Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Brown & Root / George R. Brown Executive Files, 1937-1978



Collection Summary

Creator: Brown & Root, Inc. (Firm)
Title: Brown & Root / George R. Brown Executive Files
Dates: 1937-1978
Abstract: The bulk of this material consists of business records of the Brown & Root firm and Brown Shipbuilding Co., relating in particular to building projects and joint ventures with other companies such as Zapata Offshore, Texas Gulf Sulphur and ARMCO Steel, as well as internal operations of the firm. Formats include correspondence, internal memos, project site drawings, photographs, reports, notes, and newsclippings.
Identification: MS 488
Quantity: 24 linear feet.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Organizational Sketch

In 1914, native Texan Herman Brown was given eighteen mules in lieu of back wages for construction work done in his hometown of Belton, which he used to enter the construction business on his own. In 1919 his brother-in-law, Dan Root, advanced him money for working capital, and the company was named Brown and Root, Incorporated. In 1922 Herman's younger brother, George Rufus Brown, joined the firm. Dan Root, a prosperous Central Texas cotton farmer, died in 1929. The paving of dirt roads and building of steel bridges for municipal and county governments in Central Texas led the firm to a successful joint bid in 1936 to construct the Marshall Ford Dam (now Mansfield Dam) on the Colorado River. A 1940 contract to construct the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station was the first of their big federal war projects. The brothers formed the Brown Shipbuilding Company in 1942 and constructed more than 350 vessels for the navy. The shipyard had a labor force of 25,000 and won the Army-Navy E and a presidential citation.

After World War II the Brown brothers and other investors purchased the Big and Little Inch pipelines from the government with the winning high bid of $143 million and organized a new company, Texas Eastern Transmission Company, which is now a part of Panhandle Eastern Corporation. Brown and Root was widely known during the 1950s and 1960s for constructing United States air and naval bases (in Spain, France, and Guam) and roads, dams, bridges, petrochemical plants, and large offshore drilling platforms. In 1961 the company won the planning contract for the $200 million Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

Herman Brown died on November 15, 1962, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.Brown was a cofounder of the Brown Foundation. He was a member of the board of directors of First City National Bank of Houston, Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation, Southwestern University, Armco Steel Corporation, and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. He was also active in oil and gas exploration and ranching.

After the death of his brother Herman in 1962, George became president of Brown and Root. Later that year the corporation was sold to the Halliburton Company.

In December 1962 the Halliburton Company of Dallas purchased Brown and Root, which continues to operate under its own name. Halliburton's significant acquisition of Brown and Root of Houston in 1962 gained for the company the sort of subsudiaries that heretofore had been missing: industrial and marine engineering and construction firms. At the time of acquisition Brown and Root had annual revenues of $5.5 billion.

George R. Brown served as a director of the Halliburton Company, Armco Steel Corporation, Louisiana Land and Exploration Company, International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, Trans-World Airlines, Southland Paper Company, First City Bancorporation, and Highland Oil Company. He served on important commissions for presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, and was appointed to commissions for the state of Texas, from the 1930s under Governor James Allred to the 1970s under Governor Dolph Briscoe. He was a well-known friend and visible supporter of Lyndon B. Johnson throughout his political career. He was the recipient of many honors during his lifetime, including Awards from Rice University, Colorado School of Mines, Southwestern University, and the University of Texas. He received several awards in construction and engineering, including the John Fritz Medal in 1977 from the five national engineering societies, and the American Petroleum Institute Gold Medal.

Brown served as chairman of the board of trustees of Rice University for fifteen years of his twenty-five years of service on the board. In 1951 the Brown brothers and their wives established the Brown Foundation, through which they pursued a strong and generous interest in philanthropy. By June 30, 1994, the foundation had granted more than $381 million to charitable institutions, primarily in higher education and the arts. In 1925 Brown married Alice Nelson Pratt of Lometa, Texas, who became well-known for her support for the arts at the local, state, and national levels. They had three children. Brown died on January 22, 1983, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.

Excerpted from "BROWN, GEORGE RUFUS." and "BROWN, HERMAN". The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/BB/fbrbg.html> [Accessed Mon Jul 14 12:01:07 US/Central 2003 ].


Scope and Contents

The bulk of this material consists of business records of the Brown & Root firm and the Brown Shipbuilding Co., relating in particular to building projects and joint ventures with other companies as well as internal operations of the firm. Formats include correspondence, internal memos, project site drawings, photographs, reports, notes, and newsclippings.

Some specific projects include various international airbases, Marshall Ford Dam, Pedernales River Electric Cooperative, City of Houston roads and water, Rice Institute, Mohole Project, and many others. Correspondents include individuals and other companies such as ARMCO Steel, Construction Management & Engineering Associates (CMEA), Harlan Inc., Pre-stressed Concrete Products, Inc., Southland Paper Mills, Inc., Texas Eastern Transmission Corp, Texas Gulf Sulphur Co., and the U.S. Navy and Dept. of Defense.

Folder titles are original Brown & Root titles.


 

Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged in the following five series:
Series I: Brown & Root Subject Files, 1939-1978, bulk 1950s, (18.5 feet, 37 boxes).
Series II: Brown & Root Legal Files, 1937-1961, (0.5 linear ft., 1 box).
Series III: Brown & Root General Office Files, 1955-70, (1.75 linear ft., 3 boxes).
Series IV: Herman Brown Personal Correspondence, 1960-61 (0.25 linear ft., 2 folders).
Series V: Brown Shipbuilding Company Files, 1939-1950, (3 linear ft., 5 boxes).

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This material is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from the Brown & Root / George R. Brown Executive Files must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Brown, George R., 1898-1983--Correspondence.
Brown, Herman, 1892-1962--Correspondence.
Subjects (Organizations)
Brown & Root, Inc.--History.
Brown Shipbuilding Company, Inc.--History.
Panhandle Eastern Corporation--History--20th century.
ARMCO Steel -- History.
Pre-stressed Concrete Products, Inc. -- History.
Southland Paper Mills, Inc. -- History.
Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. -- History.
Halliburton, Inc. -- History.
Subjects:
Dams--Texas--Design and construction--History.
Concrete construction--Texas--History.
Road construction--Texas--History.
Construction industry--Texas--History.
Offshore oil field equipment industry--Texas--History.
Gas industry--United States--History--20th century.
Places
Marshall Ford Dam (Colorado River, Tex.)
Formats
Correspondence.
Reports.
Memos.
Photographs.
Newsclippings.
Plans (maps).

Related Material

See also MS 464, Builders: Herman & George R. Brown Book Research Files.


Administrative Information

Custodial History

This material was formerly housed in the Information Resource Center of Kellogg Brown & Root.

Preferred Citation

Brown & Root / George R. Brown Executive Files, MS488, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Halliburton, 1999.

Accruals

No future additions are expected for this material.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Brown & Root Subject Files, 1939-1978, bulk 1950s
18.5 feet (37 boxes)

