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Edens-Birch Lumber Company Records

Identifier: F-0014

Scope and Contents

This collection mostly features corporate records, financial and otherwise, but also includes media, Southern Pine Association bulletins, and other miscellaneous correspondence. The still-bound ledgers from the 1920s are an interesting feature because they show the new company’s humble beginnings and a look into binding and record keeping from the past.


  • Creation: 1923-1959

Biographical or Historical Information

Company History Edens-Birch Lumber Company, 1923-1957. Edens-Birch Division (subsidiary of Southwest Forest Industries), 1958-1966. Sold to Reynolds-Wilson Lumber Company, 1967. Source: Johnson, M. “Champion International Corporation.” Texas Forestry Museum. Online at (Accessed 19 December 2014). --- Changes & Improvements 1923 - W. F. Edens moves an existing sawmill from Nathan, TX to Corrigan. 1935 – W. F. Edens builds a new mill and company town. 1946 – Mill leased to Corrigan Lumber Company (which includes J. B. Edens) Jul. 11, 1952 – Fire destroys the mill. Feb. 2, 1953 – New $400,000 mill dedicated. Nov. 27, 1953 – Second fire devastates significantly damages mill. Sources: Johnson, M. “Edens Lumber Company.” Texas Forestry Museum. Online at (Accessed 19 December 2014). Johnson, M. “Champion International Corporation.” (Accessed 19 December 2014). “Texas Mill Re-Built.” Southern Lumberman 186, no.2326 (Mar. 1, 1953), p.40. --- Ownership Benjamin Franklin Edens (1870-1944) was a prominent East Texas lumberman. Died February 6, 1944 at his home in Corrigan from a stroke. [Please contact the archives if you have more information] Williford Franklin Edens (-1963) died of a heart attack. [Please contact the archives if you have more information] James Benjamin Edens (1913-1972) was an important leader and industrialist in the lumber business. Born October 13, 1913 in Saron, Texas, J. B. Edens attended college at Stephen F. Austin State University. He served as a captain in the 13th Armored Division, U.S. Army, during World War II. Edens started working for his father at Edens-Birch Lumber Company when he was 13. He joined the sales department in 1933 and gradually rose through the ranks to sales manager, general manager, and finally president by 1946. In 1952, Edens was the leading financier in the purchase of Arizona-based Southwest Lumber Mills. Over the next twenty years as President of the company, he developed it (which became Southwest Forest Industries) from a small operation in Texas and Arizona to a “$350 million a year diversified marketing and manufacturing firm with 35 divisions and subsidiaries operating 81 facilities in 21 states” [2]. Raymond E. Baker wrote in memoriam that “Southwest was and is Jim Ben Edens. He was its architect and builder.” Edens was an industry leader, serving as the chairman, director or president of the Southwest Pine Association, Western Wood Products Association, National Forest Products Association, National Association of Manufacturers, Forest Products Industry Economic Council at one time or another. He was also an ardent conservationist and two-term mayor of Corrigan. Edens died at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. Sources: American Woodman (1944), p.68. Arndol, Clayton J. Jr. “J. B. Edens: A Leader in His Time.” The Timberline 17, no.11 (Nov. 1972), pp.4-5. Baker, Raymond E. “In Memoriam.” The Timberline 17, no.11 (Nov. 1972), p.3. “James B. Edens”. Southern Lumberman 225, no.2798 (Nov. 15, 1972), p.20. ---Note written by Kyle Ainsworth


2.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



There are 28 folders and several ledgers arranged across five series in two boxes.

Guide to the Edens-Birch Lumber Company Records
Darah Vann
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository