Ashwood Information & Links
Ashwood Depot Replica
James Reeves pictured
Photo courtesy of the Matagorda County Museum
Ashwood, situated on FM 1728 and on a branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, received its name from the large quantities of ash logs shipped by the local mill. The sawmill was operated by a Mr. Hubbard and a Mr. Collins.
A post office was established at Ashwood in 1910 with Mittie D. Hanson as the first postmaster. Annie M. Smith succeeded Hanson in 1916. She operated the post office, express office, and J. Fisher Smith Mercantile Store until her retirement in 1952. The Ashwood post office was discontinued in 1952, and the mail service moved to Sweeny.
A ten-room residence and an artesian well were also situated at Ashwood Station. The railroad siding at the station had a capacity of thirty cars. A nearby plantation was equipped with modern farm equipment, tool barns, sixteen tenant houses with windmills, and a large syrup mill. John Fisher Smith, Sr., operated the Ashwood plantation until his death in 1936.
In 1917, Ashwood, which was in School District No. 3, had a one-room schoolhouse in which four grades were taught.
Mt. Olivet and Rockwest Baptist Church, African-American churches, were located at Ashwood. Both churches had cemeteries near the buildings. The churches merged and became one congregation, Union Baptist Church.
Ashwood had a population of one hundred
Ashwood For KidsChastun-Hanson CemeteryUnion Baptist Church CemeteryAnton Hansen Family
J. K. Smith left this week for New York City, where he will attend college this summer.
Mr. Pratt’s daughter arrived here from New Orleans this week to spend the summer with her parents.
Mr. Cobb is another addition to the population of this place.
Miss Myrtle Hardy of Wharton is a welcome visitor at the home of C. Duffield.
Mrs. Scott of Galveston was visiting her aunt, Mrs. McWilliams, the past week.
T. H. Brown was the guest of Mr. Anderson last Sunday.
C. L. Smith and elder son arrived here this week and have started to erect their large store and post office building.
Mr. LaSalle was attending business at Ashwood last Tuesday.
Misses B. Meadows and sister were here on business Monday.
Ashwood has shipped twelve cars of spuds and one car of wood during the last month.
Matagorda County Tribune, June 24, 1910
Leo Pratt and wife went to Van Vleck Sunday.
The potato planters have begun the planting of their fall crop.
Dry weather and two brides are the week’s products for Ashwood.
T. H. Brown was at this place calling on Mr. Curry one day this week.
F. Smith left here Sunday for Leesville, La., where he will visit his family.
We are happy to report that J. N. South and family are again our neighbors after about six month’s absence.
Mr. Greenwood was at this place last week painting C. L. Smith’s new store. C. L. Smith and sons are erecting a fine two story residence here.
The honey crop at J. H. Chastun’s Valley View apiary is short on account of the dry weather. The bees are now storing some fine clover nectar, but the supply is short.
Raymond Talcutt returned home from Illinois this week. He informs us that his bride is on her way to this place. Mr. Talcutt will have a cozy little home ready by the time she arrives.
Mr. Anton Hanson of Wadsworth and Miss Mittie Chastun were happily united in marriage by Rev. Fr. Schnetter at the Roman Catholic church at Bay City, Texas, Sunday, August 7. Those present at the ceremony were J. H. Chastun, Miss Agnes Chastun and several couples from Wadsworth. After the marriage the couple drove to Ashwood, where they will make their future home.
Matagorda County Tribune, August 12, 1910
C. L. Smith paid Ashwood a business call this week.
Ashwood postoffice was opened on Monday, December 19th.
All the land is being ploughed and put in readiness for the coming season.
F. Johnson is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Hanson.
Harvesting potatoes is the order of the day, but the spud crop looks blue.
Mr. Bagby and mother and father are going to spend Christmas with relatives.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 23, 1910
Ashwood has succeeded in having a post office established after a long and hard work on the part of the postmaster. After nearly a year of effort, the department has at last opened the office, and the public appreciate the convenience. But the…has quandary as to whether they are going to make Ashwood a flag station or not. The post office is in the most convenient location for this section, and the train stops at Podo and Sugar Valley, which makes a mile and a half further to go. Some of the men can board the train as it slows up for the mail, but we regret to say it is very inconvenient for our little postmistress, who is Mrs. Mittie D. Hanson.
James H. Chastun and sister Agnes and Margaret came in Monday evening for a visit to their sister and brother, Mr. and Mrs. Anton Hanson.
J. F. Lewis was in our city on business one day this week.
Messrs. Vogelsang and Hardy of Bay City were over in their autos on business one day this week.
Christmas was nicely celebrated at this place.
Raymond Brown was in Ashwood Tuesday.
