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BRONSON, TEXAS

Sabine County, East Texas
US Hwy 96 and State Hwy 184
8 Miles W of Hemphill
16 Miles SE of San Augustine
E of Lufkin
Population: 377 (2000)

Bronson, Texas Area Hotels:
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Bronson TX 1919 Old Building

"The 1919 building belonged to "Cap" King who was once a Texas legislator. At one time he operated a restaurant in the building." - Mike Pate
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2010
See Texas Buildings

History in a Pecan Shell

The 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.

The 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 TX - Old Building Ruins

"The old brick building is the first post office I remember." - Mike Pate
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2010
See Texas Post Offices

Bronson TX - Old Lodge Hall
Old Lodge Hall
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2010
See Texas Lodges
Bronson TX - United Methodist Church
Bronson United Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2010
Bronson TX - First Baptist Church
Bronson First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2010
See Texas Churches

Bronson, Texas Forum:

Subject: Bronson History
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.

Pineland, Bronson, Rosevine, and several smaller communities make up West Sabine ISD. - Mike Pate, Superintendent, October 14, 2010

Bronson, Texas Area Hotels:
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Texas Sabine County Map 1940s
1940s Sabine County Map showing Bronson
(Below "S" in "S-A-B-I-N-E", W of Hemphill)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Texas 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 us.
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