Fisher, Sabine Parish, Louisiana

Fisher is one of the most important sawmill towns on the Kansas City Southern Railway, and is not only an excellent model of towns of that class, but is an example of thrift and systematic progress that any small city might profitably imitate. Fisher furnished Sabine parish with the first large sawmill plant and has perhaps done more for the prosperity of the people than any other other institution. The town is owned by the Louisiana Long Leaf Lumber Company, of which O. W. Fisher is president, and W. W. Warren general superintendent. The company began clearing the timber for the townsite in July, 1899 and in March, 1901, the mill was ready for operation. Besides the immense mill which turns out annually millions of feet of pine lumber, a large mill was later erected for manufacturing hardwood products. Large planing mills convert the products of these plants into the finest finished lumber. In addition to these industries the company operates a modern machine shop and over fifty miles of railroad. This road, the Victoria, Fisher and Western, connects Fisher with Victoria, where the company operates another modern plant. The town of Fisher was laid out with a view of making something more substantial than the ordinary sawmill town. The townsite is among the prettiest in Sabine parish and was platted with uniform streets and avenues. Splendid homes have been built for the employees, and in numerous instances furnished with all conveniences of a city, including electric lights and waterworks. The relations between the company and its employees are the most amicable imaginable harmony of interests is manifest in every department, which speaks well for a corporation that employs a thousand men. The town has a splendid public school for the benefit of children of employees, and religious services by different denominations are held at stated periods.

The town is noted for its orderly citizenship, and its society is as good as can be found anywhere. Although Fisher is a remarkably healthy town, the company employs two capable physicians to supply the medical needs of its employees, and has completed at no little coat a neat and commodious building to be used as a sanitarium, for the convenience of those who may be in need of the services of such an institution, and it will be conducted along modern lines. An immense mercantile establishment is maintained as the supply store for the town, but it also has a large trade with the people of the surrounding country. Besides the staple supplies, the store furnishes the people with nearly every luxury which a city store or market could offer. Fisher is an open market for the farmer, and the rural citizens of that section find a ready and profitable sale for their products. The company contemplates the erection of a model store building in the near future in order to provide better facilities for its increasing trade. The structure will be of concrete, 85x120 feet, the architecture of old colonial stvle, and the estimated cost between $15,000 and $20,000. The aim is to build one of the largest and most up-to-date commissaries in the state. The present structure will be occupied by the Young Men's Christian Association.

The company owns many thousand acres of land in Sabine parish and has sufficient timber to run its mill for twenty or more years. They have never offered their "cut-over" lands for general sale, but have sold such lands to several farmers for homes at reasonable prices, Miss Leona LaCuer is the capable postmistress at Fisher.

W. W. Warren, the company's general superintendent, was born May 11, 1876, at Lincoln, Illinois, moved to Thayer, Nebraska, in 1883, and in 1893 began learning the lumber business at a wholesale office in Omaha, Nebraska. Two years later he entered the employ of the Missouri Lumber and Mining Company at Grandin, Missouri, remaining there until he came to Sabine parish in June, 1899. As superintendent of "4L" company he has commanded the esteem of the employees as well as everyone with whom he has business relations. He is not interested solely in removing the timber wealth from the parish, but desires the country developed and has never declined to give moral and financial aid to any enterprise for the public good. He is considerate of the interests of his employees, regardless of the grade of their position, and labors unceasingly to make Fisher an ideal town.

The men who help to direct the affairs of this company at Fisher are as follows: P. A. Bloomer, assistant general manager; J. H. Vanlandingham, general sales agent; C. L, Krieger, bookkeeper; F. C. Wheeler, cashier; H. W. Gardner, mill superintendent; E. W. Mitchell, foreman pine mill; S. E. Clark, foreman hardwood mill; W. J. Williams,, foreman planer No. 1; W. M. Kilborn, foreman planer No. 2; Perry Frost, chief engineer; T. J. Bunch, assistant; E. W. Lawson, engineer at hardwood mill; S. D. Anderson and M. J. Dibble, filers; J. N. Graham, engineer at pine mill; Eugene Lumpkin and Ira Thorla, sawyers; C. C. Stoddard and Charles Suddles, filers. At machine shops, Frank Ruff, Sr., master mechanic; Leon Mitchell, machinist; Charles Hughes, assistant; Charles Coarser, blacksmith; K. A. Brown and Sydney Hendricks, car repairers. Fred McGee is woods superintendent and trainmaster; Tim Liddy, woods foreman. C. C. Carleton is surveyor and looks after the land and timber interests of the company. R. A. Brown, of the car shops, has served the company longer than any other man now in the employ of the company, having begun work in 1900. He is general utility man and booster for local functions and always ready to give assistance where it is needed in the town.

