Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Chisos Mining Company:

An Inventory of Chisos Mining Company Records at the Texas State Archives, 1905-1943, undated, bulk 1928-1942


Creator: Chisos Mining Company.
Title: Chisos Mining Company records
Dates: 1905-1943, undated
Dates: bulk 1928-1942, undated
Abstract: The Chisos Mining Company records document the operations of a quicksilver mining company during the first half of the twentieth century in Texas's Big Bend. Types of records include correspondence, receipts, advertisements and other ephemera, and ledgers. Dates of records range from 1905, shortly after the founding of the company, to 1943, and undated, just after the company declared bankruptcy and ceased operations, with the bulk falling between 1928 and 1942. The majority of the correspondence consists of letters and telegrams between company president Howard E. Perry and various general managers of the Chisos Mining Company and letters between the Chisos Mining Company and its commercial suppliers. Other notable correspondence includes letters to and from postmaster, store manager and school board member G.E. Babb. Other records include invoices and shipping receipts from suppliers, receipts for purchases made at the company store by Chisos Mining Company employees, and receipts for cash-on-delivery packages received through the Terlingua post office. The last series consists of accounting ledgers and books, which includes blotters, check registers, and a coupon book.
Quantity: 8.7 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written predominantly in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Chisos Mining Company was established and began operations in 1903 near what would become Terlingua, Texas. The company specialized in quicksilver mercury mining. The marketability was established in 1799 when Charles Harvard discovered that compounding the element generated fulminate mercury crystals. These crystals can be used to cause small explosions and are useful in the manufacture of gunpowder cartridges and shells.

The Chisos Mining Company was preceded in the Big Bend area of west Texas by the Marfa and Mariposa Mining Company, which began operations in the 1880s. That company erected the first Scott furnace in 1899. The furnace was a necessary part of extracting quicksilver from the cinnabar that was prevalent in the region. There were several other mines in the area; however, Chisos ultimately eclipsed them all and was the most profitable. The town of Terlingua grew around the company, which necessitated the establishment of services including a post office, public school, store, and jail.

The company's founder and president, Howard E. Perry, was born in Chicago and began his career working at his father's lumber mill. How Perry acquired the tract of land in Texas that was mined is contested, but most likely he acquired the land in lieu of payment for a debt. He incorporated the Chisos Mining Company under the State of Maine on May 8, 1903 and listed Augusta, Maine, as the principal office. In July 1903, Perry registered Chisos as a foreign corporation doing business in Texas. After acquiring the tract in Texas, he went on research trips to California and Spain to see how quicksilver mines operated. After the Chisos mines were successful, he returned to Chicago where he ran the business remotely.

Perry's managerial style and his choice to administer the business from Chicago led to some structural idiosyncrasies. He established the precedent that he communicated only with one or two agents who then distributed information to all other agents and departments. The earliest correspondence with Perry in this capacity was with the store manager and purchasing agent, H.A. Ferguson. Perry also communicated with James Lafarrelle, a contemporary of Ferguson, who worked as a superintendent or supervisor. Ferguson resigned from his post in 1910 and was replaced by C.A. Hawley, who came from the Marfa and Mariposa company. Wayne Cartledge, who joined the company in 1909, rose through the ranks to become general manager in 1923. His younger brother Robert became general manager after him and held the post until 1940. Robert Cartledge's work at the company is extensively documented throughout the records.

Generally, the positions open to Anglo workers were mine superintendent, general manager, assayer, furnace manager, store manager, and purchasing agent. Manual labor was performed by Mexicans; a labor force from Mexico was readily available due to the site's remoteness from white settlements in Texas and its proximity to the Texas-Mexico border.

By 1905, the quicksilver industry was booming and would continue to do so with the advent of World War I. Competition was fierce and so secrecy was essential. Telegrams between Perry and his company were often in code. In response to the company's success, Perry commissioned a Scott furnace to be built. Previously, the Chisos company had been using the Marfa and Mariposa company's furnace; with its own furnace, Chisos grew to outpace the production of the older company. By 1910, the Marfa and Mariposa mines closed. The Chisos Company maintained steady business, aided by the discovery of the high-yielding ore chimney in 1914. The business reached its apex of profitability during the years of World War I; by 1921, demand and production decreased, but remained stable for the next few years.

