ALDRIDGE, TX (JASPER COUNTY)
ALDRIDGE, TEXAS (Jasper County). Aldridge was on the Burr's Ferry, Browndell and Chester Railroad, about seventy miles north of Beaumont in extreme northwestern Jasper County. The area's rich forests attracted outside lumber interests by the late nineteenth century, and the Aldridge Lumber Company, with W. H. and F. W. Aldridge as president and vice president, respectively, had begun operations in Jasper County by 1898. In 1905 the firm increased its property holdings in Jasper and Angelina counties substantially with a large purchase from the Vaughan Lumber Company. The Aldridge mill gained a railroad outlet in 1907 via the BFB&C.
On August 26, 1911, fire destroyed the Aldridge sawmill, and company owners went heavily into debt in the process of rebuilding. Although some assistance from the giant Kirby Lumber Company was forthcoming, shipments from Aldridge remained "a disappointment" in 1915. The mill burned again that year, and the post office, opened in 1907, discontinued operations at Aldridge in 1916. With heavy investments in nearby forests, John Henry Kirby remained interested in the Aldridge operations. Indeed, the efforts of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad to extend the old BFB&C line across the Angelina River seemed to spark new life in the region. The Aldridge post office was reopened from 1920 to 1923.
However, because loggers had depleted the locally available timber, the railroad spur from Rockland to Turpentine, which passed through Aldridge, was abandoned in 1927, thus destroying all hopes for another recovery at Aldridge. The area has been most noted by subsequent generations for the recreational opportunities at Blue Hole, formed when a stone quarry collapsed during the town's heyday.
Kirby Lumber Corporation Papers, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University. S. G. Reed, A History of the Texas Railroads (Houston: St. Clair, 1941; rpt., New York: Arno, 1981).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Robert Wooster, "ALDRIDGE, TX (JASPER COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hva09), accessed November 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.