At Deweyville Texas, the Peavy-Moore Lumber Company operate a very large and interesting sawmill plant that is one of the truly transformation industries of the Southwest.
The Sabine Tram Company, built and operated Deweyville. Twenty-two years ago they ran out of timber, and shut the mill down for good. Along came A. J. Peavy, of Shreveport, and, having some timber left close to that point, he bought the mill to cut that timber. It looked like a few years run. Today, twenty-two years later, Peavy-Moore is not only operating the entire big plant at full blast, but is making continual improvements and modernizations there. During the past year more improvements have been made at Deweyville than in all the previous history of the mill. Like various other Southwestern Yellow Pine mills, this one seems to be just getting ready to do some real operating, a generation after it was supposed to be through.
Those who have read previous descriptions of Deweyville in these columns will remember that there are two separate sawmills at the plant, a very large Pine mill at one end, and an excellent hardwood mill at the other. The Pine mill is equipped with two double-cutting bands, a big gang, two edgers, an air-set trimmer, and is a highly efficient mill throughout. The hardwood mill is equipped with one band mill, and the entire hardwood department is separate from the Pine, with the exception of the kiln-drying, which will be mentioned presently. In both the Pine and hardwood mills they save out all the good edgings, slabs, and shorts, to supply their amazing remanufacturing department.
They cut big timbers for export and domestic use at Deweyville, and yard and shed stock of every description; but Deweyville has gone as deeply as any other Southwestern mill into the business of making small, clear lumber into valuable and salable manufactured articles. All the clear shorts, slabs, and edgings are sent through the dry kilns, then stacked in a dry shed, after which at their leisure they put it through the cut-up department which occupies one entire end of the big planing mill. Here they have a battery of re-saws, cut-off saws, planers of workers of all kinds, a small forest of such machinery. They rip, trim, edge, dress, and work the stuff into at least a hundred different items of clear, small pieces of lumber for special and particular uses, both Pine and hardwoods. When it comes out of the work-shop and goes to the storage and shipping department you will find great stacks of attractive-looking, polished wood as small as one-third of an inch thick and three-fourths of an inch wide. The most of it goes into crate and box stock, others into lawn furniture, table, toy, bed and general furniture stock.
All their Yellow Pine lumber is stored in a battery of big rough and dressed sheds. Nothing is left out in the weather. At the hardwood sawmill the Gum and Magnolia is all dipped in Dowicide, and the entire product of the mill then goes to the extensive yards for drying. A continually larger portion of their hardwood product calls for final kiln drying before shipment, which is one reason for the building of the exceptionally large and fine new battery of dry kilns they now have in use.
Their old battery of dry kilns burned, so they went into the dry kiln business properly, and built a highly modernized set of cross-circulation type, four double kilns in number, which not only season the entire product of the Yellow Pine sawmill, but also all the hardwood lumber desired. The new kilns are the pride and joy of the Deweyville plant, together with the enlarged cooling sheds that back the kilns.
Another important addition and improvement to the plant is a new adjunct to the planing mill. At one side of the planer they erected an additional shed, and in this shed they have installed a big straight-line edger. All the crooked lumber that develops in the kilns and planer goes to this machine for straightening. No more crooked lumber comes from the Deweyville mill. This straight-liner is a big one, and performs a wonderful service.
This straight-line rip together with the new cross-circulation kilns means an improved character of lumber from Deweyville. Their Pine timber is young, thrifty, sound stock. The hardwood is all big, virgin timber. Deweyville cuts about thirty million feet of lumber every year, and is making continually better lumber. Cecil Smith, the very able manager at Deweyville ever since the Peavy interests bought it, has conducted a campaign of education among his key men, and never lets them forget that the future of Deweyville entirely depends on their making the very best lumber possible to produce out of their logs, and he is very proud of the results.
In addition to the improvements that have been mentioned in the manufacturing department proper, there are other new and attractive units at Deweyville. A new and modern office building has replaced the old one, with the post office in the rear, and Mr. Smith's attractive office in one of the front corners. Across the street there is a big new commissary. Both these new buildings are of attractive architecture and well painted. They make the central section of the old mill town look decidedly new.
O. N. Cloud, Vice President and General Manager of the Peavy-Moore Lumber Company, at Shreveport, is a continual visitor at Deweyville. The Pine product is sold through the Shreveport office of the company, Wm. A. Peavy being Sales Manager. The hardwood lumber is sold through the Peavy Hardwood Agency, of Beaumont.