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A Graphic Story About ‘Old Boss” as Told by Albert R. Israel of the S.P.A.

Railroads in Laurel, MS page 1

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[Note: This article was reproduced from the G. M.& N. News, date unknown.  If anyone has a problem with my reproducing it here, please let me know. Sam Lindsey]

EDITOR’S NOTE. “Old Boss”, the world’s largest pine tree, was grown in the G. M. & N. territory, near Louisville, in Winston county, Mississippi. It was cut by the Legan & McClure Lumber Co., Estes, and was shipped out over the G. M. & N. in the finished state. It stood 120 feet high, was 91 feet to the first limbGroup around Old Boss before they cut and measured seven feet and three inches across the stump. It was four feet and one inch through at the first limb. Five cuts sixteen feet long and one cut ten feet long, all clear of the limbs, were secured and three ten feet cuts were gotten from the limbs. The following story about the tree was written by a staff officer of the Southern Pine Association, New Orleans. -
(By Albert R. Israel)
“Old King Shortleaf,” the towering monarch of the South’s yellow pine forests, has fallen!
And although this monarch was only a tree, an inanimate entity, yet so great a tree it was in size and age and fame, that its passing and fail were attended by ceremonies and manifestations of regret, in lesser degree, but not unlike those that mark the end of a person of royal rank.
For approximately three centuries “Old King Shortleaf,” as this remarkable pine was known to many generations of Mississippi folk. reared his august bulk and held undisputed sway as lord of the Southern pine forests along the bank of Nanawayah Creek; headwater of Pearl River, about 16 miles east of Louisville, in Winston County. Mississippi, on the timber holdings of the Legan & McClure Lumber Co., of Bates, Miss.
This giant shortleaf pine has been an object of admiration and veneration by thousands of lovers of trees from many climes, by foresters, lumbermen and students of nature. For many years it has been reputed to be the largest shortleaf pine in the South, and although longleaf and shortleaf trees of exceptional height and girth abound in many other states in the Southern pine belt, yet the claim as “king of the shortleafs” made for the Nannawayah Creek monarch, never has been successfully disputed.
During 1920 a devastating tornado swept through Winston County and cut a swarth of more than a quarter of a mile in width on each side of this giant pine, virtually destroying or carrying away every thing in its path excepting the monarch shortleaf tree. Since that disaster it has been a sight of wonder to see this great pine standing as the solitary survivor over the wreckage wrought by the tornado.
But while it was spared by the great wind of 1920 and by other storms of the past, yet it was the elements that brought about its final fall. Several weeks ago during a severe electrical storm, a bolt of lightning shot out from a “thunder head” and crashed into the tops of “Old King Shortleaf”. Examination showed that the tree had been killed by the bolt.
At different times in the last decade the owners have sought to have the giant pine cut down, but because of its great size, no one could be found would undertake the task of felling the tree and moving it to the company’s logging road, some three miles away. Abont eight years ago E. C. Atkins & Company sent a representative to see the huge tree and afterwards made a special 16-foot cross-cut saw with which to cut it down. This big hand saw has been stored at the lumber company’s plant since that time.
After the tree was struck and killed by lightning the owners found it Crew to cut Old Bossnecessary to have it felled without further delay in order to save its splendid lumber. A crew of loggers from the owners’ plant was selected to cut down the forest giant, and the long cross cut saw was brought forth from the storehouse.
Old Boss being pulled from the woodsThe day Old King Shortleaf was cut down was a holiday in that section of Winston county. Several hundred inhabitants of the surrounding country attended, the ceremonies that occupied the entire day, farmers bringing their families in wagons and automobiles to witness the felling of the forest monarch. But it was not a holiday for frivolous festivities, as nearly all of the large company that saw the great pine laid low, experienced pangs of Loading Old Bossregret at the disappearance of an ancient landmark And, when the long, huge body of the tree was cut into log lengths and loaded onto logging wagons.
[Note: My copy of the story ends here.  If anyone has the rest of the story or better pictures, please let me know.]


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Copyright © 2013  All rights reserved.

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Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited