On January 17, 1940, the Southland Paper Mill company opened its first plant in Lufkin, Texas, drawing from the Piney Woods for southern yellow pine. Lufkin was an ideal location because of its access to wood, water, fuel, and transportation.
For years, the company supplied newsprint for the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle and many other newspapers in Texas and throughout the U.S. By 1965, the Lufkin plant had 1,000 jobs, with a $7 million payroll. Production was 6,000 rolls weekly of newsprint and brown wrapping paper. It was the only Texas newsprint mill of the time.
In 1984, Champion International bought the plant. Through the years, the mill had been a major employer in the area and had also made major upgrades to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act.