J. M. Hemphill Lumber Co.

Standard gauge, -lb rail

Headquarters

Mill Locations: Foley, MS (Perry County) 1906-1914

                          Rhodes, MS (Perry County) 1914-1918

                          Byrd, MS (Greene County) 1918-1923

Mill Capacity: 0,000 ft/day

Years of Operation: 1906-1923

Miles Operated:  miles

Locomotives Owned

Equipment:

 

Click Map for Larger Version

History by Gil Hoffman:

On December 14, 1906, J. M. Hemphill purchased the sawmill belonging to J. M. Foley and his wife, Mamie, for $11,176. This mill was on the Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City Railroad about four miles north of Richton at what became known as Hemphill. With the mill came 440 acres of longleaf yellow pine timber. To operate the Foley mill, the J. M. Hemphill Lumber Company was incorporated at Richton on January 17, 1907, by J. M. Hemphill, S. H. Hemphill and J. M. Robertson, all of Collins in Covington County, with authorized capital stock of $25,000. J. M. Hemphill was president of the company. Hemphill's first improvement to the mill was to build a logging railroad, which was in operation by April 1908. 

About 1910 operation of the mill was leased to the Edward F. Henson Lumber Company with the logs being supplied by J. M. Hemphill. The mill at Hemphill continued in operation until it cut out, probably in early 1914, about the time Hemphill's new mill at Rhodes, two miles to the north, was completed.

Located on the GM&N Blodgett branch at Byrd, the mill site was leased from R. N. Byrd and wife on April 1, 1918, for a period of 5 years at $200 per year. On May 3, 1922, J. M. Hemphill optioned his mill and timber at Byrd to the Colmer-Green Lumber Company, of Colgreen, Greene County, with the sale occurring on August 23, 1923. At that time J. M. Hemphill was living in Clarke County, AL.

Hemphill Shay and McGiffert loader at Byrd, in Greene County.

J. M. Hemphill Lumber Co.'s mill at Rhodes looking southwest.

The Hemphill mill at Rhodes looking northeast. The GM&N mainline is between the mill and the stacks of crossties in the foreground. 

 

A Shay arrives at the mill pond in Rhodes with another trainload of longleaf yellow pine logs.

Hemphill's unusual log loader appears to be home-made.

A view showing most of "downtown" Rhodes across from the mill. The building at right is the lumber company office, and next to it is the company commissary.

J. M. Hemphill Lumber Co. office at Rhodes. 

Hemphill Shay and loader at Byrd.

 

ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:

Foley Mill: 

 

 

Road No.

 

Type

 

Builder

 

C.N.

 

Date

 

Cyls.

 

Dri. Dia.

 

Engine

Wt.

 

Previous Ownership

 

 

Disposition

 

?

 

Saddle

Tank

 

Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36000

 

Unknown.

J. M. Hemphill, by 4/1908.

 

Transferred to Rhodes mill in 1914.

 

Byrd Mill:

 

Road No.

 

Type

 

Builder

 

C.N.

 

Date

 

Cyls.

 

Dri. Dia.

 

Engine

Wt.

 

Previous Ownership

 

Disposition

 

4?

 

28-2

Shay

 

Lima

 

2639

 

4/1913

 

3-8x10

 

27

 

56000

 

Shore Lumber Co. #4, Shore, GA.

J. M. Hemphill Lumber Co.,Bexley, MS,

in 1918.

Transferred to Byrd, MS, by 11/1918.

 

Colmer-Green Lumber Co. #4, Byrd, MS,

on 5/3/1922.

Transferred to Colgreen, MS.

Barnes-Creary Supply Co., Mobile, AL (dealer), by 7/1925.

Hatter & Son #4, Creola, AL, by 12/1925.

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information contact Tony Howe at howe6818@bellsouth.net or David S. Price at dsprice46@bellsouth.net