Hugh Camp announces major mill expansions

Published 10:23 am Friday, July 11, 2014

By Clyde Parker

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local historian Clyde Parker.

July 11, 1964

NEW YORK—On Thursday, Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp. Chairman Hugh Camp announced a $35 million expansion program for the Franklin mill. Included in the expansion will be installation of a brand new paper machine. It will be named “No. 5”. Its daily capacity will be about 150 tons of various bond papers and other grades for printing.

No. 3 paper machine in Franklin will be rebuilt to enable upgrading of paper quality and to facilitate increases in the machine’s output. It will produce an additional 50 tons per day. After completion of these projects, estimated to be no later than the year 1967, the Franklin Mill’s overall capacity will be increased by about 35 percent.

“One hundred and fifty permanent new jobs will be created at the Franklin Mill,” said J. E. Ray III, Company Vice President. “In addition, construction and engineering payrolls will be sizeable during the construction period; all told, we will see a tremendous boost in the local economy,” he said.

Camp announced other projects in Union Bag-Camp’s expansion program. They include:

A new pulp and paper mill in Prattville, Ala., $43 million.

Expansion at the Savannah, Ga. Mill, $7 million.

Expansion at the Richmond, Va. Bag Factory, $2 million.

Following completion of the present corporate expansion program, Union Bag-Camp will have 39 plant locations.


FRANKLIN—John E. (Jack) Ray III, resident manager of the Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp. Franklin Mill since 1956, will transfer to the New York office in September. His office will be located at the Company headquarters in the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway.

The announcement was made jointly by Union Bag-Camp Chairman Hugh Camp and Company President Alexander Calder, Jr.

Actually, Ray, who is also vice-president of the Company’s overall Bleached Products Division, will not have any change in his ultimate responsibility. He will continue to direct activities of all Company locations that deal with bleached paper and paperboard. This includes both primary manufacturing facilities and converting operations. Managers of all segments and locations of the Company’s Bleached Products Division – five facilities in five states – are presently reporting to Ray and will continue to do so.

To replace Ray on-site in Franklin, a new resident manager will be named in the very near future.

In September, Ray and his wife Peggy will move to an apartment in Manhattan. They will continue to maintain their Franklin home at 1009 Clay Street, at least temporarily.

Ray has been with Union Bag-Camp for 23 years, beginning with its predecessor company Chesapeake-Camp Corp. which was successor to Camp Manufacturing Company’s paper-making venture. (Camp Manufacturing Co. and Chesapeake – Camp Corp. were concurrent companies from 1936 to 1945. The latter was formed through the merger of Chesapeake Corp. of Virginia at West Point, Va. with Camp Manufacturing Co. of Franklin, Va. for the purpose of making paper at the Franklin Mill.

Camp Manufacturing Co. operated separately and continued to produce its core product – lumber. In 1945, Chesapeake-Camp Corp. split; and the two entities reverted back to their former status prior to the merger, and went their separate ways.

A Franklin native, Ray is a grandson of one of the founders of Camp Manufacturing Co., James L. Camp (Sr.), and a son of Sally Camp Ray and Dr. Burton J. Ray. (Dr. Ray is a retired chemist for the Company and served on the Board of Directors of Chesapeake-Camp Corp. and Camp Manufacturing Co.). Jack Ray is a nephew of Hugh Camp, Chairman of the Board, and James L. Camp, Jr., Chairman of the Executive Committee, for Union Bag-Camp. As is obvious, the Camp family, as we approach the middle part of the 1960s decade, continues to be a major part of the management and operation of Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp.

Following a tour of duty as a combat pilot with the U. S. Air Force during World War II, Ray worked with a Camp affiliated company in New Jersey for two years; and, for a short period, he was at a Camp plant in Richmond, Va.

Ray is associated in various ways with many community endeavors. For the past 12 years, he has served on the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America.

He now serves on the board of directors of Cypress Cove Country Club and has done so for 14 years. For the past five years, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Franklin YMCA. He is a member of Franklin Baptist Church. And, he is a member of the Franklin Lions Club. Professionally, Ray serves on the Boards of the following organizations: Virginia Forests, Inc.; Southern Industrial Relations Conference; Virginia Manufacturers Association; Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railway; Virginia National Bank (and formerly with predecessor Tidewater Bank and Trust Co.); and for the Commonwealth of Virginia Industrial Development and Planning Commission.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is