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DEWEYVILLE, TX

DEWEYVILLE, TEXAS. Deweyville is on State Highway 12 and the west bank of the Sabine River thirty-five miles northeast of Beaumont in southeastern Newton County. The Sabine Tram Company built a sawmill at a site near an old ferry crossing on the Sabine known as Princeton, or Possum Bluff, in 1898. The new settlement was named after Adm. George Dewey, victor of the battle of Manila Bay of the same year. A post office was established in 1900. The Brotherhood of Timber Workers led an unsuccessful two-month strike against the Sabine Tram Company at Deweyville in 1910. The Peavy-Moore Lumber Company purchased lumber operations there in 1919. Deweyville was a typical sawmill town, where the general store, hotel, community house, and employee housing were owned by the company. The community depended for its livelihood on good railroad connections. The Texarkana and Fort Smith Railway established a line from the Sabine River to Beaumont in 1898, thus providing an outlet for Deweyville lumber products. A. J. Peavy also built a fifteen-mile line from Deweyville to Gist. With its headquarters in Deweyville this line, the Sabine and Neches Valley, linked the town with the longer Orange and Northwestern Railway. For a time Deweyville was the largest town in Newton County. However, it underwent a series of setbacks during the 1940s. A fire destroyed the Deweyville sawmill in 1943. The abandonment of the Sabine and Neches Valley line shortly thereafter also hurt the community, where the number of residents fell from an estimated 1,500 in 1936 to 800 in 1949. The population estimate remained at 800 until 1974, when it increased to 850. It was 850 in the mid-1980s. At that time a few local businesses and the nearby Hartsburg oilfield offered limited employment, and other workers found jobs at the industrial complexes in Orange and Beaumont. In 1990 the population of Deweyville was 1,218.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Ruth Alice Allen, East Texas Lumber Workers: An Economic and Social Picture, 1870–1950 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). Newton County Historical Commission, Glimpses of Newton County History (Burnet, Texas: Nortex, 1982). Josephine Cochrum Peavy, A History of Newton County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1942).

Robert Wooster

Citation

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

Robert Wooster, "DEWEYVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hld21), accessed October 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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