While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »

MESHAW, TX

Bill Tichnell

MESHAW, TEXAS. Meshaw was fourteen miles west of Rusk on the Texas State Railroad and U.S. Highway 84 in western Cherokee County. It was a prison sawmill camp in the early 1900s. The camp was named for a Captain Meshaw of Garland, who was a member of the state prison board in 1908. It was constructed around 1909 to provide lumber for the construction of the Texas State Railroad and charcoal for the ironworks at the Rusk Penitentiary. The complex included a large sawmill, a plowing mill, and quarters for the guards and prisoners. A two-mile-long team railroad with a cog track was constructed north of the mill to haul logs. The sawmill burned in 1912 and was never rebuilt, but the state prison system continued to use the site until 1917, when the Rusk Penitentiary was closed. During the 1930s a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was constructed nearby. No permanent community, however, ever developed at the site. In the 1980s the area was part of the I. D. Fairchild State Forest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Donald R. Walker, Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867–1912 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1988).

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.

Citation

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Bill Tichnell, "MESHAW, TX," accessed August 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/htm20.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...