And Now You Know: City of Orange Business in 1930

Published 2:51 pm Sunday, March 3, 2019

By Mike Louviere


The adage, “the more things change, the more things stay the same”, applies to city business.

In January 1930, Orange civic leaders were trying to attract new business and the City of Orange was dealing with problems.

A “large delegation of Southern Pacific Railroad officials is coming to Orange to inspect Orange and the possibility of locating a roundhouse here.”

Orange was one of the three stops the delegation was making on their trip from New Orleans to Houston.

For several months, there had been a discussion about the possibility of the Southern Pacific moving its Beaumont roundhouse and rail yard facilities to Orange.

The railroad had admitted that there was a problem with the crossings in Beaumont. The business district had built up around the terminals in Beaumont.

Sites in Orange were available for terminal purposes. It would be a simple matter for Southern Pacific to acquire one of these sites.

Orange interests were ready to offer cooperation to the move, as it would bring several hundred people into the city and make the terminal one of the largest in East Texas.

There was already a small roundhouse located in a marshy area about four miles north of Orange.

(The relocation of the new terminal in Orange did not happen. The railroad stayed in Beaumont.)

In January 1930, a special session of the Orange City Commission was held to deal with an emergency at the city docks.

B.F. Brown of the Warf and Dock Commission and Wm. Reid, Port Director, submitted a formal request for $6,500 which was needed for repairs to the docks.

Heavy timbers under the new warehouse built for use by Davison-Pick Fertilizers, Inc. had given way under the burden of multiple tons of fertilizer and chemicals.

The timbers on top of the pilings had appeared to be sound but were, in fact, were rotten.

The railroad companies had condemned the tracks that crossed that portion of the docks asserting that it was unsafe for engines and cars to travel over that area.

The request was discussed at length by the city commission as to how the money could be raised since the budget for that year did not allow for an additional $6,500.

Davison-Pick Fertilizers Orange Leader ad, 1929

The question was raised as to whether the Davison-Pick Fertilizers, Inc. was liable for overloading the dock.

Commissioners Levingston and Blanchard expressed that an emergency existed. Blanchard moved that the commission go on record in favor of cooperating with the Warf and Dock Commission in providing the funds through the best method possible. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Levingston. The motion carried with one dissenting vote.

In regular business, Milam Linscomb and O.V. Creamer appeared before the commission and asked for relief from waters that they asserted were coming from the roof of the First National Bank building, the Lucas Building, and other buildings in the area.

The matter was referred to the city health and sanitation officers and the city attorney.

L.W. Hustmyre presented a claim for damage to an automobile owned by his company. He alleged the damage was done by a city fire truck that was answering an alarm. The matter was referred to the city attorney for investigation.

Joe Spector, a local contractor, asked for a ruling regarding the matter of house moving within the city limits.

O.L. Baker, the city attorney was instructed to draw up a new ordinance regarding house moving over the city streets of Orange.

The commission instructed the city secretary to advertise for bids to furnish 500 cubic yards of shell for city street repairs.

That was the business for January 1930.

“And now you know”