Correspondence, reports, notes, brochures, site drawings and contracts related to Brown & Root projects, proposed projects and issues such as energy and constructions resources and labor. Some specific projects include various international airbases, Marshall Ford Dam, Pedernales River Electric Cooperative, City of Houston roads and water, Rice Institute, Mohole Project, and many others. Correspondents include individuals and other companies such as ARMCO Steel, Construction Management & Engineering Associates (CMEA), Harlan Inc., Southland Paper Mills, Inc., Texas Eastern Transmission Corp, Texas Gulf Sulphur Co., and the U.S. Navy and Dept. of Defense. Folder titles are original Brown & Root titles.
Airbases (drawings and minimal correspondence)
Box Folder
1 1 Bordeaux-Merignac Airbase & St. Nazaire Airbase, 1952-53
2 Chateauroux Complex, 1953
3 Chaumont Airbase, 1953
4 Chambley Airbase, 1953
5 Etain-Rouvres Airbase, 1953
Box Folder
2 1 Dreux –Louvilliers Airbase, 1953
2 Evreux-Fauville Airbase, 1953
3 Laon-Couvron Airbase, 1953
4 Niort Area, 1953
5 Phalsbourg Airbase, 1953
Box Folder
3 1 St. Mihiel Area, 1953
2 Spanish airbases, 1954-58
3 Toul-Rosiers Airbase, 1953
4 AIRCO Industrial Gases settlement on AIRCO cylinders, 1968
5 Alaskan Ventures: Proposed projects and correspondence, 1958-68
6 Alleghany Corp., 1956-57
7 Allied Sheet Metal & Roofing, 1951-56
8 ARMCO Steel – Sheffield Steel, 1950-54
Box Folder
4 1 ARMCO Steel – Misc. 1954
2 ARMCO Steel – Misc. 1955
3 ARMCO Steel – Misc. 1956
4 ARMCO Steel – Misc. corresp. 1959
5 ARMCO Steel – Corresp. 1966
6 ARMCO Steel – Corresp. 1967
7 ARMCO Steel 1968
8 ARMCO Steel 1970
9 Associated companies and/or subsidiaries, 1949-1954
Box Folder
5 1 Bloomfield Steamship Co., 1955-1956
2 The Business Council, 1966-1967
3 Canadian River Project
4 Carbide Chemical job, Seadrift, TX
5 Century Investment Co. – WTB Corp., 1939-1956
6 Century Investment Co. – WTB Corp., Plaza Hotel, 1939-1956
7 Chemical & Petroleum Division, F.W. Bell thru 1950
8 Chemical & Petroleum Division, F.W. Bell
Box Folder
6 1-3 Edward Clark legislative matters/labor troubles, 1950-1951
4 Edward Clark legislative/labor, 1952-1953
Construction Management & Engineering Associates (CMEA)
Box Folder
7 1-2 General, 1952-1953
3 Misc. corresp., 1952-1953
4 Weekly reports, minutes of other meetings, 1952-1953
Box Folder
8 1 Drawings, 1952-1953
2-3 Unsafe installations – France, 1952
4 Unsafe installations – France, comparisons
5 The French Construction Industry and Its Capacity to Execute the Military Program
Box Folder
9 1 Construction Management and Engineering Associates Organization
2 Monthly reports, Nov.-Dec. 1952, Jan.-Aug. 1953, Paris, France
Box Folder
10 1-2 Corpus Christi misc., 1945-1956
3 Darneille, George – misc. memos, deals, 1951-1956
4 Driskill Hotel, 1955-1959
5 El Paso Building and Construction Trades Council vs. TX Highway Commission, 1950
Box Folder
11 1-2 Florida oil deal – Virgil Osborn, 1941-1956
3 Foreign, Italy – ANIC corresp., 1955-1958
4 Frost Lumber Co. (Olin Industries), 1951
5-6 Guam: Brown-Pacific-Maxon, 1946-1954
Box Folder
12 1 Halliburton Co. corresp., 1969
2 Harlan Inc. Board of Directors meetings, 1973
3 Harlan Inc.: Harlan-Doherty
4 Harlan Inc.: Fred S. James & Co.
5 Harlan Inc. proposed public offering, 1970
6 Harlan Inc. reports of competitors
Highlands Insurance Co.
Box Folder
12 7 Benrus Corp.
8 Crum & Forster
9 Employers Casualty Co.; Southwestern Life Insurance Co.
10 Prudential-Skandia-Hudson
11 San Jacinto River Authority