V. B. Currie, manager for C. L. Smith & Sons, paid a flying visit to Wharton one day last week.
The new bridge at Ashwood across the Caney is about completed.
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Pratt and mother were in Ashwood last week to see Santa Claus.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 30, 1910
The cold weather was very severe in this section.
Next week the farmers will begin planting Irish potatoes as they have their land prepared.
Mr. and Mrs. A. Hanson paid Mr. and Mrs. Bogge and son a Sunday evening call.
Mr. C. Kemp passed through Ashwood with several other men one day this week.
Mr. Bogget was at Ashwood looking over the fresh plowed land, which he said made him feel good to see, as it made him think of years gone by when he was a farmer.
Matagorda County Tribune, January 13, 1911
Ashwood is looking better every day.
Mr. Kilrain Smith and Mr. and Mrs. George Newman, left for his home in Beaumont this week.
Mr. J. F. Smith was a passenger for Wharton one day this week.
Drummer Jacob was in [town?] attending to business Monday.
Messrs. Springer and ___ finishing painting for C. L. Smith & Sons.
Irish potato planting is about finished and corn planting is [the order?] of the day.
Mrs. C. L. Smith and little ___ are at home again.
Mr. Bert Pratt was in Ashwood yesterday.
Mr. Meadows stopped in Ashwood as he was passing through.
Mr. and Mrs. Boggett and son have been ill for the past week.
Mrs. Anton Hanson has been on the sick list last week, but she is some better now.
Matagorda County Tribune, February 17, 1911
J. K. Smith and sister Miss Bessie have just returned from New Orleans, where they have been visiting.
Mr. V. B. Currie is just finishing a nice little cottage for C. L. Smith Sons & Co. Which Mr. Currie will move his family into in a few days.
The corn is looking fine as it is three or four inches high now, a d Irish potatoes look good in this section.
Miss Bessie Smith is on the sick list this week.
Ashwood is beginning to look like a little business town, that Matagor…
Matagorda County Tribune, March 3, 1911
V. B. Currie has moved his family to Ashwood and they are enjoying this nice weather.
C. L. Smith has been on the sick list but is recovering.
Bert Pratt made a flying trip to Burr Saturday.
Mrs. J. Fisher Smith was very sick a few days ago but is some better.
Mrs. V. B. Currie and was very ill yesterday but is up and around today.
Mrs. L. B. Pratt came in Sunday after a pleasant visit to her parents and friends at Gatesville, Texas.
L. B. Pratt went to Wharton yesterday to accompany his wife home.
Ashwood is still improving.
Anton Hanson was in Ashwood Sunday.
Mr. Hanson, who has the Chastun farm in charge, has a fine stand of Irish potatoes and they are very pretty.
Messrs. Smith’s potatoes and corn look fine.
Mr. Pratt states that his potatoes are looking fine.
The community had a nice rain Saturday night and it was appreciated by all.
Bert Pratt went to Wharton on business one day this week.
Miss Bessie Smith is assistant manager and clerk for Smith Sons & Co.
Corn is up six inches high. It grew three inches the night it rained.
Mrs. C. L. Smith of Ashwood is going to visit her daughter, Mrs. F. W. Newman of Beaumont the last of the week. She will be very much missed in her home very much till she returns. She will carry the two youngest girls with her.
J. F. Smith has been ill for several days but is recovering.
V. B. Currie had a four o’clock dinner yesterday. He had frogs legs by the wholesale.
Our Ashwood Caney creek produces lots of fish and bull frogs as well as sundry other good things good to eat.
C. L. Smith Sons store is filled with a fine and fresh lot of goods. Nearly everybody has a new dress. Maybe this news will bring in a few more customers.
Ashwood is always bright and fresh and full of cheerfulness. I think we will have a grand new depot after awhile.
Matagorda County Tribune, March 24, 1911
We have been having so much rain that working the crops has been stopped.
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Pratt had a narrow escape from injury when their horse ran into a wire fence with them.
Corn is nearly waist high now.
Mrs. Hanson and sisters Mary and Marion returned home Thursday from Hitchcock where they were called on account of the illness of their mother.
The potatoes are marketable size.
Everybody is eating vegetables at Ashwood now.
Mr. J. K. Smith, a well known former business man of Ashwood, has gone to Beaumont where he will take a position in the C. L. Smith oil well office.
Matagorda County Tribune, April 21, 1911
Ashwood is improving very fast now buildings are still going up.
We have had a great deal of rain here the last week. Caney is still up pretty high.
Every thing is looking fine. Corn is up ten feet high, potatoes are just splendid.
Mr. J. C. Allardyce, a well-known farmer and business man of De Ridder, La., has been visiting his sister, Mrs. J. Fisher Smith, and friends and relatives of Ashwood. He reports a nice stay out here and that he enjoyed himself immensely and hopes to come again soon.
