The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 289
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The First Iron Furnace in Texas
While the measure was making its slow way through the legis-
lative mill, preparations were made for taking full advantage of
whatever aid might be offered. The Nash Iron, Steel and Copper
Company reorganized, and on March 5, 1863, reincorporated
under the name of the Texas Iron Company." New and perhaps
broader interests were indicated by the addition of more men of
means and influence as stockholders. Among the charter members
were Jefferson S. Nash, William D. Nash, James Alley, and Josiah
D. Perry. It appears that David Browder was not connected with
the new company."
The legislature followed its attempt to encourage the produc-
tion of iron by placing additional laws on the statute books. The
same year the Texas State Military Board was reorganized and
directed to "erect and put into operation one or more furnaces
at such place or places as may be selected by the Board."'42 The
Texas Iron Company, a going concern already in production,
was ready to participate in the state's effort to increase the output
The new laws, however, were construed to apply only to new
endeavors, not to concerns then in production. The Texas Iron
Company was considered a business in being when the laws were
enacted and, therefore, not eligible for aid. Because the company
could not muster sufficient influence to change the construction
placed upon the law, the Nash enterprise received no gift of
public land. Thrown back upon its own dwindling resources in
a war-dominated economy, the company was able to do little
more than smelt some iron and make a few castings.
Toward the end of the war, the company sold its holdings, in-
cluding "an accumulation of a large amount of pig iron," to the
George A. Kelley Iron Company. The plant was dismantled and
the movable equipment hauled by ox-wagon to Kellyville, four
miles west of Jefferson.43 The abandoned furnace was left to de-
teriorate and fall apart, a grim monument to the first venture
into the iron industry in Texas.
43R. M. Kelly to R. L. J., November 15, 1957.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/363/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.