Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement note

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Office Files, 1939-1947 (Boxes 1-29)

Series II: Publications, 1933-1959 (Box 30)

Series III: Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, 1927-1962 (Boxes 31-34b)

Series IV: Scrapbooks, 1939-1942 (6 volumes, Boxes 35-38)

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the J. Russell Wait Port of Houston papers, 1927-1964 MS 346



creatorWait, J. Russell
Title: J. Russell Wait Port of Houston papers
Dates: 1927-1964
Abstract:Business and personal records of J. Russell Wait, Director of the Port of Houston from 1930-1947, offering a comprehensive history of the Port of Houston's construction, facilities, finances, clients and operations from 1931-1962. During this time, the Port of Houston grew from the nation's twelfth largest port to its third largest. Materials also relate to the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, Houston Ship Channel maps, and scrapbooks on WWII and Japan.
Identification: MS 346
Quantity: 31 Linear Feet(40 boxes)
Language: English
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

J. Russell Wait was General Manager of the Port of Houston from 1930 to 1947. He was born in New Jersey in 1882 and graduated from Lehigh University in 1906. Prior to his coming to Houston, Mr. Wait had been director of the Port of Charleston, South Carolina, and had spent a year at the Port of Beaumont. Four years after retiring from the Houston Port Authority, Mr. Wait came out of retirement in 1951 to serve the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District as general manager and re-retired to Kerrville the following year.

While General Manager of the Port of Houston, Mr. Wait was responsible for the dredging of the ship channel from Galveston to the Turning Basin and under his leadership Houston grew from twelfth to the nation's third largest port. During these years, Wait amassed detailed information on the history and activities of the port: its construction, facilities, finances, clients and operations. While with the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District he expanded his collection to include District Annual Reports for the years 1952 through 1958, with supplementing documents and detailed, annotated photographs of the harbor construction, which had taken place from 1952 to 1956.

Although not a Rice alumnus or official faculty member, Wait lectured frequently at Rice and developed a fondness for the university. At the time he announced the gift of his collection to the university he said, "Most of my work was done in Houston, and most of the pictures and many of the books and papers have Houston origins. It seemed to me that this great university should have them."

Excerpted from "Treasures in the Attic" by Alan Harris Bath, featured in Fondren Library's The Flyleaf, Summer 2000.

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Scope and Contents

Business and personal records of J. Russell Wait, Director of the Port of Houston from 1930-1947, offering a comprehensive history of the Port of Houston from 1931-1962. Materials also relate to the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, Houston Ship Channel maps, and scrapbooks on WWII and Japan. Formats include correspondence, reports, maps, blueprints, scrapbooks, photographs, and more. The bulk of the Wait papers retain their original office filing system and are filed alphabetically according to Wait's subject headings. These headings include correspondence and reports relating to Wait's time as Port Manager, 1939-1947.

Two large scrapbooks in the collection document Houston area daily newspaper coverage of WWII from late August 1939 to June 1942, providing insight into the increasing impact of the war upon American life. A set of four scrapbooks document Wait's 1939 business trip to Japan.

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Arrangement note

Missing Title
Series I: Office Files, 1939-1947 (Boxes 1-29)
Series II: Publications, 1933-1959 (Box 30)
Series III: Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, 1927-1962 (Boxes 31-34b)
Series IV: Scrapbooks, 1939-1942 (6 volumes, Boxes 35-38)

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Restrictions

Access Restriction

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Boxes 35-38 stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

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Index Terms

Texas -- Houston
Harbors
Freight and freightage -- Texas
letters (correspondence)
photographs
reports
scrapbooks
Wait, J. Russell
Port of Houston Authority
Wait, J. Russell
Brazos River Harbor Navigation District

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

J. Russell Wait Port of Houston papers, MS 346, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Woodson Research Center by J. Russell Wait, 1967.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Office Files, 1939-1947 (Boxes 1-29)

