Historical Articles by W. T. Block

(click here for W. T. Block web page)

(Manuscript rights reserved to Dogwood Press, Woodville, Texas)

The story of many of the great Western Louisiana sawmills of 1905 was that of large Midwestern retail lumber dealers (Long-Bell, Pickering, Cental Coal and Coke Company), who followed the Kansas City Southern rails south from Shreveport into the virgin long leaf forests. The story of Ludington, Wells, and Van Schaick Lumber Company was quite the opposite. Chartered at Menominee (Green Bay), on Upper Michigan peninsula, about 1870 or earlier, Ludington, Wells and Company and some of its key stockholders first arrived in Calcasieu Parish in 1889-1890, bought up about 62,500 acres in Calcasieu and Vernon parishes at $1.50 or more an acre, and waited another five years for the rails to arrive.

Even in 1895, Ludington, Wells and Company did not hurry to Louisiana, because they did not cut out all of their Michigan timber until around 1902. Other than Ludington, Wells and Company's 33,697 acres, Anthony W. and Ellen Van Schaick of Chicago owned 17,945 acres, and Samuel M. Stephenson of Menominee owned 10,951 acres.  1

The Beauregard Parish conveyances do not even reveal who "Ludington" was; perhaps he was the founder, who was already dead before the company came to Louisiana. In his dissertation, "Lumbering in Southwest Louisiana", Dr. George Stokes noted that the company came from Ludington, Michigan, a city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, opposite Green Bay. Hence the question arises whether both "Ludington" and "Wells" were 'place' rather than family names, since there is also a Wells, Michigan on the upper peninsula. At any rate, in 1903 Daniel Wells, Jr. was president in Michigan, and Isaac Stephenson, Jr., was secretary and general manager at Ludington, but no one named Luddington, Wells, or Van Schaick ever lived in Louisiana. J. George Stephenson (exact relation to Isaac uncertain) was plant superintendent at Ludington. About 1900, Ludington, Wells and Van Schaick were also chartered and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, indicating that the firm probably owned sawmills in both states, as well as in Arkansas. Stokes also noted that the firm began building at Ludington in 1901, but other than the initial land purchases of 1889-1890, subsequent deed records in Beauregard Parish were not dated prior to April, 1903.  2  In July, 1903, the owners deeded a site to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, provided the latter "would erect a school house on it..."  3

The writer believes the owners dismantled a sawmill at Menominee, Michigan, probably in 1902, and moved both its mill and its employees to Ludington. For instance, several key employees at Ludingon periodically visited their "homes" in either Menominee or Clarinette, Wisconsin (located across a river from each other). Nevertheless, there is some evidence that the owners also bought out a small sawmill at Ludington in December, 1903, when Vernon Lumber Company of Kansas City sold 480 acres at Ludington to them for $2,880 "with all improvements thereon...."  4

No sawmill was reported at Ludington in February, 1901, whereas Ludington, Wells and Company was reported as sawing 150,000 feet daily in both October, 1904, and September, 1906. By any standard, however, that figure was quite modest, because the only two sawmills that either equaled or surpassed Ludington were located at Bon Ami and Fullerton. Two articles of 1905 confirm that Ludington was equipped with the first two double- cutting band saws in Western Louisiana, along with a 48-inch gang saw and two Berlin flooring machines in its planing mill, as follows:

". . . This (Ludington) and (Trinity County Lumber Company at) the Groveton, Texas sawmill are the only mills in East Texas or West Louisiana that have two double-cutting band saws (Nov. 1905)  6.... A 48-inch Goldings and Lewis gang saw will be installed at once. A large blower is being added to the planer and.... two Berlin flooring machines have been added....  7   Hence, the above accounts for the opinion that Ludington always cut well below its sawing capacity.

