Pine Mills, also known as Liberty Hill and as Reedsville, is at the intersection of Farm roads 14, 49, and 312 ten miles southeast of Quitman in southeastern Wood County. As early as 1850 a sawmill community called Liberty Hill was located slightly southeast of where Pine Mills would later stand. By 1854 the Holly Springs Baptist Church of Christ (later the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church) was meeting at a place variously known as the Liberty Hill Meeting House or Liberty Hill Chapel. The settlement reportedly had a school by 1855. The area was later served by the Mount Pisgah and Liberty (or Sleepy Hollow) schools. A pottery was located in the area as early as 1860. During the early 1870s the community was reportedly called Reedsville, for local sawmill owner Richard G. (Dick) Reed. In July 1875 a post office called Pine Mills was established, with Reed as postmaster. At that time the official name of the community was changed from Reedsville to Pine Mills, apparently because another post office called Reedsville already existed in Texas. By 1884 Pine Mills had a population of 130, a school, two churches, and a number of businesses, including a blacksmith, two carpenters, two cotton gins, and several sawmills. By 1892 the population had reached 250, and the town had at least eleven businesses, including a general store, two physicians, and five sawmills. Sometime before 1892 residents of Pine Mills organized a Church of Christ. In 1904 the town population was 222, but by about 1905 the local timber was depleted, and the mills moved away. The post office closed in 1907, and by 1910 the population had declined to around forty. In the 1930s the community was served by the Liberty school district and had a number of dwellings and three businesses, including a factory. After 1930 honey became a money crop, and farming of specialty crops increased. In 1943 Pine Mills reported a population of eighty and three businesses. The discovery in 1949 of the nearby Pine Mills oilfield apparently had no permanent effect on the community's declining economy, and by the mid-1960s its population had dropped to seventy. At that time it consisted of two churches, widely scattered dwellings, and two businesses, including a sawmill. Pine Mills Pottery was established in 1979; in 2002 the community reported a population of three and the pottery business.
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.
Rachel Jenkins | © Texas State Historical Association
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