Dierks Brothers Company was founded in the 1880s by Hans, Herman, Peter, and Henry Dierks, sons of German immigrant Peter Henry Dierks. The company was succeeded in 1895 by Dierks Lumber and Coal Company. The company owned and operated numerous lumber yards in Iowa and Nebraska.. By 1900, the Dierks brothers owned twenty-four lumber yards in the Midwest. In that year, the company made its first purchase in Arkansas, acquiring a mill in DeQueen. After this time, the Dierks Lumber and Coal Company grew and expanded, particularly in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Between 1900 and 1930, the company came to operate more than twenty retail lumber yards, built and operated six lumber mills, built railroads, acquired at least twelve lumber manufacturing or timber companies, purchased over 1,250,000 acres of land, and implemented some of the first forestry conservation policies in the South. The Dierks family established a lumber dynasty that made their name a household word in the region.
The Dierks Lumber and Coal Company first purchased land in Garland County, Arkansas, in 1922, and began accumulating timberland in Garland County and the Ouachita Mountains in parcels of all sizes.
These materials pertaining to the Dierks Company and its Ouachita Mountains holdings were assembled by Wendy Richter as a part of a Ouachita Baptist University faculty research grant awarded in 2002.
Photocopies of deeds and plats illustrate the vast landholdings of Dierks Lumber and Coal in the 1920s and 1930s. Newsclippings and articles describe the importance of forest products activities in the Ouachita Mountains Region of Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the Dierks Company's role in that industry. There is emphasis on Garland County and the Dierks company town of Mountain Pine.
Dierks Lumber and Coal Company Records. Riley-Hickingbotham Library Archives and Special Collections, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas.