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"Mt Lolo Lumber / Elk Horn Lumber / Montana Lumber Sales / Delaney" Missoulian Sentinel Centennial Edition 1960

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Three-Plant Firm Does Heavy Business – Two Sawmills Supply Unfinished Lumber

Providing a substantial part of the important lumber industry in western Montana is Montana Lumber Sales Inc., an organization founded in December of 1949 by the late Paul Delaney.

Delaney, who began his career in the Black Hills of South Dakota, entered the lumber industry in Montana on his arrival at St. Ignatius in 1945.

In 1949, seeing the tremendous demand and expansion due for the lumber industry, he started the organization known today as Montana Lumber Sales Inc. for the orderly and efficient distribution of finished lumber.

Three Plants Now

This big operation now consists of three separate plants – two sawmills and a finishing plant – under the direction of Delaney’s two sons, Donald L. and Robert L., and his widow, Ella.

At the time of his death Dec. 30, 1959, Paul Delaney was president of Elk Horn Lumber Co., Mt. Lolo Lumber Co. and Montana Lumber Sales in Missoula and Delaney & Sons at Lincoln.

The Elk Horn plant at Agnes and Buckley and the plant at Lincoln process timber into unfinished lumber, then ship it to the Mt. Lolo plant at Russell and 14th streets where it is turned into finished lumber of all types.

Moved in 1954

Montana Lumber Sales had its offices at first near the Clark Fork River west of the Bitter Root Branch tracks of the Northern Pacific, then moved to its Middlesex street location in 1954.

The two sawmills each year produce about 20 million board feet of lumber each and the Mt. Lolo operation puts out approximately 50 million board feet of finished lumber annually, picking up some unfinished lumber from sources other than the two mills.

The finished lumber is shipped for the most part to retail and wholesale distribution yards in the Middle West and on the East Coast.

Employed by Montana Lumber Sales and its three plants are about 140 employees working a double shift on a five-day week. Indirectly the firm provides employment for many others in the logging industry, procuring the raw materials from private logging contractors and purchasing some timber itself, then letting the logging work out on contract. The plants process a variety of lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine and spruce.

To participate in further utilization of timber, a barker and chipper plant was installed in 1958 at the Elk Horn plant to help supply the Waldorf-Hoerner Paper Products Co. plant west of the city.

Currently a $200,000 project is under way at the Lincoln sawmill with a barker and chipper plant as well as a stud mill under construction.

Donald L. Delaney is president of Montana Lumber Sales Inc., and also of the Elk Horn and Mt. Lolo firms. Mrs. Paul Delaney is vice president of Montana Lumber Sales and secretary-treasurer of Delaney & Sons. Robert L. Delaney is president of Delaney & Sons at Lincoln with his brother as vice president.

Wayne E. Rusk is vice president of the Elk Horn and Mt. Lolo companies, and Donald E. Prentice is secretary-manager of Montana Lumber Sales and secretary-treasurer of the Elk Horn and Mt. Lolo companies.