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 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).