f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Leming Lumber Co.

Posted Monday, July 23, 2012, at 12:00 AM

Merit E. Leming came to Cape Girardeau in about 1892, establishing a lumber mill on the Mississippi River. His mill remained at the original site, until fire destroyed the operation in the late 1920s. A portable mill was then set up as a temporary measure, and it was to be used until the mill was rebuilt. But for various reasons, including the Depression, that mill was used until 1944. The mill closed in the early 1990s, having been sold to Howard Tooke. (G.D. Fronabarger photo, 1939)

Dec. 31, 1924 Southeast Missourian

The Leming Lumber Co. had its biggest year in history, turning out 20 million feet of lumber at a total price of $600,000. The plant operated on 24-hour shifts for four months during the year to take care of the extra business.


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  • About the only thing you can see from the road these days is an old "beehive burner" - a sawdust burner.


    One of my readers said, "I've wandered all through the woods behind the old burner, and there's still a ton of old buildings and conveyors. Lots of interesting, and possibly unsafe urban hiking back there!"

    I'll take his word for it, particularly doing chigger and snake season.

    -- Posted by Ken1 on Mon, Jul 23, 2012, at 12:39 AM
  • I am Ron Scheper My dad Harry Scheper had worked for M as he was called for over 50 years. They also owed a apple orchard . And hired my Dad to operate it for them. He hired my Mom Alieen Hulehan-Scheper as a apple picker and fell in love with her and ended up getting married . After they shut the orchard down Dad went to work for them at the lumber mill driving their lumber truck making delivers all over the country

    -- Posted by Paulette Scheper on Mon, Jul 23, 2012, at 2:55 PM
  • Wasn't there a retail Leming lumber yard on Independence that closed back in the early 80s? Where exactly was it?

    -- Posted by JD420 on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 7:05 AM
  • Are you thinking of landgraph Lumber where Thorngate used to be?

    -- Posted by racer3694 on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 2:38 PM
  • Most of the logs that were cut into lumber at the facility arrived by way of log rafts floated down the river. Aside from rail service on the St Louis - San Francisco railroad, a large amount of cut lumber left on barges on the Mississippi. There is another Fronabarger aerial photo taken from the east and one from the Juden family that show sluices that were used to move cut lumber from the mill yard down to the river so the lumber could be quickly and easily loaded onto barges.

    -- Posted by klrwhizkid on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 6:12 PM