Early Brick Companies of Texas

brick border

While photographing the Palo Pinto County Courthouse, I was intrigued with a section of sidewalks bordered by bricks.  I recognized (of course!) Fort Worth and Thurber Brick Company, but the others were new to me: Globe, Palmer, and Standard.  Fort Worth Brick Company (Acme Brick) was established in 1908 with a capital stock of $30,000 by John R. Darnell, L. H. Sargent, and A. L. Davidson (“New Corporations”, The Houston Post, 26 September 1908, p. 5).

Thurber Brick

Thurber Brick began in 1897 using leftover non-commercial pea coal and deposits of shale clay.  Thurber was home to coal mining and manufacturing brick became an additional source of revenue using readily available ingredients.  The leftover coal was used to fire the kilns.  It was the largest and busiest plant west of the Mississippi at its peak, and had 800 workers making 80,000 bricks per day (Cox, M. 2010. Texas Tales. Texas Escapes).  The brick plant was about a half mile from Thurber, and ceased operations in 1931.  The triangle on the brick was the Union symbol for Brick, Tile, and Terra Cotta Workers Alliance, and featured the initials B, T, T in the points.

Palmer Pressed Brick Company operated out of Palmer, Texas.

The Palmer brick plant was started in motion Monday morning.  Only a few brick were made Monday, owing to the breaking of some part of the press machinery, but it is only a temporary brake [sic], and was soon made ready by the blacksmith’s tools.  About 4,000 brick were made Monday, and they were beauties, as pretty as can be made by any plant in the state.  The second dry pan has not arrived yet, hence only one press is in operation, but it is turning out about 20,000 brick a day.  The first kiln is being built of green brick.  It will be quite a while before a kiln can be turned out ready for market.  So far everything looks very promising.–Palmer Rustler. (The Waxahachie Daily Light, August 16, 1902)

Standard Brick Company was also located in Palmer.  It was chartered with capital stock of $30,000 by Luke Harrison, J. R. Beck, and J. B. Elgan in 1910 (Houston Post, 03 June 1910, p. 5). Globe Press Brick Company was located in Ferris, Texas, and organized by T. J. Weatherford, W. E. Weatherford, and John V. Muntz with capital stock of $30,000 in 1904 (El Paso Herald, 22 November 1904).

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8 Responses to Early Brick Companies of Texas

  1. Susie says:

    This is so interesting. I love seeing stamped bricks!

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  2. Beth says:

    It is interesting, just like sidewalks and manhole covers! I have a number of the ones with the marks indicating D’Hanis (Texas) and Whitesellel Corsicanna Red. They don’t match the bricks on the house, so they were acquired by the previous (also original) owner. I use them for landscaping with the words up as I enjoy seeing the marks. I’ll be looking for these that you found!

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  3. casey l mcglaun says:

    I would love to visit with you about these Bricks! I just purchased the old house across from the Courthouse in Palo Pinto, I have to dismantle the house and remove all the brick, I want to know more about this brick!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      I take it you are moving the house elsewhere? I am not sure which brick you mean, if it is what is on the house or the ones at the courthouse. I relied on information from the historic newspaper archives about the bricks around the courthouse. If your house brick has identification stamps that are not among these, I can look up the brick in historic papers, but other than that, I know little about the brick business. Let me know what it is you want to know and I will try to help.

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      • casey l mcglaun says:

        Ok thank you, yes I am having to relocate the House, the Brick I’m speaking of are used as Pavers around the House, in sidewalks and as Patios, there is also a stack of them that I am having to move, the House belonged to the County and they are going to make a parking Lot for the overflow traffic at the Courthouse.
        The Brick has either Malakoff, Palmer, Ferris, Fort Worth, Globe, Atlas, Texas, or a Star symbol on them (they are mixed and matched) I have learned some since my first comment to you but am mainly trying to establish a value on the Brick.

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        • Suzassippi says:

          I would not know about the value, though a quick search seemed to indicate the best process is locate an antique brick dealer. Prices can vary from low to high. There does seem to be a market for antique or vintage brick. I hope it all goes well for you.

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