Frederick Weyerhauser

 
     
     


Frederick Weyerhauser

Born Nov. 21, 1834 , Nieder Saulheim, Hesse

Died April 4, 1914 , Pasadena , Calif. , U.S.

Frederick traveled to America in 1852 with little more than the clothes on his back and absolutely no money in his pocket. He left Germany and poverty behind to find what millions of other immigrants were searching for – a better life in a fairly new country

After coming to America , he worked as a day laborer in the vicinity of Erie , Pennsylvania , where he married Elisabeth Bladel.  He then moved to Rock Island , Illinois , where he worked on a railroad and as a carter. .  In Rock Island he was put in charge of a sawmill and then a timber yard. which he and his brother-in-law, Frederick C.A. Denkmann bought in 1857, .  He advanced quickly where he worked.  In one of the few interviews he ever gave, when asked to explain the reasons for his tremendous success, he said, "The secret lay simply in my will to work.  I never watched the clock and never stopped before I had finished what I was working on.” After the panic of 1857 he was able to buy both with money he had saved.  Together they founded Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Lumber Company. Weyerhaeuser was known as the lumber master, while Denkmann was the skilled machinist bought After the panic of 1857 he was able to buy both with money he had saved.  Soon afterwards, he bought logs from the shores of the Mississippi and acquired additional sawmills. 

There are famous historical photographs of massive log rafts being pushed down the river by steamboat. It was reported in 1896 that the “F.C.A. Denkmann” steamboat, along with the “H.C. Brockman” bowboat, brought down history’s longest raft, 1,550 feet long by 270 feet wide.
In the year 1864, Weyerhaeuser began to buy up pine tracts in Wisconsin , after which he had all stages the lumber business under his control.  He acquired still more land in Wisconsin , Minnesota , Idaho , Washington , and Oregon .  In 1891, he moved to St. Paul where he became friends and neighbors with James J. Hill, the operator of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Hill had acquired millions of acres of the best timber forests cheaply form the government for his railroad.  He knew nothing about the lumber business, and sold more than three million acres of forests to Weyerhaeuser at bargain rates, contributing much to the wealth of the company.

At the turn of the century, he owned more timberland than other American did.  He held rather liberal views, considering the period, and showed greater concern for his workers than any other industrial magnate of the time.  He impressed upon them the necessity of protecting even the smallest trees.  Upon his death in 1914, Hill commented, "His place can never be filled…He was one of those national forces that helped build our country…"

In 1900, Weyerhaeuser and 15 partners purchased 900,000 acres of timberland in Washington State , which at that time was the largest private transaction of property ever in the United States . The local partnership continued until 1905, when Fred, Jr. sawed the last log and the mills went silent. Denkmann died in 1905 and Weyerhaeuser in 1914; both are buried at Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island

He remained throughout his life a simple man who shied away from publicity

Written by the Web master

 

 

Weyerhaeuser: Timberland Empire

 

 

Million Cunits

Acres Fee Ownership

Acres Long-
Term Leases

Acres License Arrangements

Total
Acres

US West

62

2,274,000

 

 

2,274,000

US South

56

3,740,000

788,000

 

4,528,000

Total US

118

6,014,000

788,000

 

6,802,000

Alberta

99

 

 

7,616,000

7,616,000

British Columbia

146

662,000

 

3,908,000

4,570,000

New Brunswick

1

 

 

177,000

177,000

Ontario

47

1,000

 

5,947,000

5,948,000

Saskatchewan

82

 

 

12,214,000

12,214,000

Total Canada

375

663,000

 

29,862,000

30,525,000

International

3

203,000

7,000

76,000

286,000

Total

496

6,880,000

795,000

29,938,000

37,613,000

 

From the company's SEC Form 10K for 2003.

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