Scope and Contents note
The bulk of the Wait papers retain their original office filing system and are filed alphabetically according to Wait's subject headings. These headings include correspondence and reports relating to Wait's time as Port Manager, 1939-1947.
BoxFolder
A-1 Acts of legislature pertaining to the Port of Houston
A-1 Acts of legislature pertaining to the Port of Houston
Typical Drawing for Wharf Permit for Houston Ship Channel
BoxFolder
A-2 Addresses-1947 roster of officers and committees of AAPA
A-3 American Association of Port Authorities
A-3 AAPA general
A-3 AAPA reports
A-3 AAPA correspondence, 1940-41
BoxFolder
A-3 AAPA correspondence, 1943-47
A-3-a AAPA Committee on Port Practices, Rules and Terminal Rates
A-3-b AAPA Harbor Dues Study
A-3-c AAPA Shipside Study
Proceedings of 24th Annual Convention and Annual Meeting of AAPA
Houston/Galveston, 11/11-15/35, volumes 1 2
BoxFolder
A-5 Auditor-General Manager correspondence
A-6 Advertising for Port of Houston
A-8 American Society of Civil Engineers correspondence
A-9 Ammonium nitrate-correspondence and instructions on handling
A-10 Administration of publicly owned rail-water terminal facilities
A-11 Airport-info. and corresp. re Houston airport
B-2 Barbour agreement (Morgan’s Point) correspondence
BoxFolder
B-3 Bridges-correspondence and information
B-4 Burchfield Valuation Study-appraisal of land in ship channel industrial area
B-7 Bond elections, Harris County Navigation District
B-8 Board of Commissioners, Harris County/Houston Ship Channel Navigation District correspondence and reports
B-10 Boats-descriptions and specifications
C-1 Carloading contract between ship channel and railroad
Houston Ship Channel map defining general cargo shipside terminals
BoxFolder
C-2 Coal-corresp. and newsclippings
C-4 Customs brief on custom house proposal for Houston ship channel
Chamber of Commerce 1961
BoxFolder
C-7 Chamber of Commerce committees
C-7 Chamber of Commerce committees
C-8 Contracts with Harris County Navigation District
C-9 Crossing signals correspondence
C-10 Clients-addresses of engineering clients
BoxFolder
C-10 Clients-Will L. Clayton
C-10 Clients-Knappen Engineering Co.
C-10 Clients-Nelson Rockefeller
C-10 Clients-Humble Oil Refining Co.
Clients-Rohm Haas
C-11 Channel (main Houston Ship Channel)
Houston Ship Channel and Port of Houston map showing proposed sections of the ship channel to be widened
Port of Houston Industrial District map showing all dumping grounds from Morgan's Point to the turning basin of the Houston Ship Channel
Port of Houston Industrial District map showing proposed modifications of channel widths to the Houston Ship Channel
Port of Houston Industrial District map showing proposed improvements to the Houston Ship Channel
BoxFolder
C-12 Channel (upper Houston Ship Channel)
Map of upper Houston Ship Channel Turning Basin to Main Street
BoxFolder
C-13 Channel (tributaries)
C-14 Channel fuel wharf
C-15 City wharves-reports, agreements, photos, correspondence
C-16 Counsel-Navigation District attorneys corresp.
C-17 Contract with Freese, Nichols and Turner engineers
D-1 Drum handling device-photos, blueprints, reports
D-2 Drydock-corresp., reports
D-3 Dikes (oil terminals) corresp.
D-4 Demurrage
D-5 Dispatching reports and corresp.
BoxFolder
D-7 Diesel locomotives reports, corresp.
E-1 East Texas iron ore-clippings, reports, corresp.
E-1 East Texas iron ore-1910-11 Catlett rookery ATSF
E-1 East Texas iron ore-1927-28 Heisig
