Olive Texas 14
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The reporter wrote most about Olive as a Farming, orchard, and stock-raising community. He recognized that the town could not always rely on lumber manufacturing, but seemed to think Olive could always survive as a farming center, as follows:

When the lumber interests have gone and boll weevils have made it impossible to raise cotton, fruit and vegetables will have to be raised as a matter of self defense… It is a fact that peaches ripened… this year two weeks earlier at Olive than at Jacksonville and the Bell Commission Co. at Beaumont… said emphatically that the Olive peaches are the best that come to Beaumont… Mr. Rufus Harrington raised five acres of sweet potatoes… [worth] $80 an acre.

Two years ago, a canning factory was put up at Olive… The factory is owned by a stock company composed of local people, and has a daily capacity of 5,000 cans… The company that owns the canning factory also owns a 25-acre fruit and truck farm one mile from town… Mr. J. S. Davis had 500 head of sheep and recently he shipped 900 pounds of wool… Mr. John Holland has 500 head of fine cattle, and others are engaging in hog and poultry raising… Mr. Guy Work has 300 head of goats… Mr. Alvin Jones raised eighty bushels of corn to the acre last year… Mr. V. A. Petty has a nice fruit and truck farm and will set out more trees soon. As a fruit and truck growing proposition, Olive deserves liberal consideration…33

Despite the correspondent’s plea for a rural farm economy for Olive to replace that of lumber, such was not to be, and the town died with the timber and sawmill. The reporter’s statements indicate that much time and effort at Olive must have been devoted to blasting and removing stumps in order to procure the cleared land necessary for farms and orchards, but in 1904, no sawmill in East Texas practiced the concept of reforestation, which belonged to a much later time period.

In November, 1904, a Beaumont newspaper observed that “the big mill of Sternenberg and Petty at Olive is now ready to commence work. It has a daily capacity of 100,000 feet.”34

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34“Week in Lumber Circles,” Beaumont Journal, November 13, 1904.

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