1862 - 1954
||George Washington Hooks |
||23 Aug 1862
||Concord, Hardin county, Texas, USA
||16 Jun 1900
||Hardin county, Texas, USA 
||3 Dec 1954
||Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA
||Hooks Cemetery, Kountze, Hardin county, Texas, USA
- HOOKS, George W. 08-23-1862 12-03-1954
- "Perhaps Pap's most intellectual and inventive son .... had an analytical turn of mind." His hobby was violin making -- over forty in his lifetime. (from "A Pride of Kin", Callie Coe Wilson & Ellen Walker Rienstra, 1985.) He was the last surviving child of William and Martha Hooks.
He and Dr. Silas Bryant Turner owned the sawmill where his brother-in-law, Willie Wiess was killed November 14, 1893, when a boiler exploded.
George W. Hooks and Dr. S. B. Turner built a sawmill of 20,000 board feet per day capacity at a point eleven miles southeast of Kountze in 1886. The site became known as Sharon or Hooks' Switch. In April 1892, Dr. Turner died and the name of the company was changed to Hooks Lumber Company. Grief and tragedy was only beginning, however, for just days after Dr. Turner's death, a boiler explosion at the sawmill killed four workers and seriously wounded six others. More troubles followed. A Kirby Lumber Company publication of 1902 recorded that the "hard times of 1894-95" (when yellow pine market conditions were poor) forced the lumber company to ask for a receiver. The mill did not run regularly under receivership, and it was eventually sold to the J.F. Keith Company in 1899. The town name was changed from Sharon to Ariola, for Eduardo Ariola, the original land grantee there. Little is known about the mill under Keith ownership. Kirby Lumber Company bought the mill and took control on January 1, 1902. The mill site was then sixteen years old. Kirby immediately replaced much of the small capacity machinery and increased the mill?s capacity from 20,000 to 60,000 board feet per day. A pond was built near the mill to supply the boilers with water, but it was not used to float logs. When Kirby purchased the Ariola mill, the stumpage was estimated at fifteen years. A Kirby evaluation of the facility in 1904 further confirmed this, recording that the timber supply was "very large", being mixed long and short leaf pine, but that the quality was "much below average". Other negative remarks included the dislike of the mill having been built "on (the) ground and without modern conveniences" and the lack of an adequate log pond. When the mill burned in March 1905, Kirby chose not to rebuilt this plant. The Kirby mill plant at Ariola included a planing mill and a 15,000 board feet per day Standard dry kiln in 1904. The dry kiln was in a wooden building, and these two items, together, were valued at $11,142.24. The entire plant was valued at $48,742.24.
1900 census, Hardin cty, TX, pct 2, June 16, 1900, p. 253, sheet 9-A
lines 40-48, HH 167/174
Hooks, Geo W, head, Aug 1862, 35, married, TX, NC, GA
" , Maggie, wife, Jan 1879, 31, TX, TX, TX
" , Lucile, dau, July 1888, 11, TX, TX, TX
" , Wiess, son, Oct 1890, 9, TX, TX, TX
" , Edison, son, Jan 1893, 7, TX, TX, TX
" , Ethel, dau, May 1895, 5, TX, TX, TX
" , William M, son, Oct 1897, 2, TX, TX, TX
" , ----, dau, May 1900, 0/12, TX, TX, TX
Wiess, Bud, nephew, Dec 1883, 16, TX, TX, TX
(He is William Napoleon "Bud" Wiess, son of Maggie's older brother Willie Wiess, who was killed at George W. Hooks' sawmill in 1893.)
