Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms:

Related Material

Administrative Information

Detailed Description of the Collection

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to Walter W. and Ella F. Fondren Papers, 1838-1973



Descriptive Summary

Title: Walter W. and Ella F. Fondren Papers,
Dates: 1838-1973
Abstract: The Fondren Papers provide a record of the Fondren family's acquisition and dispersal of money in Houston and across Texas during the first three-quarters of this century and offers additional information on the financial workings of several well-known institutions and corporations. Formats include correspondence and financial documents.
Identification: MS 390
Extent: 7.75 Cubic Feet
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Biographical Note

Walter W. Fondren was born in 1877 in Tennessee, the son of a farmer, who moved the family to Arkansas in 1883. Orphaned at the age of nine or ten, W. W. Fondren began working on farms in Arkansas and Texas. Then in 1897 he worked as a helper on a drilling rig at Corsicana, Texas, developing rapidly and becoming an independent driller during the first decade of this century. While he was working at Corsicana, he met and married Ella F. Cochrum.

Born at Hazel, Kentucky, Ella Cochrum was in her mid teens when her father died, making it necessary for her to quit school to care for her sister and five brothers. She and Walter Fondren were married on Valentine's Day, 1904 in Corsicana, and soon thereafter moved to Houston, where a son and two daughters were born to them and where they lived for the remainder of their lives.

Mr. Fondren was elected a director of the Humble Oil Company, then controlled mostly by Ross. S. Sterling, in 1912. In 1917 the Humble Oil and Refining Company was formed, and Walter Fondren was elected vice president. He assumed responsibility for drilling on the Gulf coast when Humble was affiliated with Jersey Standard in 1919. When W. S. Farish was elected Jersey director (1933), while retaining the Humble presidency, W. W. Fondren retired. After several years of heart trouble, he died suddenly early in 1939.

The Fondren's interest in aiding worthy institutions led to the establishment of the Fondren Foundation in 1948 to manage the resources of an estate valued at over thirty-three million dollars at the time of Mr. Fondren's death. Prominent among the recipients of this generosity have been St. Paul's Methodist Church, Methodist Hospital, Methodist Homes for Older People and the YMCA, all in Houston and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Mrs. Fondren's concern with health care and the training of nurses led her to charter the Texas Association of Hospital Auxiliaries in 1943. Over the years she also provided money for scholarships and awards for nursing students. At the time of her death in 1982, Ella F. Fondren had devoted much of this century to local philanthropy.

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Scope and Contents

Walter W. Fondren performed a conspicuous part in the development of the petroleum industry in Texas. The considerable wealth generated by his success in this field was later, through the agency of Ella F. Fondren and the Fondren Foundation, made available to several civic, religious, and educational organizations, predominately in Texas. The Fondren Papers, occupying approximately 7.75 cubic feet, provide a record of the Fondrens's acquisition and dispersal of money during the first three-quarters of this century and offers additional information on the financial workings of several well-known institutions and corporations.

The Fondren Papers comprise fourteen Hollinger boxes that include passbooks, ledgers, and other financial records. Books in a tin deed box (ca. 1890-1910) labeled with W. W. Fondren's card were reboxed but the box was retained. Constituted almost completely by correspondence and documents concerning financial matters, the collection is arranged in a single alphabet, the papers in each folder being further arranged in chronological order.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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

The original instructions regarding the use of the Fondren Papers was governed by an Agreement dated February 23, 1984, which remained in force until February 24, 1999 and required researchers to sign the "Fondren Collection Agreement" form.

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Index Terms:

