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W. T. Block Collection

Identifier: A-0195

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of research notes, unpublished manuscripts and a large collection of the newspaper articles Block wrote for the 'Beaumont Enterprise between 1998 and 2004. The collection also has the manuscript pages by chapter for 'Mill Towns and Ghost Towns of East Texas', which contains information about mill towns, sawmills, tram roads, and logging camps relating to East Texas lumbering towns.


  • Creation: 1992-2004
  • Event: Donated 3/4/1993
  • Event: Addendum donated 10/26/2001
  • Event: Addendum donated 9/30/2004


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

William Theodore (W. T.) Block was born in Port Neches July 29, 1920, the son of W. T. "Will" Block, Sr. and Sarah Jane Sweeney. He graduated from Nederland High School and got an undergraduate degree from Cheniers Business School. Block earned his Master's Degree in History from Lamar University.

Block served in U.S. Army from 1942-1946 as member of the 78th Infantry Division. He me his first wife, Maria Elisabeth Kothe in Germany shortly after the end of the war. They settled in Nederland, Texas in 1947, where Block became assistant postmaster until 1972, when he was transferred to postmaster at Orange, Texas. He retired from there in 1973 and took over as director of the campus post office at Lamar University where he remained for the next ten years. He retired a second time in 1983. After losing his first wife in 1992, Block remarried in 1996 to Helga Woods.

He authored a number of books about the history of Texas, including ‘Sour Lake, Texas: From Mud Baths to Millionaires’, ‘Cotton Bales, Keelboats, and Sternwheelers: A History of The Sabine River and Trinity River Cotton Trades’, ‘Early Sawmill Towns of The Louisiana-Texas Borderlands’, and ‘East Texas Mill Towns and Ghost Towns’, which includes information about sawmills, tram roads and logging camps in East Texas.

He passed away at Christus St. Mary Hospital in Nederland December 15, 2007. He was 87.

Deevy, Bill. "Profile of W. T. Block a Historian." ‘Southeast Texas Business News’ , March 1996.

“William Theodore Block, Jr.” (Accessed 23 April 2004).

“William Theodore Block, Jr.” Broussard’s Mortuary death notice (see collection control file).


1.90 Cubic Feet


This collection is described in 103 folders and housed in one banker's box and one clamshell box. It is primarily organized at the folder level. Folders 50-95 are organized at the item level.


Guide to the W. T. Block Collection
Linda Reynolds
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository