(previous page) Springfield capitalists and operators are already in this new field with their investments and various business enterprises. Large quantities of lumber are brought to the mills, factories and yards of the city from these counties for conversion and sale, and the relations between this great lumber region and the business men of the city are daily growing closer and stronger.
THE OZARK LUMBER CO., whose plant is located on the Current River branch of the Gulf road, at Winona, Shannon County, 130 miles southeast of the city, in the heart of what is known as the ‘Irish Wilderness,” is largely a Springfield enterprise, having been organized in 1887 by Capt. Joseph Fisher, a well known Springfield capitalist and lumber operator. Jay Coatsworth, a leading wholesale lumber merchant of Kansas City; C. W. Goodlander, president of the Citizens’ National Bank of Fort Scott; B. F. Blaker & Co., well known lumber and mill men of Pleasanton, Kansas; Fisher & Barnett, bankers, of Humansville, Mo.; Martin Hardwick, of Winona, Mo., an experienced saw mill man; and Capt. Joseph Fisher are the owners of the property and constitute the directors of the company, which has a capital stock of $100,000 and is one of the strongest corporations in the lumber district. Mr. Jay Coatsworth is president, and Capt. Joseph Fisher, secretary treasurer and manager of the company, whose mills, warehouses, sheds, dry kilns, railway, engines, cars, store buildings, merchandise, shops houses, teams, lumber stocks and 20,000 acres. of pine land are valued at $200,000.
THE MILLS are admirably located in a pretty valley, about 100 rods distant from the Gulf depot, and the entire plant, embracing a saw mill with a daily capacity of 80,000 feet, a planing mill, four Sturtevant steam dry kilns, boiler houses, sheds and platforms, are equipped with the latest and most approved machinery and appliances for handling logs, cutting, assorting, distributing drying, planing, storing and shipping lumber.
The admirable arrangement of the log yard, saw mill, platforms, dry kilns, sheds and planing mill, in a continuous chain, flanked on either side by railway tracks; the substantial construction of the mills and the perfection of their mechanical equipage and work, are the embodiment of economy, convenience and fine method, bearing in every part the impress of a master millwright.
Equally well planned are the lumber yards, which usually carry from 6,000,000 to 9,000,000 feet of lumber, and the five miles of standard gauge railway, owned by the company and connecting their logging camp, skid-ways and mills, with the tracks of the Gulf system, is laid with a precision, and operated with safety and economy, rarely known to general railroading.
The logging train, with its handsome new engine, is a novel and interesting feature of the situation at Winona, where the logs seem to roll from the incline of natural skid-ways into position on the cars, almost of their own volition. The handling of logs by the woodmen, trainmen, and mill hands, is done with the same economy that marks other departments of company work. The two general stores, one at the mills and the other in the logging camp, carry between them a $25,000 stock, and report yearly sales of $100,000.
Upwards of 200 men and a big string of teams are employed by the company, and its monthly pay-roll exceeds $10,000. The mill and yard men are domiciled in comfortable cottages, and the entire working force is made up of intelligent, self-respecting men. The 20,000 acres of pine land owned by the company represent a stumpage of 80,000,000 to 100,000,000 feet of standing pine of a quality that grades as highly and classifies as cleanly as the product of any hard pine district in the Southwest. Including purchases from the smaller neighboring mills, the Ozark Lumber Co. is making daily shipments of eight to ten carloads of lumber, in fulfillment of orders from the trade in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. That the quality is fully up to the standard, and that their business has been a decided success from the date of their opening in 1889, is fully attested by the steadily growing demand for their lumber and the harmonious character of their trade relations. The Ozark Lumber Co. is strong in personnel and equally strong in management. Capt. Joe Fisher, its business manager, and the owner of a majority of its stock, is a courageous, clear-sighted, level-headed and thoroughly executive business man, who would carry any material enterprise to a successful issue. He has prime executive men at the head of each department of his work, and from end to end the Ozark Lumber Co.’s plant is handled with admirable precision and economy. His business associates, too, are men of rank and standing and sterling qualities, who, like himself, have won friends and position by virtue of what was in them. The Ozark Lumber Co. represents an industry of commanding magnitude that is yet in its infancy, and one fraught with absorbing (next page)
Springfield-Greene County Library