Great Eastern

Ikeler & McKinnon (1898-1904)

P. M. Ikeler (1904-1915)

36" Gauge 20 and 35-lb rail

Headquarters: Moselle (Tuscanola), MS

Mill Capacity: 50,000 ft/day

Years of Operation: 1898-1915

Predecessor Roads: Albertson Great Eastern

Successor Roads: none

Miles Operated: about 12

Locomotives Owned: 3


12-ton Grant 0-4-0T

25-ton Heisler

25-ton Baldwin 2-6-0

9 log cars in 1904

Click Map for Larger Version

History by Gil Hoffman:

On November 1, 1898 J. T. McKinnon and Philip M. Ikeler purchased the assets of the late W. C. Albertson, at Moselle, MS, from John Kamper. The purchase included sawmill, planing mill, dry kilns, machine shop, 28 head of oxen, timber, tram road and locomotives. Kamper had obtained this property on September 16, 1898 from C. W. Robinson who had been trustee on a deed of trust from W. C. Albertson, dated October 6, 1896. 

On November 12, 1904 McKinnon sold his interest in the property to Ikeler for $30,000. When Ikeler took over, the logging equipment consisted of a 25-ton Heisler, a 12-ton Grant rod engine, 9 log cars, 11 log wagons and 52 head of oxen.

The Ikeler mill was closed from December 1907 until July 20, 1908 as a result of the Panic of 1907. During the period of shutdown, Ikeler kept his sawmill workers busy clearing cut-over lands for farming.

 On Sunday morning, October 10, 1909, the sawmill was completely destroyed by fire. Rebuilding began almost immediately and reached completion in February 1910. The new mill was a circular type of Filer & Stowell make with a daily cutting capacity of 50,000 ft. It employed about 75 men and manufactured general stock for the interior trade with a specialty of rift-sawed flooring.

In August 1915 the Ikeler mill cut out, after which the planing mill continued to operate for about two months. In the fall of 1918 the mill was sold to McWilliams, Wells & Pearson and moved to Grafton, in Greene County, on the G. M. & N. Blodgett Branch. 

Philip M. Ikeler was from Pennsylvania. He began his lumbering career in the longleaf pine belt of Mississippi in 1891. He worked on salary until 1898, when he formed a partnership with J. T. McKinnon. Besides lumbering, Ikeler was a director of banks in Hattiesburg, Lumberton and Ellisville, and owned considerable real estate in the city of Hattiesburg. He also farmed cut-over lands.


























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