William B. Boss
William B. Boss was born in
1832 in Baltimore,
Maryland. After high school he went to work in merchandising for
then turned his attention to railroading. In September 1872, the year
Denison was established, he established a firm known as Boss, Pinto and
Jennings. As head of the firm, he engaged in the lumber and
his lumber business, William
soon added the three-story
Lone Star Flouring Mill and became its superintendent. On September 23,
Harrison Tone reported in the Denison
Daily News, "Lone
Star [Flour] Mills, erected at a cost of $40,000, [is] now turning out
the rate of 150 barrels daily." An advertisement showing
the mill was published in The Great
South-West on March 4, 1875.
By 1876, Boss was a City
Councilman representing the Fourth Ward and was a member of the
Schools Committee. The 1876 Denison City Directory listed the Lone
Mill as located on the southeast corner of Houston Avenue and Owings
the MK&T tracks.
The Daily Cairo (Illinois) Bulletin
August 5, 1880
The property was clearly depicted
on the 1886
"Bird's-Eye Map" drawn by Henry Wellge.
for Boss, agent
Lone Star Flour Mill
September 14, 1881
early partnership with
Jennings and Pinto soon evaporated. According to City
the Lone Star Mill was owned by Knapp & Stout. As early as
Boss was listed in the City Directory as agent for Knapp, Stout, and
has a good deal to say about Knapp & Stout:
& Co. was a lumber company based in Menomonie,
Wisconsin, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The company was established in 1846, when John Holly Knapp
and William Wilson purchased a lumber mill
on the Red
Cedar River from David Black; it was originally known as
Black & Knapp. Henry Stout became an owner of the
company in 1853, and its name became Kanpp, Stout & Company.
The company's location allowed it to control the lumber
industry in the region, and by 1870 it controlled the logging industry
in the Red Cedar River valley. In 1878, the company
incorporated, and its official name became the Knapp, Stout &
Company. The company employed over 2,000 workers in the
Menomonie area and produced 85 million board feet
of lumber on average yearly from 1871 to 1896; its output made it the
largest lumber company in the world. In the 1880s, the
company expanded to sites along the Mississippi
River, opening offices in Dubuque,
Landing, Minnesota, and St. Louis, Missouri. By the 1900s,
company had largely depleted its lumber supply; it closed many of its
dissolved early in the twentieth century. The company sent out its last
shipment of lumber on August 12, 1901.
Detail, 1885 Sanborn's Map for Denison, Texas
Boss and his wife Margaret lived
on the southwest corner of Day Street and Lamar Avenue. Both had been
previously. They had two children, possibly from previous
Boss (1862–?) and Lillian C. Blood Brown (1866–1924). Lillian in 1889
Henry Wiltz Brown, who became a longtime newspaper editor in Findley,
Star Flour Mill, 1886
1886 Bird's Eye Map
Wellge (1850–1917). Denison, Texas. Grayson County. 1886, 1885. Toned
lithograph, 17.6 x 26.9 in., by Beck & Pauli, Milwaukee.
(Published by Norris, Wellge, & Co., No. 107 Wells St.,
Milwaukee, Wis.). Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth.
Lumber Yard advertisement
Denison City Directory
1891 City Directory listed
both the Lone Star Lumber Yard, with both yard and office at the
corner of Chestnut Street and South Houston Avenue; and the Lone Star
Mills at the corner of South Houston Avenue and Owings Street. That
William was listed as "Manager, Lone Star Lumber Yard, lumber, laths,
shingles, sash, doors, blinds ... Rooms at Howard E. Hanna, boards with
V. Cummings." William's wife was listed separately, which was rather
unusual: "Mrs. W. B. Boss, proprietoress, Lone Star Lumber Yard ...
at Mrs. M. V. Cummings." The Lone Star Flour Mills were owned by Knapp,
Stout, & Company of St. Louis, Missouri.
1896 the Bosses had left
Denison, perhaps reflecting the decline of Knapp & Stout. The
1910 found William working as a commercial traveler selling lumber. He
Margaret A. were living in Sedalia, Missouri, a major stop on the
Railway between St. Louis and Denison. The next year, they had moved to
Findley, Ohio, where daughter Lillian lived; William was still working
commercial traveler. By 1914, the Findley City Directory listed no
Margaret seems to have
1920. In 1921, William was a widower living in Woodstock, Illinois. He
that year in Chicago and was buried in Findlay, Ohio.