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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Oliver B. Street Papers, 1940-2004

Austin History Center

Oliver B. Street Papers

A Inventory of the Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Street, Maery L.
Title: Oliver B. and Maery L. Street Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1940-2013
Bulk Dates: 1940-1990
Abstract: Oliver B. Street, (1910-1988) owned and operated the Oliver B. Street Construction Company, located at 924 E. 11th Street for over 40 years. Street was a prominent businessman who worked as a builder and general contractor for the East Austin area. Examples of his work can still be seen around East Austin and include: residences, churches, nursing homes, lodge halls, funeral homes, service stations and strip malls. In addition to his business, he and his wife were very active in the community and served on various boards and organizations. This collection contains photocopies of material that highlight Mr. Street's prominence in the building field, his family life, and he and his wife's dedication to community service.
Identification: AR.2012.003
Quantity: 2.08 (2 box) linear feet
Location: Archives stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe St., PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Oliver B. Street was born on February 22, 1910 in Austin, Texas to Andrew Street and Bessie Rose Ann Roberts Street. He attended Anderson High School, Sam Huston College in Austin and later Tuskegee College in Atlanta. In 1941, he married Maery Lou Young of Miami, Florida. In 1946, their son, Oliver B. Street II was born.

After graduating from Tuskegee College, Street opened his first shop in a rented space in one-half a building in the 1100 block of East 11th Street. Later he rented space at the corner of Curve and E. 11th Street. As business expanded he rented a building at the rear of the lot. The last location for Oliver B. Street Construction Company was at 924 E.11th Street.

During his 40 years as a builder and general contractor, he built a variety of structures including residences, churches, nursing homes, lodge halls, funeral homes, service stations and mini strip malls. He helped many low income families, who could not meet requirements of financial institutions, by building low-income homes. He also helped unskilled men to gain the experience needed to become successful in the building and general contracting trade. Street worked with architects such as John S. Chase, the first African American to graduate with a degree in architecture from the University of Texas. Finally, during a time when very few African Americans were known as business leaders, his work was recognized nationally and he was consulted on building projects outside the state of Texas.

Street was dedicated to community service and was an active member of the Better Business Bureau, The National Business League, The Capital City Lions Club, The NAACP, The East Austin Chamber of Commerce and numerous other community organizations.

In 2004, the Austin Revitalization Association, completed and opened two new retail and commercial buildings on East 11th Street, right across the street from where Mr. Street's offices once stood. In honor of his civic and business leadership, one of the two buildings was named after Mr. Street and another business, civic and church leader, Deacon Walter J. Jones.

Maery L. Street was born in Miami Florida. She attended Dunbar Elementary, and Booker T. Washington High School in Florida. She later attended Tuskegee Institute in Georgia, where she received a Bachelor's of Science in Business. In 1957, she returned to school and earned a Master's degree in Education from the University of Texas. After the Streets were married, they settled into a home built by Mr. Street for the Street family. In this house, they raised one son, Oliver B. Street II. During the early years, Mrs. Street worked as an assistant for her husbands company. She later built a career in the education field working for Tillotson College teaching Business Education. After Tillotson College, she worked for AISD for more than 20 years as an English teacher at the segregated Old Anderson High School and later at Lanier High School. After she retired from AISD, she volunteered for various organizations, including her church, sorority and the City of Austin volunteer board. Over the years she has been recognized for her dedication to community service with various awards and honors.

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Scope and Contents

This collection highlights the business activities, community service activities, family events, social activities, and awards the achievements of Oliver B. and Maery Lou Street. The collection was donated in two parts. The first part of the collection contains information about Oliver B. Street. The second part of the collection or box two contains information about both Mr. and Mrs. Street, with the primary focus being on Mrs. Street. The Biographical Information folder (1978-1981), contains background material and an early resume for Mr. Street. The Correspondence folder (1960-1987), contains general correspondence regarding his business and organizational involvement. Of specific interest is a thank you letter from Lady Bird Johnson about a reception held in her honor, given by Street; a letter from John Chase, the first African American licensed to practice architecture in the state of Texas, congratulating him on being awarded a building contract in Longview, Texas; and a letter written by Dr. Joseph Houchins regarding economic statistics on Negros for the Department of Commerce. The Advertisements folder (undated), consist of advertisements used by Mr. Street in promoting his company. The Honors and Awards folder (1972-2004, undated), contains various examples of awards bestowed on Mr. Street. The Clippings folder (1940-2004, undated), consists of articles regarding Mr. Street's construction company and his involvement in organizations and clubs. The Family Images folder (undated) , contains photocopies and documents showing personal and business related items,civic engagements, and the dedication of the Street-Jones building. The Construction Projects folder (1958-1993, undated), shows images of construction projects that were completed by Oliver B. Street. The Street-Jones and Snell Building Dedication folder (2004), contains photos and other scrapbook material related to the dedication of the building. The next two folders contatin Biographical Information. The Biographical Information folder ( 1930-1940), includes photocopied scrapbook images of Mrs. Street's early life in Florida, her life as a student at Tuskegee Institute, and her family life in Austin. The Biographical Information folder (1942-1981), includes photocopied scrapbook information about Mrs. Street's life and employment. Of interest in this folder is an invitation to Azie Taylor Morton's Oath Ceremony to become the Treasure of the United States. The General Family Material folder, (1943-2013), includes photocopies of scrapbook information relating to their life during WWII, the early years of the business, the death of Mr. Street, information on the dedication of the Street-Jones Building, as well as Mr. Streets inclusion on the wall of honor at the African American Cultural Heritage District Facility. Folders 12 and 13, The Awards and Honors folders (1959-2013) contain images of Mrs. Street accepting awards, photocopies of award letters, as well as articles about her volunteer work and the dedication of the Street-Jones building.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged by subject matter.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

None.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Persons:
Street, Oliver B.
Places:
Austin, TX
Subjects:
Construction industry--Management.
African Americans--Texas--History--20th century.

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Related Material

General Collection - Austin, Its Architects and Architecture, 1836-1986, editor, Smith, Hank Todd

Austin Files AF Biograpy File -Oliver B. Street,1910-1988

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

Maery L. Street

Preferred Citation

Oliver B. Street Papers (AR 2012.003). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2012/005

Donation Date: January, 2012

Processing Information

Finding Aid created and encoded by Cynthia Evans in 2012.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Oliver B. Street Papers, 1940-2004

Box Folder
1 1 Biographical Information, 1960-1987
2 Correspondence, 1960-1987
3 Advertisements, undated
4 Awards and Honors, 1972-2004, undated
5 Clippings, 1940-2004, undated
6 Scrapbook Material, Family Images, 1947, 1987, undated
7 Scrapbook Material, Business, 1958,1993, undated
8 Scrapbook Material, Street-Jones Building Dedication, 2004
Box Folder
2 9 Scrapbook Material, Biographical Information, 1930-1940
10 Scrapbook Material, Biographical Information, 1942-1981
11 Scrapbook Material, General Family Information, 1943-2013
12 Scrapbook Material, Awards and Honors, 1959-2012
13 Scrabook Material, Awards and Honors, 1985-2013

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