Tidbits of Shelby County History
Timpson, Texas _ Part II
This week’s article is a continuation of the history of Timpson.
Timpson has thirty brick and stone business buildings, some of them being very handsome structures, which always make the stranger line of business is represented in our business section. There are two strong banking institutions and with these our financial needs are amply provided.
We had a wholesale grocery company. The Nacogdoches Grocery Company which operates three houses, and is one of the strongest wholesale concerns in the State, two packing concerns and three oil companies have branch offices here, supplying the needs of the merchants at this point and adjacent towns.
Timpson has more handsome homes than any other town of its size to be found. These homes are principally the property of the occupants, as it is so easy to own a home here that a person working for a salary of even $50 per month. That person could soon own a home that would cost in most places some $2500. The city is one and one-half miles square, being symmetrically laid out and the streets are lined on both sides with native oaks, giving it the appearance of a park. The city being incorporated, it is managed by men who have the welfare of the city at hear, and who keep watchful eyes on the appearance of the city, relative to the sanitary condition of same, the cost of conducting our city government being nominal.
Timpson wants the following enterprises, all of which can be handled here to advantage, and be money making propositions: A crate and box factory. We have an abundance of gum and other hard woods used in the manufacture of crates and boxes, and this timer is easily reached and very cheap in price.
A furniture, wagon and buggy factory is needed. We have the finest grade of hickory timber for the manufacture of wagons and buggies to be found in the South, which has been proven by the superior quality of handles turned out by the Timpson Handle co. There is enough of this hickory to run such a factory for 100 years. Our supply of oak, ash, beech, sycamore, and such timbers is abundant, and too cheap in price. A furniture factory located here could use the cut of the hard wood mill which ships its output to other places.
A cotton seed oil mill could be profitably and successfully operated here in connection with our compress.
A canning factory could be made a success, as we have the fruits and vegetables raised here sufficient to supply the needs of such an enterprise.
A steam laundry and a brick manufacturing plant are among the industries that would be successful, and the man who puts his money in either of these enterprises will find he has made a wise choice.
It is to the farming industry of East Texas that we must turn for the fullest development of the country. We are well aware that we do not stand very high in the eyes of the outside world as a farming section, and yet there is no feature of our country that should so appeal to the home seeker as that of farming in East Texas. At this time there is very little farming done with riding plows, but this mode of farming is gaining, and in a short while it will be no uncommon sight to see farmers working their fields comfortably, situated on a riding cultivator. Our soil is principally of a sandy formation, with a clay foundation from 8 inches to several feet from the top of the soil. This clay foundation is of the utmost importance to the growing of crops, as it catches and retains the rainfall and supplies moisture to the growing crops long after we think we must have rain or make a failure. The soil resists the attacks of drought more successfully than that of any portion of the country, and such a thing as a total failure in a crop has never been known in East Texas. Up to this time our principal crops have been corn and cotton, though the nature of our soils permits the growing of anything in the agricultural line. An average corn crop for this section as shown by the records of the Government Agricultural Agent, who makes his headquarters at Timpson, is from 18 to 40 bushel per acre, while some of the bottom lands adjacent to the numerous small streams will make from 40 to 75 bushels per acre. The cotton crop as shown by the Agricultural Agent, averaged from 1-2 to 1 bale per acre, while in a few instances where land was well fertilized and cultivated, the yield went over 2 bales per acre. There was one farmer here last year who made more than 100 bushels of Irish potatoes to the acre, and then planted the same land in cotton and made more than a bale of cotton per acre, which made the two crops very profitable.
The growing of sugar cane is also very extensive, and this year there are hundreds of acres of cane planted near Timpson, some fields containing as much twenty acres. From this cane we make the famous “East Texas Molasses,” which is known all over the United States as being the most toothsome and widely used commodity in the country. When you have once eaten of East Texas Ribbon Cane Molasses it will be a hard matter to separate you from the country in which it is grown. It is simply too good to describe, and to properly appreciate it you would have to taste it. This cane will produce from 200 to 500 gallons of molasses per acre, and there is always a market for it for 50 cent per gallon.
Note: This is a photo shared by Betty Mooney of a sugar cane mill located on the property of Mr. Wesley Wright, now owned by the family of S.B. McSwain in the Newbern community. Standing on the right was Charlie O. Hubbard and standing in the center of the picture is Samford Smith.