Hartburg is near the junction of State highways 12 and 87, thirty-three miles northeast of Beaumont in southeastern Newton County. It was named for John Hart, an attorney from Orange, who helped establish a post office there in 1896. The next year the Texarkana and Fort Smith Railway reached Hartburg. The community was surrounded by rich stands of pine trees, and a sawmill was built in 1903 by the Williams Lumber Company. With the decline of the local forests, however, the original mill was shut down in 1929, and that same year the community's post office was closed. Population figures reflected the town's decline. In 1925 Hartburg's population was estimated to be 300, but by the late 1930s it was reported as twenty-five. In 1940, however, the Storn Lumber Company erected a new mill there, and in 1949 oil was discovered at the Hartburg field. Between 1949 and 1971 seventeen wells were brought in, and the local economy was revitalized. Though most area businesses were at Deweyville, three miles northwest, Hartburg reported seventy-five residents in the late 1940s and 275 from 1966 to 2000. Five wells were still producing in 1984.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Robert Wooster | © Texas State Historical Association
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