Southland Paper Mills, Inc. was organized on June 13, 1938. Chief investor and first president was Ernest L. Kurth. On May 27, 1939, the mill site was dedicated to Charles H. Herty, the person who brought the project about by insisting that the South could produce commercial newsprint. On January 17, 1940, production of the first commercial newsprint made of Southern pine was begun at the mill located near Lufkin because of the wood, water, fuel, and transportation available there. Within the first ten years of operation, a second newsprint machine was needed. In 1966, St. Regis Paper Company purchased the Southland stock that had been owned by the Louis Calder Foundation and various Calder family members. In the summer of 1977, St. Regis bought out the remaining shares of Southland. Champion International Corporation bought St. Regis in September 1984, making it the industry's largest manufacturer of "white paper" and the second largest domestic producer of newsprint.
Southland's Lufkin mill pioneered the way to Southern paper production, therefore, making it an important part of American history.
These records, donated by a long-time Southland employee, represent only a small portion of the company's business records. In 1990, the bulk of the records were located at the company's office in Lufkin.