The company store, from its inception the center of the community at Terlingua, was established no later than 1905 (the earliest documentation is a Brewster County tax record). Originally a temporary tent, the permanent structure was built around 1908. Its central location in the town made it the ideal location for the offices of the general manager and the company purchasing agent, as well as the Post Office. The one telephone in Terlingua was installed there in 1913, and when Precinct No. 4 was established, the office of the Justice of the Peace was also located in the store. It was a necessary establishment; there were no other general stores within a hundred miles, and this attracted patrons from outside the company's employ as well.

Payroll practices were closely bound to the running of the store. It would appear that laborers were paid at the end of each shift, either in silver pesos or coupons which could only be used in the company store; this may account for the inconsistent recordkeeping regarding the payroll of the labor force. In the early years, employees were paid in cash at the end of each shift. In seeking to maintain a closed economy, it is alleged that management paid wages in marked pesos and maintained an inconsistent exchange rate to U.S. dollars. Store clerk C.A. Hawley reported unscrupulous practices to the Mexican government, which in turn attempted to file suit against Chisos. This fiasco likely led to the institution of the coupon payment system, perpetuating the company store's closed economy. When Robert Cartledge started work for the company, one of his first duties was setting up the coupon payroll system. After that point, the daily-issued coupons could be traded in for cash twice per month, although this practice was not encouraged.

The institutions of the post office and the public school were established early to serve the growing community, and while they were more or less public, government-based institutions, their staff were employed by the Chisos Mining Company. George "Ed" Babb was for many years the postmaster, as well as a prominent member and occasional president of the school board. Other Chisos employees or affiliates on the school board include a Mrs. Burcham and a Mr. Waters. Other Chisos employees held political positions in Brewster County, including Wayne Cartledge's post in 1918 as County Commissioner. Purportedly these seats were maneuvered by Perry in order to influence budgets as well as taxes levied on the company.

The culture of Terlingua was structured around company mandates and customs. A seven-day work week was standard. The mine laborers worked in three eight-hour shifts, which rotated every two weeks, always on Saturdays; this opened Saturday evenings to social gatherings. The company, as well as Terlingua itself, was deeply segregated between white and Mexican employees. Though the majority of pupils in the Terlingua school were Hispanic, the school board forbade the use of Spanish therein. A notable example of this unequal treatment of Anglo and Mexican residents may be found in documents from 1922, when the mine closed for over two months because of flooding. Without wages and no means of savings, the laborers asked for credit to be extended at the store, and were refused.

Social strain was accompanied by legal difficulty. In 1928, communications began between Perry and representatives from the neighboring Rainbow Mining Company, including Alpine attorney John Perkins and Rainbow board member M.B. Whitlock, attempting to determine whether Chisos's latest excavations had led them beyond the perimeter of Perry's land and onto that of the Rainbow Mining Company. Perry insisted that the mine was entirely on Chisos land and had his attorney W. Van Sickle research past land surveys. Upon finding a disparity between the original survey and a more recent one, Van Sickle filed a claim with the land office, asserting Chisos's ownership of the contested area. Rainbow in return filed an injunction against Chisos on May 31, 1929 and Wilbur L. Matthews of Templeton, Brooks, Napier, and Brown in San Antonio was assigned to investigate the claims. Matthews uncovered evidence in favor of Rainbow's claim and clinched his victory by locating the original survey marker as indisputable proof of Perry's transgression. The matter was settled on February 17, 1930 with the court awarding Rainbow $75,000 in damages.

As the country slid into depression in the 1930s, the quicksilver industry suffered. On July 18, 1933, the National Quicksilver Producers Association (NQPA) was founded to support the industry's interests in the legislation being passed as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal initiative. The Association was comprised of mining companies around the nation and Howard Perry of the Chisos Mining Company served as its vice president upon its founding. The NQPA applied for a Code of Fair Competition from the National Recovery Administration on July 31, 1933. The Code was supposed to protect American quicksilver production from being replaced by cheaper, foreign suppliers as well as to set standards for how business was conducted.

Though this code was approved March 21, 1934, Howard Perry and the Chisos Mining Company had already severed ties with the NQPA and organized with other Texan quicksilver interests as non-NQPA members to address the problems unique to the area. Perry's primary disagreement with the code approved at the national level was its minimum wage requirements (30 cents per hour), which Perry thought were too high for a primarily Mexican workforce. Perry and his consortium received a temporary exemption from the minimum wage requirements, requiring them to pay at minimum 20cents per hour.

