Browndell, TX


By: Robert Wooster

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994


Browndell is at the junction of Farm Road 1007 and U.S. Highway 96, in extreme northeastern Jasper County eighty-five miles north of Beaumont. The area, in the vast East Texas piney woodlands, became accessible to large-scale lumbering operations with the construction of the Gulf, Beaumont and Great Northern Railway north of Roganville in the early 1900s. The Kirby Lumber Corporation built a sawmill in northeastern Jasper County shortly thereafter, and the mill site was called Browndell in honor of Dell Brown, the wife of one of John Henry Kirby's financial backers. The Browndell post office opened in 1903 and was discontinued in 1928. By 1904 an enthusiastic Kirby Corporation official dubbed the Browndell plant, with kilns, planer, and sawmill, "one of the company's most successful and economic mills." Ten years later the facility, known as Mill S, could reportedly cut 75,000 to 80,000 board feet of lumber every ten hours. The 1925 fire that destroyed the mill threatened the continued existence of the Browndell community. Its population, once estimated to be about 900, fell to below 200 by the mid-1940s. The community's economy was revitalized, however, after the completion of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir opened up new recreational opportunities in the area. Browndell residents voted to incorporate in 1968. By the mid-1980s the community's population had increased to more than 225; in 1990 it was reported as 192. In 2000 the population was 219.

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  • Communities

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

Robert Wooster, “Browndell, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/browndell-tx.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

1952
November 1, 1994

Place
Browndell
Currently Exists
Yes
Place Type
Town
USGS ID
2409920
Town Fields
  • Has post office: No
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Jasper County
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 31.12510750°
  • Longitude: -93.98013700°
Population Counts
People Year
192 1990
219 2000
197 2010
204 2019