Subjects (Organizations)
Humble Oil and Refining Company (Incorporated in Tex.)
William M. Rice Institute.
Fondren Library.
Houston YMCA (Houston, Tex.)
St. Paul's Methodist Church (Houston, Tex.)
Methodist Hospital (Houston, Tex.)
Southern Methodist University.
Subjects
Methodist universities and colleges--Texas.
Universities and colleges--Texas.
Academic libraries--Texas.
Young Men's Christian associations--Texas.
Methodist Church--Texas.
Hospitals--Texas.
Charities--Texas.
Petroleum industry and trade--Texas.
Real property--Texas.
Farms--Texas.
Ranches--Texas.
Houston (Tex.)--Education--Universities and colleges.
Texas--Education--Universities and colleges.
Dallas (Tex.)--Education--Universities and colleges.
Houston (Tex.)--Libraries.
Texas--Libraries.
Houston (Tex.)--Societies, etc.--YMCAs-YWCAs.
Texas--Societies, etc.--YMCAs-YWCAs.
Houston (Tex.)--Churches and religious affairs--Methodist.
Texas--Churches and religious affairs--Methodist.
Houston (Tex.)--Medical affairs--Hospitals, sanatoriums, etc.
Texas--Medical affairs--Hospitals, sanatoriums, etc.
Houston (Tex.)--Charitable and social work.
Texas--Charitable and social work.
Houston (Tex.)--Business, industries, and trades--Petroleum.
Texas--Business, industries, and trades--Petroleum.
Texas--Land.
Texas--Agriculture.
Subjects (Correspondents)
Fondren, Ella F., 1881?-1982.
Formats
Bankbooks.
Correspondence.

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Related Material

Fondren Family Collection, MS 340, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Walter W. and Ella F. Fondren Papers, 1838-1973, MS 390, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Acquisition Information

The Fondren Papers were given by Doris Ledwidge Fondren, the Fondren's daughter-in-law, on October 13, 1983. A second lot of papers was given by Mrs. W. W. Fondren III on December 15, 1988, and integrated into the papers processed in 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by Tony Narkin 1986, 1988-89.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 
Box Folder
1 1 A: miscellaneous correspondence, 1931-1967

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Box Folder
1 2 Abstracts of title, 1899-1909

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Box Folder
1 3 Abstracts of title, 1910-1911

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Box Folder
1 4 Abstracts of title, 1911-1919

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Box Folder
1 5 Abstracts of title, 1928-1931

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Box Folder
2 1 Abstracts of title, 1932-1933

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Box Folder
2 2 Abstracts of title, 1933-1936

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Box Folder
2 3 Abstracts of title, 1949

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Box Folder
2 4 Abstracts of title, 1949

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Box Folder
2 5 Allday, Edwin: correspondence, deeds, titles, 1956-1963

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Box Folder
3 1 B: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, titles, stock certificates, accounts, 1903-1965

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Box Folder
3 2 Barrett, C. E.: land titles, deeds, 1901-1908

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Box Folder
3 3 Baytown Hardware Company: correspondence, accounts, 1948-1956

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Box Folder
3 4 Brahman cattle inquiries: correspondence, 1945-1965

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Box Folder
3 5 C: miscellaneous correspondence, 1913-1972

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Box Folder
3 6 Christian Rural Overseas Program [CROP]: correspondence, brochure, photos, 1957-1959

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Box Folder
3 7 Commerce Street [2301-2307] property, Houston, Texas: correspondence, titles, notes, 1930-1972

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Box Folder
3 8 Curiosities [n. d.]

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Box Folder
4 1 D: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, titles, stock certificates, 1910-1965

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Box Folder
4 2 Davis Hill Oil Company: correspondence, maps, 1935-1953

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Box Folder
4 3 E: miscellaneous correspondence, 1930-1946

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Box Folder
4 4 Edwards Family land deal: titles, legal testimony, correspondence, 1887-1929

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Box Folder
4 5 F: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, titles, 1930-1962

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Box Folder
4 6 Farm accounts and correspondence, 1940-1965

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Box Folder
4 7 Fondren, A. L.: correspondence, accounts, notes, 1926-1936

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Box Folder
4 8 Fondren, E. F.: will, 1939-1956

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Box Folder
4 9 Fondren, W. W.: will and estate, 1925-1942

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Box Folder
4 10 Fondren Foundation: correspondence, charters, 1955-1967

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Box Folder
4 11 Fondren Lectures, Southern Methodist University: correspondence, 1927-1931

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Box Folder
4 12 Fondren Oil Company: correspondence, accounts, 1907-1940

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Box Folder
5 1 Fondren Scholarship Fund, Southern Methodist University: correspondence, 1927-1948

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Box Folder
5 2 Fondren Trust [no. 1]: correspondence, charters, 1928-1944

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Box Folder
5 3 Forest Park Cemetery: correspondence, deeds, plans, photos, 1939-1961

