The Red River Lumber Company is located at Frostville, Ark., on the Shreveport division of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, fifteen and one-half miles from Lewisville, Ark., and has the oldest mill of the Frost-Trigg interests. It was chartered November 5, 1890, with $100,000 capital stock.
The first directors of the company were John A. Roberts, Charles E. Bramble, Robert L. Trigg -- all still living -- and William R. Kelley, now dead.
The first mill was located a mile south of what was then New Lewisville, Ark., on the "Cotton Belt" road, at Kelley’s Station.
E. W. Frost had already achieved saw mill wisdom and money before this company was organized, and it is no disparagement to the effort -- and historically true -- that the Red River Lumber Company needed Mr. Frost's saw mill wisdom and money very much, and secured both, on June 17, 1891. E. A. Frost, the son of E. W. Frost, and now the governing executive of 90 percent of the Frost interests in the southwest, became identified with the company in the spring of 1891. Milton Winham, the present secretary, treasurer and active manager of the business of the company, came into the business as a bookkeeper July 9, 1903, and at the following stockholders' meeting became secretary.
E. W. Frost was made president in October, 1893, and Milton Winham secretary. Both of these gentlemen have served ever since in those capacities. In November, 1893, the present location at Frostville, Ark., was secured and early in 1895 the saw mill was moved from Kelley's Station to Frostville, but the planing mill was left at Kelleys to work out the stock on hand; it was destroyed by fire in April of that year.
Ground was broken at Frostville, Ark., March 26, 1895, and a planing mill was erected during the spring and early summer of that year. In 1895 E. A. Frost was made business manager of the company.
On the organization of the Lufkin Land & Lumber Company, in the spring of 1899, E. A. Frost left and went into the active organization of the Lufkin enterprise. At that time Milton Winham was made resident manager of the Red River Lumber Company, and since that time he has been in active charge of all the affairs of the company at Frostville subject to the direction of President E. W. Frost, of Texarkana. On April 10, 1902, the saw mill at Frostville was destroyed by fire. Another mill -- the present one -- was erected the same year, and began operations on September 9. An historical fact in connection with the company is that it has never brought suit, nor has suit been brought against it, during its long and successful career. The present officers are E. W. Frost, president; T. M. Dean, vice president, and Milton Winham, secretary and treasurer.
Frostville Timber Operations.
The timber operations of the Red River Lumber Company have been confined entirely to Lafayette county, Arkansas. The company has purchased to date, and still owns in fee simple, 38,000 acres of land in that county. Besides this ownership of lands in fee simple it has bought, all told, 12,000 acres of timber rights, and has cut over in the years of its operations about 43,000 acres.
The timber on the possessions of the Red River Lumber Company has been and still is, where uncut, about 75 percent shortleaf yellow pine and 25 percent hardwoods.
The land possessions of the company are low and level. The railroad building is never a difficult problem, and the logging a matter of banking in the dry season preparatory for the Tains which follow. The timber on the possessions of the company has never been cut mercilessly, as timber has been cut in many places, except possibly in the last two or three years, when all of it has been taken that could be utilized. Some of the lands might be cut over now with profit and in twenty years it could all certainly be cut over again with results satisfactory to the owners.
The timber cut has produced a high quality of lumber and it is still up to the mark in every respect, running now, as it always has, about 33-1/3 percent to uppers.
The active logging operations have always been done by contract, the present firm of contractors being Allen & Easley, J. R. Allen and R. H. Easley. Now in use are about five miles of main line, logging railway, and two miles of spurs and enough is planned to make thirteen miles, all of which will be built before all the timber will be harvested.
One of the interesting facts is that in all the seventeen years of its history this company has owned but one locomotive, a 28-ton affair, which has all that time been in active service and is still doing daily and effective work.
It is the policy of the log contractors to take the timber back of the spurs, about 600 yards on an average, logging with 4-wheel wagons about six months out of the year, logging from the line farthest away from the spur in toward the spur, so that the nearby timber can be hauled in the rainy season, saving the timber for this purpose about 150 yards on either side of the track.
J. R. Allen is vigorous in his praise of the service of the "American" log loader and says that it is run only about one-third of its capacity to get the requisite amount of logs secured.
Handling Logs at Frostville.
The log pond at Frostville, Ark., is small but it is of just the right character. A remarkable picture was made there which with undoubtedly be recognize, in this article without even a foot note to indicate which picture it is. This pond is 500 feet long and 300 feet wide, will 400,000 feet of logs and kept full all the round.
The Saw Mill at Frostville.
The saw mill at Frostville is contained in a building standing east and west in general direction and has an area of [text missing] feet.
The framing of this mill is put directly on a brick and concrete foundation. The framing of the stairs is 14x14 inches resting on brick and concrete foundation in combination. The framing stairs for the second [text missing] the half story is [text missing] inches.
The engine and boiler house is a frame affair, covered with metal siding and roofing, and is erected just north of the saw mill. The boilers consist of two horizontal tubular affairs, 66 inches in diameter and 18 feet long, built by the Brownell Boiler Company, of Dayton, Ohio. There are Dutch ovens set in brick. The boilers are fed automatically. The engine is a McDonough 20x20 inches in size, rotary valve.