Perry's dealings with the NRA were far from over, as in 1934, NRA Executive Assistant T.U. Purcell began his investigation of Howard Perry and the Chisos Mining Company. Purcell found that not only was Perry underpaying his employees even beyond the allowed exempt amount, he was violating numerous other terms of the Code of Fair Competition. In addition to wage violations, Purcell's report cites Chisos for requiring a 54-hour work week (as opposed to the 40-hour work week required by the code), failing to pay overtime wages for these additional hours, and paying his Mexican employees in foreign currency rather than U.S. dollars. Further citations for safety, child labor, and "oppression" painted Perry as such an unreasonable employer that Purcell's report came to the attention of the Texas director for the NRA, H.P. Drought. What followed was a lengthy series of heated meetings with Purcell, Drought, Perry, and representatives from other mines in the Terlingua area, eventually removing Purcell from the investigation because of his attitudes towards Perry. By March, 1935, new investigators had been sent from the NRA to Chisos and Perry and his staff had made enough adjustments to the practices as to satisfy their inquiries. The company was found finally to be in compliance with the code and Perry was left to run Chisos without further interference from the NRA.

As the 1930s progressed, production of quicksilver declined and Perry was grasping at any opportunity to make the mine profitable again. Past due notices were making up most of the correspondence received by the company and Robert Cartledge was running Chisos with a skeleton crew, while trying to communicate to Perry the futility of continuing on at Chisos. Perry's creditors filed an involuntary bankruptcy suit against Chisos on September 5, 1942. After a last scramble for cash, Perry and Chisos filed the paperwork to finalize the bankruptcy on October 1, 1942 and the mine and furnace were shut down for the last time.

(Sources: Ragsdale, Kenneth Baxter, Quicksilver: Terlingua and the Chisos Mining Company, Texas A&M University Press, 1976; Ragsdale, Kenneth B., "Chisos Mining Company," ( http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dkc05 ), and W. D. Burcham and Harris S. Smith, "Mercury Mining," ( http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dkm02 ), Handbook of Texas Online, published by the Texas State Historical Association, accessed November 6, 2011; and the records themselves.)

Scope and Contents of the Records

The Chisos Mining Company records document the operations of a quicksilver mining company during the first half of the twentieth century in Texas's Big Bend. This collection is comprised of a variety of material relating to the administration of the Chisos Mining Company including the company store, post office, and public school. The collection documents the company's interests in Terlingua, Texas, as well as it interactions with the towns of Alpine, Texas and Marathon, Texas. The records includes correspondence, internally and externally generated receipts, work records, advertisements, price lists, partial catalogs, a document detailing the history of the company, various partial and complete payroll registers, coupon books, trial balance sheets, purchase orders, credit memos, expense reports, budget proposals, check stubs, blueprints, and government-issued forms, documents, and manuals. Generic government documents are included in the collection as well, concerning agricultural quarantines, postal regulations, and immigration documentation. Dates covered are 1905-1943, undated, bulk dating 1928-1942. History of Chisos Mining Company is a single typewritten history of the company dating after 1942, author unknown. General correspondence contains correspondence among company employees discussing management and labor, as well as correspondence between the Chisos Mining Company and outside vendors, including orders for supplies, past due notices and requests for quicksilver. School board and Post Office correspondence and records contains letters and forms relating to postal regulations and employment openings at the Terlingua school. Advertisements, price list and other material is comprised of advertising ephemera, which illustrates how the company store would have been stocked. General receipts and accounting records illustrate the variety of recordkeeping formats and practices used by the company, and the store especially; some groups of documents are remarkably consistent, while others are sporadic. The few payroll lists include names of employees. General merchandise receipts are a consistent set of bundled receipts of purchase at the company store by Chisos employees, showing their everyday purchases. Post Office receipts and accounting records are largely of bundles of receipts for deliveries by the Terlingua mail truck, showing near-daily deliveries of necessities such as bread. Also present therein are government- issued accounting ledgers, maintained by G.E. Babb in his capacity as postmaster. Accounting ledgers and books comprise five series of more or less complete, discrete, preprinted record books documenting sales at the store, payment of wages through the coupon system, and other accounting practices, largely from the earliest years of operation.

Topics addressed include labor, particularly the employment conditions for Mexican immigrants hired by the company. Overall the records offer insight into the workings of a mining company and describes Texan life in an industrial frontier town in the early twentieth century.


