Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Issac L. Ellwood:

An Inventory of His Papers, 1878-1938, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Ellwood, Isaac Leonard, 1833-1910
Title: Isaac L. Ellwood Papers,
Dates: 1878-1938
Abstract: Papers concerning the financial activities of Isaac L. and William L. Ellwood.
Collection # S 309.1
Quantity: 1 small box (0.3 linear feet)
Language English.
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

Co-inventor and manufacturer of barbed wire, businessman, and land owner, Isaac L. Ellwood was born in 1833 in New York. With his sons, William L. and Erwin P., he began purchasing Texas ranch lands in 1889, including the Spade and Renderbrook ranches. After his death in 1910, his sons, along with A. W. Fisk, managed the estate. Beginning in 1924, portions of the Spade Ranch were sold for farming and colonization.

The Handbook of Texas has published a more in-depth online biography of Isaac L. Ellwood at

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of financial material concerning Isaac L. Ellwood, of DeKalb, Illinois, and William L. Ellwood, of Lubbock, Texas, and their business activities. Also includes legal materials and correspondence, primarily concerning debt collections, and business affairs.


Access Restrictions

Open for research

Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (Persons)
Ellwood, Isaac Leonard, 1833-1910
Ellwood, William L., 1859-1933
Subjects (Organizations)
Ellwood Estates
Ellwood Farms
Renderbrook Ranch (Tex.)--History
Spade Ranch (Tex.)--History
Barbed wire
Land settlement--Texas, West
Ranch life--Texas--History

Related Material

For related materials located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, see the following collections:

  • David Nathan Arnett Papers, 1866-1939, 1866-1925
  • William F. Eisenberg oral history interview [sound recording], 1969
  • Ellwood Estates Records, 1860-1966
  • R. C. (Richard Coke) Hopping Papers, 1950
  • Virgil H. Lawyer Papers, 1960

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Isaac L. Ellwood Papers, 1878-1938, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas


Gifts, 1958-1959

Processed by

Abel Ramirez, August 2000

Additional Sources

Hopping, R. C. (Richard Coke). "The Ellwoods: Barbed Wire and Ranches. "Lubbock: Texas Technological College, 1962.

Kelton, Steve. "Renderbrook: a Century Under the Spade Brand. "Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1989.

Ludeman, Mayme Carol. "The Land Phase of the Colonization of the Spade Ranch. "Thesis (M.A.)--Texas Technological College, 1939.

Collection Inventory


Isaac L. Ellwood

box folder
1 1 Correspondence, 1885-1938
2 Financial Documents, 1878-1919
3 Legal Documents, 1893-1933


William L. Ellwood

box folder
1 4 Correspondence, 1887-1933
5 Financial Documents, 1888-1928
6 Legal Documents, 1887-1935