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Missouri State University Libraries

Ozark Land and Lumber Company

Collection Number: M004
Volume: 17.5 cubic feet
Dates:1840s-1962 (Bulk 1891-1947)


The collection was acquired mainly in 1982, with additions in 2004 and 2006. It was processed by Leslie James and Tracie Gieselman-Holthaus, with assistance from Erin Williams. The finding aid was completed in 2007 by Tracie Gieselman-Holthaus.


This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).


The collection is unrestricted. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be obtained from the Department of Special Collections and Archives. Citations should be as follows: Identification of the item, box and folder number, Ozark Land and Lumber Company Collection [M004], Department of Special Collections and Archives, Missouri State University.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

The Ozark Land and Lumber collection provides information about the timber industry in Missouri through the records of John H. Hahn. Hahn began his career with the Hershey Land and Lumber Company in Muscatine, Iowa. In 1895, Hershey consolidated with the Ozark Lumber Company and formed the Ozark Land and Lumber Company with saw mills, lumber yards, railroads, and a company store in Shannon County, Missouri. Hahn was sent to Missouri and served as manager of the company. The company ceased yellow pine logging operations in 1912 and reincorporated in 1915 as a real estate corporation with properties in Carter, Oregon, and Shannon counties. In 1923, Ozark Land and Lumber sold 103,297 acres of cut-over land to T.J. Moss Tie Company for tie timber. Hahn reorganized the company, serving as its president, and opened a yard in Springfield, Missouri, while retaining the mill and store in Winona. Hahn’s only child, Golda M. Hahn, continued the business after her father’s death in 1947.

Hahn’s personal role in business with other lumber companies, forestry, and land management also provides further insight into Missouri’s timber industry and environmental history. Correspondence and business records can be found in the collection concerning companies such as Missouri Land and Mining Company, Cordz-Fisher Lumber, Moss Tie and Timber, and the Current River Land and Cattle Company, and agencies such as the Department of Agriculture-Forest Service.

Note on additional resources: The Ozark Land and Lumber Company collection held at the Western Historical Manuscript Collections in Columbia, Missouri complements the collection at Missouri State University. John Hahn donated materials to the University of Missouri in 1945. The collection at Western Historical does highlight the real estate aspect of Ozark Land and Lumber, and contains correspondence concerning demonstration farms for cut-over lands and promoting immigration. Plat maps, or maps showing township and section plats of company held land, can be found in both collections. (The maps show prospective buyers the location of land or timber.) Missouri State University also used the term “plat map” for similar maps in the collection in order to maintain consistent terminology.

Related Collection:
Center for Ozarks Studies, Record Group 8/11

Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection was transferred to the University’s Center for Ozarks Studies in 1982 from the estate of Golda M. Hahn and stored in the “library storage complex.” Additionally acquired materials were incorporated into the collection. The majority of the materials relate to business conducted from 1891 to 1947. However, the collection does contain some personal financial materials and papers. Oversized items can be found in the Oversized Materials Box and in the map case. The collection is divided into fourteen series as listed below.

Series I: Business Records: This chronological series contains various records from businesses in which J. H. Hahn played a personal role. Materials include maps, land plats, leases, receipts, inventories, bound warranty deeds, certificates and licenses, etc. All oversized Certificates of Incorporation can be found in the Oversized Materials Box. Please note that Frisco and other railroad materials can be found in this series.

Series II: Business Correspondence: The Correspondence series is organized chronologically overall but is separated in two ways. Generally, a subject that has ten or more items of correspondence is organized within its own folder. All other items are organized chronologically by decade. Materials in this series may directly relate to items in other series, such as land deeds or specific business records.

Series III: Financials: Documents of a financial nature and small ledgers create the first section of this series. The second section consists of all tax documents (business and personal). Each section is arranged chronologically. Please note that some tax documents have an end of the year balance attached.

Series IV: Photographs: All photographs from the collection, such as locomotives, mills, and other scenes from the Ozark Land and Lumber Company, are housed in this series.

Series V: Publications: Magazines, booklets, small promotional items, postcards, and other published materials can be found in this series. Some promotional items may contain written information concerning employees, land, etc. Note that the 1903 American Lumberman highlights the Ozark Land and Lumber Company and other companies in the timber industry.

Series VI: Miscellaneous: This series consists of items such as newspaper clippings, blank letterhead, other materials not directly related to business conducted by J.H. Hahn, and other items in which there were too few to form a series. Note J.H. Hahn’s obituary in the clippings, and an outline of his life in The Life of John H. Hahn.

Series VII: Personal Papers: Materials perceived to be personal in nature. These include memorial cards, personal insurance policies, correspondence, etc. The last six folders of the series pertain to Golda M. Hahn.

Series VIII: Land Deeds: A large series containing loose land deeds from various counties. Deeds are separated by county and are housed in six boxes. Generally, correspondence is attached to the deed, but the business records and correspondence series may contain related materials. Some deeds appear to belong to land purchased by Ozark Land & Lumber Company, while other properties were sold by Hahn.

Series IX: Ledgers (Boxed): Ledgers from the Ozark Land and Lumber Company and the Slater Copper Mine Company.

Series X: Newspapers and Oversized Materials: This series contains items requiring an oversized box. Documents such as notary public certificates and business incorporation certificates are housed here, as well as oversized items from the collection. Newspapers from the collection were preserved in their entirety and are stored in this location. Some articles from the newspaper clippings file (in the Miscellaneous Series) can be found in these papers.

Series XI: Artifacts: Various artifacts were included in the collection. Some items may contain written notes concerning employees, land, etc.

Series XII: Ledger Books: Oversized ledgers are shelved and identified with paper slips.

Series XIII: Time Books: Oversized time books are shelved and identified with paper slips.