Three days after suffering a heart attack, 86-year-old Arthur Temple has passed away. His family is credited with establishing the town of Diboll and bringing the timber industry to East Texas.
Several civic, education and health buildings around the area are named in his honor. The T-L-L Temple Foundation has awarded grants to many area projects. Temple is founder of Temple Inland in Diboll. Jack Sweeney, president of Temple Inland says "Arthur Temple was a man that did a lot of good for a lot of people for a long time."
Temple was instrumental in the construction of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir and the creation of the Big Thicket National Preserve in East Texas. The School of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University is named for Temple.
Arthur Temple, one of the last of the old time timber magnates will be taken off life support this morning in East Texas. Temple turned the Southern Pine Lumber Company into Temple Industries. Years later, he sold it to Time, Inc., back in the days of weird corporate mergers. He later bought it back for a fraction of what he sold it to them. Inland Container bought Temple Industries about a decade ago.
Temple-Inland building products can be seen all over the country and in every Lowes, HD, and lumber yard. In addition to lumber, T-I is huge in plywood, packaging, and other wood related products. When he sold Temple Ind. several years ago, surrendered any control over the company that bears his name.
A native of Texarkana, Temple comes from a timber family. His father was an old-time timber magnate in that border city back when it was the center of the timber industry in TexArkLa.
Temple turned the company town of Diboll, TX, into a real town, selling the employees the homes that the mill once owned. He gave away tremendous amounts of money over the years to dozens of worthy causes. Temple led the way in forest management, conservation, and replanting.
Temple was a deep pockets supporter of former Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Tex. "Good Time Charlie," the subject of the book "Charlie Wilson's War," played probably the key role in the arming of the Afghanis in their fight to drive out the Soviets.
Temple is one of the few old time industrial giants. His death will mark the end of an era in Texas and US history.