Mr. J. K. Smith a well-known farmer and business man of Ashwood is in Beaumont where he is holding a very high position in the C. L. Smith oil well office.
He will make a good long stop there.
Mr. C. L. Smith and son, J. Fisher Smith, will make a flying business trip to Brownsville and Mexico [for a few] days.
[The last three paragraphs were damaged and illegible.]
Matagorda County Tribune, May 5, 1911
Ashwood ships from one to three cars of potatoes a day.
Mr. Antone, who was on the sick list last week, is some better.
Mrs. Hanson and little sister, Marion, and Miss Bessie Smith was in Bay City one day this week shopping.
Mrs. Fisher Smith and daughter, May, Mrs. V. B. Currie and two daughters, Lynn and Arthur, and Miss Bessie Smith were the welcome guests of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Hanson Sunday.
Miss Agnes Chastun made Ashwood a visit a couple of weeks ago to accompany her sister, Mary, the following Tuesday to Galveston.
Mrs. C. L. Smith, son, Kilrain and two daughters, returned home yesterday.
Miss Bessie Smith and Mr. J. K. Smith returned to Beaumont today.
Matagorda County Tribune, May 26, 1911
Ashwood is just awakening up from a long sleep.
Ashwood Irish potato business has come to a close for this station.
We will have roasting ears for a month or so longer, but in some places there is hard corn.
Plowing the soil for fall Irish potato crop is the order of the day in this precinct.
Mr. J. K. Smith and sister, Miss Bessie, and cousin returned from Beaumont.
Mrs. Anton Hanson, who has been very ill for the past fifteen days, is slowly recovering at this writing.
Mr. Anton Hanson visited Bay City Saturday.
Mr. L. B. Pratt and wife were in Bay City Saturday.
Mr. J. F. Smith has just returned from Galveston and other points of business.
The gardens in this neighborhood look good and everybody is enjoying vegetables, but the watermelon patches look fine.
Matagorda County Tribune, June 16, 1911
Mrs. V. B. Currie and son and Mrs. A. Hanson and sister Marion were in Bay City shopping.
Mr. and Mrs. V. B. Currie and children went to Galveston to take in the carnival.
Mr. Charles Montgomery is here on a visit to his daughter, Mrs. V. B. Currie.
Mr. V. B. Currie has gone to Figland near Angleton to erect a large barn for C. L. Smith.
Mr. Montgomery left for his home in Louisiana.
Mr. and Mrs. B. Pratt were in the city of Ashwood on general business.
Matagorda County Tribune, August 11, 1911
Ashwood is coming on fine—everybody in good health.
We have a fine, new dwelling house going up for Mrs. C. L. Smith and several other people that are moving in.
Miss Bessie Smith has just returned from Beaumont where she has been visiting her sister and friends. She has a fine automobile in Beaumont and she and her friends would go out autoing and go to Port Arthur in twenty-three minutes. They had a jolly time, all full of fun and laughter.
Miss Smith’s friends were sorry to see her leave Beaumont.
Mrs. G. W. Newman and husband visited Ashwood several days and also C. L. Smith from Beaumont.
Miss Bessie Smith is busy packing and fixing to go off to college. She is going to Kid Key Conservatory at Sherman, Texas, a very fine and popular school for young ladies.
Mrs. C. L. Smith and little daughter, Ethel, are going to Beaumont to stray for Ethel to attend school.
Mrs. V. B. Currie and family spent the day with Mrs. Anton Hanson yesterday.
Mr. and Mrs. Bert Pratt left the city Thursday in their auto, going to visit their relatives in Houston.
The weather is getting cooler down here and old Caney creek is up high.
The C. L. Smith and Sons Company has in a nice, new, fresh lot of fall good. X. Y. Z.
Matagorda County Tribune, September 1, 1911
Mrs. A. Hanson has just returned from a visit to her parents.
Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Chastun of Hitchcock has a fine girl, born August 31, Mother and baby doing fine.
Mrs. J. K. Smith accompanied his sister, Miss Bessie to the Kidd-Key Female College at Sherman, Texas.
Mrs. C. S. Smith and two daughters, Ethel and Geraldine are visiting relatives at Refugio.
Mr. Joe Hinson went to Houston to meet his wife.
Ashwood is looking fine as usual.
Miss Agnes Chastun and Mr. Fred Gernand were united in marriage on September 6, 1911 at the Sacred Heart Church on Broadway at Galveston. Rev. Father Odis officiated. After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Gernand returned to Hitchcock where they will make their home with Mrs. Gernand’s father.
Matagorda County Tribune, September 22, 1911
The potatoes on some farms look nice.
The residence of C. L. Smith is now about half completed.
Mrs. C. L. Smith and son and two daughters, Ethel and Geraldine, returned from visiting relatives at Refugio.
Mr. J. K. Smith left for Beaumont this morning.
Mr. A. F. Hinson has been on the sick list for the last week, but is better now.
Mrs. Stern left Ashwood this morning after a couple of days of looking around.
Matagorda County Tribune, October 20, 1911
Dr. Ansby left here for Leesville, La., where his family resides, on returning he will make his home here.
Mr. C. L. Smith and daughters, Bessie, Ethel and Geraldine, returned from Beaumont, Tuesday where they have been visiting relatives.
Several new comers arrived here Saturday and are spending their stay with Mr. G. A. Wicks.
Mrs. M. Sweatt and Miss Celia Wicks was shopping at Ashwood this week.
Raymond Brown of Sugar Valley was in these parts Monday.
Jas. H. Chastun of Galveston arrived at this place Tuesday. He will devote his time to truck growing. He shipped the first crate of fall vegetables Saturday. The shipment went to Hitchcock, Texas.
Mr. Anton Hanson was in Bay City Sunday and Monday on business.
A. J. Magee of Bay City was at this place Wednesday.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 13, 1912
Miss Mamie Chambless of El Scott spent last Wednesday night with Miss Eva Smith.
Mr. Thompson, our principal, made a trip out on the Ashwood truck Tuesday afternoon. He was looking over the roads on the route and found them very rough and almost impassable in places.
Mr. Kelsey Walker left Tuesday for Beaumont where he will take a course in barbering. We are very sorry that he did not take up his school work again this year.
Mr. and Mrs. G. M. Walker were business visitors to Bay City and Gulf two days this week.
Mr. Laton Davis has returned from Colorado where he has been in the army training camp.
Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Swan of Rosenberg visited Mr. W. Brown this week.
Mr. Anderson is having some grading done on our road, which will help a lot.
Mrs. G. M. Puryear is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Smith this week.
Mr. Orrell shipped a carload of corn to Austin Wednesday.
Mr. J. Fisher Smith was in Bay City Monday and
Tuesday on business.
Mr. C. L. Smith has been having a hard time getting to Bay City to school over these muddy roads.
The farmers are getting the fall crops planted since the rain.
Mr. A. S. Walker visited his son in Beaumont this week.
Daily Tribune, October 14, 1927
Miss Helen Smith, who has been visiting in Austin for the past two months, returned home Thursday, accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Grady Puryear, and little son, and Mr. Garland Puryear and Mr. Wiley.
This nice sunshine looks fine after so many weeks of rain, and our roads which have been impassable are getting dry again. Here's hoping our road will be finished before school opens.
Mr. Dick Paulk, of Palacios, was visiting friends here Saturday.
Mr. C. L. Smith returned home Friday from Chicago, where he has been attending Coyne Electrical school from which he graduated and finished up other work in the prescribed time.
Mrs. Fred Gernand was a business visitor to Bay City Thursday.
Miss Melba Ewing, of Van Vleck, was visiting here Sunday.
Mrs. Grady Puryear returned to her home in Austin Friday, accompanied by her sister, Miss Eva Smith.
Mr. Cecil Harrison, of Bay City, was calling on friends here Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brown and children of Sugar Valley spent Sunday with friends here.
The troop trains passing through Saturday and Sunday looked like war times.
Some of the farmers have begun to gather their corn and if this good weather holds up, cotton will soon be ready to pick.
Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Walker were in Newgulf on business this week.
Mrs. Hanson was a visitor to Bay City last week.
Miss Cassie Hanson, who has been visiting her aunt, Mrs. C. E. DeRoch, in Newgulf, returned home Wednesday.
Minnie Cain, of Bay City, visited her aunt, Mrs. Jess Walker, here
The Daily Tribune, Thursday, August 8, 1929
Mr. C. E. Deroch has his new dwelling almost completed.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis and family of Houston are visiting their sister, Mrs. W. T. Walker.
Miss Eva Smith who is attending Austin conservatory of music, spent the past week with home folks.
Mrs. Grady Puryear and son, of Austin, spent the week visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Moore and daughter and Mr. Singletary of Port Arthur, visited friends in Ashwood.
Mr. J. W. Davis’ new residence is about completed.
George Walker Jr. was in a bad accident last week, but is improving.
Mrs. Parris and Mrs. Harry Burkhart of Bay City, visited friends here the past week-end.
Mr. and Mrs. Hanson were in Newgulf on business last week.
Daily Tribune, December 3, 1930
Ashwood School 1923
Photo courtesy of the Matagorda County Museum
Pictures courtesy of Charlene Meyerdirk, Patricia Massey, Henry Hanson and Matagorda County Museum.
Copyright 2005 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
Apr. 27, 2005
Sep. 5, 2013