12 Southern Marine & Aviation Underwriters
13 Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. overdraft agreement – Kuwait Br., 1965-1968
Box Folder
13 1 City of Houston Main Street reports, 1940
2-3 City of Houston water corresp., 1939-1940
4 City of Houston water, 1939-1940s
5 Humble Oil & Refining Co. general corresp., 1955-1968
6 Hurricane Betsy loans, 1965-1967
7 International Telephone & Telegraph Corp. (IT&T) corresp., 1962
8 IT&T corresp., 1963-1965
9 IT&T corresp., 1966
Box Folder
14 1 Jetero ranch property site, 1957-1961
2 Kitcat & Aitken, 1971-1972
3 Labor corresp., pamphlets, 1958-1961
4 Labor suit against unions, 1950-1952
5 Larson, Jess, 1957-1961
Box Folder
15 1 LeDuc Southern Absorption Ltd., 1953
2 W.H. Leslie – memos, misc. letters, 1957
3 W.H. Leslie – Minor Hudson corresp., 1949
4 Lone Star Steel Co., 1951-1952
5 Lone Star Steel Corp., 1959-1960
6 Longview paving job, 1939
7 Louisiana Bridge Co. – misc. corresp., 1957-1959
8 Louisiana Land & Exploration Co., 1969
9 Maner Lake and Eagle Nest Lake, Brazoria Development Assoc., 1944-61
10 Marble Falls Ranch, Travis Co., TX, 1959
Box Folder
16 1 Marsh, Charles E., 1947-1956
Marshall Ford Dam
Box Folder
16 2 Balance sheet showing working fund, 1938
3 Balance sheet showing working fund, 1940
4 Balance sheet & operating statement, 1940-41
5 Herman Brown
6 Contracts
7 Equipment
Box Folder
17 1-2 Insurance
3 Labor costs and wage rates
4 Lumber, sand, gravel, steel, cement, concrete, etc.
Box Folder
18 1 Personnel
2-3 Statement of costs, 1940-1941
4 Stone and rock production
5 McKinney, Robert – Corresp., articles, 1957-1961
6 Mining & Metallurgical Division, Domingo Moreno & H. Monroe, 1952- 1956
7 Mining & Metallurgical Division (NY)
Box Folder
19 1 Mohole Project progress reports, 1962
2-3 Mohole Project, 1962
4-5 Mohole Project, 1963
Box Folder
20 1 Mohole Project termination, 1966-1968
2 Mohole Project – general and administrative overhead
3 National politics
4 New Orleans property deal – Brown-Utah-DeMontluzin, 1958-
5 Oltorf, Frank, misc. Washington corresp., 1951-1956
6 Palomas Ranch: Corresp. and statements, 1950-1954
Box Folder
21 1 Pedernales Electric Cooperative job, Johnson City, 1939
2 Piermain Corp., 1955-1956
3 Pima Mine, 1952-1956
President’s Materials Policy Commission, 1951-1952
Box Folder
21 4-5 Manual, 1951
6 Resources for Freedom, V. II, 1952
Box Folder
22 1 Mr. Brown Part II, “Strengthening Our Domestic Resource Base,” Chap. I-III, Jan. 15-18, 1952
2 Mr. Brown Part III, “Strengthening the Free World Resource Base,” Chp. I-VIII, Jan. 15-18, 1952
3 Mr. Brown Part V-VI, “Strengthening the Energy Resource Base,” Jan. 15-18, 1952
4 Various chapters, 1952
5 Photos from report, taken Feb. 11, 1952
Box Folder
23 1 Pre-stressed Concrete Products (PCP), Inc. board meetings, Jan. 1957-65
2 PCP reports on Mandeville properties, 1964
3-4 PCP, 1968
5 PCP retirement and savings statements, 1968
6 PCP – J.E. Walters bonus and relating paper, 1960s
Proposed projects
Box Folder
24 1 New Mexico Los Alamos job, 1943-49; Oak Ridge, 1952
2 Rock crushing operation in Florida, 1955
3-4 Foreign work, 1955-1956
5 Company business/projects, 19566
6-7 Company business/projects, 1957
Box Folder
25 1 Company business/projects, 1957
2 General corresp., 1957-1961
3-4 Company business/projects
5 Prospective work, 1961-1962
Rice Institute
George R. Brown served as chairman of the board of trustees of Rice University for fifteen years of his twenty-five years of service on the board.
Box Folder
