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Village Mills, Tex.

Originally called "Neyland", name changed March 7, 1883 

Jim Wheat's POSTMASTERS & POST OFFICES OF TEXAS, 1846 - 1930 for Hardin County lists 2 postmasters for Neyland, August H. Lanier (1881) and Samuel F. Carter (1883).  He continues with the postmasters until 1915 under Village Mills.

General Cross, next to last on the right
Contributed by Vickie Cross, Hardin Co., TX
Village Mills Post Office, Hardin Co., TX ca.1906

In one sense of the word, Village Mills is not a ghost town as there are people living in the area and there is a post office with the Village Mills designation on the road to Wildwood, a resort community west of the Langston family property off FM 3063.  The original townsite for Village Mills is actually a mile or 2 further north of the two buildings where the "Village Mills" sign sits on Hwy 69N, at least according to W. A. "Bill" Langston, a retired Hardin County Constable, now in his 80's.

The Kirby Planner Mill sat on the north corner of Hwy 69 and FM 3063 , which is the Wildwood Road. Some of the original foundations are still visable if you could get into the thicket.

Below are photos of the Kirby Lumber Mill and the Kirby train, which collected the lumber from the various pick-up locations and then transported the lumber to the mill, through the Village Creek area of the Big Thicket. Photos submitted by Jack & Harriet Langston and are copyrighted by them. The photo of the Kirby Planner Mill with all the workers standing outside is from my grandmother's (Bessie Agnes Rhodes Wilkinson) collection.

Original Village Mills
Village Millls Tex 1920, J. Hobbs was Superintendent

Kirby Planner Mill Workmen
Kirby Lumber Co Planner Mill
Rufus Cole and Marion Payne are in this picture

Kirby Lumber Co Train, Village Mills,Tex
Kirby Lumber Co Train, Village Mills,Tex
Date unknown

My great-grandfather, Jefferson D Wilkinson was an engineer on the sawmill train in Village Mills. This photo was in my great-aunt's photos and we believe the man driving this train is him and it is possible the man standing to the right is his brother, Jesse.  My cousin thinks the man to the left, is a Williford. There was a Rosha W. Williford in the 1880 Census working in the lumber industry. Could this be him?

Kirby Planner Mill
Kirby Lumber Mill

Kirby Lumber Mill, Village Mills, ca 1950

Kirby Lumber Co Train, Village Mills,Tex
Kirby Lumber Co Train, Village Mills,Tex

"Village Mills Co. tram at Village Mills (Hardin County). Built as 36-inch gauge, later standard-gauged. Operating by 1886 to at least 1893. Known mileage varied between 5.5 and 10 miles." -- Texas Logging Railroads: A Comprehensive List of Lumber Carriers

Pat & Nettie Langston w/ Dave & Oris Wilkinson
pic submitted by Jack Langston of Village Mills, TX
ca 1915, Village Mills Lumber Mill train


W. T. Block, noted local historian who wrote extensively about the sawmill towns of southeast Texas.

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If you have any stories or old photos you would like to contribute, or have information of another Texas ghost town not listed, please send an email with the information and/or attachments, including how you would like to be credited to sherry@texashistoryhunter.net
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