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WIESS BLUFF, TX

WIESS BLUFF, TEXAS. Wiess Bluff is on Farm Road 1131 fifteen miles north of Beaumont in the extreme southwestern corner of Jasper County. The site, on the east bank of the Neches River, was known as Grant's Bluff before Simon Wiess opened a general store there in January 1840. Although Wiess Bluff was a failure as a townsite, it proved a tremendous business success for the Wiess store. At the head of low-water navigation on the Neches River and at the southern terminus of the Jasper-Wiess's Bluff road, the location drew most of the Neches River valley trade during the mid-nineteenth century. Steamboats plying the Neches and farmers throughout the area used the warehouses and store built by Wiess for their imported goods and cotton exports. During the Civil War, the Confederacy made Wiess Bluff a depot for military stores and supplies.

The settlement, located near the dense pine and cypress forests of southern Jasper and Hardin counties, also became an important site for lumbering. Wiess had operated a small sawmill for years. In 1886 J. G. Smyth and Company bought the surrounding area and began to expand local logging efforts. The Beaumont Lumber Company took over two years later and by 1889 began operating a fifteen-mile tram road. Although lumbering continued until after 1900, the construction of the Sabine and East Texas Railroad in 1883 and the Gulf, Beaumont, and Kansas City Railway in the mid-1890s spelled doom for Wiess Bluff as a riverport. The post office, opened in 1853, was discontinued in 1908. A cemetery and several old houses, however, still overlooked the Neches River at the old site in the late 1980s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

William T. Block, "From Cotton Bales to Black Gold: A History of the Wiess Families of Southeastern Texas," Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record 8 (1972). James M. McReynolds, A History of Jasper County, Texas, Prior to 1874 (M.A. thesis, Lamar State College of Technology, 1968).

Robert Wooster

Citation

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

Robert Wooster, "WIESS BLUFF, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvw47), accessed September 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 17, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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