A Guide to the Frank David Quinn Papers, 1913-1971
Frank David Quinn (1894-1971) was a Mississippi cotton plantation manager, Texas businessman, and executive director of the Texas State Parks Board from 1927-1969. Quinn was born October 21, 1894 in Ackerman, Mississippi. After completing business college in Memphis, Tennessee in 1913, Quinn went to work as stenographer and bookkeeper for L. K. Salsbury of the Delta Pine and Land Company, known as the “world’s largest cotton plantation,” eventually becoming manager. Quinn married Margaret Montgomery on October 27, 1915. In 1931 he moved to Tyler, Texas where he helped organize the Salmar Oil Corporation and was involved in extensive drilling operations in East Texas and Guadalupe County. Quinn was manager of the Seguin and Guadalupe County Chamber of Commerce from 1934 to 1939. In 1939 he was appointed executive secretary and director of the Texas State Parks Board. In this position he was in charge of the land purchase for Big Bend National Park, which took place from 1941 to 1942. In 1945 he resigned as executive director to enter private business, organizing Superior Stone Products in Round Rock in 1947. Quinn continued to be active in promoting state and city parks and the Texas tourist industry as a member of the Texas State Parks Board from 1945 to 1961 and of the Parks and Recreation Board of the City of Austin from 1947 to 1965. He was also president of the National Conference of State Parks in 1950-1952. Even after moving to Texas, Quinn continued managing the Salsbury estate in Mississippi and the Quinn brothers’ lumber firm in Tennessee, spending one month of every year in Memphis. Quinn and Margaret had no children of their own but raised Quinn’s nephew Leroy Kennedy. Quinn died on July 15, 1971.
Collection consists of correspondence, scrapbook material, legal documents and literary publications, personal and professional reminiscences, and memorabilia created and maintained by Frank David Quinn to document his family’s genealogy and history and his own life.
The bulk of the papers, a set of classified files 1922-1969 and undated, were presumably intended for Quinn’s own biography and document his experiences working for the Delta Pine and Land Company. These reminiscences include names, dates, personal anecdotes and richly detailed accounts of rural life in the South in the early 20th century. Covered in lesser detail is Quinn’s work with oil companies in East Texas and Guadalupe County and his time with the Texas State Parks Board. No official records pertaining to the latter are included.
Genealogical material includes family trees for the Quinn and Tims families and brief biographical sketches of Frank Quinn’s immediate family, notably his brother, David H. Quinn, who was killed in a case of mistaken identity. Other documents of interest include a speech made by Quinn to the National Citizens Planning Conference in 1959 detailing his views on state parks and Quinn’s personal résumé ca. 1963.
Frank David Quinn Papers, 1913-1971, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers