Shelby County, Texas
Cities, Towns & Communities
Arcadia | Brooklyn | Buena Vista | Center - county seat | Choke | Dreka | Graham Mills | Grigsby | Hamilton | Hilliard's | Huxley | James |Joaquin | Neuville | New Harmony | Patroon | Paxton (Paxton Switch) | Possum Trot | Shelbyville (Nashville) | Spivey | Tenaha | Timpson | Truitt (Truet's Store, Willow Grove) | Waterman | Weaver
Shelby County 1940. The greatest natural wealth of the county was in her forests, and aside from local needs and a little rafting of logs down the Sabine River, this lay dormant until railroads penetrated Shelby County. In 1880 the stand of longleaf pine was estimated at 425,600,000 and of shortleaf at 1,884.800,000 board feet, besides "a heavy growth of cypress along the Sabine River and the larger creeks," and numerous hardwoods of merchantable size. In 1882 it was reported that "there are a number of grist mills and cotton gins, and a few sawmills, run by steam power" in the county.
It was then prophesied that the Sabine Pass and Texas Northern Railroad would supply transportation for the county during 1883, the road then being under construction. The first railroad, however, was the Houston, East & West Texas, which was completed to the Sabine River across the northern part of the county in 1885. Timpson, Teneha and Joaquin sprang into prominence or came into existence with the railroad, while none of the old towns were on the line.
Population boomed with the railroad, and in 1890 it was 14,365. Center had 859, Timpson 518, Teneha 613, Shelbyville 272. There were thirty sawmills, a broom factory and a canning factory, and 1,385 farms with some 45,000 acres in cultivation. Half the cultivated land was in cotton, producing 10,992 bales, and 15,281 cattle, 3,193 sheep and 14,316 hogs helped out the farm income.
The Gulf, Beaumont & Great Northern came to Center in 1902, and a few years later was consolidated with other lines to make the Santa Fe system of East Texas, which also included a short line through Timpson serving the western part of the county and connecting with the main line in Panola County. The Timpson & Henderson was the last railroad construction in the county and the first line to be abandoned. Continue Reading the History of Shelby County 1940 >>