Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont Public Library System

Finding Aid for the Southeast Texas Postcard Collection, circa 1900-1975

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kelly, Don, 1940-
Title: Southeast Texas Postcard Collection
Dates: circa 1900-1975
Abstract: Mr. Kelly collected these postcards of Southeast Texas from the years 1970-2000. They were acquired through flea markets, postcard shows, and mail order publications. They depict many aspects of life in Southeast Texas, including agricultural and industrial scenes, buildings, and shipping scenes, among others.
Identification: AC-137
Extent: 2 boxes, approximately 0.35 cubic feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont Public Libraries,  695 Pearl St,  Beaumont, TX 77701

Biographical Note

Don Kelly was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 22, 1940. He was the first Executive Director of the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission, from 1970-2000. During that time, he served on many local and state Boards as president, including the Texas Gulf Coast Historical Society (1990-1992), Lamar University's Friends of the Arts, the Jefferson County Mental Health Association (four terms), the Golden Triangle Chapter of the United Nations Association, the Sabine Area Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Texas Assembly of Arts Councils, the Beaumont Steinhagen YMCA, the Volunteer Services Council of the Beaumont State Center, the Volunteers Service Council of the Jefferson County Youth Facility (Texas Youth Commission), the Diocese of Beaumont's Hospitality Center of South Jefferson County, and the Texas Association of Mayors' Committees for the Disabled.

Mr. Kelly was selected as an Olympic Torch Bearer for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He ran a kilometer through the City of Liberty, Texas. He donated his official Olympic running garb and the Olympic torch he carried to the State of Texas, Sam Houston Archives, in Liberty, Texas. He also donated additional postcards of South East Texas to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center Archive, now housed there as the "Don Kelly Postcard Collection".

Scope and Content Note

This collection was pieced together by Mr. Don Kelly from postcards discovered at yard, antique, and estate sales over the period 1970-2000. The postcards range in subject from Beaumont agriculture, to buildings and street scenes, to churches and social organizations, to port and river scenes, to oil fields and airports. The time of postcard creation is from the early 1900s to circa 1980. The collection gives the patron an exceptional idea of the visual history of Beaumont as well as information about key elements of the city.


Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into categories, with the postcards numbered consecutively in each.


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions may apply.


The Tyrrell Historical Library does not hold copyright for most of its collections. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Index Terms

Aerial photography (Beaumont, Tex.)
Agriculture photography
Agriculture--Rice (Jefferson County, Tex.)
Agriculture--Cotton (Jefferson County, Tex.)
Airports photography--Jefferson County Airport (Jefferson County, Tex.)
Beaumont (Tex.)--Pictorial works.
Buildings drawing (Beaumont, Tex.)
Buildings photography
City parks photography
City traffic photography
Harbors photography
Hotels and motels photography
Houses photography
Industry photography
Lumber and lumbering photography
Nature photography
Oil well photography
Petroleum industry photography
Railroads photography
Retail buildings photography
Schools photography
Ships photography
Streets photography
Texas monuments photography
Beaumont (Tex.)
Fort Worth (Tex.)
Orange (Tex.)
Port Arthur (Tex.)
Picture postcards

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Item, Folder, Box, Southeast Texas Postcard Collection, circa 1900-1975, AC-137, Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Don Kelly of Beaumont, Texas. The bulk of the collection arrived in 1992, with some additions in 1997.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2012 September.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Southeast Texas Postcard Collection, circa 1900-1975