25 6-7 Budget, audit and financial reports, 1954-1956
Box Folder
26 1 Budget and financial statements, corresp., 1948-1957
2 Cinder track, 1955
3 Property owned and acquired, Rice Lumber Co., 1953-1956
4 Research-Nuclear Reactor High Voltage Lab, 1951-1953
5-6 Research-Nuclear Reactor High Voltage Lab, 1955-1956
Box Folder
27 1-2 Stadium, 1951-1955
3 Stadium financing, 1949-1955
4 Stadium labor trouble, 1950-1951
5 Stocks and bonds, 1953-1956
Box Folder
28 1 Paul O. Sims Co.; Herman Brown property, addition 1, Austin, 1949
2 Paul O. Sims Co.; Herman Brown property, addition 2, Austin
3 Slidell-Little Woods Bridge, 1960
4 Charles P. Smith, 1939-1940
5 Sonic Research Corp., 1957
6 Southern Natural Gas Co., 1956
7 Southern Sales & Transportation Co., 1957-1958
8 Southland Paper Mills, Inc., 1943-1956
Box Folder
29 1 Southland Paper Mills, Inc., 1943-1956
2 Southland Paper Mills, Inc., 1957-1960
3 Southland Paper Mills, Inc. corresp., 1965
4 Southland Paper Mills, Inc., 1969
5 Southland Paper Mills, Inc., 1970
Box Folder
30 1-3 Steel liner work for containment structures, 1977
4 Steel liner work for containment structures, 1978
5-6 Tank machining project, 1951-1953
7 Tennessee Gas Transmission Co., 1958-1961
8 Texas Co., 1958-1961
Box Folder
31 1 Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. corresp., 1966
2 Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. corresp., 1967
3-4 Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. misc. corresp., 1952-1956
5 Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. misc. corresp, 1957-1961
6 Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. proposed centralization of all ship and barge loading facilities, San Leon, TX, 1957
7 Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. – Fred Nelson’s underwater drilling platform invention, 1953
8 Texas Railroad Commission, 1957-1959
9 Texas Railway Equipment Co., 1957-1960
Box Folder
32 1 Thomas, Albert, 1946-1961
2-3 Thompson, Ernest O. – misc. statutes, Point Barrow trip 1952-1956
4 Thompson, Ernest O. – Point Barrow inspection trip, 1953-1956
5 Timcoat Corp., 1957-1960
6 Trans World Airlines, Inc. corresp., 1969
Box Folder
33 1 Umlauf, Charles, sculpture of George R. Brown – photos, 1953
2 Underwood, Neuhaus & Co., Inc. Offshore Industry Seminar, 1968
3 Union Carbide Co. corresp. and reports, 1959-1961
4 United Carbon Co., 1960
5 United Carbon India contract file, 1960s
6-7 United Carbon India Ltd. financial matters, 1960s
Box Folder
34 1-2 United Carbon India Ltd., 1960s
3 United Carbon India personnel, 1960s
4 United Carbon India – J.B. Davenport reports, 1964-1965
5 U.S. Dept. of Defense Industry Advisory Council, 1968
6 U.S. Dept. of Defense Industry Advisory Council, 1969
U.S. Navy Ammunition Depot, McAllester, OK
Box Folder
35 1-2 Brown and Bellows firms corresp., 1942-1943
3-5 Contract Noy-5691, 1942-1944
Box Folder
36 1 U.S. Dept. of the Navy, 1963
2 Ultrasonic Inspection Device (Frank E. Richardson), 1952
3 Valentine Pulp & Paper Co. misc. corresp., 1957-1958
4 Valentine Pulp & Paper Co. corresp., 1962
Venezuela
Box Folder
36 5 GRB South American trip as guest of Creole Petroleum Corp., 1954
6 Jobs, 1957
7 Raymond Concrete Pile Co.-B&R corresp., 1957
Box Folder
37 1 Proposed Maracaibo bridge, 1956-1957
2 Vitro Corp. of America, 1962
3 Walters, J.E., 1949-1951
4 William A. Smith Construction Co., 1967-1968
5 Wolf, Monroe, 1963-1964
6 Womack, Frank, 1939-1940
7 John L. Wortham & Son, 1968
8 H.B. Zachry Co. contract, 1960s
9 Zapata Offshore Co., 1968-1969



