"The 1919 building belonged to "Cap" King who was once a Texas
legislator. At one time he operated a restaurant in the building." - Mike
Massey, March 2010
a Pecan ShellThe
town began in the mid 1890s when John H. Kirby bought large tracts of land here
for the pristine stands of pine. The community would be named for Sam Bronson
Cooper, a two time state senator (1880-1884) and a close friend of Kirby.
The town was platted on 200 acres of land on the soon-to-be-laid Gulf, Beaumont
and Great Northern Railroad. In 1902 the railroad arrived, John Kirby built his
Kirby Lumber Company and storeowners bought lots in the new community.
community received its first post office that same year and beside (at least)
three stores, Bronson opened a boarding house for sawmill and reailroad workers.
Cultural interests followed. In 1904 a Masonic lodge was built and a school district
came into being the following year.
Bronson had a population of 1,000 by
1910 – an enviable size for an East Texas
town of that era. It peaked in the 1920s with a population of 1,200. Before the
tmiber was exhausted and the Great Depression arrivied, Bronson had established
all essential businesses, including banks and a newspaper. A second railroad connected
the town to Hemphill had been establish in 1916
In 1931, Bronson’s bank failed (the community’s two banks had merged some years
before). The 1940 census estimated 800 residents and by the end of that decade
it was down to just 300. By the 1980s there were an estimated 254 residents which
has since increased to 377 for the 2000 count.
Bronson United Methodist Church|
Photo courtesy Gerald
Massey, March 2010
I grew up in Bronson and would love to add a little history
to the pictures that Mr. Massey has provided. For instance, The 1919 building
is known as the “Cap King Building”. Cap ran a restaurant in the building and
he served in the Texas legislature for a time. Another of the old brick building
is the first Post Office that I remember in Bronson. Also the population grew
to about 3000 at the peak.
Bronson, Rosevine, and several smaller communities
make up West Sabine ISD. - Mike Pate, Superintendent, October 14, 2010
Texas Area Hotels:
Sabine County Map showing Bronson|
(Below "S" in "S-A-B-I-N-E",
W of Hemphill)
Texas General Land Office
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact