Organized in 1898, the Nona Mills Lumber Company of Nona, Texas established a saw mill at Leesville in 1899. Company officers were Pres. F.L. Carroll, Vice Pres. G.R. Ferguson, Sec. Treas. J.N. Gilbert, and Asst. Treas. L.B. Pikin. Serviced by its own 22 mile-long standard gauge tram railroad, the mill daily produced 100,000 board feet of lumber. By 1904 the mill was shipping 22,000,000 feet of lumber and had 5,000,000 feet in reserve. Nona Mills was the single greatest contributor to Leesville's lumber based economy. It was progressive in its hiring practices and support to the local community. It had a workforce of 370 loggers and mill hands supported by a monthly payroll of $15,000. In 1905 the company hired Miss Bird Smith as stenographer and Mrs. R.A. Davis as bookkeeper-cashier making it one of the first saw mills in the South to hire women in important positions. It assisted Leesville with a public waterworks, a public swimming pool, ice plant, fire department, brass band, and baseball team, "The Leesville White Sox of the Yellow Pine Sawmill League". After a disastrous 1907 fire Nona Mills donated to the town a new fire station and equipment. Truly a major benefactor of Leesville's growth and success.