Ludington may also have been the only area sawmill to pay its employees in cash every two weeks. Two other articles observed that:  8

". . . Friday was what the boys call "good Friday" (payday), which comes every other Friday.... Tomorrow will be pay day here (Deridder) and tomorrow at Ludington, one and a half miles distant. This will throw into circulation $30,000....  9

From this point on will be presented a series of quotes from the years 1905-1906, that will reveal more about Ludington than any other known historical source. From the beginning quote - "the Ludington mills and the Van Schaick mill are models in every particular" - leave much room for speculation, hinting that perhaps a sawmill dismantled in Michigan and another, bought from Vernon Lumber Company on December 24, 1903 and being operated by A. G. Van Schaick, were in operation simultaneously.  10   The quotes, although parts of them may sound repetitious, are too important to minimize in the attempt to recapture the social history of an important lumber town, and they follow, in most instances verbatim, here:

". . . The Ludington mills and the Van Schaick mill are models in every particular. The company pursues the same policy here as it has in years gone by in Michigan and Arkansas. Nothing but the best is their motto. In an incredibly short time, they have transformed a very large area of pine forest into a perfectly laid-out and well-built village. Sewers and water extend to every house, and the grounds about each are beautifully laid out. Arrangements have been perfected for the erection of a handsome school building and a church, and next winter the best in educational facilities will be provided for the children of the town.

". . . The Messrs. Stephenson will erect this summer handsome homes on most desireable sites that recently have been cleared. A magnificent road is being built to Deridder, one and one-fourth miles distant, where the three fine automobiles owned by citizens of Ludington (two of them owned by Isaac and George Stephenson) can be used. Socially, the little village offers much out of the ordinary. The fact that Bon Ami, Deridder, and Ludington being only four miles apart, and Deridder the central point, with its neat Ford's Opera House, makes it especially pleasant.

". . . The mill is doing excellent work and is under the immediate supervision of the Messrs. Stephenson. The lighting of the place deserves special mention. Every street has its lights, and the office and commissary present a brilliant appearance. The stumpage (uncut timber) is close and this gives the mill every advantage. The Ludington Hotel is well-kept, and the guests can find no occasion to complain....  11

". . . This is one of the finest lumber plants in the United States. The lumber firm of Ludington, Wells, and Van Schaick has always borne the reputation of having up to date mills, and the one at this place is no exception. When other plants were obliged to shut down last winter due to lack of logs, this mill continued without interruption to do business. {Note: Even Ludington had to cease logging during the week of Feb. 6-11, 1905, due to subfreezing temperatures.}

". . . The town is beautifully laid out, every provision having been made for water and sewerage. Arc and incandescent lights render the streets brilliant at night, and good (wooden) sidewalks make all parts of town easy of access in all kinds of weather. A post office has been installed, which is greatly appreciated. A park has been laid out and is now ready for shade or ornamental trees. There will be cages for wild animals, an owl, a coon, three wolves have been secured, and others will be added as quarters are prepared for them... A church and a school house will be built in time for winter use.

". . . The mill is sawing a large amount of (cross)ties, timbers and piling. The average shipments run to ten (box) cars a day, and the mill is making an average of 135,000 feet a day. The steam (log) skidder is doing splendid work, and often when there is a rush, the small skidder is put into commission.

". . . Four new houses have been built recently, and a large force of carpenters are engaged in construction. There are 400 men on the payroll. The company will have an experimental fruit farm the coming year.... The two automobiles owned by the Messrs. Stephenson give the place quite an urban air... The company boarding house, Mr. Ellis Boniface, is an excellent hostelry.... Dr. C. H. Collins, dentist of Lake Charles, is doing a rushing business.

". . . Ludington boasts a first class baseball club. Its personnel are Captain Marvin Browning, pitcher; Walter Oostrom, catcher; John Brewsaw, shortstop; Sim Ratchen, first base; Howard Moore, 2nd base; Charlie Baker, 3rd base; W. M. O'Leary, center field; M. Browning, right field; and Oscar Sparks, left field. This club has played five games this season and has won three. It will play Leesville Sunday....  12

Information about the Ludington log tram, "log front," and log pond is mostly fragmentary. Obviously, the tram railroad was quite short at first because the timber to be cut was very close to the mill. Main line locomotive No. 6 was a large Baldwin, on which Cleo Shields was the engineer. Probably two small Shay engines did switching on the spurs, and at least 40 log cars were needed to haul 175,000 scaled feet of saw logs to the log pond daily. A large number of track layers and loggers in 1910 were immigrant Mexicans and Italians. Information about the log pond, probably a dammed- up creek branch (Bundick, Cowpen?), will appear later.

In order to break the repetition of long quotes, a list of Ludington personnel, 1905-1910, compiled from news articles and twelve pages of the 1910 census (many pages of which were unreadable), follow: Isaac Stephenson, firm secretary and general superintendent; J. George Stephenson, plant superintendent; Louis Lehman, George Labar, sawyers; Henry Eastham, Hollis Millard, team foremen; Will Martin, Hugh Smith, J. W. Smith, Alfred Malmsted, machinists; Dr. C. Moody, Dr. H. C. Harrington, mill physicians; D. J. Charlton, saw filer; Frank J. Heines, master mechanic; Ed Bangerman, sawmill foreman; Edgar --, planing mill foreman; F. W. Hornbrook, cashier; C. A. Harrison, bookkeeper; A. Gammel, invoice clerk; Irene McGillis, stenographer; Clarence E. Gill, time keeper; Maude Blanchard,Jeanine Jirles, commissary salesladies; Annie Williams, commissary cashier; J. E. Howe, commissary manager; Martin Lynch, mill engineer; H. A. Tibbetts, Roland Darby, hotel manager; Chit Shields, locomotive engineer; William Frazier, skidder foreman; J. T. Leonard, planing mill oiler; Henry Labar, skidderman; Mark Leveridge, scaler; Newton Lewis, barber; John DeClue, deputy sheriff; Tony Barnett, Cream of Kentucky Hotel (?); Jeff Bland, butcher; and Dock Ellis, pondsman.  13

Ludington news quotes cited many instances of marriages, births, illnesses, deaths, mill accidents, etc., including a yellow fever quarantine at Deridder, that was probably a physician's misdiagnosis, as follows:  14

". . . We are by ourselves again. The gates of our little city are closed to people of the world at large. That is owing to a report that reached us last night, that they have two quarantine cases of yellow fever in Deridder. At the present writing, we have no positive assurances that the report is true.... It's tough on us, nonetheless, as Deridder is noted for its pretty girls, and quite a few of the young men here have left their hearts in their keeping... We are once again a part of the United States as the Kansas City Southern trains are once more stopping here... The usual Thursday night preaching failed to materialize, owing to Brother Riggs being quarantined....

". . . Halloween was duly observed here Tuesday night last in various ways. Our accommodating landlord (Tibbetts) at the Hotel Ludington, has a sideline of raising hogs, has a kick coming concerning a porker that the boys put in bed with Mr. N. Nicholson.... Something like $75.00 has been subscribed towards buying an organ for the new church... On account of the recent yellow fever scare at Deridder, the Deridder people who are employed here are idled indefinitely....

The yellow fever quarantine at Ludington apparently continued for most of the month of November, 1905. The roving staff reporter of Beaumont Enterprise was likewise quarantined, resulting in what was probably the best article ever written about Ludington during its lifetime as a sawmill town, as follows:  15

". . . This model sawmill plant is moving on, oblivious to quarantine restrictions. The health of its people has never been better. The Messrs. Stephenson, who control the immense interests of the Ludington, Wells and Van Schaick Lumber Co., have made the environments all that could be desired. The sanitary condition is and always has been as perfect as can be made. The company quarantined against all infected places, and it was effective, so much so that not one case of yellow fever has ever appeared.

". . . The mill is turning out 110,000 feet every day. One can not but be impressed with the convenient arrangement throughout the plant, In the sawmill, one can pass from place to place without incurring any danger to life or limb. There is an appearance of roominess in the mill.... This and Groveton, Texas, are the only mills in East Texas or West Louisiana that have the double-cutting band saws. At this mill, which has two, the production is increased 20 percent. The trouble is that filers than can handle this kind of saw are hard to secure. There is quite a strife between the woodsmen and the mill men as to which shall surpass the other, the loggers try to gain on the mill and vice versa.

". . . Every man seems to take a personal interest in the affairs of the company.... The logging is now two miles east of Rosepine, but a new spur is being built to the northeast of Ludington, which will be the winter camp. A steam skidder and loader facilitates matters greatly. The skidder has been greatly improved upon since its purchase.

". . . The company is quite anxious to get the boundary lines of its holdings determined. When the United States made the survey of this country, it was done in such a loose way that it is well-nigh impossible to determine the lines. An urgent request for a re-survey has been made for several years. It is hoped the matter will be straightened out soon...

". . . A deep well is about to be drilled.... it is hoped to get a flowing well, and work on it will begin at once. The pond, which is filled with pure water, no sewage being allowed to run in it, will be dredged out. The pond has a capacity of a month's cut (3,500,000 feet).

