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OLIVE, TEXAS. Olive, also known as Sunset, was three miles north of Kountze and thirty miles north of Beaumont, near the present junction of U.S. Highway 69/287 and Farm Road 1003 in north central Hardin County. The construction of the Sabine and East Texas Railroad through Hardin County in the early 1880s opened the densely forested Big Thicket country to the expanding lumber industries of Southeast Texas. The line stimulated the growth of numerous sawmills in Hardin County. In 1881, anticipating the track's completion, Beaumont industrialists S. C. Olive and J. A. Sternenberg built a large mill at the site of the future Olive. Their Sunset Sawmill, with a daily capacity of 65,000 board feet in 1889, was the centerpiece of their large operation, which also included a big drying kiln and nine miles of tram roads.

Olive's population, estimated at 383 by 1890, grew to an estimated 700 by 1904. Fruit and vegetable raising added to the town's prosperity. The Olive Canning Factory was established by 1900 but operated only briefly. The mill was rebuilt after a 1903 fire. A second fire four years later, however, ended milling operations at Olive. The town was nonetheless listed on railroad maps as late as 1918. The post office, established in 1884, was closed in 1920. The town no longer exists, although an oilfield at the site, named the Olive oilfield, began to produce in 1945.

W. T. Block, ed., Emerald of the Neches: The Chronicles of Beaumont from Reconstruction to Spindletop (Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1980).
Robert Wooster

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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, Robert Wooster, "Olive, TX," accessed October 28, 2016,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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