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HYATT, TX

HYATT, TEXAS. Hyatt was three miles south of Warren in far southern Tyler County. Jonas S. Rice and William M. Rice, nephews of William Marsh Rice, in 1882 built a sawmill on the Sabine and East Texas Railroad at the site that became Hyatt. It is said to have been named for a friend of the Rices and received a post office with J. S. Rice as postmaster in 1882. In 1886 Hyatt produced 1,046 cars of lumber, and in 1887 a Galveston newspaper reported that the Rice brothers at Hyatt were turning out 45,000 to 50,000 feet of lumber daily. In 1889 the mills were rebuilt and were producing 60,000 to 70,000 feet a day; they had the requisite drying kilns, planing mills, and tramways. The Hyatt mills burned in 1892 but were soon rebuilt again. About 150 men were put out of work by the fire, and losses on the mill property were estimated at $30,000, covered with only $10,000 in insurance.

The Myrta Masonic Lodge, originally organized at Hyatt, met first in 1886; in 1891 it was moved to Warren. In 1899 Hyatt was described as surrounded by longleaf pine lumber equal in quality to the Calcasieu lumber in Louisiana. The Hyatt mills employed 100 people. The mill had 75 to 100 company houses and a well-maintained hotel for employees. Many workers kept gardens, and there was a good spring nearby for fishing and bathing. The settlement of Hyatt had about 300 inhabitants. J. S. Rice was experimenting in grape culture and hoped to make his own wine.

The East Texas and Gulf Railway Company, chartered in 1917, at one time served Hyatt and Hicksbaugh. Hyatt was also a station on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. The community had a reported population of thirty in 1883, 200 in 1889, and 429 in 1903, when it was one of the principal towns in the county. J. S. and W. M. Rice ran the mill at Hyatt until 1907, then shut it down and established another at Ward, Louisiana. The Hyatt post office was also discontinued in 1907. The community began to decline after the mill was closed, though it had a school district as late as 1917. The East Texas and Gulf Railway was abandoned in 1934.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

W. T. Block, ed., Emerald of the Neches: The Chronicles of Beaumont from Reconstruction to Spindletop (Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1980). It's Dogwood Time in Tyler County (Woodville, Texas), 1955, 1962. Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Fort Worth: Miran, 1975).

Megan Biesele

Citation

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

Megan Biesele, "HYATT, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvhay), accessed October 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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