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PLUCK, TX

PLUCK, TEXAS. Pluck is on Farm Road 352 just over 100 miles north of Houston in north central Polk County. A settlement was established at this site about 1850, and small-scale farming, lumbering, and quarrying operations continued until 1882, when the Trinity and Sabine Railway established a line through northern Polk County. Seeking to utilize the rich timber resources of the region, the Angle Lumber Company, with headquarters in Houston, established a sawmill at this location. The mill community was called Stryker, after the mill's superintendent, G. H. Stryker. Stryker became one of Polk County's notable sawmill towns. The post office was established in 1885; the lumber company eventually built a school, a church, and housing for its workers. Its operations in Polk County were estimated to be worth over $20,000 by 1886. In 1889 the mill at Stryker could cut 45,000 board feet of lumber daily, and dry kilns and a planer enhanced the operation. However, general economic depression and depletion of local timber led to the mill's closing in the early 1890s. Although the Echols and Taylor Lumber Company established a small mill at Stryker in the early 1900s, the community never regained its former productivity. The post office discontinued operation in 1913.

A new post office, called Pluck, was opened in 1918. A former postmaster claimed that local residents suggested several names, but that Washington officials, finding all the submissions unacceptable, named the office Pluck for "general orneryness." Another source attributes the name to a George H. Deason, who believed that it took pluck to settle there. Gravel pits and a small silica mine provided additional employment for community residents. Pluck's population was estimated to be twenty-five through the mid-1960s, when the name disappeared from lists of Texas towns. The post office was discontinued in 1953.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

A Pictorial History of Polk County, Texas, 1846–1910 (Livingston, Texas: Polk County Bicentennial Commission, 1976; rev. ed. 1978).

Robert Wooster

Citation

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

Robert Wooster, "PLUCK, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrp45), accessed July 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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