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Box Folder
5 4 G: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, titles, 1918-1969

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Box Folder
5 5 General Hospital Board, Methodist Hospitals: correspondence, 1931-1942

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Box Folder
5 6 Gibraltar Savings and Building Association, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1931-1938

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Box Folder
5 7 Green's Bayou, Harris County, Texas property: county survey deeds, titles, 1838-1904

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Box Folder
5 8 Gulf Coast Gross Production Reports, 1923, 1927

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Box Folder
5 9 Gulf Oil Corporation: correspondence, 1943-1968

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Box Folder
5 10 H: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, titles, 1919-1971

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Box Folder
5 11 Hammett Oil Company: correspondence, 1924-1928

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Box Folder
6 1 Harris County, Texas. Grand Jury report, (November term, 1927):1928

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Box Folder
6 2 Harris County Flood Control District: correspondence, maps, 1958-1963

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Box Folder
6 3 Houston District Board of Missions and Church Extension: correspondence, 1937-1938

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Box Folder
6 4 Houston Lighting and Power Company: correspondence, maps, deeds, 1939-1962

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Box Folder
6 5 Hubbard, Ida Cochrum and Mary Ida: Humble Oil Stocks: correspondence, accounts, 1939-1964

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Box Folder
6 6 Humble Field: titles, deeds, 1902-1966

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Box Folder
6 7 Humble Oil and Refining Company: correspondence, deeds, 1914-1971

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Box Folder
6 8 Humble Oil and Refining Company: Report on the Power Supply for the East Texas Field, 1931

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Box Folder
6 9 Humble Oil and Refining Company: Valuation … as of charts January 5, 1939:

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Box Folder
7 1 Humble Oil and Refining Company: Valuation … as of narrative and exhibits January 5, 1939:

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Box Folder
7 2 I: miscellaneous correspondence, 1939, 1961

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Box Folder
7 3 Income tax reports, 1922-1940

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Box Folder
7 4 Jackson, J. C.: correspondence, titles, deeds, 1943, 1948

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Box Folder
7 5 Joint Educational Commission, Methodist Schools: correspondence, 1933-1937

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Box Folder
7 6 Jones, Jesse H.: correspondence bond, 1923, 1931

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Box Folder
7 7 K: miscellaneous correspondence, 1930-1962

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Box Folder
7 8 L: miscellaneous correspondence, 1922-1964

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Box Folder
7 9 Lynd, J. H.: correspondence, 1936-1938

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Box Folder
7 10 M: miscellaneous correspondence, titles, deeds, 1906-1971

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Box Folder
8 1 Methodist Brotherhood: correspondence, 1937-1962

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Box Folder
8 2 Methodist Conferences: correspondence, 1934-1938

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Box Folder
8 3 Methodist Home, Waco, Texas: correspondence, 1943-1966

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Box Folder
8 4 Methodist Homes for Older People, Houston, Texas: correspondence, maps, easement, deeds, 1962-1964

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Box Folder
8 5 Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas: deeds, titles, statements, correspondence, 1926-1969

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Box Folder
8 6 Montrose Blvd. [3410], Houston, Texas: correspondence, deeds, accounts, clippings, 1911-1965

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Box Folder
8 7 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1926-1932

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Box Folder
8 8 N: miscellaneous correspondence, 1926-1958

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Box Folder
8 9 National Bank of Commerce, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1926-1943

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Box Folder
9 1 O: miscellaneous correspondence, 1913-1957

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Box Folder
9 2 Oil Companies, minor, 1902-1943

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Box Folder
9 3 Oklahoma tax records, 1922-1939

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Box Folder
9 4 P: miscellaneous correspondence, 1903-1973

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Box Folder
9 5 Pano Tech Exploration Corporation: correspondence, 1955-1967

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Box Folder
9 6 Patents and correspondence concerning W. W. Fondren inventions, 1918-1927

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Box Folder
9 7 Q: miscellaneous correspondence, 1938

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Box Folder
9 8 R: miscellaneous correspondence, titles, deeds, 1906-1971

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Box Folder
9 9 Rice Institute, Houston, Texas: athletic tickets, correspondence, 1926-1951

