The T. U. Norton Lumber Company, of Haynesville, La., was organized in 1904 for the purpose of handling the output of the several mills in which the members are interested. T. U. Norton, of Haynesville, acts in the official capacities, while his son, A. O. Norton, is manager of the mill at Dykesville, where M. E. Norton, a nephew, has charge of the woods operation. At the point known as Norton’s Shop another mill is being operated with A. E. Norton and J. W. Norton, brothers, as manager and general superintendent respectively.
The early history of the Norton family and the present business dated back to the arrival of the father, J. W. Norton, at Homer, in Claibourne parish, Louisiana, in 1854, where he conducted a saw mill until the Civil war. He came from Troupe county, Georgia, and was en route to California, but did not go farther than Louisiana. In 1859 he located at what has since become known as Norton’s Shop, about six miles west of the present town of Haynesville. Here the family grew up, and when T. U. Norton came to an age when it was time for him to engage in business for himself he opened a blacksmith shop and for the convenience of the community added a cotton gin, to which in 1893 a saw mill of 8,000 feet capacity was added. This mill was run for seven years and the larger equipment was gradually added until the present equipment includes the saw mill of 16,000 feet capacity, and edger, combination planer etc. In this enterprise he was assisted by his brothers, A. E. and J. W. Norton. The sons of T. U. Norton grew up in the shop and mill, and in 1904 bought the old mill at Dykesville, three miles south of the shop and seven miles southwest of Haynesville. This mill was improved by the substitution of the present equipment, and has a daily capacity of 20,000 feet.
The Norton Timber.
The pine timber in Claibourne parish is entirely shortleaf. The timber possessions of the Nortons have not been at any time heavy, but purchases have been made as required for the needs of the mills.
It might almost he said that the condition of the lumber business as represented by the T. U. Norton Lumber Company at Haynesville is prophetic of the probable condition of the lumber producing sections of the south in the next quarter century. The timber which is being cut is the remnant of former great forests, from sections where it was too scattered for the larger operators to go after it, and the newer growth which has become large enough for profitable cutting. The logs are hauled direct to the mill, and the lumber to the railway.