Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Flato Family Collection



Collection Summary

Creator Charles H. Flato Jr.Charles H. Flato IIIFrances Chatham Flato
Title: Flato Family Collection
Dates: 1904-1987
Abstract: The Flato family was one of the first families to reside in the newly created town of Kingsville, Texas. Charles H. Flato Jr. moved with his wife Eleanor Louise von Roeder Flato to Kingsville from Shiner, Texas in 1904. During the early years of Kingsville Charles H. Flato Jr. was instrumental starting the education system, establishing businesses, acquiring the "Normal School" (now Texas A&M University - Kingsville), creating many community organizations and promoting Kingsville and Kleberg County. His family carried on his legacy after his early demise. Charles H. Flato III and his wife Frances Chatham Flato were both active professionally and throughout the community. Charles H. Flato III continued to manage the Flato Hardware Company and was active in the community with the school district, county historical associations, business organizations, and county fairs. Frances Flato was the Director of Music at the Epiphany Episcopal Day School, an internationally known judge for flower shows and active in Kingsville and the surrounding smaller communities organizing and participating in Garden Clubs and Women's Clubs.
Identification A1974-030; A1977-011; A1979-029; A1981-025; A1981-078; A1982-011; A1985-009; A1987-014; A1997-011; A1999-051
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/collections/ead.php?xml=Flato%20Family%20EAD
Quantity: 8 linear feet
Location: STAD Photo File, Negative File, STA Box 0019, STAD Box 631-633C, STAD Box 637-638, Newspaper Box 17
Language: English

Historical Note

Charles Flato Jr. moved to Kingsville to help his wife's cousin, Robert J. Kleberg Jr. start Kingsville Lumber Company. In the early years of Kingsville Charles H. Flato Jr. was instrumental in the creation or operation of most of the businesses and services necessary in a fledgling community: Kingsville Lumber Company, Vice President and Treasurer; Robert J. Kleberg and Co. Bankers, Vice President; Kleberg County Oil and Gas Company, President; Raymondville Lumber Company, Vice President; Robstown Hardware Company, Vice President; Corpus Christi Hardware Company, Vice President; Kingsville Cotton Mill Company, Director; Flato Opera Company; Kingsville Land and Investment Company; Velvet Jersey Creamery; J.B. Ragland Mercantile Company; Kingsville Building and Loan Company; Kingsville Publishing Company. He was also committed to the betterment of the community as a whole. Mr. Flato was the first president of the Kingsville Independent School District School Board, and showed his dedication to the children of the community by sending all of them birthday cards yearly. He was active in issues affecting the town and its inhabitants; Glasscock-Parr Election Controversy, Anti-Cigarette Smoking Campaign, establishing a Post Office and many others. He used his vast influence to help establish the "Normal School", now House; Kingsville Auto and Electric Company; Kingsville Town and Development Texas A&M University - Kingsville. He became one of the biggest proponents of Kingsville and Kleberg County gaining the nickname "Mr. Kleberg County" Tragically, Charles H. Flato Jr. took his own life a month short of 44 years old. His family carried on his legacy after his early demise. Charles H. Flato III and his wife Frances Chatham Flato were both active professionally and throughout the community. Charles H. Flato III continued to manage the Flato Hardware Company and was active in the community with the school district, county historical associations, business organizations, and county fairs. Frances Flato was the Director of Music at the Epiphany Episcopal Day School, an internationally known judge for flower shows and active in Kingsville and the surrounding smaller communities organizing and participating in Garden Clubs and Women's Clubs.


Scope and Contents

The Flato Family Collection is comprised of ten donations given over a span of twenty-five years, (1974-1999). The material in these donations range from correspondence in 1874 to financial records in 1977. The collection is extremely rich in photographic material. There are over nine hundred images consisting primarily of photographs, postcards and negatives. The subject matter of the images deal with all aspects of life in the South Texas area, rural and urban, turn of the century up through the 1970's. The manuscript material in the collection provides materials concerning the activities of the Flato family members in the Kingsville area for as long as the city has existed. The bulk of the material follows the activities of Charles H. Flato Jr. during the first two decades of the existence of Kingsville, (1904-1922). This material covers the private and professional life of Mr. Flato Jr. including his business, philanthropic and activist roles in the community. The remaining material follows the life and activities of Charles H. Flato III and his spouse Frances Flato. These materials provide information of the business concerns of Charles H, Flato III and the community activities of Frances Flato in the Garden and Women's Clubs of the area.


 

Arrangement

There are five major series. Series I: Charles H. Flato Jr. Subseries A: Correspondence 001. Personal 002. Business Subseries B: Legal and Financial Documents Subseries C: Printed Materials Subseries D: Literary Productions Subseries E: Political Papers Series II: Charles H. Flato III Subseries A: Correspondence Subseries B: South Texas Fair and Exposition Subseries C: Business Documents Subseries D: Education Subseries E: Miscellaneous Series III: Frances L. Flato Subseries A: Correspondence Subseries B: Kingsville Women's Club Subseries C: Kingsville Garden Club Subseries D: Printed Materials Subseries E: Miscellaneous Series IV: Books Series V: Photographs and Negatives

Index Terms

Persons
Flato, Charles H. Jr., 1877-1921
Flato, Eleanor Louise von Roeder, 1879-1963
Flato, Charles H. III, 1907-1982
Flato, Frances Chatham, 1912-1982
Flato, Charles H. IV, 1933-1992
Kleberg, Robert Justus, 1853-1932
Kleberg, Alice Gertrudis King, 1862-1944
Organizations
Kingsville Lumber Company
Robert J. Kleberg and Co. Bankers
Kleberg County Oil and Gas Company
Lumber Company
Robstown Hardware Company
Corpus Christi Hardware Company
Hardware Company
Kingsville Cotton Mill Company
Flato Opera House
Kingsville Auto and Electric Company
Kingsville Town and Development Company
Land and Investment Company
Velvet Jersey Creamery
J.B. Ragland Mercantile Company
Kingsville Building and Loan Company
Kingsville publish Company
Kingsville Woman's Club
Kingsville Garden Club
St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railroad
South Texas Fair and Exposition
Geographical Names
Kingsville (Tex.)
Shiner (Tex.)
King Ranch (Tex.)
Raymondville (Tex.)
Robstown (Tex.)
Subjects
Business enterprises -- Texas, South
Business and politics -- Texas, South
Real estate business -- Texas, South
Lumber-yards
Hardware stores
Banks and banking -- Texas, South -- Kingsville -- History
Agricultural exhibitions -- Texas, South
Ranches -- Texas, South