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TYLER COUNTY. (J-22) is in southeastern Texas near the Louisiana border. Woodville, the county seat and largest town, is fifty-six miles north of Beaumont and ninety miles northeast of Houston, very near the center of the county at 30°47' north latitude and 94°25' west longitude. Tyler County is bounded on the north and east by the Neches River. The county comprises 908 square miles of the East Texas timberlands, an area densely forested with pine and a great variety of hardwoods. It contains two units and parts of two more of the twelve units of the Big Thicket National Preserve established by Congress in 1974. The land is gently rolling, with an elevation ranging from 100 to 400 feet above sea level. Northern and eastern Tyler County is drained to the Neches River via Caney, Russell, Billiams, Pamplin, Wolf, Theuvenins, and Rush creeks. The southwestern part of the county contains numerous springs and drains into Horsepen, Hickory, Turkey, and Cypress creeks. The largest body of water in the county is B. A. Steinhagen Lake on the Neches River, impounded in 1951 by Town Bluff Dam (also called Dam B); the lake covers 13,700 acres. Two main soil types are found in Tyler County. In the northern, rolling two-thirds are clayey to sandy marine and continental deposits, and in the level, southern one-third are recent noncalcareous and calcareous clayey flood plain and alluvium. The former, with its loamy or sandy surface layers and clayey or loamy subsoils, supports heavy stands of pine and hardwoods. The latter, more varied soil supports hardwood forest, grasses, crops, and pasturage. Excellent farmland comprises 21 to 30 percent of the land in the county. Mineral resources include clay, industrial sands, oil, and gas. Temperatures range from an average high of 94° F in June to an average low of 38° F in January, rainfall averages forty to fifty inches per year, and the growing season extends for 241 days.
The area of Tyler County was for centuries occupied by agricultural Caddoan, and possibly Atakapan, Indians. White settlers there in the early nineteenth century encountered both Caddoan-related Cherokees uprooted from the east and groups of Alabama and Coushatta Indians, recent migrants from Louisiana. In 1809 there were hundreds of Alabama Indians living on the west bank of the Neches River, three leagues above the junction of the Neches and Angelina rivers. At Peach Tree Village in Tyler County, their principal Texas settlement, the Alabamas kept cattle, horses, and hogs and cultivated corn, potatoes, beans, and yams. The Cherokees were eventually driven from the state by order of Mirabeau B. Lamar, but the Alabamas and Coushattas cooperated with Sam Houston and others friendly to their cause and have survived as one of only two Indian groups living on their own reservations in Texas. The Alabama-Coushatta Reservation is just across the western Tyler County line in Polk County. The settlement by whites of what was to become Tyler County began before the time of the Texas Revolution in 1836. Three Americans received land grants there from Mexican authorities in 1834, and thirty-four more men and one woman, Jane Taylor, received grants during 1835. The area was originally organized in 1842 under the name of Menard District, "for judicial and other purposes," from a part of Liberty County. Tyler County was officially established by the Texas legislature on April 3, 1846, and was named in honor of President John Tyler. In 1842 Town Bluff, one of two early settlements, became the temporary county seat. In 1845 a permanent location was chosen. This was the site of the present county seat, Woodville, on 200 acres of land donated by Dr. Josiah Wheat in the forks of Turkey Creek. Woodville was named in honor of George T. Wood, who introduced the bill to establish the county and was the second governor of the state of Texas. The other early settlement, Fort Teran, on the Neches River where it crossed the Old Spanish Trail from Nacogdoches to Liberty, was established as a result of Anastasio Bustamante's Law of April 6, 1830 and its policies of restrictions on immigration.
Tyler County was settled predominantly by people from the southern United States, many of whom planned to resume the slaveholding society they had known before moving to Texas. However, the forests and loamy sand were not suited to growing cotton, so many of those who actually stayed were poor white farmers who owned no slaves. In 1850 the population was 1,894; by 1860 it was 4,525, and 26 percent of the population was black. Tyler County before the Civil War had a subsistence productivity, home-consumed, mainly corn, sweet potatoes, molasses, and home-slaughtered animals. Only 3,907 bales of cotton were produced in 1860. In 1861, 99 percent of the citizens supported secession. The area was not invaded during the Civil War, but hundreds of its men fought, and most of its families felt in some way the pains of the war. During Reconstruction federal troops were stationed in Woodville for a time in 1868. Whites resented federal authority, but because of their numerical strength they were able to maintain a Democratic county government even in the face of black enfranchisement.