". . . The Ludington Hotel is one of the best. The cuisine is excellent; beds first class, and rooms, not surpassed by any sawmill hotel. The culinary department is complete - a fine range, store room, refrigerator, laundry are concomitants.... Over this Mr. H. A. Tibbetts presides. He is very efficient and makes an admirable host.

". . . The commissary is complete in every respect. Over this Mr. J. E. Howe presides. The stock carried is well-selected, and the prices compare favorably with those in Beaumont. The offices are commodious and convenient. Mr. C. A. Harrison, bookkeeper, and Mr. A. Gammell, bill and invoice clerk, are gentlemen who are thoroughly up in their duties. Mr. D. J. Charlton has made an envious record as a filer of double-cutting (saw teeth on both edges) band saws.

". . . There is a mule belonging to the company that exhibits great intelligence. He hauls his load down the dollyway, and after it is unloaded, goes by himself to the planer... for another load. He does not vary 2 feet in the turning place. When used to haul sawdust, he goes by himself to the pile, wades in belly deep, and stops in a certain place. No amount of whipping or urging will make him change the pace....

". . . An alligator was put in the mill pond last year. He comes up and takes food thrown to him. It is probable the quarantine will be lifted in a few days. Traveling men (drummers) are coming in. The public school is now in session and will soon move into the new structure now being erected. There is a great scarcity of (box) cars. This has been the greatest drawback during the quarantine.....

The following report of November 26, 1905, reveals one of the falacies of early sawmill life, the frequency of serious, often fatal, mill accidents, as follows:

". . . Our master mechanic, Mr. Frank Heins, met with a very painful and deporable accident in the mill Tuesday, which resulted in his having to have four fingers amputated....Mr. Conrad Gilstrap is suffering from an injured foot, hurt while he was working in the mill.

". . . School is now being held in the new school house, which was ready to occupy Monday last. It was something that was needed very badly, and much credit is due to the L. W. and V. S. Lumber Company, who spared no expense in erecting a building... Mr. John DeClue was recently appointed deputy sheriff at this place, and it meets with the hearty approval of all our citizens...

". . . The L. W. and V. S. Lumber Company has secured the services of Mr. Chris Geyer of Lake Charles to put down an artesian well... Our town has been visited quite frequently by drummers, and we are certainly glad to see them back, as it brings us back to the days before the quarantine....  16

". . . The new Deridder newspaper, the Deridder Enterprise, is meeting the universal approval of the Ludington people. It was something Deridder needed quite badly.... Mr. and Mrs. (W. W.) Woods, after conducting a very successful singing school here, left for their home in Burkeville, Texas.

". . . The new (48-in.) gang saw, which was recently placed in the L. W. and V. S. Company's mill, is doing fine work. As one of the boys was heard to remark, "it sure does chaw 'em up."  17

Another Ludington article of 1906 revealed some interesting facts about Ludington social life, as follows:

". . . Mr. W. W. Woods and sister... are conducting a very successful Sunday School. Something like 30 scholars are attending.... Ludington was well-represented at the Deridder carnival and street fair.

". . . Some excitement was caused here a few days ago, when Chris Geyer, who is drilling a (water) well, struck a small flow of gas.... Those who attended the Woodmen of the World ball at Deridder last Thursday say they went the limit as far as having a good time... Your correspondent on behalf of the Ludington people desires to congratulate Dr. Harrington of Deridder on securing the position of company physician...

". . . Main line engine No. 6, which has been in the Beaumont shops for repairs, arrived here Sunday last, also Master Mechanic F. J. Heins and Engineer Chit Shields, who have been looking after the repairs....  18

Another fine article about Ludington appeared in August, 1906, and explained one of the troublesome problems of that year, the lack of a well- defined boundary line, which left the owners uncertain in which parish some of the mill property was located, as follows:  19

". . . We have every reason to believe, from what we have seen and heard, that Ludington is the cleanest and prettiest sawmill city in the South. Situated as it is, it has a natural drainage. Besides the L. W. and V. S. Lumber Company, in building our progressive city, believed in the old adage: "Cleanliness is next to godliness."