Organization of the Records

The materials have been organized into eight series by student volunteers and State Archives staff according to record type. The items transferred from Baylor University in 2009 have been incorporated into the arrangement but have been notated as being from a separate accession in the container list.
History of the Chisos Mining Company, undated, 0.1 cubic ft.
General correspondence, 1907-1919, 1921-1942, undated, 1.5 cubic ft.
School board and Post Office correspondence and records, 1913-1942, undated, 0.2 cubic ft.
Advertisements, price lists, and other material, 1916-1941, undated, 0.7 cubic ft.
General receipts and accounting records, 1905-1943, bulk 1928-1941, 2.5 cubic ft.
General merchandise receipts, 1911-1942, bulk 1928-1942, 1.2 cubic ft.
Post Office receipts and accounting records, 1915-1942, bulk 1932-1941, 0.3 cubic ft.
Accounting ledgers and books, 1908, 1910-1912, 1915-1916, 1918-1920, 1922-1923, 1926-1927, 1929-1931, 1933, undated, 2.2 cubic ft.
  • General blotters, 1915-1916, 1919, 1922- 1923, 1927, 1929-1931, 1933, 1.65 cubic ft.
  • Check register, 1918-1919, 1926, 0.2 cubic ft.
  • Day book, 1908, 0.1 cubic ft.
  • Store merchandise account book, undated, 0.1 cubic ft.
  • Register of coupon book, 1910-1911, 0.15 cubic ft.


Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished manuscripts are protected at a minimum through December 31, 2002 or 70 years after the author's death. Researchers are responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

A few of the blotters and check registers are in various states of deterioration and must be handled with extra care.

Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Babb, George Edward
Cartledge, Robert L.
Cartledge, Wayne
Perry, Howard E., 1858-1944.
Corporate Names:
Marfa and Mariposa Mining Company.
Rainbow Mining Company.
Company towns--Texas.
Mercury mines and mining.
Mercury ores--Texas.
Mineral industries--Texas, West--History--Sources.
Mining and mineral resources--Texas.
Alpine (Tex.)
Marathon (Tex.)
Terlingua (Tex.)
Document Types:
Correspondence--Company towns--Texas--1905-1943.
Coupons--Company towns--Texas--1905-1943.
Financial records--Company towns--Texas--1905-1943.
Receipts (financial records)--Company towns--Texas--1905-1943.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Highway Department historical records, about 1911-1993, bulk 1927-1960, 147 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Surface Mining and Reclamation Division, Surface Mining and Reclamation Division abandoned mine lands files, 1972-1992, bulk 1980-1989, 119 microfiche
Texas Mining Board, travel vouchers, 1911, 0.5 cubic ft. (There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection, box number is 2-9/864)
C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department, The University of Texas at El Paso Library
Chisos Mining Company records, 1909-1932, 9 linear in., MS 14; and 1907-1942, 2.5 linear in., MS 44

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 2009/167

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the W.R. Poage Legislative Library, Baylor University, on August 4, 2009 and by an unknown donor prior to 1980.

Processing Information

Card index inventory done in the 1970s by State Archives staff.

Processing and a DACS-compliant finding aid and XML markup were completed in fall 2011 by Rebecca Reel, Jenny Singer, and Annie Sollinger of the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Records


History of the Chisos Mining Company, after 1952,
0.1 cubic ft.

This is a single typewritten document of 38 pages, detailing the narrative history of the Chisos Mining Company, author unknown, written after the company closed in 1942. The history includes a physical map of west Texas, specifically the Big Bend area with the Terlingua mining district and the Chisos Mining Company marked by hand. Included with the history are three appendices. The first displays figures compiled from selected monthly inventory sheets of the Chisos general store from September 1924 through September 1941. The second appendix includes details from a ledger statement for the Chisos Mining Company dated December 31, 1929. The final appendix lists selected furnace records for the Chisos Mining Company from December 1919 through its closure in September 1942.
The history contains handwritten edits in both ink and pencil. Based on dates of the appendices and references in the volume, it was written sometime after 1942. This document briefly discusses the geographic area surrounding Terlingua, Texas and then Howard E. Perry himself and his decision to buy land for the mining company. The document continues with broad details about quicksilver mining in the United States and the market in which Perry would operate for the next 30 years. It then continues in a roughly chronological fashion, noting important figures and events surrounding the company, the general pattern of successes and failures, and anecdotal sections regarding life in Terlingua and stories about Howard Perry. The narrative glosses over some of Perry's earlier financial difficulties, not mentioning the long string of past due notices until it approaches the slow demise of the company in the late 1930s, ending with bankruptcy in 1942. Additionally, it fails to mention the numerous legal difficulties that Perry and Chisos had with both the government and neighboring mining companies.
This is a single document.
Preferred Citation
History of the Chisos Mining Company, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box Folder
2-23/235 1. History of the Chisos Mining Company, undated


General correspondence, 1907-1919, 1921-1942, undated,
1.5 cubic ft.

