BARNUM, TEXAS. Barnum is on U.S. Highway 287 seventy-five miles northwest of Beaumont in northeast Polk County. The community was founded in 1881, when W. T. Carter built a sawmill at the site on the Trinity and Sabine Railway. The Carter and Brother operation at Barnum eventually included a sawmill, a planer, storage bins, seven miles of tram roads, and two locomotives. By 1889 Barnum had a hotel, a post office, a general store, a school, a public hall, and about 350 residents. A fire in 1887 consumed the sawmill and planer, causing an estimated $10,000 worth of damage. Another fire in 1897 again destroyed the Carter facilities at Barnum. After the latter blaze, Carter decided to reestablish his Polk County mill at Camden. Although many residents subsequently left Barnum, the settlement continued to be a stop on the railroad, which became part of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas system in 1882. The Barnum post office also remained open. The small rural community still had two businesses in 1984 and twenty-nine residents in 1990. In 2000 the population was fifty.
W. T. Block, ed., Emerald of the Neches: The Chronicles of Beaumont from Reconstruction to Spindletop (Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1980).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Robert Wooster, "BARNUM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnb10), accessed February 07, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles