Mill Town

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Silsbee is at the junction of U.S. Highway 96, State Highway 327, and Farm roads 92 and 418, twenty miles north of Beaumont in eastern Hardin County. Its origins can be traced to the Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City Railway, which reached the site in 1894. A project of John Henry Kirby, the railroad was intended to open East Texas forest lands to the timber industry. The Texas Pine Land Association, also managed by Kirby, established a logging camp and then a sawmill at the site of Silsbee after the railroad was completed. The growing community was first called Mill Town but was soon renamed Silsbee in recognition of one of Kirby's East Coast partners, Nathan D. Silsbee.

The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe system bought Kirby's Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City line and built mechanical shops and a roundhouse in Silsbee in 1901. It also extended a fifty-mile line to the Trinity River, thus giving access to still more East Texas forests. In 1902 the Kirby Lumber Company took control of the Silsbee sawmill, which had been leased to the Industrial Lumber Company. By 1907 the mill, rebuilt after a 1904 fire, was producing over twelve million board feet per year.

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Robert Wooster | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Mill Town is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Mill Town is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Silsbee)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated