The South Eastern Lumber Company was founded in 1898 by J. Danforth Bush and R. C. Rayner of Wilmington, DE and A. L. Jones of Liberty, NC via Buie, near Pembroke. Jones was the local manager and driving force behind the company. From the time the Southeastern Railroad opened for business, the South Eastern Lumber Company was ready to ship carload after carload of dressed north to Wilmington, DE where Bush and Rayner marketed it in the Philadelphia market and elsewhere.
The company was a model of efficiency. It used its own waste products to fuel large steam boilers which provided power for the various machinery used. Cutting waste also fueled the boilers for their narrow gage railroad engine.
Most of the employees were local and lived in the immediate vicinity. The company store provided many of their needs and provided credit until payday if necessary. Jones sold his stake and exited the company in 1903. In 1909 and 1910 they sold most of their timber rights to the Beaufort County Lumber Company. The corporation was dissolved in July, 1910.