State Highway 12 on the West Bank of the Sabine River
About 35 Miles NE of Beaumont
Population: 1,190 (2000)
Texas Area Hotels > Jasper
in a Pecan Shell
In 1898 the site was either known as Princeton or Possum
Bluff. It had been a ferry crossing but the new construction of
a sawmill by the Sabine Tram Company required a break with the past.
That same year the Texarkana and Fort Smith Railway built a line into
a direct market for freshly sawn lumber. Clearly, a new name was needed.
The National newspapers were still celebrating Admiral Dewey’s victory
at Manilla Bay and the town was thus renamed – like several hundred
others across the country who took the names of places or heroes of
|A post office
was granted in 1900 as Deweyville and after a strike in 1910, Deweyville
was transformed into a “company town” (1919) with the sawmill company
(Peavy-Moore Lumber) owning every business here – including the hotel
and employee housing.
A. J. Peavy also built a short fifteen-mile line (the Sabine and Neches
Valley) from Deweyville to Gist. This formed a connection with the
Orange and Beaumont Railroad.
Deweyville basked in its success and became the largest town in Newton
County. Things looked as if they would continue until the town was
hit by a double-whammy. The sawmill was destroyed by fire in 1943
and the railroad discontinued service just after that calamity. The
drop in population was immediate. An estimated 1,500 people lived
in Deweyville in 1936 and by 1949 it had dropped to 800.
Without a strong economy, growth was extremely slow and it took years
to reach 850 – the number given for the mid 1970s-1980s.
Some residents commute to Orange
The population hit a high of 1,218 for the 1990 census and the 2000
census counted slightly less at 1,190.
|Jasper / Newton
County 1907 postal map showing Deweyville
(S of Newton, far south corner of Newton
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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