William T. Sturges, who had been engaged with them in selling and in a general executive capacity.
In 1897 we concluded to also utilize the shaving machines in producing Poplar Cigar Box Lumber in the South. After a number of trips to different localities in Virginia and Tennessee we settled upon Johnson City, Tennessee, as a location and bought what had formerly been a furniture factory. We remodeled the plant and installed our machinery. After we had operated the plant for about two years we decided to secure timber in advance of our wants instead of trusting entirely to the purchase of logs. We bought one tract of 22,000 acres, known as the Scottish tract in Western North Carolina, also smaller tracts amounting to some 13,000 acres.
By this time we had invested several times the amount we had originally planned to spend in this branch of the business, and so in 1903 we incorporated the AMERICAN CIGAR BOX LUMBER CO., and transferred the plant, timberlands and all our holdings to the Company, taking stock for our investment. The Company then issued $400,000. of bonds secured by Mortgage on all its properties, which bonds we sold from time to time until all were disposed of.
The establishing and developing of this business entailed much hard work. However, the outcome was satisfactory, and it became permanent in its line. My firm resolution, to not become interested in the patented shaving machines — which really formed the foundation of the business — on any basis other than that we would absolutely control them, proved to have been sound and correct.
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