 feet in area located 65 feet south of the kilns. The boiler is 64 inches by 16 feet. In this room are an automatic pump and injector of the Gardiner variety.
At the dry kiln boiler house is the general shaving vault for the plant, 16x20 feet in area. There is located the separator. The fan is on the planing mill. The pipe extends from the separator to the planing mill and from the planing mill to the saw mill and is altogether 1,060 feet long, 21 inches in diameter, and was erected by the Shreveport Sheet Iron Works & Blow Pipe Company.
The Planing Mill at Noble.
The planing mill stands just west of the main line track of the Kansas City Southern railway, nearly opposite the depot at that point, and is in the main building 80x110 feet in area, standing north and south in general direction.
The boiler house is on the north end, is 24x36 feet in area and contains an Erie Engine Works boiler, 72 inches by 16 feet. The engine is a 16x24 made by G. B. Hodgeman at Erie, Pa.
The planing mill contains one 18-inch matcher; one 15-inch matcher; two 7-inch matchers; one 10-inch molder; one resaw and one edger, all made by the Hall & Brown Woodworking Machine Company of St. Louis, Mo., and one 50-inch B. F. Sturtevant blower and fan.
The filing room of the planing mill is 16x20 in area and is well equipped with all necessary machinery. It is driven by the general engine for this part of the plant. The smokestack of the planing mill is 24 inches in diameter and 65 feet high.
Handling Lumber at Noble.
The lumber yard at Noble is spread out between the line of the Kansas City Southern railway and the saw mill building.
The lumber comes down an inclined conveyor from the tail of the mill and drops to a 3-chain sorter, 20 feet wide, which runs to the east for 120 feet.
The tramways on both sides of this conveyor are twenty feet wide and the inch common is taken off on the north side and the 2-inch common on the south side of this sorter by two men.
Two-wheel lumber buggies have been provided which take the common lumber to the yards; about sixty of these buggies are in use. The clear lumber goes direct to the kiln and is hand stacked by two men.
The greatest amount of common lumber is sent to the yards direct, but a small percentage of this common lumber is sent to the dry kiln on rush orders etc.
The common lumber is separated and put along each side of ten trams, all told 6,280 feet in length.
The lumber coming from the kilns which is not sent direct to the planer goes to the rough dry sheds, 320 feet east of the kilns, by way of "dollies." This shed is 300 feet long and 20 feet wide and holds at least a million feet of lumber. It is 200 feet from the planer, and the lumber is taken from the sheds to the planer by dollies.
After the lumber is planed, and if it is not to be put directly on the ears, it is trucked by dollies to the dressed lumber sheds; the shed 20x120 feet; the siding shed 20x100 feet in area.
The flooring sheds, three in number, situated north of the planing mill, are 20x175 feet, 20x150 feet, and 20x120 feet in area, and hold a million feet of lumber.
The loading docks at Noble ore 750 feet long and twenty cars con be loaded at a time, the daily capacity for loading being four cars.
Miscellaneous Matters at Noble.
Fire protection at Noble is very complete. There are one deep well at the planer, with a 3-inch discharge, with a capacity of 150,000 gallons every twelve hours; a deep well elsewhere in the plant, 480 feet deep with 4-inch discharge, with a proportionate daily capacity above the first mentioned well; a pond which covers ten or twelve acres from which the water is regularly used; and two ground tanks for water storage purposes 20x20x12 feet in dimension and holding gallons each.
There are altogether three fire pumps, one at the planing mill, one at the saw mill and one at the pond, which can all be attached to the water lines either separately or together.
There is, throughout the yard, the necessary piping hose, hydrants, water barrels and complement of buckets.
South of the dry kilns is a building 16x20 feet in size where is housed the electric light plant, consisting of an Erie City Iron Works engine, 8x12 inches in size, and a dynamo installed by Spranley & Reed, of New Orleans. Four arc lights are in use in and about the plant and a sufficient number of 16-candle power lights to light the offices, the store and various necessary portions of the plant.
Noble is connected with the Southwestern Telephone Company; it has not now a private system of its own but will probably install such a system soon.
The fire protection is made more effective by a 12-station Newman watchman’s alarm. Two regular watchmen are employed in a general sense, and one extra man for the dry kilns.
Noble has a Chapter of Woodmen of the World; a Baptist and Methodist church, medical service provided by the company at $1.25 a month for the married men and 75 cents a month for the single men. The only strictly amusement venture that the town contains is a well patronized skating rink.
Noble supports a very superior common school; 150 pupils are now in attendance, presided over by two very competent teachers. A fine picture of the school house, with the children let out for noon, was secured by the Lumberman’s artist and is printed elsewhere.