This series is composed mostly of letters and telegrams, and a few other items, such as contracts. Records are dated 1907-1919, 1921-1942 and undated. The letters are to and from the Chisos Mining Company as an entity and include letters from companies offering goods at wholesale prices or at a discount, past due notices on accounts that the Chisos Mining Company needed to pay, letters answering employment ads that the Chisos Mining Company put in local newspapers, and letters to and from employees. There are a few coded telegrams between Perry and Cartledge, such as one from February 21, 1940. The evidential value of this series is primarily the insights it provides into the roles and relationships of the businessmen of the company, particularly Howard E. Perry, the president, and Robert L. Cartledge, who began as a store clerk and later became manager until 1940. As a source of information the series highlights other companies with which the Chisos Mining Company did business. Companies that appear frequently throughout the series include Albert Mathias Company, Shawnee Milling Company, Gregory Electric Company, Ingersoll-Rand Inc., Primrose Petroleum Company, Mine and Smelter Supply Company, Atlas Powder Company, Peter's International Shoe Company, F.W. Heitmann Company, Zork Hardware, and Linde Air Products Company. Topically, the series does not extensively address particular events from the history of the company. The Chisos Mining Company's eventual takeover of the Rainbow Mine is addressed briefly and indirectly in the correspondence between Perry and Cartledge. Several letters mention people who were friendly with the company reporting on the goings-on at the Rainbow Mines. After the Rainbow Mine was acquired by Chisos, there are a few examples of letters written by Robert L. Cartledge using Rainbow Mines letterhead. Another topic that is sparsely addressed is Perry's dealings with the National Recovery Administration. Only one item in the series is directly from the NRA, despite Perry's extensive interactions with the agency.
Records are arranged chronologically by year from 1907 to 1942, excepting the year 1920, as received from the donor, minor adjustments to correct misfilings made by student volunteers. Two folders of correspondence with various dates are filed at the end.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), General correspondence, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box Folder
2-23/235 2. General correspondence, undated
3. General correspondence, undated
4. General correspondence, 1907
5. General correspondence, 1908
6. General correspondence, 1909
7. General correspondence, 1910
8. General correspondence, 1911
9. General correspondence, 1912
10. General correspondence, 1913
11. General correspondence, 1914
12. General correspondence, 1915
13. General correspondence, 1916
Box Folder
2-23/236 1. General correspondence, 1917
2. General correspondence, 1918
3. General correspondence, 1919
4. General correspondence, 1921
5. General correspondence, 1922
6. General correspondence, 1923
7. General correspondence, 1924
8. General correspondence, 1925
9. General correspondence, 1926
10. General correspondence, 1927
11. General correspondence, 1928
12. General correspondence, 1929
13. General correspondence, 1929
14. General correspondence, 1930
15. General correspondence, 1931
16. General correspondence, 1932
17. General correspondence, 1932
18. General correspondence, 1933
Box Folder
2-23/237 1. General correspondence, 1934
2. General correspondence, 1935
3. General correspondence, 1936
4. General correspondence, 1937
5. General correspondence, 1938
6. General correspondence, 1939
7. General correspondence, 1940
8. General correspondence, 1940
9. General correspondence, 1941
10. General correspondence, 1941
11. General correspondence, 1942
Box Folder
2-23/239 1. General correspondence, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1916, 1922, 1923
2. General correspondence, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1940


School board and Post Office correspondence and records, 1906-1942, undated,
0.2 cubic ft.

