A Guide to the Wimberley Mill and Gin Ledgers, 1897-1920
William C. Winters built and operated the Wimberley Mill and Cotton Gin in the 1850s. At first the mill consisted only of a sawmill powered by the Cypress Creek, but Winters later added a gristmill. After Winters died in 1864, his son-in-law John Cude took over operation of the mill and added a buhrstone flour mill and a shingle mill. Additionally, the settlement around the mill became known as Cude’s Mill. In the 1870s, when Cude sold the mill to Pleasant Wimberley (1823-1919), the town’s name changed to Wimberley’s Mill, which by 1880 became simply Wimberley. In 1898, Pleasant razed the original mill and rebuilt it to include a steam engine powered cotton gin. Pleasant had several partners while he owned the mill, including his sons Andrew and Zachary, his son-in-law Nathan Emory Hughes, and his grandson-in-law John Will Pyland, who also ran a dry goods store. With the addition of partners the company’s name changed from Wimberley and Sons to Wimberley and Pyland.
Dr. W. J. Pyland (1845-1906) moved to East Texas from Tennessee in 1880 and worked as an apothecary in Lassater, Texas. He moved to Wimberley in 1882, seeking a better climate for his sick wife, Annie Eliza Bobbitt. In Wimberley, Pyland ran an apothecary and medical practice until his death in 1906. His son, John Will (1870-1937) married Pleasant Wimberley’s granddaughter, Susie Wimberley, and operated the Wimberley Mill after Pleasant Wimberley’s death in 1919 until the business folded in 1925, due to a decline in small farmers in the area. The Mill was torn down in 1934.
Kerbow, Dorothy Wimberly. Wimberley, Texas: Historic Belle of the Blanco. Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1995.
Wimberley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. “Wimberley History.” Wimberley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. http://www.wimberley.org/history/index.html (accessed August 5, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “Lassater, Texas,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/hnl13.html (accessed August 5, 2010).
Ledgers from three separate Wimberley, Texas, businesses comprise the Wimberley Mill and Gin Ledgers, 1897-1920. Ledgers from Wimberley and Pyland Mill and Gin comprise the bulk of the collection. Ranging from 1898 to 1912, the ledgers span a time period that included Pleasant and Zachary Wimberley’s deaths. Furthermore, one ledger contains a handwritten petition to Governor James E. Ferguson concerning reform in cotton ginning laws. The petition includes signatures of men from several prominent Wimberley families, such as the Adares, the Dobies, and the Hills. Additionally, the collection contains two sales ledgers from Dr. W. J. Pyland’s apothecary and medical practice, spanning from 1897 to 1902. W. J. Pyland annotated the endpapers and flyleaves with chemical recipes, notes, and equations. The collection also consists of three ledgers from a dry goods store run by W. J. Pyland and his son John Will Pyland. The ledgers include several loose, handwritten notes, checks, and receipts.
The collection is open for research use.
Wimberley Mill and Gin Ledgers, 1897-1920, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers