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Essie Walton Martin

BRONSON, TEXAS. Bronson is at the junction of State Highway 184 and U.S. Highway 96, nine miles west of Hemphill in western Sabine County. It is served by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. As early as 1895 settler and developer John H. Kirby came to the area and bought large tracts of land, most of which was covered with virgin pine timber. Bronson, named for Samuel Bronson Cooper, was laid out on 200 acres on the course of the Gulf, Beaumont and Great Northern Railway, which was being built through the county in the spring of 1902. Merchants moved in, bought lots and land, and began construction with imported lumber. In 1902 Kirby built the Kirby Lumber Company. That year the Bronson Bulletin, a weekly newspaper, began publication under the direction of William A. Fields, and a post office opened with Nathan Pratt as postmaster. A number of businesses operated in Bronson, including Hamilton-Pratt Mercantile, Dean Mercantile, and Toole Mercantile, a boardinghouse for railroad and sawmill workers, and a restaurant. A Masonic lodge was established in 1904, and an independent school district was formed in 1905. By 1910 the town had a population of 1,000.

Throughout the early part of the twentieth century Bronson continued to grow. Baptist and Methodist churches were established. Bronson State Bank opened in 1907. By 1916 the Lufkin, Hemphill and Gulf Railway had constructed a line from Bronson to Hemphill, and the community served as a major shipping point. A second bank opened in 1919; the two banks were consolidated in 1921. Major highway construction began in the area during the 1920s, when the town's population peaked at 1,200. During the 1930s the population declined due to economic hardships and a diminishing timber supply. The bank closed in 1931. By 1941 the population was an estimated 800; it decreased to 300 by 1949. In 1962 the Bronson Independent School District was consolidated with the Pineland district. During the next two decades the population fluctuated between 500 and 600, but by the 1980s it was an estimated 254. In 1992 Bronson had a population of 259. In 2000 the population was 377.

Robert Cecil McDaniel, Sabine County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1987).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Essie Walton Martin, "BRONSON, TX," accessed August 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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