Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Lynette S. Autrey papers, 1913-1998 MS 051

creator Autrey, Lynette Schneider
Title: Lynette S. Autrey papers
Dates: 1913-1998
Dates: bulk
Abstract: This collection of materials relates generally to the personal life of Lynette S. Autrey and her family. The Autreys were Houston entrepreneurs and philanthropists, contributing significant gifts of land and funds to Rice University, among other institutions, in support of the humanities, social sciences, and business.
Identification: MS 051
Quantity: 0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Lynette S. Autrey was born on December 21, 1891 into a Houston family prominent in a variety of business ventures. On October 12, 1915, Lynette married Herbert Autrey, whose father Robert Lee Autrey founded Galveston-Houston Breweries. Herbert carried on this business after his father’s death, but in the early 1960s sold the brewery to Falstaff. From wise investments in land and other business ventures, the Autreys amassed a considerable estate, half of which went to Lynette when Herbert died in 1973. Part of his estate was also left to Rice, the University of Houston, and Christ Church Cathedral Endowment Fund, a fund established by Herbert’s mother in memory of her other son, Max Autrey, killed during World War I. This was one of the earliest bequests given to Rice, which was then a new institution. From Herbert’s bequest to Rice, the first Autrey endowed chair was created in the new Jesse H. Jones School of Graduate Administration. Lynette and her sister Elma Schneider had also received inherited money from the estates of members of their family.

Although Lynette and Elma were raised during a time when women were not expected to actively participate in business affairs, they both managed their properties wisely and lived modestly during the remainder of their lives. At her death in 1978, Lynette left half a million dollars to Elma, two bequests to Christ Church Cathedral Endowment Fund, money to the University of Houston for student scholarships, and the entire residual estate to Rice University. The endowment to Rice stipulated that the money would be used to establish chairs in the humanities, social sciences, and business, named alternately in her name and Herbert’s. There are ten chairs named for the Autreys and two endowed in the name of Elma Schneider, who also left bequests to Rice.

Scope and Contents of the Papers

This collection of materials relates generally to the personal life of Lynette S. Autrey and her family. There are two personal letters to Lynette and a card of condolences written to her in 1973 on the occasion of Herbert’s death. Another letter from the collection is of particular interest. This is a letter written in 1915 by Lynette to her mother from the Los Angeles hotel where Lynette and Herbert spent their honeymoon. A short newspaper clipping announcing the wedding is with these materials. The wedding service and funeral books, including legal documentation on those events, are also in the collection. Three other letters related to Autrey family business matters are with the materials. Photographic album of the family dating from 1913 includes photographs of Lynette and Herbert, many of the subjects are not identified.

Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged into 3 series: I. Personal Documents and Materials, 1915 –1978, II. Correspondence, 1915-1998, and Photographs, 1913, nd.


Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Restrictions on Access

This material is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from the Lynette S. Autrey Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Index Terms

Entrepreneurship -- Texas
legal documents
clippings (information artifacts)
Rice University
Autry, Herbert
Autrey, Lynette Schneider
Autry family

Related Materials

See also James Lockhart Autry Papers, 1834-1922, MS3, Woodson Research Center.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Lynette S. Autrey Papers, MS51, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University


All the materials in this collection were donated to the Woodson Research Center by C.M Hudspeth of DeLange, Hudspeth and Pitman Law Office for the estate of Lynette S. Autrey received on April 28, 1993.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by students of the 2003 Public History class at Southwest Texas State University, under the guidance of Kinga Perzynska, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Fondren Library, Rice University.


No future additions are expected for this material.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Series I: Personal Documents and Materials, 1915 –1978
1 folder
Wedding book, with legal documentation of Lynette Schneider to Herbert Autrey. October 12, 1915
Newsclipping announcing the wedding. October, 1915.
Funeral book, with legal documentation on Lynette Autrey’s death and her burial at Glenwood Cemetery, February 4 & 6, 1978.

Series II: Correspondence, 1915-1998

Box Folder
1 2 Lynette Autrey Correspondence 1915-1973
Lynette to her mother, Los Angeles, October 16, 1915
Rice University, Christ’s Church to L. Autrey, September 15, 1973
Robert Gibson to Lynette, September 26, 197. Condolences card to Lynette on Herbert’s death in 1973
Box Folder
1 3 Other Correspondence and Materials 1953-1998
Paul Rudat to Herbert Autrey, November 13, 1953
Hank Hudspeth to Nancy Boothe, February 5, 1998
Nancy Boothe to Hank Hudspeth, February 19, 1998
Photograph of Herbert, Lynette, and Elma Schneider, cref1490

Box Folder
1 4 Series III: Photographs 1913, n.d.
4 photographs, n.d., possibly of Herbert Autrey
Photograph, n.d., unidentified
Photographic album, family photographs, 1913