Bentley & Emery Lumber Co.
Standard gauge, 35 & 60-lb rail
Headquarters: Richton, MS
Mill Locations: Richton, MS (Perry County)
Ovett, MS (Jones County)
Mill Capacity: 100,000 ft/day (Richton)
Years of Operation: 1907-1928
Miles Operated: 16 miles in 1928
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History by Gil Hoffman:
In April 1907 Charles S. Bentley purchased a mill site on the southwest edge of Richton, Perry County, and began construction of a sawmill plant. About October 1907 the mill was completed and placed in operation. It was of the circular type with a cutting capacity of 45,000 feet per day and specialized in small timbers and dimension stock cut from longleaf yellow pine.
November 1908 the name of the firm was changed to Bentley & Emery after
Eugene A. Emery became a partner. Both
men were originally from Pennsylvania.
In addition to the old mill, a new and larger mill began operation at
Richton in January 1910. The
new mill was also of the circular type with machinery by Clarke Brothers. Its cutting capacity was from 75,000 to 100,000 feet per day,
specializing in heavy timbers as long as 80 feet, for railroad purposes and
the export trade.
early 1910, when the second mill began operation, the timber holdings of
Bentley & Emery amounted to about 120,000,000 feet of longleaf yellow
pine. In August 1912 the
company purchased 12,000 acres of Blodgett timber in Jones and Perry
The large mill at Richton was closed in October 1917 and moved to Ovett, Jones County. Operations at Ovett began about September 1918, after which the remaining mill at Richton was dismantled and sold. The Ovett mill cut out in the latter part of 1928.
Two Bentley & Emery trains meet in the woods west of Richton to exchange loads and empties.
Bentley & Emery's large mill at Ovett about 1920. The logging railroad to the northeast is on the left.
|ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:
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