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NEW CANEY, TX

NEW CANEY, TEXAS. New Caney, also known as Presswood, is on the Southern Pacific line at the junction of Farm Road 1485 and State Highway Loop 494, seventeen miles southeast of Conroe in southeastern Montgomery County. The community was founded in the 1860s and in its early years was known as Presswood, for pioneers Austin and Sarah Waters Presswood, who settled in the area in 1862 and raised cattle on the open range. Other early settlers included the John Wesley Robinson family, who farmed and raised cattle and who also built a gristmill, steam cotton gin, and general store on Caney Creek. In 1877 or 1878 the Houston, East and West Texas Railway reached the town. Cattle-loading pens were set up, and the community became a shipping point for livestock. The station was called Caney Station, after the dense canebrakes on Caney Creek. The town grew, and in 1882 a post office was established under the name New Caney; James B. Robinson, the first postmaster, had petitioned for the name Caney, but there was already a Texas town with that name, so the post office department called the new post office New Caney.

By 1884 New Caney had a population of sixty, four steam sawmills, and a general store; at that time the community shipped cotton, syrup, and hogs. In 1890 it reported a population of 100, served by several sawmills, a church, a school, a meat market, a general store, a cross-tie contractor, a justice of the peace, and an agent for the railroad, telegraph and express services. New Caney had begun as an agricultural town, but grew as the local lumber industry developed; among the timber products the town shipped were mining props used to support excavations. By 1892 the population level had risen to 150. The town had a telephone connection, three general stores, and a sawmill in 1914. Its economy declined in the 1920s, but later revived with the Montgomery County lumber industry. In 1932 New Caney had one school for black students and three schools for whites. In 1946 the town consisted of some forty dwellings, three schools, two sawmills, a railroad station, and about twelve other businesses. The population had increased to 604 by 1969 and to 2,771 by 1971. In 1989 New Caney had a railroad siding, a post office, two schools, six churches, about ninety-three businesses, and an estimated population of 8,000. There was also quite a bit of development around the old town center, including the New Caney Heights and Caney Creek Estates subdivisions. New Caney experienced rapid growth around the 1980s because of its proximity to the Houston metropolitan area. By 2000 the population was 2,771.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

David D. Byrne, A Comparison of the White and Negro Schools of Montgomery County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Colorado, 1932). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Montgomery County Genealogical Society, Montgomery County History (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1981). Vertical Files, ). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Will Branch

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Will Branch, "NEW CANEY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgn02), accessed April 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.