E-1 East Texas iron ore-1930
E-1 East Texas iron ore-1937 agreement
E-1 East Texas iron ore-1937-38
E-1 East Texas iron ore-1939-42
E-2 Explosive dock corresp.
E-3 Equalization agreement-reports on equalized rates
BoxFolder
E-4 Engine terminal-specs and bid to build terminal at ship channel
E-5 Editorials
E-6 Esperson dock and terminal project
F-2 Fireboat corresp. and reports
F-3 Flood control
Plan of proposed channel diversion of the San Jacinto River to Baytown
Harris County topographic watershed map of a preliminary drainage study for Harris County Flood Control
BoxFolder
Flood control reports
F-5 Foreign Trade Association corresp.
F-6 Foreign Trade Zone corresp., reports
F-6 Foreign Trade Zone
F-7 Finances (Navigation District)
BoxFolder
F-7 Finances (Navigation District)
F-8 Ferguson Patent reports and corresp.
F-9 Fuel oil terminal
G-3 Grain elevator corresp., reports
G-3 Grain elevator corresp., reports
G-3 Grain elevator
G-4 Grain treatment-drawings, dust explosion info.
G-5 Green’s Bayou reports
Port of Houston Industrial District map showing proposed improvements to Green's Bayou for navigation
BoxFolder
G-6 Gulf Ports Association membership, by-laws, corresp.
H-1 Harbor lines-blueprints, corresp., reports, brief
Harbor Traffic Control
H-3 Houston Port and Traffic Bureau
Houston Port and Traffic Bureau-rate book, by-laws
BoxFolder
H-3 Houston Port and Traffic Bureau
Houston Ship Channel improvements
H-6-a Handling equipment-general
H-6-b Handling equipment-vacuum device
H-6-c Handling equipment-heavy lift
H-6-d Handling equipment-towmotors
H-6-e Handling equipment-sweeper
H-6-f Handling equipment-cranes
H-6-g Handling equipment-car dumper
H-6-h Handling equipment-pallets
I-1 Industrial maps
Port of Houston Industrial District map showing Houston Ship Channel
BoxFolder
I-2 Intracoastal Canal Association
Map of the Texas section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
BoxFolder
I-3 Insurance (Navigation District)
I-4 Inspection trips of Navigation District
L-1 Land appraisals and valuation of harbor property
L-3 Locomotive terminal
L-4 Land purchases
L-5 Legislation
M-1 Manchester Basin
M-3 Maritime Commission
BoxFolder
M-5 Morgan’s Point
M-6 Mehrtens, George-corresp.
M-8 Misc.-business
N-1 North Side Belt Railroad
N-3 Navigation District auditor’s reports
N-3 Navigation District auditor’s reports
N-3 Navigation District auditor’s reports
BoxFolder
O-1 Organization (Navigation District)
O-2 Oil (drilling in the Bay)
O-3 Operations-accounts, balance sheets, etc.
O-3 Operations-accounts, balance sheets, etc.
P-1 Permits, building-for structures on navigable waters
P-2 Pictures-from newspapers (ship channel, Wait)
P-3 Pilots-corresp. and reports
BoxFolder
P-3 Pilots
P-4 Ports, general
P-4 Ports-Albany, NY
P-4 Ports-Atlanta, GA
P-4 Ports-Baltimore, MD
P-4 Ports-Bayonne, NJ
P-4 Ports-Beaumont, TX
BoxFolder
P-4 Ports-Boston, MA
P-4 Ports-Broward Co., FL
P-4 Ports-Brownsville, TX
P-4 Ports-Chambers-Liberty Co., TX
P-4 Ports-Charleston, SC
P-4 Ports-Chester, PA
P-4 Ports-Cleveland, OH
P-4 Ports-Chicago, IL
P-4 Ports-Concord, NH
P-4 Ports-Corpus Christi, TX
P-4 Ports-Freeport, TX
BoxFolder
P-4 Ports-Galveston, TX
P-4 Ports-Goose Creek, TX
P-4 Ports-Greenville, NC
P-4 Ports-Gulfport, MS
P-4 Ports-Halifax, Nova Scotia
P-4 Ports-Hamilton, Canada
P-4 Ports-Hampton Roads, VA
P-4 Ports-Honolulu, HI
P-4 Ports-Jacksonville, FL
P-4 Ports-Lake Charles, LA
P-4 Ports-Long Beach, CA