1910 census, TX, Hardin cty, J-pct 4 (Sour Lake lined out)
April 16, 1910; lines 51-58, HH 30/30, series T624, roll 1559, p. 187
(street) -- Electric Division, Sour Lake
Hooks, G.W., head, 47, m1, 24 years, TX,GA, GA, druggist
" , Mrs. Margaret, wife of, 41, m1 24 yrs, TX, TX, TX
" , Wiess, son, 19, 41, m1, 24 yrs, 8 children, 7 living, TX, TX, TX
" , Edison, son, 17, TX, TX, TX
" , Ethel, dau, 14, TX, TX, TX
" , Thelma, dau, 9, TX, TX, TX
" , Georgie, dau, 7, TX, TX, TX
Next door is their oldest daughter and her husband -- Frank H. Patrick and Lou Seale Wiess Patrick.
||Aug 7, 2012 |
||William R. "Billy" "Pap" Hooks, b. 22 Oct 1818, Whitebury, North Carolina, USA , d. 13 Jan 1894, Kountze, Hardin county, Texas, USA |
||Martha Collier, b. 7 Dec 1822, Early county, Georgia, USA , d. 20 Jun 1898, Texas, USA |
||7 Apr 1839
||Early county, Georgia, USA
||7 Jul 1839
||Early county, Georgia, USA
||Margaret Isabell "Maggie" Wiess, b. 24 Jan 1869, Wiess Bluff, Jasper county, Texas, USA , d. 10 Mar 1960, Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA |
||24 Sep 1885
||Jefferson county, Texas, USA
- George W. Hooks built his sawmill at a small community called Sharon, which sprang up around a flag stop on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad at a site once called Buzzard Roost.
W.T. Block, East Texas historian, writes in his book "East Texas Mill Towns & Ghost Towns, Vol. 2" pp. 37-39:
"In 1886 George W. Hooks and Dr. S.B. Turner formed a partnership and built a small sawmill at Sharon or Hooks' Switch, eleven miles southeast of Kountze.50 In 1888 an article noted that the Turner and Hooks Lumber Company at Sharon cut 20,000 feet daily and had 500,000 feet of lumber drying in its yard.51 In April, 1892, Dr. Turner died, and thereafter the mill was known as the Hooks Lumber Company.52
"Problems for the Hooks' mill began in 1892 with a disastrous boiler explosion, as follows: 53
"... A terrific boiler explosion occurred this morning at 10:30 at the sawmill of the Hooks Lumber Company at Hooks' Switch, 14 miles north of here on the Sabine and East Texas Railroad, killing four and seriously wounding six others.... The Hooks Lumber Company had been shut down for about two months, and had just started up yesterday morning. . .The boiler room is completely blown away, and the mill will have to be entirely rebuilt to be of use... One piece of the boiler was found 150 yards from the mill...
"The Hooks mill was soon to experience all of the financial unpleasantness that Texas sawmillers were to face during the 1890's. In 1893-1894 a disastrous depression occurred, plummeting lumber prices and demand, and souring the nation's business outlook. With no market for lumber for home use, most sawmills turned to the railroads, who always needed cross ties and bridge timbers. Often the mill was closed either because of a lack of water in the well and mill pond or because of too much rain which flooded the woods. A history of the Sharon sawmill covered a part of the difficulties of those years, as follows: 54
"... The mill was operated by this company (Hooks) until the panic, which was followed by the hard times of 1894-1895, when the operators were forced to ask for a receiver (bankruptcy) ... Then followed a few years of checkered existence, when the operation of the mill was anything but certain...
"A number of reasons appeared in print for the Sharon sawmill's financial difficulties. When lumber demand lagged, the firm shut down at intervals. In August 1895, the mill was running on a four-day work week, whereas in March, 1897, it was "jogging along, making about half-time (three days weekly)."55 In November, 1895, the mill was "shut down for several weeks because of a lack of water."56 Likewise, when it rained too much and the forests were flooded, the wheels of progress stopped turning, as the following quote reveals: 57
"... The Hooks Lumber Company's mill at Hooks' Switch, has been forced to shut down for several days this weeks because of the condition of the woods. They will once more run as soon as the mud on their tram land dries...