This series contains correspondence relating to the Post Office and the school at Terlingua, a cashbook, and statements from the United States Postmaster General, dating 1906-1942 and undated. Correspondence related to the Post Office is addressed generally to the postmaster; George Edward (Ed) Babb, who held that position for most of the life of the company. As Babb was also the president of the school board, many of the school-related documents follow this pattern as well. As the Post Office, a government institution, was located in the store and was run by the Chisos Mining Company, these documents offer insight into the dual nature of its operation. The postmaster had to report to both Perry and the postmasters above him. The majority of the correspondence relates to minor violations or discrepancies in remittances. Several documents from companies including Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward relate to individual or wholesale orders. Communication with other postmasters in Texas and neighboring states about missent mail, violations, or requests to forward items as well as handwritten notes requesting mail to be forwarded highlight the personal nature of a small community post office. The majority of the school-related documents are personal letters which act as job applications or recommendations on behalf of hopeful Terlingua teachers. Many of these copy Mrs. Burcham as school board member. A group of correspondence between Brewster County officials and Chisos employees reflects active involvement with assembling the elected school board. The government issued cashbook, dating from 1928 to 1930, records daily balances and sales of money orders.
Records are arranged by type as received from the donor, with minor adjustments made by student volunteers.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), School board and Post Office correspondence and records, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box Folder
2-23/239 3. School board and Post Office correspondence and records, 1910-1942, bulk 1932-1936
4. School board and Post Office correspondence and records, 1906, 1913, 1923, 1931, 1932, 1934, undated
5. School board and Post Office correspondence and records, 1916, 1919, 1921, 1926,1930, 1932, 1933, 1940, undated
6. School board and Post Office correspondence and records, 1910, 1914, 1920, 1930-1934, 1940


Advertisements, price lists, and other material, 1907-1942, undated,
0.7 cubic ft.

This series contains a variety of marketing material and mail order catalogs, much of it generic, but some addressed to the store manager specifically. Dates covered are 1907 to 1942. While much of the material is not unique, the variety reflects the culture that would have been created by the store as the only connection to the outside world in such an isolated area as Terlingua. Offers of rifles, phonograph records, seeds, windmills, lamps, clothing, and cloth are made along with more industrial applications perhaps for the running of the mine as well as for personal use on the property. More specifically, the retention of such material is significant in the face of Perry's catalog ban, which was intended to keep Chisos employees from purchasing items outside of the store. Perry also discouraged outside peddlers from coming onto Chisos property. The store manager and clerks, therefore, tried to offer a wide variety of goods to keep Terlingua residents and outsiders alike satisfied.
Records are arranged by type as received from the donor, with minor adjustments made by student volunteers.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Advertisements, price lists, and other material, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box Folder
2-23/239 7. 1921, 1927, 1929, 1935, undated
8. 1940, undated
9. 1925, 1927, 1930, 1933, 1936, undated
10. 1916, 1924, 1929, 1934-1935, 1940-1941, undated
Box Folder
2-23/240 1. undated
2. undated
3. 1917, 1925, 1929-1930, 1932, 1934-1935, 1941, undated
4. 1924, 1926-1927, 1929, 1932, 1941-1942, undated
5. 1917, 1924, 1927, 1930, 1942, undated
6. 1917, 1924, 1932, 1936, undated
7. 1907, 1916, 1924, 1927, 1934-1935, 1941, undated
8. 1929-1930, 1935, undated


General receipts and accounting records, 1905-1943, bulk 1928-1941,
2.5 cubic ft.

This series contains a variety of material, most reflecting the record keeping practices of the Chisos Mining Company. Record types include receipts, requisition slips, credit memos, furnace records, balance sheets, time sheets, bank statements, a store inventory, and purchase orders. These materials date from the entirety of the records, 1905-1943, but are mostly concentrated between 1928 and 1941. A group of furnace records shows remarkable consistency. Although not a complete representation, a consistent system seems to have been in place between 1920 and 1942. These records show that two employees, Swanson and Dahlgren, were employed as superintendents throughout this period; they also give clear documentation of output and of fuel used each month. Other records show changing practices over time. Early documents include a standard trial balance sheet of store purchases. As in other series, the 1930s seem to be best represented in the material present. A fairly consistent group of accounting and production lists records the company's internal accounts from various dates between 1924 and 1940; lists were likely created by Robert Cartledge, who was employed over that duration as the general manager. Expense statements, ostensibly created by Cartledge, show various activity by employees during the 1930s. Requisition slips included in the series give contextual clues as to how the company was organized: the heading of these slips has a place to circle which department required goods. The departments listed are the mining, furnace, and assay departments. Bank statements, time sheets of various dates, forms and departments, a store inventory from 1917, and company-created purchase orders make up the rest of the series.
Records are arranged as received from the donor, with minor adjustments made by student volunteers.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), General receipts and accountin records, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
2-23/241 General receipts and accounting, between 1905-1943
[8 folders]
2-23/242 General receipts and accounting, between 1905-1943
[7 folders]
2-23/243 General receipts and accounting, between 1905-1943
[5 folders]
2-23/244 General receipts and accounting, between 1905-1943
[6 folders]
2-23/246 General receipts and accounting, between 1905-1943
[5 folders]
General receipts and accounting, 1910, 1917, 1940.


General merchandise receipts, 1911-1942, undated, bulk 1928-1942,
1.2 cubic ft.

This series consists of receipts from the general store kept by the Chisos Mining Company in Terlingua, Texas, dating 1911 to 1942, but are concentrated between 1928 and 1942. While this series is dated as beginning in 1911, it is unclear whether these dates are accurate. Most of the dates on the receipts are pre-printed with the first two or three digits of the year (e.g. 19 or 192), allowing the final digit(s) to be filled in at the time of use. In some instances, the creator would only fill in the final digit, even if only the first two digits were pre-printed. As no receipts dated 1912-1923 are included in the collection, it is possible that receipts pre-printed with "191" were used at a later date and were left uncorrected, though there is no way to determine this with any amount of certainty. This collection is dated as shown on the records, though the validity of these dates is questionable.
The files contain carbon copies of receipts mostly stapled in bundles by month (there are a few loose receipts), with a monthly total adding machine tape at the front. Receipts are primarily listed as belonging to the Chisos Mining Company, though bundles from later years (1928 through 1942) contain some receipts from the Rainbow Mines, Inc., pointing to Perry's ownership of both mines in later years and the co-mingling of records for the general stores. Each carbon receipt is dated with the day of purchase and lists the purchaser's name (often the wives of the employees of the company). Below is a generic listing of items purchased, sometimes with quantities attached, and with the amounts along the right-hand column, totaled by hand at the bottom of each receipt. Each receipt also has a serial number in the upper left-hand corner, likely pre-printed on the receipt pad.
Records are arranged as received from the donor, with minor adjustments made by student volunteers.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), General merchandise receipts, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box Folder
2-23/247 1. 1927-1934, 1936-1941, undated
2. 1911, 1930-1931, 1933-1934, 1937-1941, undated
3. 1911, 1928-1934, 1936-1942
4. 1924, 1930-1934, 1936-1941
Box Folder
2-23/248 1. 1928, 1932, 1937, undated
2. 1911, 1928-1934, 1936-1942
3. 1911, 1928-1932, 1934-1938, 1940-1942, undated
4. 1911, 1927-1934, 1936-1942, undated
5. 1911, 1927-1928, 1930-1933, 1936-1937, 1939-1942
Box Folder
2-23/249 1. 1911, 1926-1942, undated


Post Office receipts and accounting records, 1908, 1927-1942,
0.3 cubic ft.

The series consists of cash on delivery receipts and standard hauling lists from the Terlingua mail truck. The items date primarily from 1927 to 1942, with one item dated 1908. The hauling lists are bundled with receipts from specific companies or rail services; these companies included the Railway Express Agency, Watson Anderson Grocers, and the Hudson Baking Company. This documentation draws attention to the need to import everything, and to the remoteness of Terlingua from the railroad that necessitated the mail truck.
Records are arranged as received from the donor, with minor adjustments made by State Archives staff and student volunteers.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Post Office receipts and accounting records, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box Folder
2-23/249 2. 1908, 1929-1930, 1932, 1935-1937, 1939-1942
3. 1927, 1930-1931, 1934
4. 1927-1936, 1938


Accounting ledgers and books, 1908, 1910-1912, 1915-1916, 1918-1920, 1922-1923, 1926-1927, 1929-1931, 1933, undated,
2.2 cubic ft.

