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