Starting with 137 farms in 1850, Tyler County remained overwhelmingly agricultural and rural through 1900, when farms peaked at 1,199. In 1900 about the same amount of cotton (3,863 bales) was produced in the county as had been produced in 1860. But the economic picture shifted for the better with the coming of the railroads in the 1880s, because they facilitated the exploitation of its vast timber resources. In 1882 the Sabine and East Texas Railroad constructed a line from Kountze to Rockland that ran the length of Tyler County. In 1884 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas constructed twenty-nine miles of track across the northern part of the county, ending at Colmesneil. Many smaller connecting and short-line spurs were subsequently built to accommodate loading and hauling of timber. The foundation was laid for the sale of timberlands and timber and wood-related industries. By 1890 there were nineteen sawmills operating in Tyler County, and the population, which had increased only from 4,525 to 5,825 in the twenty years between 1860 and 1880, nearly doubled in the ten years between 1880 and 1890, when it reached 10,876. In the early 1890s William McCready and the Doucette brothers, Fred and Peter, founded a mill at Doucette, two miles north of Woodville, making the community for a time one of the major towns of East Texas. Many other settlements, now ghost towns or depopulated towns like Doucette, sprang up around sawmills throughout the county-Maydell, Mobile, Seneca, Barnum, Camden, Hampton, Josie, Hyatt, and Hillister, for example. The lumber industry continued to form the economic backbone of Tyler County through the first half of the twentieth century. In 1913-14 Tyler County had 300 employees in lumber plants. Two years later the maximum wage of skilled workers in the lumber industry there was one of the highest in the state. Further spur lines, such as the East Texas and Gulf from Hyatt to Hicksbaugh built in 1917, were constructed into the piney woods. In 1925 it was estimated that some fifteen years' supply of virgin long and short leaf pine remained to be cut in Tyler County-perhaps fifteen million board feet. By 1939 there were an estimated 600,000 acres still in timber, and of nineteen industries in 1940, seventeen were sawmills. In 1950 lumber and wood products industries continued as the major employers, providing work for 876 males over fourteen years of age out of a total of 3,130.
The Great Depression, however, hit the county hard. Between 1930 and 1940 the number of people in both agricultural and nonagricultural occupations declined sharply, and unemployment remained at a high 18 percent in 1940. Public employment was relatively high in that year, however, when more people (461) worked for the Work Projects Administration and other such projects than were seeking jobs in the private sector (273). World War II ended the economic disaster of the 1930s, but the decade of the 1940s saw a decline in the white population and only a slight gain in the black population. The total population fell from 11,946 in 1940 to 11,747 in 1950. This trend continued into 1960, when the total was 10,666. Agriculture occupied fewer workers each year after 1950, and cotton-planting virtually disappeared. Those who stayed on the land depended on mixed farming, poultry raising, and cattle. Since 1940 the largest town has been Woodville. Timber sales remained the number one producer of income. In the 1980s Tyler County was second only to Polk County in timber production, followed by farming, lumbering, poultry processing, manufacturing, tourism, and catfish production. Oil and gas production started in 1937 and experienced a limited increase during the 1970s and early 1980s. By 1990 a total of 33,618,537 barrels of oil had been produced in the county. While the depression and World War II saw a decline in population and the end of parts of Tyler County's agricultural economy, other developments have promised a more progressive future. The lumber industry remains healthy. Dairying increased in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The county had fourteen Grade A dairies shipping to Houston and Beaumont in 1952. It also experienced an improvement in transportation brought about by the automobile. In 1922 there were only 458 vehicles registered in Tyler County. By 1939 there were 1,929 registered, and by 1952 the number stood at 4,095. Registration climbed steadily; in 1980 there were 13,212 motor vehicles registered in the county for a population of 16,223. In 1938 U.S. Highway 190, intended to cut the county through its center, was proposed by a group of citizens. Completed in 1948, it remained a major artery through deep East Texas, where travel had always been difficult. U.S. Highway 69 crosses 190 at Woodville, carrying a substantial amount of traffic from Beaumont to Lufkin.
