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Thomas Wiess Hooks

Male 1890 - 1965  (75 years)

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  • Name Thomas Wiess Hooks 
    Born Oct 11, 1890 
    Gender Male 
    Census Jun 16, 1900  Hardin county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Social Security Number 457-60-7224 
    • THOMAS HOOKS, 11 Oct 1890, Dec 1965, 78537 (Donna, Hidalgo, TX), 457-60-7224, issued TX
    Died Dec 17, 1965  Hidalgo county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • TX death records: Hooks; Thomas; Weiss; ; 12-17-1965; HIDALGO; M; WIDOWED
    • -
      1920 census, Donna, Hidalgo, TX, J-pct 2, e.d. 67, sheet 3-B
      Jan. 14, 1920, HH 55/59
      Hooks, Wise T, head, 29, TX, TX, TX, farmer
        "  , Dorothy, wife, 24, PA, PA, PA
        "  , Thomas, son, 5, TX, TX, TX
        "  , Marcus, son, 3, TX, TX, TX
      -- (two households away, HH 53/57, is the family of his first cousin, Thomas Benton Hooks)
    Person ID I1562  mykindred
    Last Modified Aug 7, 2012 

    Father George Washington Hooks,   b. Aug 23, 1862, Concord, Hardin county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 03, 1954, Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Mother Margaret Isabell "Maggie" Wiess,   b. Jan 24, 1869, Wiess Bluff, Jasper county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 10, 1960, Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Married Sep 24, 1885  Jefferson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 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
    Family ID F588  Group Sheet

    Family Dorothy Hoyt,   d.  
    Married Abt 1910 
    +1. Thomas Wiess Hooks, Jr.,   b. Mar 01, 1912, Hidalgo county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 07, 1989, Hidalgo county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     2. Marcus Wiess Hooks,   b. Mar 21, 1916, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 04, 1988  (Age 72 years)
    Family ID F592  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S3961] 1900 US federal census, 1900 census, TX, Hardin, pct 2, (T623-1641, 253).

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