On the saw floor are Filer & Stowell band, with 8-inch wheel and a 12-inch face, and a shotgun feed 10 inches in diameter. The 3-block carriage, which will cut up to 24 feet, is a Filer & Stowell. The edger on this saw floor is a [text missing] gang made by the Filer & Stowell Company. The saw trimmer and live [missing text] were also made by the Filer & Stowell Company. The slab carrier runs directly to the west and is 250 feet long.
The average daily capacity of this saw mill is 55,000 feet. It, however, has cut as much as 73,279 feet of inch boards in one day, this run having been made in July, 1906.
Dry Kilns at Frostville.
The dry kilns at Frostville, Ark., are of the Standard variety and consist of two rooms, each 20x110 feet in area.
These kilns are remarkably well built and are constructed with pressed brick and have asbestos roofing.
The walls are thirteen inches thick. The steam for dry kilns comes from a boiler in the planing mill battery situated 250 feet west of the dry kilns.
Planing Mill at Frostville.
The planing mill at Frostvllle was built in the spring of 1895 and is 54x110 feet in area. The boiler and shaving house at the north end of the planing mill plant is 25x60 feet. The brick shaving room is 16x25 feet. The boilers, located in the boiler house, are two in number, manufactured by Walsh & Wiedner, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and are of high pressure type, 66 inches in diameter and 18 feet long.
The engine is 16x24, built by the Murray Iron Works, of Burlington, Iowa, and stands in the corner of the planing mill building proper on a combination brick and concrete foundation. In this planing mill are four Hall & Brown Woodworking Machine Company molders; one S. A. Woods molder; one resaw; one two-saw edger; five cutoff saws; one 50-inch Sturtevant blower; one Cyclone self-feed for furnaces, and necessary filing machinery. A Dean Bros. air compressor is located in the boiler house for use in the deep well.
Lumber Handling at Frostvllle.
The lumber from the tail of the mill falls on to sorting chains, running south from the southwest corner of the building, where it is graded and the common lumber taken off and loaded on "dollies." Twenty dollies, manipulated by fourteen men, put this common lumber in pile. The yard is so systematized that each length goes on to separate trams. The lumber is piled "down and up." These trams are eight feet from the ground and the lumber is piled as high as it can be jacked. There are in the yard 6,280 lineal feet of tramways, the decks all of oak. Two thousand feet of these trams are 16 feet wide and 4,280 feet 12 feet wide.
The good lumber, or "B and better," goes on the sorting chains direct to a point 135 feet south of the mill, where it is stacked by two men and two boys on kiln trucks.
Coming out of the kilns the flooring strips are usually taken directly to the planing mill and worked and graded and put direct on cars or in the dressed lumber shed.
The finish coming from the kilns usually goes directly by truck to the rough dry shed, where it is graded and sorted as to both widths and lengths and placed in bins. This shed holds 800,000 feet, is 58x175 feet in area and stands 200 feet south of the dry kilns.
The dressed sheds are south of the planing mill and adjacent to loading trams. The one along loading tram is 20x350 feet; the other stands at right angles to the one just mentioned. These trams hold 1,000,000 feet of dressed lumber. The loading dock is 800 feet long and will accommodate twenty cars.
Fire Protection at Frostvllle.
At the saw mill is a well 6 inches in diameter and 160 feet in depth which produces 75,000 gallons of water daily. This water is used only for the engine at the saw mill and the overflow goes into a tank holding 20,000 gallons. The general overflow enters the log pond. A suction pipe for the fire pump is connected with the tank and also with the mill pond and could furnish a supply of about 4,000,000 gallons.
The mains about the mill are four inches in diameter and the mill is protected inside and out with hydrants, placed at proper points about the building, to which hose is continually connected. There are the usual number of barrels and buckets disposed at proper points for fire fighting.
The lineal length of piping equals about 4,700 feet. There are thirty hydrants and two general fire pumps, one 12x8x2 and one 12x6x12.
All points of the plant are connected by a Patrick ft Carter Company watchman's clock service, with a time indicator in the office and five stations.
Electric Lights at Frostvllle.
The dynamo for the production is located in the boiler house, adjacent to the planing mill, and the power is applied by a Frost Manufacturing Company 30-horsepower engine made at Galesburg, Ill., the steam supplied by the planing mill boilers. The dynamo has a voltage of 250 and is an Eddy, direct current, supplied by the Western Electric Supply Company, of St. Louis, Mo. There are in use about 250 16-candle power lamps and five arc lamps.
Mercantile End at Frostvllle.
A general merchandise store is maintained in a building 40x100 feet in size. In this building are the Western Union Telegraph office, St. Louis Southwestern ticket office and postoffice and office of the physician of the lumbering community.
The store does not cater to country trade and is run almost exclusively for the benefit of the employees of the company. E. E. Williams manages the business with the assistance of one clerk and is also telegraph operator, railway ticket agent, postmaster and notary public.
Miscellaneous Frostvllle Affairs.
Frostvllle, Ark., will probably be a thing of the past as a saw mill town in two years and a half from the present time. The business there, although of very great importance, is manipulated by fewer men than that of almost any other prominent institution of its character in the southwest.
Frostvllle is connected by long-distance telephone with various independent lines of the southwest and through independent lines at various points with the Bell Telephone Company, the Southwestern Telephone Company etc.
There are ample schools and a union church where services are held. The various amusements etc. are given in the school building and Frostvllle is the home of Arkansas Lodge No. 527 A. F. & A. M.
By an arrangement made by the Red River Lumber Company all employees, whether married or single, pay $1 a month for medical service.