Standard gauge, 35-lb rail
Headquarters: Philadelphia, MS
Mill Location: DeWeese, MS (Neshoba County)
Mill Capacity: 40,000 ft/day
Years of Operation: 1913-1928
Miles Operated: 10 miles in 1914
Locomotives Owned: 3 known
Click Map for Larger Version
by Gil Hoffman:
the fall of 1913 A. DeWeese built a circular sawmill with a cutting capacity
of 40,000 feet per day at Philadelphia, Neshoba County. The mill was located
at DeWeese Spur, on the New Orleans, Mobile & Chicago, between
Philadelphia and Deemer. Initially it was operated under the name A. DeWeese
Lumber Company, but in February 1914, when W. C. Rodgers bought a half
interest in the company, the name was changed to "DeWeese-Rodgers
Lumber Company." In October 1921, after Rodgers sold his interest to
Stewart Gammill, of Jackson, MS, the name became "DeWeese-Gammill
Lumber Company." Finally, in February 1923 Gammill sold his interest to
DeWeese and the name reverted to "A. DeWeese Lumber Company."
mill cut out in the first half of 1928.
from DeWeese family website:
A DeWeese Lumber Company was started by Ab DeWeese, father of Arwin, Edwin ,
DeWitt, Pete, Martha, Tom and Elizabeth. Ab DeWeese started operating a
small sawmill in the eastern part of Neshoba County where he lived in 1894,
moving to sawmilling operations and the store to Philadelphia in 1905 when
the railroad came through.
sawmilled for several years north of town and moved to the present site (now
Weyerhaeuser Company) in 1911. A few years later he built a logging railroad
six or eight miles to the east and this railroad was later extended and also
used by the mills at Deemer. This railroading operation and band sawmill was
in use through the Twenties, cut out in 1929, but Ab DeWeese was already
making -of his lumber with feeder mills located in the woods. After that he
continued with small portable mills, bringing the lumber to the Philadelphia
plant for further processing, drying, dressing and shipping. A picture of
the type of train rigs used by Mr. Ab is shown below. It is not known
whether this is one of his trains.
depression of the early Thirties hit the lumber industry in 1929 and was a
significant period in the history of A. DeWeese and his lumber
operation as it saw him largely lose what he had accumulated from many years
of work and investment. Ab DeWeese was noted for his efforts to continue
operating the plant through the depression so that his employees could earn
enough wages to buy groceries for their families, as contrasted with many
firms which shut down entirely for their own best interest. Tom DeWeese and
Pete DeWeese joined the management of the company in 1934 and 1935,
respectively, and in 1936 built a very small stationary sawmill on the site
of the old sawmill which is the same site as the present sawmill.
mill was operated and added to for several years and then about 1940 was
replaced by a small two Story sawmill. This mill was added to and was
operated by two shifts during World War II in an effort to make all of the
lumber possible for the war effort. This mill was torn down and replaced in
1956 by a large modern sawmill.Modern dry kilns had been started in about
1933 and others were added later, and about this time the company started
buying lift trucks and straddle for handling, to replace old wooden tramways
and hand pushed buggies.
company was Incorporated in Mardi 1939 and A. DeWeese, the founder, died in
August 1939. Tom DeWeese was elected President and Treasurer ; Pete DeWeese
was elected vice president and Secretary, and they held these positions
until the company was sold to Weyerhaeuser.
|ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:
Purchased by DeWeese-Rodgers
Lumber Co., from Beaver Dam Lumber Co. #2, Earl, MS.
For sale 12-1927.
Purchased by DeWeese-Rodgers Lumber Co., from Savannah &
Southern #142, Letford, GA, about 1919.