Edward A. Hauss

The Edward A. Hauss Elemental Analysis Laboratory was funded through a generous contribution by the E.A. Hauss Endowment.Edward A. Hauss

The Edward A. Hauss Legacy

“Edward Adolph Hauss was instrumental in propelling the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company to success in the early 20th century. As the company’s president for 40 years, Hauss had a tremendous impact on the forest industry.

Hauss was born on July 20, 1871, in East St. Louis, Ill. He attended elementary school in East St. Louis and graduated from the Manual Training School of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., in 1888. In January of 1889, Hauss was employed as a Junior Draftsman by Peninsular Car Company in Detroit, Mich. In 1891, he was promoted to storekeeper. The Company merged into the Michigan-Peninsular Car Company in 1893 and that company was merged into The American Car and Foundry Company in 1899.

At the time of his marriage to Ethel Allen on Oct. 4, 1899, Edward was a supply agent with The American Car and Foundry Company. He resigned in 1900 to accept the position of Assistant Secretary of the newly formed Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company in Foshee, Ala. Hauss’s uncle, Colonel Frank J. Hecker, had recommended Hauss to his friend General Russell Alger for this new position.

Hauss moved to Foshee in July 1900 and was followed by his wife, Ethel in December 1900. In June 1901, they moved to the new company headquarters in Century, Fla., about 10 miles away. At Alger-Sullivan Lumber, Hauss was charged with looking after the financial interests of the company while educating himself in the lumber and sawmill business. In 1903, he became treasurer of the company and in 1911, vice president and treasurer. Five years later in 1916, Hauss was elected president and treasurer. He served as president for 40 years before retiring in March 1956. Upon his retirement, Hauss maintained the title of treasurer and was elected chairman of the board.

The story of the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company is a tribute to the leadership and foresight of Hauss. It was among the first lumber companies in the United States, which, by restricted and controlled operation, entered a program of “prolonged life” with the objective of perpetual operation. This was accomplished by natural and artificial reseeding of its forests, and by restricting yearly timber cuts and manufacturing operations. Originally, the company operated at Foshee, Ala., and Century, Fla., but early in the company’s history, all operations were concentrated at Century. This was a modern mill, visited by many other operators. Its forest operations were visited and carefully observed by foresters and lumbering officials.

Financially, the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company also had an outstanding success. From an original investment of $500,000, the company grew to $1 million in 1911 and liberal dividends and additional timber and land purchases were made from the earnings. The company, which had an original life prediction of 15 years, was sold on Feb. 22, 1957, to a group consisting of five pulp and paper companies for $26 million, having 227,000 acres of timberland and more than 500 million feet of standing timber.

The 57 years of business activity with the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company tells only a part of the story of Edward Hauss. Much could be added about his high standards of ethics and his outstanding human relations.

On June 4, 1957, Auburn University – then the Alabama Polytechnic Institute – honored Hauss for his contributions to his industry by awarding him with an honorary doctorate.

Hauss died in December 1963 however his legacy lives on through a gift to fund this space in his name. Hauss’s great-grandson Allen C. Phillips helped perpetuate his memory and recognize his impact on the forestry industry by dedicating funds from the E.A. Hauss Endowment to make this room possible.” (Text from the plaque in SFWS 4313).