 

Series II: Brown & Root Legal Files, 1937-1961,
(0.5 linear ft., 1 box)

Notes, correspondence, and several briefs related to Brown & Root legal claims and suits.
Box Folder
38 1 Legal claims and suits, 1957-1961
2 Legislation correspondence, 1961
3 Herman Brown v. O.L. Neyland, 1940 [?], brief for appellants
4 Brown & Root v. A.F.L. Beaumont, correspondence, 1949-50
5 J.C. Jacques v. Brown & Root, brief for defendant, 1937-39
6 Trusts: George R. Brown; Austin, Lucy Ann and Elizabeth Booth, Thomas & Margaret Brown; Margaret Ann Paden, Mary & James Root, 1946



 

Series III: Brown & Root General Office Files, 1955-70,
(1.5 linear ft., 3 boxes)

Box Folder
39 1 Correspondence, 1969
2-3 Experience records and qualifications (misc. B&R jobs)
Incentive bonus / fund
Box Folder
40 1 1955-58
2 1959
3 1960-62
4 1965
5 1966
6 1968
7 India Company – Proposed
8 Institute on U.S. Taxation of Foreign Income, Inc.
Insurance Dept.
Box Folder
40 9 1962-66
Box Folder
41 1 1967-69
2 Insurance Manager, 1966-70
3 Personnel, 1957-61
4 Policy and Procedure, 1957-61
5 U.S. Internal Revenue Audit, International Operations Agent, 1960-68
Wage & Salary information
Box Folder
41 6 1964-68
Box Folder
42 1 1969-70
2 Workmen’s Compensation, 1965-70



 

Series IV: Herman Brown Personal Correspondence, 1960-61,
(0.25 linear ft., 2 folders)

Box Folder
42 3 1960
4 1961



 

Series V: Brown Shipbuilding Company Files, 1939-1950,
(3 linear ft., 5 boxes)

Subseries A: General Correspondence, 1946-1950
Carbon copies and some original items such as internal memos and external correspondence, between Brown Shipbuilding and law firms, accountants, and insurance firms, relating to the release of contracts, labor issues, and inventory.
Box Folder
43 1 1946
2-3 1947
4-5 1948
Box Folder
44 1 1949-50
2 Correspondence Gro-Gy
3 Correspondence Leo-Lim
4 Houston Corporation, 1946-1947
Subseries B: Law suits
Box Folder
44 5 R.E. Hale et.al. suit, 1946
6 Houston Natural Gas Corp. suit, 1946-1947
7 George H. Hill et al. suit, 1940s
8 J.H. Howard & P.M. Culbreth v. Herman & George Brown, 1947-1948
Subseries C: Photographs
Box Folder
44 9-11 Events
Box Folder
45 1 Events
2-3 Individuals and groups
4 Interior views of PC-1253, March 30, 1943
5 George Brown/Herman Brown - individually and with groups
Subseries D: Award certificates and ephemera
Box Folder
46 5 Payroll Savings Plan Official Commendation, c. 1939
Harris County Community Chest and Council Certificate of Merit, 1944, for Shipping Dept. and Tank Testing Dept. (2)
Harris County Community Chest and Council Certificate of Merit, 1944, for Shipping Dept. and Tank Testing Dept. (2)
“E” flag and photo