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Z 1343.000 S
CHICAGO MILL AND LUMBER COMPANY PAPERS

1903-1945

Biography/History:

Hermann Paepcke was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, in 1851. He was the son of Wilhelm and Louise Paepcke. Hermann Paepcke moved to Texas in 1872, and he established an export business. After returning to Germany for a year, Paepcke moved back to Texas in 1878 and married Paula Wagner, who was also of German lineage. They had at least one son, Walter P. Paepcke. The Paepckes moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1881. Hermann Paepcke formed a partnership in a small lumber business and planing mill known as the Paepcke-Wagner Company. After a few years, Paepcke bought out his partner, added a Box-manufacturing division, and renamed the business Hermann Paepcke and Company. As the business grew, Paepcke formed other companies, including the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, the Chicago Packing Box Company, and in 1893, the Paepcke-Leicht Lumber Company. The latter would become one of the largest lumber-distributing companies in Chicago at that time.

From J. H. Leavenworth, Paepcke purchased a sawmill and twenty-five thousand acres of standing timber near Lake Ferguson in Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi, in 1898, and there he established the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company. The company was apparently operated as the Paepcke-Leicht Lumber Company at least through the 1920s. Other subsidiaries of the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company were established in Blytheville and Helena, Arkansas, and in Cairo, Illinois. The company owned over one hundred twenty-five thousand acres of land by 1909.

After the death of Paula Paepcke in 1909, Hermann Paepcke married Elizabeth Julia Robertshaw Meade in Greenville in 1912. Hermann Paepcke died in 1922, and Walter P. Paepcke became company president. In 1928, four companies were merged into the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company: the Arkansas Oak Flooring Company of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and R. J. Darnell, Incorporated, the Hudson Hardwood Flooring Company, and the Penrod-Jurden Company, all of Memphis, Tennessee. As a result of the Great Depression, the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company consolidated and reorganized in 1933, and the company began contractual arrangements for its logging operations around that time.

Wilford H. Gonyea, a West Coast lumberman, tendered an offer to buy the company on June 29, 1965, and after the stockholders accepted, the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company ceased to exist as a corporation and continued operations as a partnership under the same name. The general offices were moved from Chicago to Greenville in September of 1965. The Chicago Mill and Lumber Company operated three sawmills and two Box factories, and it owned over two hundred thousand acres of timberland primarily in Louisiana and Mississippi by 1980.

Scope and Content:

The Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, formerly known as the Paepcke-Leicht Lumber Company, was established in Greenville, Mississippi, around 1881. The Paepcke-Leicht Lumber Company was a Chicago corporation. Herman Paepcke was its president; William Wilms its vice-president; and E. A. Leicht its treasurer. The corporate name was changed to Chicago Mill and Lumber Company in the 1920s. The company was located on Lake Ferguson, near Greenville.

Box List:

  • Box 1, folders 1-6: Correspondence concerning purchase of land, 1915-1925.
  • Box 2, folders 7-12: Correspondence concerning purchase of land, 1919-1924.
  • Box 3, folders 13-15: Correspondence concerning purchase of land, 1918-1929.
               folder 16: Bills of sale, 1907-1922.
               folder 17: Account settlements, 1917-1919.
               folders 18-20: Leases, 1913-1920.
               folders 21-22: Accident reports, 1925-1928.
  • Box 4, folders 23-25: Accident reports, 1928.
               folders 26-35: Logging contracts, August 4, 1906-August 11, 1909.
  • Box 5, folders 36-83: Logging contracts, August 23, 1909-August 9, 1922.
  • Box 6, folder 84: Lumber price list, 1928. folders 85-94: Lumber contracts, 1915-1917.
               folder 95: Timber contract, July 19, 1917.
  • Box 7, folders 96-109: Timber deeds, September 29, 1902-October 2, 1922.
               folders 110-121: Monthly reports, September 30, 1924-August 1925.
  • Box 8, folders 122-131: Monthly reports, September 1925-June 1926.
  • Box 9, folders 132-140: Monthly reports, July 1926-December 1926.
  • Box 10, folders 141-146: River log scale sheets, May 13, 1918-September 29, 1919.
  • Box 11, folders 147-152: River log scale sheets, October 2, 1919-July 1922.
  • Box 12, folders 153-157: River log scale sheets, August 31, 1922-March 26, 1923.
  • Box 13, folders 158-163: Tax data, 1915-1924. folders 164-170: City tax receipts, 1913-1920.
  • Box 14, folders 171-178: County tax receipts, 1914-1920.
  • Box 15: Car records, 1922; sales credits billed, October 1, 1924-December 31, 1926.
  • Boxes 16-17: Sales orders billed, January 22, 1926-December 31, 1926.
  • Boxes 18-19: Summaries of retroactive wage adjustments, January 22, 1945-August 1, 1945.
  • Box 20: Check receipt books (4), 1903-1923.
  • Box 21: Check receipt books (6), 1909-1923.
  • Boxes 22-23: Oversize materials.

Wrapped Volumes (14):

  • Accident insurance ledgers (2), 1908-1911.
  • Subsidiary ledger, 1926-1929.
  • Manufacturing and plant journals (3), 1923-1924.
  • Lumberyard inventory ledger, 1925.
  • Rail log storage ledgers (3), 1921-1923.
  • Distribution ledgers (4), 1925-1929.

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