Lee's Mill was on Caney Creek ten miles southeast of Newton and forty-five miles northeast of Beaumont in east central Newton County. The site was named for a cotton press and water-driven mill established there by the heirs of Moses R. Lee. After Lee's death his mill, formerly located at Magnolia Springs in adjacent Jasper County, was moved to the Caney Creek site in 1870. Operated by W. P., J. J., Louis, and T. J. Windham, the mill was later run by James R. Lee, who established a post office named Livonia in 1883. Livonia had been the name of the town when the Windhams operated the mill. As the mail was often misrouted, the name was subsequently changed to Lee's Mill. The construction of the Jasper and Eastern Railway through central Newton County in 1904–05 led to the growth of a number of small settlements and logging camps. Lee's Mill, however, was not on the rail line, and without the transportation thus afforded, the community gradually began to dissolve. The post office was discontinued and moved to Bon Wier in 1918; Lee's Mill no longer appears on maps. Its population numbered 200 before 1905 but only twenty in 1948.
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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