Box Folder
1 1 Image AC137.001.001 to AC137.001.015: Aerial Views (includes aerial views of the downtown Beaumont area, such as street scenes, homes, port facilities, businesses, refineries, the Beaumont Carriage Company and the Methodist Church), circa 1905-1907
2 Image AC137.002.001 to AC137.002.008: Agriculture (includes rice harvesting, cotton harvesting, and the agriculture building of the Southeast Texas Fair grounds in Beaumont), circa 1900-1950
3 Image AC137.003.001: The Antlers-Log Hotel, circa 1930
4 Image AC137.004.001: Beaumont beautiful drive, circa 1920
5 Image AC137.005.001 to AC137.005.005: Railroad depots and bridges, including the depot in Beaumont, California, the Southern Pacific depot, and the Neches railroad bridge in open and closed positions, circa 1908-1944
6 Beaumont greetings: various greetings from Beaumont, and a postcard booklet with images of the Neches River Bridge, Beaumont General Hospital, Orleans Street, City Hall and Auditorium, oil refining plant, the Phelan residence, the U.S. post office, and the courthouse, circa 1908-1988
7 Image AC137.007.001 to AC137.007.006: Beaumont High School, circa 1905-1950
8 Image AC137.008.001 to AC137.008.002: Beaumont Millard School, circa 1914
9 Image AC137.009.001: Beaumont Schools (three image postcard of South Park School, Pennsylvania School, and Ogden School), circa 1915
10 Image AC137.010.001 to AC137.010.026: Beaumont street scenes, showing Pearl Street, Calder Avenue, Crockett Street, Bonham Street, Orleans Street, and Calder Terrace, 1908-1988
11 Image AC137.011.001 to AC137.011.011: Business and shopping (includes City Hall and Nancy Tevis Market Building, Will P. Oldham's grocery building, First National Bank interior, Nathan Store interior, Beaumont Gateway Shopping Center, Beaumont Village Shopping Center, and Szafir's [books, stationery, and office supplies], circa 1906-1973
12 Image AC137.012.001 to AC137.012.19: Churches, including St. Anthony's Catholic Church and convent, St. Mark's Episcopal Church and parish house, St. Vincent De Paul Seminary, First Baptist Church, First Methodist Church, circa 1909-1950
13 Image AC137.013.001 to AC137.013.009: Beaumont Country Club, circa 1909-1919
14 Image AC137.014.001 to AC137.013.009: Beaumont Fire Station (City Hall and Central Fire Station), circa 1909-1930
15 Image AC137.015.001 to AC137.015.014: Harbors, port and river scenes (including images such as shipyard, ocean-going steamers, tugboat with Hotel Dieu beside river, turning basin, municipal wharves and docks, railroad bridge scene, courthouse in background, steamship Nicaragua, oil steamers, and U.S. torpedo boats), circa 1908-1950
16 Image AC137.016.001 to AC137.016.004: Homes of Beaumont (including J. Frank Keith home, J. H. Phelan home, and V[alentine] Wiess home), circa 1908-1930
17 Image AC137.017.001 to AC137.017.012: Hospitals, including Hotel Dieu, Beaumont General Hospital, Alice Keith Nurses' Home [dormitory] for student nurses at Baptist Hospital, and Baptist Hospital
18 Image AC137.018.001 to AC137.018.035: Hotels, including Hotel Beaumont, Crosby Hotel exterior and interior, Oaks Hotel, Hotel Edson, Beaumont Courts, Castle Motel, Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts, Ridgewood Motor Hotel, Ritz Motel, Holiday Inn, Tower Hotel Courts, and Driftwood Motor Hotel, circa 1906-1955
19 Image AC137.019.001 to AC137.019.006: Lamar College of Technology, Lamar Technical College, administration building, student union, circa 1950-1965
20 Image AC137.020.001 to AC137.020.009: Libraries, including First Baptist Church, YMCA Building, Tyrrell Public Library, and Beaumont Public Library, circa 1906-1979
21 Image AC137.020.001 to AC137.012.002: Magnolia Cemetery front gate, circa 1911
22 Image AC137.022.001 to AC137.022.002: Magnolia Nursery, circa 1907
23 Magnolia Petroleum (empty folder)
24 Image AC137.024.001: Neches River Bridge, undated
25 Image AC137.025.001 to AC137.025.039: Neches River scenes, including Lovers Lane, oceangoing steamers, Hotel Dieu hospital, river [pleasure] steamboat, the Nicaragua steamer, old courthouse in background, moonlit view of harbor, aerial of port, British steamer Pikepool loading lumber, Municipal Docks from Hotel Dieu rooftop, circa 1906-1960
26 Image AC137.026.001 to AC137.026.016: Office buildings, including Gulf National Bank, Gilbert building, Goodhue building, Temperance Hall, three locations of American National Bank, Gulf Pipe-line Company, San Jacinto Life Insurance Building, Petroleum Building, Pearl Street, and Crockett Street, circa 1907-1970
27 Image AC137.027.001 to AC137.027.029: Parks and museums, including Keith Park; YMCA; First Baptist Church; banana plant; pavilion and Confederate monument at Keith Park; view of downtown at Keith Park/City Park, Lovers Lane, [Valentine] Wiess Park; Magnolia Park and swimming pool; Texas and New Orleans Railroad Depot and Sunset Park; San Jacinto Monument; Lucas Gusher Monument; Art Museum of Southeast Texas; Babe Zaharias Museum, circa 1908-1990
28 Image AC137.028.001 to AC137.028.038: Petroleum oil fields, including Lucas Gusher; Spindletop and other oil fields near Beaumont; Beaumont Gas Light Company Works; Goodrich Synthetic Rubber Plant; Texas Gulf Sulphur Company buildings; Aerial view of Magnolia Petroleum Company refinery, circa 1905-1959
29 Image AC137.029.001 to AC137.029.016: Post office and courthouse in Beaumont, circa 1904-1960
30 Image AC137.030.001: Pasture view, circa 1909
31 Image AC137.031.001 to AC137.031.019: Public buildings, including Jefferson County Courthouse; Jefferson County [castle] jailhouse; City Hall and Auditorium [later, Julie Rogers Theatre]; YMCA buildings; YWCA building; Beaumont Police Station, circa 1907-1950
32 Image AC137.032.001 to AC137.032.009: Other cities, including Lake Como, Arlington Heights, Fort Worth, Texas; Orange, Texas, country road; Kirbyville, Texas, sawmill; Port Arthur, Texas, sub-courthouse, Federal Building and Courthouse, Gulf Oil refinery, and office of W. H. Gilliland & Company, South Fourth Street; Port Arthur, Neches River Bridge; The Grove Dinner Club restaurant and dance hall, near Orange, Texas, circa 1908
33 Image AC137.033.001: Gulf States Utilities power station on the Neches, circa 1950
34 Image AC137.034.001 to AC137.034.004: Kyle Theatre and Opera House; Jefferson Theatre, circa 1909-1929
35 Image AC137.035.001 to AC137.035.003: Whale near Beaumont, circa 1910
36 Image AC137.036.001 to AC137.036.004: Beaumont Woman's Club; Woman's Reading Club, circa 1908-1950
37 Image AC137.037.001: Jefferson County Airport, circa 1959
38 Image AC137.038.001: Diners, circa 1960
39 Image AC137.039.001: World War II postcard, circa 1945
Box Folder
2 1 Duplicates and envelopes of the first airmail delivery of Beaumont, Texas, 1929