". . . Ludington has a system of sewers and ditches built which, assisting nature, keeps our city clean and in perfect sanitary condition. The company spared no pains or expense in using the best material and workmen in erecting the best cottages that are occupied by their employees. They are equipped with all modern improvements, such as electric lights, water works, and if one requests, electric fans are installed in their homes at a very nominal expense. Every dwelling is painted, and its occupants are compelled to keep the premises clean...

". . . A force of men is continually engaged in keeping the streets and alleys clean. And the tasteful and clean appearance of Ludington is noticeable to the many strangers that visit it... it would be a credit to some of our cosmopolitan cities should they copy after Ludington.

". . . The mill is steadily grinding away every day; orders are quite plentiful for this time of the year. The only drawback that the company is experiencing is the scarcity of cars necessary to move the immense shipments of long leaf yellow pine, and that it's only a few days until a branch of the Santa Fe (Jasper and Eastern Railroad from Kirbyville) will enter this city, and then the company will have cars to burn.

". . . Ludington is situated in a stone's throw of the much disputed boundary line of Calcasieu and Vernon parishes, and at the present time, representative surveyors of both parishes and a force of assistants are engaged in establishing a correct line. The surveying party is at present somewhere near the Sabine River, and information concerning the location of the new boundary line is hard to obtain. There are several rumors concerning its location, one of which sys it will be somewhat north of the present line. If such is the case, it will cause the removal of a place where cool and refreshing Schlitz is served, as it will then be in Calcasieu Parish. As that portion of said parish is local option ('dry,' non-alcoholic only), hence its removal. Rather tough on us, especially in hot weather.

". . . Several of our people attended the ball at Rosepine last Friday. Mr. (J. E.) Howe, the efficient manager of the L. W. and V. S. commissary store, leaves for the northern markets to buy fall and winter stock.....  19

One must remember that in 1905, Southern antipathies toward the Northern States, particularly those of ex-Confederate veterans, were still quite strong, and Ludington was viewed as a "Northern" town, whose founders and key personnel were all from Michigan and Wisconsin. Between 1865-1896 for instance, Beaumont, Texas celebrated July 4th only as a day off from work, not as our national independence day. By 1900, towns like Deridder were once more celebrating July 4th in grand style, as witness one aspect of the 1907 July 4th parade, as follows:  20

". . . The float of the Ludington, Wells and Van Schaick Lumber Company of Ludington won first prize and justly were they entitled to that honor. Mr. J. E. Howe, the designer of the float, proved himself an artist of rare skill and deserves much credit for his untiring efforts. There were no gay colorings, no gaudy advertising, no attempts at grand display. Merely a simple float, simply decorated. But in its simplicity lay its beauty. From its top, like so much snow, there rose... two graceful swans, leading the Goddess of Liberty in the person of Miss Jeanine Jirles and a bevy of pretty girls, who were holding the red, white, and blue ribbons from the swans' mouths. On the rear of the float were two footmen in full uniforms to serve the Goddess.... This beautiful float was drawn by six black horses and driven by Mr. George Stephenson. On each side of the float, the words from "Ludington of Course," which signified the best always, as the Stephensons never do anything by halves.....

Continuing with the social history of Ludington, 1907-1908, the following long quote conveys items from several articles, each of which is identified by a separate footnote, as follows:

". . . The singing class accompanied by Bro. Tate went to Pickering Saturday, where they rendered an excellent program. Ludington has a class of vocalists that is hard to beat....  21  The school secured J. O. Stewart of Deridder for his second year as teacher. Eighty pupils are enrolled...  22  The addition to the school is soon to commence as the present building is too small. Plans for building the Ludington Athletic Club is now in the hands of the contractors, and work on one of the swellest club buildings in Southwest Louisiana will commence....  23  Miss Jimmie Guillory has been employed as assistant teacher at Ludington...  24  There will be a Halloween party and pranks, with dried peas thrown on door steps and gates wired together...  25   Rev. A. J. Perryman of Granville, Texas, is preaching in the school house.... Due to a bad lumber market, the Ludington mill went on an 8-hour work day....  26  The big auto was loaded to the limit Tuesday with 20 persons to visit the Long-Bell turpentine camp 15 miles away... The Congregational Methodists (probably Methodist Episcopal, North) held a meeting Monday night to perfect arrangements for a pastor for the coming year....  27

Another article about Ludington, published in April, 1908, also reported some interesting information about the sawmill town, as follows:  28

". . . The new sawmill plant at Ludington has never shut down during the hard times and never missed a payday, paydays occurring every two weeks, and it is running on an eight-hour plan, with no cut in wages. The mill seems to have been extremely fortunate in having a large number of orders, and these largely from railroads.

