Jerry Rogers recalls his family moving to Orange in 1965 for what looked to be a short stay. “Daddy came here to log Sun Oil Company timber back in the woods. He said: ‘In five more years, we’ll have all the timber cut and we’ll have to move.’ He was off about 50 years.”

The Rogers Lumber Company that Jerry’s dad, William Dayton “W.D.” Rogers, began in 1947 in Arkansas, is celebrating its 70th year in operation and 52rd in Orange. Three generations of the Rogers family oversee the operation of the family sawmill located along Interstate 10, just west of U.S. 62.

Most weekdays, a steady stream of trucks, each hauling up to 40 tons of freshly cut East Texas pine, delivers logs, which are unloaded and stacked around the 2-acre lot. A full crew off 11 men operate the machines that can turn a 33-foot log into a 20-foot 12×12 or 6×6 post in 2 minutes, with a support crew just as large.

“We cut about 25,000 board feet a day,” says Jeff Rogers, the executive vice president of the company and the fourth generation to work in the family business. That’s the equal of about six log trucks of lumber. It would be enough to build two homes – if the wood was used that way.

“We produce dimensional timber, the big, heavy timbers for building use,” Jeff Rogers said. Rogers Lumber Company sells most of its lumber to processing companies around Houston.

From The Record Live: