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TodayJul 14, 2024
Toledo Bend
Partly cloudy throughout the day with strong storms possible.

The name of a community is hard to change. If another one comes in that displaces a community and it takes a new name the old name will linger on and it often causes confusion. The communities of Belgrade and Biloxi have almost vanished but a few scattered people live there now. The community that has absorbed most of the people is Bleakwood. It is a few miles inland from the sites of the old communities.

Bleakwood is in west central Newton County on Thickety Creek. It was established as a post office in 1867, three miles southeast of the present site, at the plantation of Thomas McFarland. In 1883 the post office was moved to the site of a grist and sawmill community. The grist and sawmill were operated by Jessie Lee, who became the postmaster. It has been a farming and sawmill community throughout its existence. At its highest point of activity, the E.E. McDonald Lumber Company operated a sawmill with a daily capacity of 20,000 feet from 1928 to 1942. The plant was then dismantled, and the site abandoned. Bleakwood has been favorably located on highways and railroads. The Jasper and Eastern Railway and the Orange and Northwestern both ran through the community. Highway 87 and Farm Road 363 are the main roads, Bleakwood is a shipping point of logs, ties, staves, pulpwood, and lumber,

The post office was discontinued in 1943. The school district which once had a four-year high school has been consolidated into the Newton Independent School District which now maintains an elementary school in the community at a new site.

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