A. H. Land was born November 24, 1866 in Concord, Virginia and died in Oroville, California on July 26, 1953. Land graduated as a captain from the Virginia Military Institute in 1890 and taught chemistry in the science department for several years. He was married in 1893 to Catherine Elizabeth Evans and entered the mercantile business in Bluefield, West Virginia. Holding interest in mining and lumber at various times throughout his life, Land became president of the First National Bank of Logan, West Virginia, and served as an assistant federal fuel officer during World War I. He served several terms as mayor of Bluefield, West Virginia and was the manager of the opera house. Mr. and Mrs. Land had seven children, including Charles Hunter Land, John Daniel Land, and Jacob Golden Land, all of whom were involved in Feather River Pine Mills business.
Feather River Pine Mills, Inc. was a major Northern California lumber company for a number of years. In 1920 the Hutchinson Lumber Company (a West Virginia hardwood lumber company established in 1908 by Robert Lee Hutchinson), bought the Wheeler timber tract northeast of Oroville. The company purchased large tracts of timber in Butte and Plumas counties in California and began building railroad lines, sawmills a planning mill and dry kilns. An office and plant were officially operational in Oroville in March 1922. Hutchinson Lumber Company was one of the largest lumber companies in Northern California (during its 1925 season the company cut 100,000,000 board feet of lumber).
A. H. Land served as vice-president and treasurer at the West Virginia Corporation (Hutchinson Lumber of West Virginia) for two years (February 1922-Feburary 1924). Land moved to Oroville in 1922 to help improve the financial situation of the company. In 1923 at A. H. Land’s suggestion, the California operations of Hutchinson Lumber Company was reorganized and incorporated as the Hutchinson Lumber Company of California. Land became the president and treasurer of the California Corporation and from that point on he was completely in charge of the operation of the lumber mill and other properties of Hutchinson Lumber of California. C. H. land, A. H. Land’s son, was given the responsibility of managing all operations and sales for Hutchinson Lumber of California.
Financial trouble continued for Hutchinson Lumber Company and on the morning of April 22, 1927 the real and personal property of the Hutchinson Lumber Company was offered for sale on the steps of the Butte County Courthouse in Oroville, California. A. H. Land submitted the only bid and purchased Hutchinson Lumber on behalf of himself and a group of associates for $1,960,063.13. Land and his partners formed a new firm in the space of a month, and incorporated it in Nevada under the name of Feather River Pine Mills (FRPM).
In October 1927, the mill in Oroville was completely destroyed by fire. A. H. Land began to negotiate a Federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) loan that was approved in February of 1938, providing $385,000 for the construction of a new mill. The Adelaide site on the outskirts of Oroville was abandoned, and the company decided to locate its operations near the town of Feather Falls. Construction work on the mill and town site soon began, and the rehabilitation of the railroad followed beginning in 1929. The new plant and railroad project were completed and ready for operation on July 1, 1940. Mr. Land organized National Wood Treating Company as a subsidiary in 1947. The plant was located in South Oroville. Feather River Pine Mills continued operations until 1955 when the Land and Cooper families sold the company to Georgia-Pacific Corporation.