This series contains blotters, check registers, a day book, store merchandise account books, and a coupon register book of the Chisos Mining Company. The general blotters are dated 1915-1916, 1919, 1922- 1923, 1927, 1929-1931, and 1933; the check registers are dated 1918-1919 and 1926; the day book is dated 1908; the store merchandise account books are undated; and the coupon register is dated 1910-1912 and 1920. Collectively, these records document the daily accounting of the Chisos Mining Company. The date coverage is sporadic and incomplete. No single record type documents the entirety of the company, though the blotter series spans the widest date range. It is unclear if any of these accounting books were used consistently throughout the existence of the company. The blotters and check registers are in varying states of deterioration with some water and mold damage. Some conservation efforts have been made to remove mold from the second 1931 blotter and to remove dirt from the 1908 day book.
This series is organized by State Archives staff and student processing staff into five subseries by record type and then chronologically by year where dates are available.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and the subseries), Accounting ledgers and books, Chisos Mining Company records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
General blotters, 1915-1916, 1919, 1922-1923, 1927, 1929-1931, 1933,
1.65 cubic ft.
This subseries includes general blotter books of the Chisos Mining Company kept by the general managers throughout the course of the company's existence. The series is incomplete with multiple volumes missing. Dates covered are 1915-1916, 1919, 1922-1923, 1927, 1929-1931, and 1933. The blotters track accounts with suppliers as well as employees and expenses by department on a day-by-day basis. Each book contains numbered pages, continuing across multiple blotters. This helped to maintain the order in which multiple blotters were created within a single year. The dates included represent only the middle period of the Chisos Mining Company, missing the early struggles of the newly-established company and the severe financial troubles of the later years that eventually led to bankruptcy. These blotters are evidence of the way that Perry and his general managers conducted and documented the finances of the company, as well as providing rough timelines for the company's involvement with various suppliers and its employment of individuals.
Arranged chronologically by year, as received from the donor.
Box Folder
Oversize Box 41 1. 1915
2. 1916
3. 1919
4. 1922
Box Folder
Oversize Box 42 1. 1923
2. 1927
3. 1927
4. 1929
Box Folder
Oversize Box 43 1. 1930
2. 1931
3. 1931
4. 1933
Check registers, 1918-1919, 1926,
0.2 cubic ft.
This subseries contains three check registers from the Chisos Mining Company, dating 1918, 1919, and 1926. The first check register runs from late July through late October 1918, damaged and without covers, and likely missing pages at both the beginning and end. The register corresponds with an account held at the Austin National Bank. The second register seems to be a continuation of the first register, though the first section is so damaged that no dates are legible until February 14, 1919. The final page, though incomplete, is dated April 1919. The third register is for a State National account in Alpine, Texas, dated from March through October 1926, though at least one loose page with the check register is dated later (November 5, 1926). This register has its original binding in place, though the pages inside are severely damaged. The registers contain only the carbon copies of the register pages. The registers list six columns: the date of the check, the number of the check, the Drawer (payee), the Drawee (the bank), the Indorser [sic] (either the Chisos Mining Company or individual employees for whom Chisos had drafted the checks), and the amount.
Arranged chronologically by year as received from the donor.
Box Folder
Oversize Box 44 1. 1918,1919
2. 1922
Day book, 1908,
0.1 cubic ft.
This subseries consists of a single bound volume titled "Day Book." The date covered is December 31, 1908. The book seems to be an account of materials used and their costs by department on that day. It provides useful insight into the organization of the company from the perspective of the general manager, as well as a comprehensive listing of the type of equipment in use at this point in quicksilver mining technology.
This is a single item.
Box Folder
Oversize Box 44 3. Day book of the Chisos Mining Company, 1908
Store merchandise account book, undated,
0.1 cubic ft.
This subseries consists of two pads of lined paper with handwritten accounts of merchandise, both undated. There are five unlabeled columns which seem to function as follows: quantity, size, description, initials, and amount. These are unlabeled and their use is unspecified within the collection. It is possible that these are an informal accounting of requests made at the general store for items to be ordered. While there are initials next to each request, there are no dates. The record-keeper tallied each page's totals and carried the balance to the next page,as one would do with an account or ledger book.
This is a single item.
Box Folder
Oversize Box 44 4. Store merchandise account book of the Chisos Mining Company, undated
Coupon book registers, 1910-1912, 1920,
0.15 cubic ft.
This subseries consists of one oversize bound ledger and two loose pages. The materials date from 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1920. These registers track coupons issued by the Chisos Mining Company to its employees. Coupons were issued for $1.25 and with a unique serial number. Each coupon was stamped with the date it was issued and then with the date it was redeemed at the company store for either goods or cash.
Arranged with the coupon book first and the loose pages after it, as received from the donor.
Box Folder
Oversize Box 44 5. 1910-1911
6. 1911-1912, 1920