A. R. Brian is the genial and capable manager of the company's mercantile department. He has as his assistant S. Bragdon. A corps of fourteen courteous clerks also assist m transacting the business of this large establishment. Mr. Brian was born and reared in Claiborne parish and has been engaged in mercantile pursuits all his life. He entered the employ of this company as a clerk in 1901, and after a service of eighteen months was promoted to manager. He was married in 1904 to Miss Valley Seever, the estimable daughter of Dr. J. M. Seever, and they have a pretty home at Fisher.

H. E. Ellis is the popular manager of the Fisher Hotel, the principal hotel of the town. He came to Fisher in 1900 from Cape Girardeau, Mo., and is an experienced hotel-keeper as well as a courteous gentleman. The Fisher hotel is pleasantly situated and the manager takes pleasure in catering to those who seek the best accommodations.

Dr. T. B. Younger is the company's capable physician and is assisted by Dr. C. M. Petty.

Fisher Camp W. O. W. was organized in 1900 with H. E. Ellis, C. C. The charter was surrendered, but was reorganized in 1900 and is now a prosperous camp with sixty members. The officers are R. A. Brown, C. C; William Kunce, clerk; W. J. Williams, banker; I. J. Prince, vice lieutenant; Lee Prince, conductor; Ira Thorla, watchman; Emmett Peterson, inside sentinel; W. J. Williams, Dr. T. B. Younger and William Kunce, managers.

Fisher Lodge No. 128 I. O. O. F. was instituted by Grand Master E. L. Dick, Sept. 14, 1907, with the following as charter members: R. I. Turner, Joe Dover, I. L. Frazier, Tim Liddy, J. A. Goss, Dr. T. B. Younger and D. F. Turner, The first officers were: R. I. Turner, Noble Grand; J. D. Darby, vice grand; H. R. Crumpecker, secretary, and T. B. Younger, treasurer. Since the organization of this lodge the following have passed through the chair and are past grands of this lodge: James D. Darby, Dr. T B, Younger, C. C. Carlton, T. R. Malin, W. P. Hicks, William G. Kilborn and B. H, Berry. The officers for the last half of the year 1913 are B. H. Berry, N. G.; Ira Thorla, V. G.; William G. Kilborn, secretary; J. W. Kunce, treasurer. The lodge has had a steady growth from the start and at present has a membership of sixty-one in good standing.

Sabine Encampment No. 31 I. O. O. F. was instituted by Grand Chief Patriarch J. F. Dennison on May 21, 1912, with W. P. Hicks, Dr. T. B. Younger, C. C. Carlton, T. R. Malin, Frank Ruff and William G. Kilborn charter members. At the time of organizing the following officers were elected: W. P. Hicks, chief patriarch; Dr. T. B. Younger, senior warden; C. C. Carlton, junior warden ; Frank Ruff, high priest; T. R. Malin, scribe, and William G. Kilborn, treasurer. Since that time, Dr. T. B. Younger and William G. Kilborn hare passed through the chairs and are past chief patriarchs of the order. The officers elected for the last half of the year 1913 are J. W. Kunce, O. P,; P. J. Palmer, S. W.; Frank Ruff, J. W.; James Aiken, high priest; T. B. Younger, scribe; Ira Thorla, treasurer. While this branch of the order has as yet a small membership, it is steadily growing.

Sabine Parish | AHGP Louisiana

Source: History of Sabine Parish, Louisiana, by John G. Belisle, Sabine Banner Press, 1913.

 

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