OUR PURCHASE OF THE KITTEN SAW MILL

Rt. 2, Box 6 Slaton, Texas, 79364

On May 5th Joe Kitten, my uncle, came to tell us that the Kitten
Saw Mill located at Lueken Lumber Company in Ferdinand, Indiana,
would be sold. Like a dream come true Jerry has been waiting
patiently for the Kitten Saw Mill to be up for sale. The Kitten Saw
Mill was the saw mill that was run with the Kitten Steam Engine up
until 1972. Jerry is the owner of the #224 Kitten Steam Engine the
last traction steam engine built in the United States. So we set
off on Thursday May 7th to Ferdinand, Indiana to purchase the
Kitten Saw Mill. We arrived on Friday afternoon at the home of Mr.
and Mrs. Frank Meyers of Route 3, Ferdinand. We were shocked to
hear our good friend Jackson Meyers had a heart attack but was
doing well. Friday afternoon we arrived at Lueken Lumber Company.
At first sight you would think that there would be no way that
Jerry and I could take on this job of taking apart piece by piece
by ourselves. After much deliberation and measuring we put on our
working clothes and started the job. The first thing was to take
out all the nails on the rails where the carriage slides forward
and backwards. Second was to make a clear path where the front
loader belonging to Lueken Lumber Company could drive and help pick
up the front of the saw mill. The Kitten Saw Mill has been owned by
Joe Lueken and put in the Lueken Lumber Company since the early
30’s so there has been some dirt built up around it. The Kitten
Saw Mill has not been used for the last two years. The saw mill was
the original saw mill that was powered by the #224 Kitten Steam
Engine until 1972. The big 5 foot saw blade was taken off and
rolled out to be loaded later. And then piece by piece was put on
the 18-wheeler by a Tow motor until the entire saw mill was on the
truck by dark. This saw mill also has an edger and cutoff saw. This
Kitten saw mill is one of four of its kind that is still together
today. And we have two of the four in Texas. The other two are in
Indiana.

I noticed in the May-June, 1958 issue of the Iron Men Album
Magazine there is a picture of the Kitten running the Kitten Saw
Mill. So after all these years the saw mill has finally moved. Of
course some interesting parts that the Luekens saved they sold to
us. There was an elevator for carrying the bark and small pieces
away from the mill, a log puller that was powered by horses, a
couple of jacks that belonged to the steam engine, and one more
item that was upstairs in the barn in the box that it was shipped
in. Inside was an overhauled Pickering governor dated 1945. So you
can tell it was a memorable experience to find all of those parts
that came from our ancestors. Now we have another small task to do
and that is install and align the latest Kitten saw mill antique at
Slaton. If you want to see the Kitten history come to our place,
Kitten Fertilizer, Route 2, Slaton, Texas. Ask for Jerry.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment