John Henry Kirby, the "Prince of the Pines," shown in a 1925 photo. With East Coast investors, Kirby established land companies with vast timber holdings in the Pineywoods. In 1893, he built the Gulf, Beaumont, and Kansas City Railroad and used proceeds from its sale to finance more land purchases. In 1901, he organized the Houston Oil Company of Texas and the Kirby Lumber Company. Although at one point the lumber company controlled more than 300,000 acres of land and operated 13 sawmills, business reversals during the depression forced Kirby into bankruptcy. Photo courtesy of the Center for East Texas Research, Stephen F. Austin State University, Forest History Collection (p90s-154).
Close Window