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The same editor noted that Olive, Sternenberg and Company cut all of its logs on the east side of the East Texas Railroad. Although no details of mill machinery survive, the writer believes that two double-cutting band saws were installed at Olive in 1904, and that any experienced mill man would agree that nothing less than two such band saws could cut 100,000 feet daily.

By 1907, all members of the Sternenberg family except G. A. Sternenberg, his wife, and two children, had departed permanently for Houston. Although only 38 years of age, he was already entertaining the idea of retiring from active management of the sawmill so that he could spend most of his time in Houston, and he soon moved back there as well. To complicate further the problems of mill management, V. A. Petty moved his family to San Antonio about the same time. To compensate for their leaving, Petty and Sternenberg brought into the business five of the latter’s first cousins, Charles A. Sternenberg and Emil P. Sternenberg, brothers of San Diego, California, as well as Frederick W. Sternenberg of Paige, Bastrop County, Texas, and the latter’s two sisters (who were twins), Paula and Annie Sternenberg. The young women were to be trained as bookkeepers, and at intervals, the three young men were to be sent to Houston to attend Massey Business College and acquire some background in business management.35

In April, 1908, G. A. Sternenberg, while he and his wife were building a new home and residing at Houston’s Tremont Hotel, contracted typhoid fever and died after an illness of two weeks.36 Immediately, his young widow became half owner of Olive, Sternenberg and Company and active in the company’s management. For some unknown reason, the new proprietors became dissatisfied with the original firm name, and one of their first actions together was to deed all community property to the new “Olive-Sternenberg Lumber Company.”37

For years the writer has believed (with no known documentary proof that he could cite) that the sawmill at Olive had shut down in 1907. A faction of people at Kountze believed that all the buildings there except one had either been torn down or moved away in 1909. Still others there believed the end of the town came in 1914.

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35Galveston Daily News, April 20, 1908; Beaumont Enterprise, October 6, 20; November 20, 24; and December 8, 22, 1907; May 5, 31; October 18, 25, and December 30, 1908.

36G. A. Sternenberg Dead,” Beaumont Enterprise, April 20, 1908; “Death of G. A. Sternenberg,” Galveston Daily News, April 20, 1908.

37Volumes 51, p. 137, and 54, p. 268, Hardin County Deed Records.

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