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MOUNT ENTERPRISE, TX (RUSK COUNTY)

MOUNT ENTERPRISE, TEXAS (Rusk County). Mount Enterprise, ten miles southeast of Laneville in southern Rusk County, was named for a small elevation near the town and for the business enterprise of the Vinson brothers, who settled in the area in 1832. The town owes its existence to the presence of promising iron ore in the area. Charles Vinson considered the "old mountain" nearby to be an "iron mountain," and he was not far off the mark; the brown, crumbly ore of the Weches formation that outcrops in the area has a better than 50 percent iron content. However, Vinson's real enterprise came in the form of manufacturing and retailing. His factory made wagons, buggies, furniture, plows, caskets, and a patented churn. He launched a chain of stores to sell these things operating out of Mount Enterprise and at one time had four stores. Lumbering was also an early industry of Mount Enterprise; the furniture factory it supported is dated as early as 1850. There were also numerous plantations in the area before the Civil War. In 1846 the Mulberry Grove post office was established with Henry Henson as postmaster. Three years later the name was changed to Mount Enterprise. Mount Enterprise Male and Female College was begun in 1851, and it lasted until 1855. In 1853 Mount Enterprise Male and Female Academy was established. In 1880 the town had three sawmills, a hotel, two cotton gins, a school, three churches, and a population of 150. In 1894 the Caro Northern Railway was chartered to operate as a logging road between Mount Enterprise and Caro, in Nacogdoches County, a distance of 16½ miles. The railroad, which connected Mount Enterprise with the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, came to within 1½ miles of Mount Enterprise, and the town then moved to the railroad. It became the new Mount Enterprise, and the old location was called the old Mount Enterprise. The railroad was abandoned in 1934, but by 1939 the town had incorporated and still had a number of businesses, a bank, a post office, a newspaper, and a population of 920. After 1940 the population gradually declined to 485 in 1982, when the town had a bank, a post office, and fifteen businesses. In 1990 the population was 501. The population grew to 525 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Henderson Daily News, November 30, 1938. Henderson Times, July 4, 1976.

Megan Biesele

Citation

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

Megan Biesele, "MOUNT ENTERPRISE, TX (RUSK COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlm93), accessed September 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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