Businesses Gone: The Choctaw Brick Company

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If you take a trip on Highway 96 west in Mansfield, you can
take Marshall Avenue that will become Frazier Road.  Immediately to the right is a very large pond
belonging to the family of Jim Johnson. 
That is the site of the Mansfield Brick Company. There are at least two
places remaining where the clay was removed from the ground visible on the
property, one being the large lake on Frazier Road. 

The Mansfield Brick Company was started about 1900 by
Mr. T. P. Edwards, a native of England.  The Clay Record, a national publication writes
in 1915 that was “one of the largest pressed brick concerns of the South.” Tons
of high quality brick and tile were made at this location. What helped this
plant above other was the discovery of natural gas on the property three miles
southeast in the area of Coop Prairie. 
T. P. Edwards was one of the six original owners of the gas wells also.  With clean burning natural gas, there was no
need for expensive coal needed to bake brick. 
In 1915, 260 train cars of brick was made and sent from this plant all
across the country.

A group of businessmen from El Dorado bought the plant in 1923
and Mr. A. W. Talton, a Louisiana native, came to Mansfield to manage it.
The name was changed from Mansfield Brick Company to Choctaw Brick and Gas
Company. The plant was an important employer in the community in the 1920s and
1930s.

In 1933, the Choctaw Brick and
Gas Company was sold to the Acme Brick Company of Fort Smith. Later it was sold
to a lime company of Oklahoma, and then to a glass company, which operated it
for several years.  (See Mansfield Glass
Company)

Many homes in this area and
across the country are covered with brick that came from Mansfield.  It is hard to imagine that such a large industry
was once working in this small area!

Sources:

The History of the Mansfield School
District Area, October 1994. 
Brick & Clay Record. Nov. 2, 1915. p.
686                                                                          Clay Record May 28, 1909

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