In 1985 Tyler County had two weekly newspapers, the Woodsman and the Tyler County Booster, both published at Woodville. The county was served by Southwestern Bell, Colmesneil Telephone, and Eastex Telephone Co-op. It was totally dry. Woodville had electricity as early as 1925, and the rural areas were electrified during the 1940s after the Sam Houston Electric Cooperative was organized in 1939. After the depression there were also significant advances in the educational level of the population. In 1950 only 12.4 percent of those aged twenty-five or older were high school graduates. By 1980, however, about half of the population met this standard. Religious life, as in much of East Texas, has been dominated since the county's beginnings by evangelical Protestantism, especially by the Baptist, Primitive Baptist, and Methodist denominations. Other churches include the Fellowship Church, established in 1867, and the Episcopalian and Disciples of Christ churches, which came with the railroads during the 1880s. Still an actively church-oriented area of Texas, Tyler County has a reputation for rural harmony, quiet, and beauty that particularly encourages family tourism. A Democratic majority was returned for Tyler County in every presidential election from the Civil War until 1964, with the exceptions of 1956 and 1960, when Republicans won. In 1968 the majority in Tyler County voted for George Wallace's American party. From 1972 through 1992 voters have favored Republicans. The population was 16,646 in 1990. The major towns, Woodville (2,636), Colmesneil (569), and Chester (285), collaborate with some fourteen unincorporated communities yearly to stage a spring celebration held on the last weekend in March and the first in April. These are Western Weekend for trailriders and the Tyler County Dogwood Festival, both involving extensive parades in Woodville and other activities. A county fair is held the first weekend of October. Visitors to the county come not only for these events but for the varied flora and fauna of the Big Thicket National Preserve, the "biological crossroads of North America."
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ruth Alice Allen, East Texas Lumber Workers: An Economic and Social Picture, 1870-1950 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1948, 1954, 1962, 1966. Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Fort Worth: Miran, 1975). Miriam Partlow, Liberty, Liberty County, and the Atascosito District (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1974). Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940).
Alabama – Coushatta - ALABAMA-COUSHATTA TRIBE OF TEXAS
To the west of Woodville and Tyler County is the home of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, Texas’ oldest Indian Reservation. Approximately 500 tribal members call this area of about 4,6 00 acres home. The Alabama-Coushatta goes to great lengths to honor their heritage while they carefully consider how decisions made today will affect the Tribe and its families seven generations forward and seven generations back. This traditional philosophy, combined with a faith-based focus on daily living, helps them stay committed to bettering themselves and their community.
We are a place to come relax on our 26-acre Lake Tombigbee and the campground surrounding it with primitive sites to full hook-ups. You can just sit back and relax, go canoeing, swimming or fishing. Cabins and tipis are also available for rent.
Join us for special evens planned throughout the year. Children’s
Powwow in January; Annual Powwow in June; and the Music Festival & Fireworks in July.
For more information on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, please call 936/563-1131 or check our website at www.alabama-coushatta.com.
Chester - CHESTER, TEXAS. Chester is near the junction of U.S. Highway 287 and Farm Road 1745, thirteen miles northwest of Woodville in extreme northwestern Tyler County. The townsite is part of a five-league grant made to Gavino Aranjo on the old road from Nacogdoches to Liberty. In 1883 the Trinity and Sabine Railway routed its new line through the area one mile south of Peach Tree Village. Lots were sold near the line, and soon the Peach Tree Village post office and the Mount Hope Masonic lodge moved to the new town of Chester on the railroad. The town was named for Chester A. Arthur, who was at the time a senator from New York. The first postmaster at Chester was A. B. Green, who had been postmaster in Peach Tree Village. W. B. Carnes had a mercantile business in the town, and Dr. Whitehead of Mount Hope set up his son with a store there as well. Tom Seamans had a blacksmith shop, John Cobb a saloon, and Bill Lee a boardinghouse, where he also worked as justice of the peace. Jackson Riley had a large hotel, and John Lowe was constable. By 1890 the town had a sawmill, a school, two gins, and two churches. The population of Chester was reported as 176 in 1904, 300 in 1914, and as 250 from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, when it rose to 350. It continued to be reported at that level until the late 1960s, when it dropped to around 260. By 1980 the population had risen to 301, and by 1988, to 409. The community generally had from seven to ten rated businesses during this period. The local blackland soil is fine farmland; Chester in the 1980s was also surrounded by prime pine forests and for many years had seen sawmill activity. In 1986 the town comprised farmers and cattle raisers, three churches, several stores, substantial homes, a school, a post office, and good roads. Its population was reported as 285 in 1990, but dropped to 265 in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1963, 1967. Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Fort Worth: Miran, 1975). Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940). WPA
Writers' Program, Texas: A Guide (New York: Hastings House, 1940; rev. ed. 1969).
Dam B - DAM B, TEXAS. Dam B is on U.S. Highway 190 and Farm Road 92, just west of B. A. Steinhagen Lake and north of Town Bluff, some twelve miles northeast of Woodville in northeastern Tyler County. The town was named in a plan to build several area dams, of which it was the second in a series of three. Dam B Wildlife Management Area is a mile north of the community. Dogwood Station and the Dogwood post office, a church, and several buildings were at the community's site in 1984. Its population was reported as fifty-six from 1968 to 2000. Dam B is a dispersed rural community with several campsites.
Diana J. Kleiner Doucette - In the early 1890s William McCready and the Doucette brothers, Fred and Peter, founded a mill at Doucette, two miles north of Woodville, making the community for a time one of the major towns of East Texas. Many other settlements, now ghost towns or depopulated towns like Doucette, sprang up around sawmills throughout the county-Maydell, Mobile, Seneca, Barnum, Camden, Hampton, Josie, Hyatt, and Hillister, for example. The lumber industry continued to form the economic backbone of Tyler County through the first half of the twentieth century.
Fred - FRED, TEXAS. Fred is seven miles south of Spurger in extreme southeastern Tyler County. The Fred post office was established in 1881 with Wiley Cunningham as the first postmaster. In 1883 the community had a population of thirty, along with two churches, a general store, and a school. The principal shipments from the town were cotton and hides. The community's population had risen to seventy-five by 1913. In 1917 the Shilo Independent School District operated near Fred. In the 1920s, with population growth and improved transportation routes in the county, the number of local school districts began to decline, but the Fred district existed until at least the mid-1950s. By the late 1960s Fred had 349 residents, and from the early 1970s through 2000 it reported a population of 239. The Fred post office was one of only three post offices extant in Tyler County in the 1960s. A new brick post office building opened in 1976, and was still operating in 2004. The old wooden post office building had been renovated into a private residence. In the mid-1980s the Fred Elementary School was part of the Warren Independent School District.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1955, 1962.
Hillister - HILLISTER, TEXAS. Hillister, eight miles south of Woodville in south central Tyler County, began as a sawmill town. It was probably originally called Hollister, after a Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company official, although another source for the name may have been two sawmill operators named Hallister. Hillister was one of several towns that sprang up in Tyler County with the advent of the lumber industry and the railroads. The post office was opened there under the current name in 1882, and William R. McCarty, who ran a sawmill, became the town's first postmaster. In 1886 the Galveston Daily News reported that Hillister had produced in the previous year some 354 carloads of lumber products, a moderate amount. McCarty's mill was succeeded by a mill set up by the Express Lumber Company. By 1946 Hillister was still producing seventy-five cars per week of poles and piling.
The population of Hillister stayed near 100 until the early 1940s, when it began to grow. During that decade it reached 250. Thereafter, it declined to about 200, and by the early 1980s was fifty-nine. At the height of its business activity, during the early 1940s, Hillister had ten businesses. In 1988 it had three. In the 1980s Hillister had a rural economy centered on farming, poultry, and cattle interests. The Texas Highway Department listed the community in 1985 as a railroad station. One of the Hillister area's old squared-log structures, the Tolar home, is preserved at Heritage Garden Village in Woodville. In 1990 and again in 2000 the population of Hillister was 200.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1962. Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Fort Worth: Miran, 1975). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).
Ivanhoe – For over 40 years Ivanhoe has been a haven for weekend family recreation and retirement. Located 50 miles North of Beaumont, 7 miles South of Woodville, 35 miles East of Livingston and 35 miles West of
Jasper on Highway 69. You have the small town atmosphere of Woodville close by and your choice of larger cities to meet all your needs within an hours drive.
There are 5 lakes in Ivanhoe; 165 acre Lake Charmaine for cruising and water sports, and 4 other quiet lakes for fishing and relaxing. All this on the fringes of the unique “Big Thicket National Preserve” portion of the Texas Forest Country. Birding opportunities huge Lake Sam Rayburn and golf courses are just a short drive away.
