The Commissary at Electric Mills

The mercantile department was a general store that stocked groceries, feed, hardware, drugs, undertaking supplies, mill supplies, dry goods, and a jewelry department.


The commissary sold dry goods, groceries, and hardware. It also housed the post office, pharmacy, and sandwich shop.

Picture provided by Mr. H. T. Jarvis

The Doo-ga-loo

Mr. Grady May reported that the company used U. S. money called "main line"; company brass called doo-ga-loo; company time cards, and sales tax tokens.

 Mrs. E. A. Temple said that the doo-ga-loo was used instead of real money because of safety precautions due to the large volume of money that would have to be handled in the mill. Every two weeks the employees could cash their “doogs” in on silver dollars which were brought in on the trains by armed guards.”

 Thanks to Mr. Richard Barge of Macon, MS who provided the doo-ga-loo for the picture.

The Masonic Lodge

The Masonic Lodge – NO. 594 was granted its charter in 1923 with Dr. E. L. Gilbert as the first Worshipful Master. The lodge room was in the upstairs of the school building.



The School at Electric Mills, Mississippi

The school had 8 grades in 4 rooms.

Teachers left to right: Mrs. Brantley 3rd and 4th, Miss Harris 1st and 2nd, Miss Giles 5th and 6th, and Mr. Hollis 7th and 8th.



The picture was provided by Rosemary Schelinski.

The Sumter Lumber Company Office

The office was along the right-of-way of Highway 45 that ran parallel to the Mobile & Ohio Railroad which had 4 passenger trains daily.


Thank to Mr. H. T. Jarvis for providing the picture.

Nearwhite was the company trademark

The finished lumber was very soft and easily worked and very light in both color and weight. It was the nearest approach of any southern wood to white pine hence the name “Nearwhite” became the company trademark.


The Brightest City South of St. Louis

The name of the town was changed to Electric Mills because of the uniqueness of this new lumber manufacturing process. The slabs, sawdust, planning mill chips and other waste had to be disposed of, so the production engineers decided to fire a boiler with them to produce steam to power the electrical generators.


The electric generating plant ran continuously, the electricity was free to the employees, so no one ever bothered to turn off a light. One news correspondent wrote that EM was the brightest city south of Saint Louis.

Specialty Products of the Mill

The specialty products of the mill were boards, ship lap, casing, base and flooring.



About 90 percent of these were cut in 16 foot lengths.