". . . The Stephensons for two generations have been manufacturers of lumber, and by their uniform integrity and push, have always made a success. This company is independent of all lumber organizations and associations and has unlimited capital. They have been cutting some 60 foot timbers for pile drivers, and it took one day to saw seven timbers. The forests had to be searched to find the trees necessary, and out of the seven timbers cut, only two were found suitable.

". . . One thing is very remarkable, and that is that the four years the writer has been traveling the Kansas City Southern and visiting this mill, scarcely any changes have taken place. The migratory spirit that pervades the operatives of mills generally seems to be conspicuously absent here, where ... men are employed and they are the best.

". . . The streets and houses are kept in the very best sanitary condition. The hotel, under the management of Mr. Dailey, is one of the best in the south; that is, in a lumber proposition. Mr. Isaac Stepenson gives the mill his personal attention, butso familiar are all the operatives with their respective duties, that this seems unnecessary. In fact, it is a model plant....

Dr. George Stokes explained in his dissertation that the Ludington school taught only to the seventh grade, with advanced students attending high school in Deridder. He added that a former Ludington employee told him about 1953 that the first experimental dial telephone system in the United States was installed in th Ludington mills and business buildings in 1913, about the time that the original owners sold out to Long-Bell Lumber Company, but the writer found no other confirmation for that statement.  28a

Another brief communication probably explained why the Northern owners sold out in 1913, perhaps because they apparently never became acclimated to the warm Louisiana summers, as follows: "...All the people who left here to spend the summer in the North have returned and have resumed their places as citizens of this busy sawmill city... A goodly number are former residents of Michigan and Wisconsin and generally spend the hot summers with the old folks at home..."  29

Although all the key personnel at Ludington were probably always homesick for their former locations, there were undoubtedly more urgent reasons to force the owners to sell out to Long-Bell Lumber Company early in 1913 (not to mention an attractive price). Ludington still had several thousand acres of virgin timber. Anthony Van Schaick died in 1912, and the writer believes that Isaac Stephenson died at Ludington about the same year.  30

It was obvious that Long-Bell wanted the Ludington timberlands more than the Ludington mill. The firm was soon reorganized as Ludington Lumber Company, incorporated in Missouri, with R. A. Long as chairman; F. J. Bannister, president; and R. T. Demsey, secretary, all of Kansas City. In July, 1913, Long-Bell promptly transferred Ludington timberlands to its other subsidiary companies, as follows: 1,973 acres to Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company, Lake Charles, for $98,438; 4,875 acres to Hudson River Lumber Company, Deridder, for $243,750; 4,312 acres to King-Ryder Lumber Company of Bon Ami for $215,625; and 3,000 acres to Longville Lumber Company of Longville for $157,000.  31

With four large subsidiary sawmills in the same vicinity, it is certainly a marvel that Long-Bell did not shut down the Ludington sawmill and dismantle the buildings and machinery. However, Ludington was probably its most modern and well-maintained location. By 1913, the new owner had already acquired title to about a half-million acres of timberlands between Deridder and Lake Charles, and perhaps with good forest management, the Long-Bell mills were apt to survive on second growth timber for the next ten or fifteen years. Certainly, some of the "perks" at the Ludington mill were discontinued after 1913, as the Ludington mill operation was streamlined to conform to Long-Bell practices at its other mills. There was also a general shutdown of all the Western Louisian sawmills and some very unpleastant labor violence in August, 1911, as the Brotherhood of Timber Workers sought to organize the mills, but that effort generally came to naught.

The writer found some discrepancy about exactly how long the Ludington Lumber Company remained in operation. Stokes noted in his dissertation that Ludington ceased all operations, probably because of exhausted timberlands, in 1926. Mr. Elvin Holliday of Deridder informed the writer that the Ludington mill cut out in 1928; also that it was dismantled in 1929, because his father bought some of the lumber and timbers for a business he was building. Whatever the year, operations would certainly have ceased with arrival of the Wall Street crash of October, 1929, which soon plunged retail lumber prices well beneath production costs.

It was particularly sad when a once prosperous town ceased to exist and returned to ghost town status in the forest. It is even sadder when its history is lost, and people cease to recognize the town's name, even though some persons still alive in 1995 were born in Ludington. Other than the telephone system, Ludington had many other 'firsts,' - double-cutting band saws, paydays two weeks apart, in currency instead of mill checks, and painted houses and sewers for its employees. The remaining mill towns in Louisiana and East Texas could only view Ludington with "green-eyed" envy.


  1. 1   Vols. 2, pp. 118-126, 283; and Vol. 11, pp. 272-277, Beauregard Parish Conveyances.
  2. 2   Ibid., Vol. 2, pp. 122-126; also Manuscript Census Returns of 1910, Ludington, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, Ward 6; also Dr. George Stokes, "Lumbering in Southwest Louisiana," Ph. D. dissertation, Louisiana State University, 1954, p. 174.
  3. 3   Ibid., Vol. 1, pp. 235-236.
  4. 4   Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 89, Beauregard Parish Conveyances.
  5. 5   Kansas City Southern Sawmill Circular No. 52-A, Kansas City, February 1, 1901; "Mills on the Kansas City Southern," Beaumont Journal, Oct. 10, 1904; "Lumber Mills of Louisiana," Southern Industrial and Lumber Review (Sept. 15, 1906), p. 29.
  6. 6   "The Van Schaick Co. of Ludington, La.," Beaumont Enterprise, Nov. 19, 1905, p. 8
  7. 7   "Ludington News," Beaumont Enterprise, June 25, 1905. These articles of 1905 spelled Ludington with two 'd's.'
  8. 8   "Ludington News," Beaumont Enterprise, Feb. 13, 1905, p. 4.
  9. 9   "Deridder-Another Good Town," Beaumont Enterprise, Nov. 19, 1904.
  10. 10   "Luddington and Van Schaick," Beaumont Enterprise, May 7, 1905, p. 13.
  11. 11   Ibid.
  12. 12   "Ludington News," Beaumont Enterprise, June 25, 1905.
  13. 13   Compiled from the Ludington articles cited in footnotes; also Manuscript Census Return of 1910, 12 pages of Ludington, Calcasieu Parish.
  14. 14   "Ludington, La.," Beaumont Enterprise, Nov. 5, 1905, p. 15
  15. 15   "The Van Schaick Co. of Ludington, La.," Beaumont Enterprise, Nov. 19, 1905, p. 8.
  16. 16   "Ludington News," Beaumont Enterprise, Nov. 26, 1905, p. 9.
  17. 17   Ibid., Feb. 16, 1906,p. 15.
  18. 18   "Ludington, La.," Beaumont Enterprise, Feb. 4, 1906, p. 20.
  19. 19   "Town of Ludington," Ibid., Aug. 19, 1906, p. 14.
  20. 20   "Deridder Has Grand Fourth," Beaumont Enterprise, July 7, 1907, p. 5.
  21. 21   "Ludington, La.," Beaumont Enterprise, Feb. 2, 1908, p. 16.
  22. 22   "Ludington, La.," Ibid., Oct. 13, 1907, p. 16.
  23. 23   "Ludington, La.," Ibid., Oct. 20, 1907, p. 16.
  24. 24   Ibid.
  25. 25   Ibid., "Ludington, La.," Nov. 3, 1907, p. 18.
  26. 26   Ibid., "Lucington Locals," Nov. 23, 1907.
  27. 27   Ibid., "Ludington Notes," Dec. 1, 1907, p.18
  28. 28   "Mill at Ludington," Beaumont Enterprise, April 4, 1908, p. 3.
  29. 28a   A. Stokes, "Lumbering in Southwest Louisiana," Ph. D. disser., LSU, 1954, p. 174.
  30. 29   "Ludington, La.," Beaumont Enterprise, Oct. 20, 1907, p. 16.
  31. 30   Vol. 7, pages 155-163, Beauregard Parish Conveyances.
  32. 31   Vol. 15, pp. 477-484, July 7-13, 1913, Beauregard Parish Conveyances.
  33. 32   Stokes, "Lumbering in Southwest Louisiana," p. 174; "Thirty Mills on Strike," Beaumont Journal, Aug. 24, 1911.