Old Missoula

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

"21 sawmills are making chips" - Waldorf-Hoerner - article from Missoulian Sentinel Centennial Edition 1960

E-mail Print PDF

Waldorf-Hoerner $12 Million Investment

Paper Mill Adds to Expansion

A $12,000,000 investment in what appears to be a rosy future for the Garden City’s trade areas is situated some 13 miles west of the city limits in the giant Waldorf-Hoerner Paper Products Co. operations.

The 250-ton sulfate pulp mill was started in November of 1956 and went into operation in November of 1957 – an investment of about $6,000,000.

Now, less than three years after it began producing a bleachable kraft pulp, that investment is being doubled with expansion of the pulp capacity to 350 tons and construction of a huge paper mill at the site.

$14,000 Every Day

The paper mill means employment for about 35 highly skilled and trained workers in addition to about 100 persons previously employed at the plant. Before the paper mill project and expansion of the pulp plant the firm in 1959 was spending more than $14,000 every day for wages, chips and local services in the Missoula area.

According to the State Planning Board, economic surveys show that more than 700 persons in the Garden City area are directly or indirectly dependent on the mill.

Lumber Plants Expand

The arrival of the pulp plant signaled a great change and expansion in the western Montana lumber industry, with former waste materials becoming a valuable product. Debarking and chipping facilities costing from $100,000 to $750,000 at each sawmill were installed to supply the pulp mill with raw materials.

And now, as the Missoula vicinity enters its second century of progress, the pulp mill’s mate – an all-steel and concrete paper mill building 700 feet long and 70 feet wide – will further utilize what in the past has been considered waste wood in Montana.

The product, unbleached kraft paperboard, will be sold in the entire Mississippi Valley and the Plains States from Texas to Canada. It will reach 13 Hoerner box plants and four Waldorf box plants and another under contract to Waldorf.

Responsible for the development are two Midwest companies, the Waldorf and Hoerner companies. Hoerner began in the cereal business. By 1959 it reached a point where it produced one and a half billion board feet of boxes. Waldorf, which started in the label and carton field before the turn of the century, is now one of the largest integrated packaging operations under one roof in the country.

President, general manager, and a director of the new company is Nels H. Sandberg. Other directors and associates are Paul A. Schilling, president and treasurer of Waldorf Paper Products Co., St Paul; Richard N. Hoerner, president and chairman of Hoerner Boxes, Inc., Keokuk, Iowa, and V. D. Shuck, vice-president-finance and secretary-treasurer of Hoerner Boxes Inc.

To an area accustomed to the burning of wood residues and the accompanying smells, the dismantling of waste wood burners was a step forward. To the lumber industry it was a step nearer to the state goal of conservation.

In 1960 there are 21 sawmills making chips for the pulp mill. There were 11 sawmills supplying chips in the first year of operation. Waldorf-Hoerner forecasts that within the next two years the mill will receive chips from all of western Montana.

In a comparatively average sawmill about 50 percent of the wood after barking goes to lumber and up to 30 per cent to chips. The remainder is sawdust and shavings. Wood used for the pulp mill includes Douglas, white, balsam, western and ponderosa pine, grand fir, lodgepole, Englemann spruce and western larch. Cedar is about the only exception.

Director Sandberg predicts wood waste from logging operations also will be used in the future. When the chips have run the gauntlet of processing from pulp to paper to converting plants, the product will be packages used to ship such products as engines, outboard motors, bicycles, instruments, turkeys and other articles.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2016 16:28