P-4 Ports-Los Angeles, CA
P-4 Ports-Matagorda Co. Navigation District
P-4 Ports-Matagorda Co. Navigation District, Bay City, TX
BoxFolder
P-4 Ports-Matagorda Co. Navigation District, Bay City, TX
P-4 Ports-Memphis, TNX
P-4 Ports-Miami, FL
P-4 Ports-Milwaukee, WI
P-4 Ports-Mobile, AL
P-4 Ports-Montreal, Canada
P-4 Ports-New Haven, CT
P-4 Ports-New Orleans, LA
P-4 Ports-New Orleans, LA
BoxFolder
P-4 Ports-New York City, NY
P-4 Ports-New Westminster, British Columbia
P-4 Ports-Newark, NJ
P-4 Ports-Newport Harbor, CA
P-4 Ports-Norfolk, VA
P-4 Ports-Oakland, CA
P-4 Ports-Ottawa, Canada
P-4 Ports-Panama City Port development
P-4 Ports-Philadelphia, PA
P-4 Ports-Port Isabel, TX
P-4 Ports-Portland, ME
P-4 Ports-Portland, OR
P-4 Ports-Providence, RI
P-4 Ports-Puerto Rico
P-4 Ports-Richmond, VA
P-4 Ports-Rochester, NY
P-4 Ports-Rotterdam, Holland
P-4 Ports-Sacramento, CA
P-4 Ports-Saint Lawrence project
P-4 Ports-San Diego, CA
P-4 Ports-San Francisco, CA
P-4 Ports-San Jose, CA
P-4 Ports-San Jacinto (Harris Co.) Burchfield Plan
P-4 Ports-Savannah, GA
P-4 Ports-Seattle, WA
P-4 Ports-Shreveport, LA
P-4 Ports-St. John, New Brunswick
P-4 Ports-State of New Jersey (S. Jersey Port Comm.)
P-4 Ports-Stockton, CA
P-4 Ports-Tacoma, WA
P-4 Ports-Tampa, FL
P-4 Ports-Texas City, TX
BoxFolder
P-4 Ports-Toledo, OH
P-4 Ports-Toronto, Canada
P-4 Ports-Trinity River Project
P-4 Ports-Vancouver, British Columbia
P-4 Ports-Wilmington, DE
P-4 Ports-Wilmington, NC
P-5 Projects-estimates of work in Port Houston
P-6 Peggy Lake-surplus ship storage, dredging
P-8 Publicity, general
BoxFolder
P-8 Publicity, general
P-8-a Publicity by Ella Tarbell
P-9 Policy-corresp. and reports
R-1 Railroad (PTRA general)
BoxFolder
R-1 Railroad (PTRA general)
Port of Houston/ Navigation District map of the Houston Ship Channel with Navigation District railroad track marked in color
Port Terminal Railroad Association map of track owned by the Harris County Houston Ship Channel Navigation District and track owned by private industry
BoxFolder
R-1 Railroad (PTRA general)
R-1-a Railroad statistics
R-1-b Railroad (PTRA contracts)
R-1-c Railroad switching
R-1-d Railroad (PTRA Booth yard)
R-2 Railroad (Harbor Belt RR)
BoxFolder
R-7 Rates-freight
S-1 Shipyard (Todd-Houston)
S-2 Smog-produced by Champion Papers Fiber Co.
S-3 Southwest Tonnage Study
S-4 Speeches by Wait
BoxFolder
S-4 Speeches by Wait
S-5 Steamship lines
S-6 “Switching” editorials
S-7 Steel plant (corr. soliciting shipments)
S-8 Statistics on trade through the port
S-9 San Jacinto water supply
S-10 Solicitation
BoxFolder
S-11 Sheffield Steel Plant
S-12 Shipside rail-water terminal
S-14 San Jacinto Battleground and Monument
S-15 Seatrain
T-1 Taxes (Harris Co.)
T-4 Tunnels
T-5 Terminal practices
T-6 Testimonial dinners
T-7-b Trips-West Coast
T-7-c Trips-Algonquin
BoxFolder
T-7-d Trips-Japan
BoxFolder
T-7-d Trips-Japan
T-7-e Trips-Carlsbad Caverns, NM
T-9 Texas Ports Association
T-10 Tariff
BoxFolder
T-10 Tariff-Houston, Galveston, Texas City, New Orleans, Texas lines
T-12 Textiles industry corresp.
T-13 Toredo and termites
T-14 Tin smelter
T-15 Tidal lands
T-15 Tidal lands
T-16 Turning basin
U-1 United States services-list of Army engineers supervising River and Harbor projects, 1867-1947
V-1 Vegetable oil plant
W-2 World Ports magazine
W-4 Water supply reports and corresp.
W-5 Wharves and docks-Wharf Characteristics, Port of Houston
BoxFolder
W-5 Wharves and docks
W-5-a Wharves and docks-Frank White report

