Biographical or Historical Information
Joseph H. Kurth, a native of Germany, came to Angelina County in 1887 where he purchased a small saw mill from Charles Keltys and J. A. Ewing. The next year he formed a partnership with Simon W. Henderson of Corrigan, Texas as the Henderson and Kurth Lumber Company. This, in turn, was incorporated as the Angelina County Lumber Company in 1890, with Kurth, Henderson, Sam Wiener of Shreveport and (somewhat later) Eli Wiener as the principal owners and officers. The company grew despite depressions, fires, and other misfortunes, until by 1912 it was a million dollar operation. From this point the company further expanded and diversified, acquiring related and subsidiary companies and the Angelina and Neches River Railroad. Kurth was an important state figure in Republican politics during the early twentieth century, and was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1924.
The second generation of the families, Ernest L. Kurth, Joseph H. Kurth, Jr., and Simon W. Henderson, Jr., continued the development and expansion of the company into one of the largest and most successful lumber operations in the Southwest. Ernest Kurth took the lead in the organization of the Southland Paper Mills which pioneered in the production of newsprint from yellow pine fibers. The company and its extensive lands were sold to the Owens-Illinois Corporation in 1966.
In 1977, Southland Paper Mills was acquired by St. Regis Paper Company.