A. DeWeese Lumber Co. (1913-1914)

DeWeese-Rodgers Lumber Co. (1914-1921)

DeWeese-Gammill Lumber Co. (1921-1923)

A. DeWeese Lumber Co. (1923-1928)

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

Other Equipment:



Click Map for Larger Version

History by Gil Hoffman:

In 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."


The mill cut out in the first half of 1928.




HISTORY  from DeWeese family website:


The 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.


He 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.


The 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.

This 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.

The 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:   

2                    2T Heisler             Heisler                1265             -1912      33     13x12                 72000


                      Purchased by DeWeese-Rodgers Lumber Co., from Beaver Dam Lumber Co. #2, Earl, MS.

                      For sale 12-1927.


3                    0-4-4F         Rhode Island                                                                                       


                      Purchased secondhand.


142                2-6-2                          Lima                1136         10-1910      40     14x18                 74000


                      Purchased by DeWeese-Rodgers Lumber Co., from Savannah & Southern #142, Letford, GA, about 1919.







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For more information contact Tony Howe at tonyhowe76@yahoo.com or David S. Price at dsprice46@bellsouth.net