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Series II: Publications, 1933-1959 (Box 30)

BoxFolder
The Port of Houston-How It Came to Pass by Col. Thomas H. Ball, 1936
Principal Industries, Port Facilities and Points of Interest Along the Houston Ship Channel, 1959
Aerial photograph of the Houston Ship Channel with major manmade features noted
BoxFolder
Report of Survey for Revision of Warehouse Lease, June 20, 1933
Proposed Houston-New York-Boston Steamship Service
Before the Navigation and Canal Commissioners of Harris County Houston Ship Channel Navigation District (Barbour Terminals, Inc., Complainant) Brief and Argument in Behalf of Complainant, [1937?]
Presentation of Harris County Houston Ship Channel Navigation District to Mayor Oscar F. Holcombe and City Council on Buffalo Bayou Upper Channel Improvements, 1935
Twenty-Seventh Annual Report of the Director of the Port, Houston, Texas, 1946
General Education Board Houston visitation, April 9, 1947
Map of the Houston Ship Channel with routes and major commercial plants in red
BoxFolder
Navigation District 1958 Annual Review
“Wild River” ...yet untamed; A Pictorial Presentation of Factual Information especially prepared for the Members of the 46th Legislature

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Series III: Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, 1927-1962 (Boxes 31-34b)

BoxFolder
Mr. J. Russell Wait’s Report to Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, 1950
Data for survey report, 1948
Survey Report to Brazos Harbor Navigation District by J. Russell Wait, May 1, 1950
Document No. 10 for Creation of Brazos River Harbor Navigation District of Brazoria County, 1927
Specifications
Financial data, 1956-62
Soil and foundation investigation
Data to Quartermaster, 1953
Facts-study on Brazos River and Freeport harbor
Jetty alignment approval
Information on interest to Pilot and Canal Commissioners re: S/S Marinero, 1957
BoxFolder
Proposal for location of new shipbuilding-repair yard
Port Tariff; Rates, Rules and Regulations Governing the Navigation District and its Public Facilities, 1957, 1960
Statement of Brazos River Harbor Navigation District of Brazoria County with reference to Flood Control and Related Improvements in Brazoria County, Texas, 1962
Brazos River at Brazoria, Tex., and Water Overflowing into Buffalo Camp Bayou near Brazoria, Tex. Discharge for Flood Period April- June, 1957
Stenographer’s Minutes Before the Interstate Commerce Commission, Docket No. 33558 In the Matter of Brazos River Harbor Navigation District of Brazoria County, Texas v Abilene Southern Railway Company, et al, Dallas, Texas, March 1961 [volumes I-V]
BoxFolder
Improvements
Annual Report 1952
Annual Report 1953
Annual Report 1954
Annual Report 1956
Annual Report 1957
Annual Report 1958
Harbor construction photos, 1952-53
BoxFolder
Harbor construction photos, 1953-54
Harbor construction photos, 1954-55
BoxFolder
Freeport Case docket 33558 (5299) 1960-1964
BoxFolder
Freeport Case docket 33558 (5299) 1961-1964

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Series IV: Scrapbooks, 1939-1942 (6 volumes, Boxes 35-38)

Scope and Contents note
Two large scrapbooks in the collection document Houston area daily newspaper coverage of WWII from late August 1939 to June 1942, providing insight into the increasing impact of the war upon American life. A set of four scrapbooks document Wait's 1939 business trips to Japan, featuring typewritten notes, published booklets, clippings, and postcards.
Box
Trips to Japan (Vols. I - II) 1939
Box
Trips to Japan (Vols. III - IV) 1939
Box
World War II newsclippings scrapbooks, 1939-1942 (Vol I) 1939 - 1941
Box
World War II newsclippings scrapbooks, 1939-1942 (Vol II) 1941 - 1942

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