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Box Folder
10 1 Rice Institute, Houston, Texas: Fondren Library: correspondence, plans, 1946-1949

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Box Folder
10 2 River Oaks Country Club, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1927-1937

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Box Folder
10 3 S: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, bonds, stock certificates, 1906-1972

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Box Folder
10 4 Saint Paul's Methodist Church, Houston, Texas: correspondence, accounts, 1922-1968

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Box Folder
10 5 San Jacinto Trust Company, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1929-1940

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Box Folder
10 6 Scarritt College for Christian Workers, Nashville, Tennessee: correspondence, 1942-1950

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Box Folder
10 7 Seaboard Life Insurance Company, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1925-1931

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Box Folder
10 8 Smith, A. Frank, Bishop: correspondence, accounts, 1931-1937

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Box Folder
10 9 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas: correspondence, deeds, titles, accounts, 1919-1970

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Box Folder
11 1 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas: Fondren Library: correspondence, deeds, titles, 1935-1970

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Box Folder
11 2 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas: Fondren Science Building: deeds, titles, correspondence, 1946-1953

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Box Folder
11 3 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas: Kirby Fig Farm, Algoa, Texas: correspondence, 1926-1937

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Box Folder
11 4 Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas: correspondence, 1926-1952

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Box Folder
11 5 Sparkman, Lizzie and F. L.: deeds, titles, correspondence, 1912-1939

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Box Folder
11 6 Standard Oil Company: correspondence, 1920-1923

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Box Folder
11 7 State Building and Loan Association: deeds, titles, accounts, correspondence, 1923-1936

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Box Folder
11 8 Sterett, Camp: correspondence, 1921-1934

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Box Folder
11 9 T: miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, titles, 1909-1973

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Box Folder
12 1 Tabb's Bay Oil Company, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1938-1958

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Box Folder
12 2 Tax receipts (State, county, city): 1907-1939

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Box Folder
12 3 Texaco: correspondence, 1921-1972

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Box Folder
12 4 Texas A & M College: correspondence, deeds, titles, 1951-1955

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Box Folder
12 5 Texas Hotel Supply Company, Houston, Texas: correspondence, stock certificates, 1928-1933

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Box Folder
12 6 Texas Methodist Foundation: correspondence, 1937-1938

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Box Folder
12 7 Tidewater Oil Company, Houston, Texas: correspondence, 1923-1938

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Box Folder
12 8 Trammell, A., H. L. and W. B.: deeds, correspondence, 1921-1937

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Box Folder
12 9 U: miscellaneous correspondence, 1924-1938

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Box Folder
12 10 University of Houston: correspondence, 1954-1967

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Box Folder
12 11 V: miscellaneous correspondence, 1923-1971

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Box Folder
12 12 W: miscellaneous correspondence, volt meter disc, deed, 1925-1964

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Box Folder
12 13 Westmoreland Ave. [401], Houston, Texas: construction contract, builder's account, views, 1905

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Box Folder
12 14 YMCA, Houston, Texas: correspondence, photos, accounts, 1921-1943

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Box
13 Unfoldered items:

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Box
13 Bank Book: The National Bank of Commerce, Houston, Texas [W. W. Fondren], 1918-1939

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Box
13 Bank Book (record of payments): The Union National Bank, Houston, Texas [W. W. Fondren], 1913-1923

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Box
13 Cash Book [W. W. Fondren], 1925

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Box
13 Cash Book, 1926-28

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Box
13 Journal [W. W. Fondren], 1929-1938

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Box
13 S. E. Ledger [W. W. Fondren] 1917-1922

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Box
13 S. [E.] Ledger [ "Mr. Fondren's Personal Income"], 1919-1920

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Box
13 S. E. Ledger: W. W. Fondren, San Jacinto Trust Co. Account [1927-1928]

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Box
13 Post binder: W. W. Fondren Income beginning 1923

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Box
13 Post binder: "Inactive Ledger" [W. W. Fondren Estate and Ella F. Fondren], 1939-1971

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Box
13 Standard Columnar Book [W. W. Fondren], 1929-1932

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Box
14 Post binder: [miscellaneous accounts], 1918-1936

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Box
14 Post binder: "The Journal and Ledger Accounts of the Fondren Foundation," 1948-1969

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