Rockland - ROCKLAND, TEXAS. Rockland is in the extreme northeast corner of Tyler County close to the Jasper county line and near the Neches River, which forms the boundary between Tyler and Angelina counties. Rockland was named for the exposed limestone bedrock of the area, which provides building stone for much of Tyler County. Fuller's earth is also found in the Rockland area; for some time this mineral was shipped to Angelina County to be processed as a cosmetic base or to the Gulf Coast for use in petroleum refining. In 1882 the Sabine and East Texas Railroad reached Rockland from Beaumont. A post office was started in Rockland in 1883; early postmasters were John Delaney and William H. Alderidge. From November 1894 to July 1895 Alderidge operated a sawmill at Rockland, after which he sold it to William Cameron and Company. A Masonic lodge was chartered in 1907. The first business in Rockland was a saloon, at a site below the present Neches bridge, owned by Mac Dunkin. The first ferry across the Neches near the townsite was taken over by Dunkin after being started by a man named Graham about 1885. The Dunkin ferry was in operation until the present highway bridge was built. The second business, owned by a man named Roark, was a general store. Roark also ran a rock quarry southeast of the town. Other establishments and buildings included a second general store, two hotels, 150 to 200 dwellings for sawmill workers, a school and church building, three doctors' offices, two drugstores, a livery stable, a dance hall, and a railroad station.
When the Texas and New Orleans Railroad bought out the East Texas line and planned to extend it to Dallas, there was much local opposition at Rockland. Many rightly thought that Rockland's status as a railroad terminus would end abruptly when the railroad was extended across the Neches. The Cameron Company closed its mill in 1911, and with the mill went many of the town's businesses not already closed by the effect of the railroad extension. However, as late as 1946 Rockland was still shipping about twenty cars of poles and piling each week, and there was also a pulpwood yard in the area. By 1975 one general store and the post office were the only businesses still in operation at Rockland. From 1900 until the 1940s Rockland had about 300 residents. Afterward until the late 1980s the population was about 100. In 1990 the population was 105. The population remained the same in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1959, 1962.
Spurger - SPURGER, TEXAS. Spurger is two miles from the Neches River and twelve miles from Woodville in southeastern Tyler County. The first area settler was Ephraim Thompson, who in 1834 applied for land in Lorenzo de Zavala's colony and received a league on the Neches River near the later location of Spurger. The town was named after a family of early landowners. As early as 1854 a Methodist minister was riding the so-called "alligator circuit" with a stop near the site of present Spurger. He would shoot alligators and other game and leave the skins to be dried at the homes of those for whom he preached. On his return trip, perhaps three months later, he would pick up the dried skins to sell to further his ministry and feed his family. A Baptist church existed in Spurger as early as 1855, and a Mormon congregation existed by 1900. Numerous other denominations, including Primitive Baptist, Assembly of God, and Pentecostal churches, have existed in the town. In 1874 a Masonic lodge, Snow River Lodge No. 385, was chartered at Spurger; it was still in operation in 1986. Snow River was the early name given the Neches by the Hasinai Indians, and the name has persisted as a tag for the Spurger area in general. The Spurger area has had a school since 1859. The post office was established in 1881; in 1986 Spurger received mail on a rural route from Woodville. The town declined after a high of 500 in the 1920s, and the post office was closed. The population fell to 300 by 1930, 250 in the 1940s, and 120 in the 1950s and 1960s. The figure rose again by 1986 to 472, where it remained through 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Vivian C. Jordan, A Brief History of the Spurger Area, 1839-1976 (Spurger, Texas, 1976).
Town Bluff - TOWN BLUFF, TEXAS. Town Bluff is on State Highway 92 at the crossing of the Neches River, between Woodville and Jasper in Tyler County. It was one of the earliest settlements in the county. The settlement, also known for some of its history as Townbluff and as Fairview, had a ferry as early as 1833, operated by Wyatt Hanks, an early settler. In 1834 Hanks received a league of land in Lorenzo de Zavala's colony on the east bank of the Neches and sold hundreds of lots in the area, which was then in the municipality of Bevil. The settlement of Town Bluff was located in the municipality of Liberty on the boundary between the Liberty and Bevil municipalities. It was the temporary seat of government for the Menard District, constituted in 1841, from which Tyler County was demarked in 1846. During the first session of the Texas state legislature Town Bluff became the temporary county seat of Tyler County. After Woodville became the permanent county seat, a straight road was laid out between Town Bluff and Woodville. In 1990 this route is roughly followed by U.S. Highway 190.
