May 10, 1937
FRESNO BEE - Evening Edition


      Merced (Merced County), May 10, --Leslie Edward COLLINS, 41, chief engineer at the Yosemite Sugar Pine Lumber Company mill at Merced Falls, was burned to death in a fire which destroyed his home at Merced Fall, was burned to death in a fire which destroyed his home at Merced Falls early Sunday morning. The fire was discovered by Clyde MEYERS shortly after 2 A. M.

      COLLINS' body was found in the ruins after the flames were subdued. He was lying near a bed in which he apparently had been sleeping when the blaze started.

      Deputy Coroner J. Vernon IVERS and Deputy Sheriff M. M. MORSE Say their investigation indicated COLLINS' death was due to an accident. An autopsy performed here yesterday disclosed that COLLINS' received fifth degree burns.

      Mrs. COLLINS and two sons, Leslie and Johnny, were visiting in Fresno over the week-end. IVERS says COLLINS was in the house alone and probably had gone to sleep, from which he was not aroused until escape from the blaze was impossible.

      Besides his widow and sons, he leaves his father John W. COLLINS, former Mariposa County supervisor for twenty-five years; a stepmother, Mrs. Rose (Rosene Quail) COLLINS, and two sisters, Mrs. Shirley JACKSON, San Bernardino, and Mrs. Marquerita MORSE, of Merced

      He was born in Hornitos and served in the Coast Naval Reserve during the World War.

      Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Ivers & Alcorn Parlors, with Rev. W. A. Cash officiating, and burial will follow in the Hornitos IOOF Cemetery.

May 12, 1937
Merced Sun-Star


      Merced Falls hums with logging activity and the Yosemite Sugar Pine Lumber company in the midst of a heavy lumber season, it was revealed today by H. B. Oatman, mill superintendent.

      The peak of lumber shipments will. be reached next week when 50 carloads of logs will be shipped to Merced daily.

      At the present time, 36 to 40 carloads of timber are being loaded and carried into Merced by the Yosemite Valley railroad Oatman said. 500 Employed

      Five hundred men are employed at present in both the lumber mill and in the woods, Oatman said. In addition, there are 50 more in the planing mills an other work.

      Two seven-hour shifts are now in force. The single shifts was Star
ted last Friday and a double shift Monday night.

      In a seven-hour shift, an average of 280,000 board feet of pine is cut, Oatman said. When the shift is increased to eight hours the production will be raised to 320,000 board feet per eight-hour shift. 2 Daily Shifts

      Lumber comes into Merced Falls twice daily from the back woods, via railroad. The large pond in the town is being logged to keep up a timber supply for the second shift to work.

      Oatman said the output of timber this year will reach 60 million board feet. During the lumber season, the payroll per month amounts to $75,000, Oatman estimated.

      In charge of the timber cutting is E. E. Honeycutt, woods boss. The plant superintendent is H. M. Mathew. President of the lumber company is John R. Ball.

July 19, 1937
Merced Sun-Star


      The interior department said today the Yosemite Sugar Pine Lumber company has been ordered to stop cutting operations on 7000 acres of sugar pine timber, according to a report from the United Press.

      "I have not heard no order to stop cutting operations, We are continuing to cut timber here, and we are in the peak of our lumber season," John R. Ball, manager of the Yosemite lumber company said today.

      In addition to denying he had been told to suspend operations, Ball said no evaluation, so far as he knew, had been placed upon the 7000 acre tract of land at any time. No Price Quoted

      When the bill to annex to 7000 acres to the Yosemite park was pending in congress, $1,500,000 had been mentioned as a purchase price. Ball said today he had been quoted no figure at all.

      "I know nothing more about what is happening than anyone else, although I heard last week President Roosevelt had signed a bill authorizing purchase of the land," Ball stated.

      From Washington an interior department official said:

      "The owner of the land has been advised of the intention of the government to purchase the tract and has been ordered to stop cutting operations." the United Press said. Evaluate Land

      The official also declared a check cruise of the area has been planned to determine number of board feet of lumber on the tract. Later a forest service expert will evaluate the land.

      It will be several weeks, officials said, before negotiations for purchase of the land could be started as agreement with owners of the sugar pine stand must be made on a fair price. The interior department hopes to avoid condemnation proceedings, they said.

      Ball disclosed the plant is operating at full production. There are 350 men employed in the lumber mill at Merced Falls. 350 Cut Trees

      Another 350 men are cutting timber in the tract back of Merced Falls, he said. He was unable to say exactly how many cars of lumber were being transported by Yosemite Valley railroad daily from Merced Falls into Merced.

      The 7000 acres of sugar pine, once included in the Yosemite park boundaries, then excluded in 1902, is called the most valuable single stand of sugar pine remaining in the world.