"The Hooks sawmill woods crews hauled logs from both sides of the railroad. In 1904, they were "logging from the west side," whereas a year later, the loggers trammed "from the east side, and the tram is being pushed into a larger timber belt."58
At one time in 1896, it appeared that the firm was experiencing prosperous times, as the following report indicates: 59
"... The Hooks Lumber Company... seems to be getting their share of orders, although they could handle more with ease. This company is composed of practical sawmill men, and all of the important positions are filled by members of the firm... President George W. Hooks looks after the office; Messrs. Philip Chance and W. B. Strickland the mill and yard; and Ben D. Herring is in charge of the woods...
"L. B. Sedgwick was the firm's bookkeeper.60
"In 1899 the Hooks mill was sold to the J. F. Keith Lumber Company of Beaumont and Voth, and Keith immediately changed the mill town's name to Ariola, for Eduardo Ariola, who had held the original Mexican land grant there.61"
The post office, established in 1888, was named Hooks Switch, although the railroad stop continued to be known as Sharon as late as 1905. The depression of the 1890s forced Hooks to transfer his mill, which had a daily capacity of 75,000 board feet, to the J.F. Keith Lumber Company of Beaumont. The community's name was then changed to Ariola, after the Eduardo and Francisco Ariola leagues, on which the town was built. The post office took the new name in 1901. John Henry Kirby acquired the Ariola mill in 1902. In 1904 the community, still occasionally referred to as Hooks Switch, had a population of 108. The Kirby Lumber Company dismantled the mill in 1907, and the post office discontinued operations shortly thereafter. Ariola, however, remained a flag stop for several years. In 1932 the first of three oil wells in the Ariola field was brought in. Local residents call the community Chance, in honor of a pioneer family of that name. The population is combined with that of Loeb and Lumberton, a growing suburb of Beaumont. Two of the Ariola oil wells were still producing in 1984.
1900 census, TX, Hardin, pct 2, (T623-1641, 253)
June 16, 1900, HH 167/174
Hooks, Geo W, head, W, M, Aug 1862, 37, TX, NC, GA, druggist
" , Maggie, wife, W, F, Jan 1879, 31, TX, TX, TX
" , Lucile, dau, Jly 1888, 11, TX
" , Wiess, son, Oct 1890, 9, TX
" , Edison, son, Jan 1893, 7, TX
" , Ethel, dau, May 1895, 5, TX
" , William N, son, Oct 1897, 2, TX
" , ---, dau, May 1900, 9/12, TX
Wiess, Bill, nephew, W, M, Dec 1883, 16, TX
| ||1. Dessie Armittie Hooks, b. 4 Dec 1886, Texas, USA , d. 22 Oct 1887|
|>||2. Lou Seale "Tippie" Hooks, b. 6 Jul 1888, Kountze, Hardin county, Texas, USA , d. 29 Mar 1975|
|>||3. Thomas Wiess Hooks, b. 11 Oct 1890, d. 17 Dec 1965, Hidalgo county, Texas, USA |
| ||4. Edison Marcus Hooks, b. 22 Jan 1893, Hardin county, Texas, USA , d. 19 Dec 1969, El Paso, El Paso county, Texas, USA |
|>||5. Ethel Annie Hooks, b. 9 May 1895, Hardin county, Texas, USA , d. 2 Jun 1992, Hidalgo county, Texas, USA |
| ||6. William Napoleon "Brother" Hooks, b. 25 Oct 1897, Hardin county, Texas, USA , d. 20 Feb 1964, Hardin county, Texas, USA |
|>||7. Thelma Lorain Hooks, b. 5 May 1900, Hardin county, Texas, USA , d. 14 Jan 1976|
|>||8. Georgie W. Hooks, b. 11 Sep 1902, Hardin county, Texas, USA , d. 13 Jan 1976|
- [S577] Handbook of Texas OnLine.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Aline House, Big Thicket: Its Heritage (San Antonio: Naylor, 1967). Mary Lou Proctor, A History of Hardin County (M. A. thesis, University of Texas, 1950).
- [S637] A Pride of Kin.
- [S834] Dore, Barbara Yancey.
- [S3961] 1900 US federal census, 1900 census, TX, Hardin, pct 2, (T623-1641, 253).