Nancy was a small lumber camp three miles south of Zavalla on what is now the Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way in southeastern Angelina County. It was established around 1923 by the Angelina County Lumber Company in the longleaf pine area of the county. This camp facilitated the harvesting of several sections of the lumber company's virgin pine stands in the Zavalla-Manning area. The camp was originally known as Dunkin, but was renamed Nancy to honor the wife of lumberman Charles A. Kelty and the daughter of Dave Thompson, onetime secretary-treasurer of the lumber company. Harrison A. Dunkin had been the postmaster of the Dunkin post office in 1901; several other postmasters succeeded him until 1941, when Nancy's mail service was moved to Zavalla. The Angelina County Lumber Company, based in Keltys, near Lufkin, had moved its timber camp from Nacogdoches County to the Nancy site on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, where it established a commissary, a school, several tenant houses, and some boxcar houses. In October 1933 the available timber was exhausted, and the camp was moved to Tyler County. Thereafter the town of Nancy declined, becoming what it still was in the mid-1980s-a dispersed rural community.

In 1904 the population of Nancy was fewer than 100, and in 1929 it was still too low to be reported in the Texas Almanac. By 1936 the community reported six businesses and a population of 250, but these figures are considered unreliable because in 1940 it had only one business and a population of eighty. The significance of the camp at Nancy is that the Angelina County Lumber Company, one of the largest in Southeast Texas, changed its method of logging there because of new technology and the openness of the woods. Ox and mule teams were replaced by the four-line rehaul skidder, which drew logs from the woods to the train by means of a cable. A skidder using two lines could bring in 800 logs a day in this open country. Skidders could cover 600 feet of timber on each side of the track, so tram placement from then on was governed by this reach. Use of the skidder speeded up the exploitation of the Southeast Texas forests.

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Megan Biesele | © 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

Nancy is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Nancy is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Camp-]
  • (Dunkin)


Latitude: 31.10574780
Longitude: -94.43075650

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated