A Guide to the New York and Texas Land Company Records, 1875-1921
The New York and Texas Land Company, one of the largest, privately owned land companies to operate in Texas after the Civil War, was formed in 1879 from the lands of the International-Great Northern Railroad Company and consisted of over 3 million acres. During the company’s existence it owned over 5.5 million acres. The company’s purpose was to locate, survey, map, and sell these properties. Ira Hobart Evans, the former general manger of the Texas Land Company, was appointed president of the company. The company sold 637,440 acres of Texas land to Charles G. Francklyn in 1882, the largest sale of land in the company’s history. Francklyn eventually formed the Francklyn Land and Cattle Company and the land became known as the White Deer Lands. Offices for the New York and Texas Land Company were initially in Palestine, Texas, and New York, but due to an increase in business, the Texas office was moved to Austin.
In 1886, Timothy Dwight Hobart, Evans’ cousin, was placed in charge of a million acres of land in the Texas Panhandle. Hobart leased the land to cattle interests and used the first year’s rent to make improvements, such as fences, wells, dams, and windmills. He believed that the improved land would then sell at a higher price. The improvement program proved successful and all the land was sold by the turn of the century. Hobart resigned in 1903 to become the general manager of the White Deer Lands in 1903.
The company sold over 4,000 acres in Brazoria County to former governor James Stephen Hogg in 1901. The sale included an old plantation known as Patton Place, today known as the Varner Hogg Plantation State Historical Park. Hogg was convinced the land contained oil and mandated that his children not sell it for fifteen years. In 1918, oil was found and a portion of the land became the West Columbia Oilfield.
The company was dissolved in 1918 after all the land sold. However, today only 1,161,616 acres are accounted for, because at a celebratory barbecue the company made a bonfire of its thirty years of records.
Evans, H. Leslie. “New York and Texas Land Company.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed May 11, 2010.http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ufn02.
Financial records, deeds, ledgers, minutes, reports, and registers comprise the New York and Texas Land Company records (1875-1921). The records document the general operations of the land company and the sale of large tracts of land in Texas, especially in the Panhandle, during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The records contain state tax assessments (1885-1920) and pay vouchers (1877-1921) organized by year, as well as title papers organized by county. Furthermore, the records contain annual reports (1881-1920), stockholder minutes (1876-1905), and directors and executive committee minutes (1880-1905). Records from the International-Great Northern Railroad Company are included in the collection, specifically their land grant survey records.
A small portion of papers is restricted due to preservation concerns. A surrogate photocopy of the restricted material is provided.
A portion of these records is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
New York and Texas Land Company Records, 1875-1921, 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.
This collection contains an unprocessed addition.
Detailed Description of the Papers