George W. Fouke Lumber Co. (1917-1921)

Waterman-Fouke Lumber Co.  (1921-1925)

Hutchison-Moore Lumber Co. (1926-1932)

Mississippi & Western Railroad (1917-1932)

Standard Gauge

Headquarters: Fouke, MS (Jasper County)

Years of Operation: 1917-1932

Mill Capacity: 75,000 ft/day

Miles Operated: 11.47 for M&W

plus an additional 14 miles of logging spurs

Locomotives Owned: 6

Equipment: 

 

 

Click Map for Larger Version

History by Gil Hoffman:

George W. Fouke Lumber Company and Successors 

On December 21, 1916 the George W. Fouke Lumber Company, of Hawkins, Texas, bought a tract of timber containing about 200,000,000 feet of longleaf, shortleaf and rosemary pine as well as various hardwoods in Jasper County, Miss., from the Hayes Land & Timber Company. In early 1917 the company began construction of a sawmill to cut this timber at Fouke, Miss., a new town which the company also built. The town was named in honor of George W. Fouke. The mill, which had a cutting capacity of 75,000 feet per day, was completed in the latter part of 1917, and contained an 8-ft. Diamond band mill and a 7-ft. Clark Brothers resaw. It cut both pine and hardwoods. Other facilities included two dry kilns and a planing mill. 

C. W. Fouke, son of the late George W. Fouke, was president of the company and S. W. Hindman was secretary and general manager. Hindman had been general manager of the Fouke mill at Hawkins, Texas, which cut out about 1915.

 On August 29, 1921 the George W. Fouke Lumber Company was succeeded by the Waterman-Fouke Lumber Company, incorporated in Missouri. The latter company was succeeded by the Hutchison-Moore Lumber Company on January 1, 1926. The Hutchison-Moore Lumber Company also owned another pine mill at Allison, Alabama, which burned in 1929. The president was S. J. Ingram, of Oklahoma City, and the general manager of the Fouke and Allison, Ala., operations was John Hutchison, of Laurel, Miss. (also vice president of the company). 

Sometime in 1926 the sawmill at Fouke, Miss., burned and in early 1927 was replaced by a band and gang mill with a cutting capacity of 75,000 feet per day. Machinery throughout was by the Allis-Chalmers Company. This mill lasted until 1932. 

Mississippi & Western Railroad

The Mississippi & Western Railroad was incorporated in Mississippi on February 17, 1917. The ownership of the railroad and the G. W. Fouke Lumber Company were practically the same. The railroad was constructed under the supervision of S. N. Hindman in the interest of the lumber company during the period February to November 1917 at a cost of $65,000. The railroad company issued $50,000 in capital stock and gave a lien of $15,000 on its property to reimburse the lumber company for construction advances. Operations commenced November 1, 1917. 

The railroad was built on a roadbed formerly used by the Gilchrist-Fordney Company, of Laurel, and extended from Stevens, Miss., on the Gulf, Mobile & Northern, to Fouke, Miss., about 11.5 miles. The parent company also operated a standard gauge logging railroad from Fouke into the timber, but this railroad was privately operated and not incorporated. 

Beginning in January 1922 the Mississippi & Western leased from it parent lumber company one steam locomotive at $200 per month and one gasoline motor bus plus a gasolene motor bus house and waiting room at Fouke, Miss. 

The Mississippi & Western published tariffs and to a limited extent handled passengers and freight. One of the main reasons for its incorporation was to enable it to obtain an allowance out of the through freight rates from its connecting line. The only industries or stores along the M. & W. were the mill and the commissary store of the Fouke Lumber Company at Fouke, a small independent store at another point and several small independent lumber operators. The population of Fouke was estimated to be between 500 to 700, consisting chiefly of employees of the lumber company and their families.

Control of the railroad passed to the Waterman-Fouke Lumber Company in 1921, and finally, to the Hutchison-Moore Lumber Company, in 1926. Operations ended in 1932 and the entire line was dismantled in 1933.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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