Since it was at the head of navigation on the Neches, Town Bluff received steamboats regularly until the arrival of the railroads in Tyler County in the 1880s. The site was so attractive that John K. and Augustus C. Allen, founders of Houston, also bought 640 acres near Town Bluff, intending to build a city. Hanks called the place "Natchez on the Neches." However, the railroads bypassed the area and simultaneously made river shipping obsolete, and Town Bluff began to dwindle. A lawsuit, probably over land claims, contributed to the decline. In 1880 Town Bluff was the only place in the county besides Woodville that could be called a town. From its port it shipped cotton and cotton yarn. The population was estimated at a peak of 300 in the 1890s, but by 1936 Town Bluff was a ghost town, little more than a name for an area of dispersed farming families and fishermen. The post office, which had been established in 1848 with William Ferguson as postmaster, was discontinued in 1915. After 1948, however, U.S. Highway 190 began construction four miles north of the old community. In 1951 Dam B (see LAKE B. A. STEINHAGEN), also called Town Bluff Dam, was completed; it impounded a conservation lake north of Town Bluff, and the area became attractive to fishermen and vacationers. In the late 1960s the population of Town Bluff was twenty-six, where it remained in 1990.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Houston Post, November 22, 1970. It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1952, 1954. Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Fort Worth: Miran, 1975). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin (Texas Cities).
Warren - WARREN, TEXAS (Tyler County). Warren is on an old road from Liberty to Town Bluff twelve miles south of Woodville in central Tyler County. It started with the coming of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad to Tyler County in 1883. That year Alexander Young, of Young and Williams' Globe Planing Mills at Beaumont, built the first mill at Warren. A second mill was built by Brough and Krueger, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, next to the original mill, in 1887. By 1889 the two mills were consolidated as the Warren Lumber Company, under the management of Alexander Young, with William Brough, Jr., as superintendent. The combined mills were putting out 125,000 feet and 50,000 feet planed. Nearby logging camps included Camp Brough (Bruff), Camp Annie, Camp Stutts, and Camp Battle Ax. The company had five miles of trams, two locomotives, and twenty-five cars. It employed about 200 men. Warren opened a post office in 1883 with John C. Terrell as postmaster. The post office was housed in a large store with a telegraph office and the railroad depot. Before the town's founding the nearest school had been Allisonville. By 1917 Warren District No. 24 was one of forty-seven in the county. By 1955 Warren was one of seven school districts. In 1891 the Myrta Lodge of Masons No. 658 had moved to Warren from Hyatt. Warren declined from 883 in 1890 to 260 during the 1950s and 1960s. The population in 1990 was 304. The population remained the same in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas, 1955, 1962). Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940).
• Whitetail Ridge
Wildwood - VILLAGE MILLS, TEXAS. Village Mills, also called Village and Village Station, is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 69/287 and Farm Road 3063, forty-two miles north of Beaumont in northern Hardin County. It is named for nearby Village Creek. The first town lots appeared in the Hardin County tax rolls in 1882. By 1883 the Village Mill Company was also in operation, using the recently completed Sabine and East Texas Railroad to ship its lumber products out of the area. A post office was also established that year. Village Mills grew quickly, becoming Hardin County's largest town, with a population of 800, by 1890. In 1895 the mill broke world records by sawing 255,403 board feet of lumber in eleven hours with a single circular saw. The Kirby Lumber Company acquired the Village Mills Lumber Company and its 10,000 acres of land in 1902 for around $60,000. In 1907 annual production at the Kirby plant at Village Mills was 16,992,000 board feet. The mill's closing in the early 1930s severely tested the local economy. The population, set at over 300 in the early 1900s, fell to eighty by the mid-1940s, but in 1945 the discovery of nearby deposits of oil and natural gas revitalized the town. Thirty-one wells were sunk at the Village Mills fields over the next twenty-five years; seventeen remained in production in 1984. The construction of Wildwood Resort City two miles west of Village Mills has also provided a stimulus for growth. By 1972 the estimated population had risen to 300, where it remained in 1990.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. T. Block, ed., Emerald of the Neches: The Chronicles of Beaumont from Reconstruction to Spindletop (Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1980). Mary Lou Proctor, A History of Hardin County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1950).