Obituary for John Blewett Smyth (from Gulf Coast Lumberman, 1937)

Source: Gulf Coast Lumberman, Nov. 15, 1937.


J.B. Smyth, of Pioneer Lumber Family, Killed in Auto Accident.
J. Blewett Smyth, member of a prominent Texas lumber family, was killed in an auto accident near San Antonio the morning of October 29. How the accident occurred is not known. His body was found on the road near his wrecked coupe in which he was returning to his home in San Antonio from a visit to Beaumont. He was buried in the latter city, which had been his home for many years.

Mr. Smyth was 69 years old. He was president of the Uvalde Rock Asphalt Company, which he organized a number of years ago, but he was more widely known through his lumber career in Beaumont and East Texas, more particularly as head of the Sabine Tram Company and its allied interests, which were active factors in the lumber industry for many years.

A native of Jasper County, Texas, as a young man he moved to Beaumont with his father, George W. Smyth, who laid the foundation for a large business enterprise. The latter established the George W. Smyth Lumber Company, which became one of the largest retail yards in the state; the Sabine Tram Company, operating sawmills, and the Sabine Tram Lumber Company, handling the wholesale sales of the mills.

The Sabine Tram Company was one of the oldest sawmill operations in Texas. It embraced two large plants, one at Deweyville, Texas, and the other at Juanita, La., both of them among the foremost producers of long leaf pine in the South. Later on another mill was built at Felicia, located on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad west of Beaumont, and from this was produced a high grade of short leaf pine. This mill was built in early 1916.

Upon the death of his father, J.B. Smyth took over his business interests as active head of the three lumber companies. Associated with him in the management of the business was Charles E. Walden, as vice president, himself a widely prominent lumberman, resident of Beaumont for many years. Mr. Walden is also officially connected with the Uvalde Rock Asphalt Company.

When his lumber plants were about through cutting, Mr. Smyth organized the Uvalde Rock Asphalt Company and about fourteen years ago moved to San Antonio, where this company's headquarters are located. This, too, like his lumber interests, he developed into a large and successful business. The Juanita and Felicia sawmills cut out and are just memories. The Deweyville plant was taken over by the Peavy-Moore Lumber Company of Shreveport.

Mr. Smyth is survived by his wife, who was Miss Mattie Camp of Jennings, La.; two sons, George W. Smyth, who has been promotion manager for the San Antonio company, with his headquarters in Houston, and Blewett Allen Smyth, of San Antonio; three daughters, Mrs. Lenoir Josey, Miss Rosalthea Smyth and Miss Mary Frances Smyth; and two sisters, Mrs. C.E. Walden and Mrs. R. Fred Cheesman of Beaumont.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.