A Guide to the M.T. Jones Lumber Company Records, 1883-1914
M.T. Jones was a widely known and wildly successful lumberman, who started his firm, the M.T. Jones Lumber Company, around 1880, in Houston, Texas. Jones was probably best known as the uncle of Jesse H. Jones, Houston politician and businessman, who went to work for the Lumber Company’s branch in Hillsboro in 1895. Jesse Jones later managed the Dallas branch and, as stipulated by his uncle’s will, in 1898, moved to Houston to manage M.T. Jones’s estate and business holdings.
The company, beyond having multiple lumber yards throughout Texas, did extensive business dealings in Mexico, and M.T. Jones was involved in other business enterprises in the United States as well. In 1890, Jones started the Cow Creek Tram Company in Call, Texas, with George Adams and Dennis Call, and in 1892 he started the Emporia Lumber Company in Houston with Samuel Fain Carter. He was the operator, along with Thomas W. House, of the Galveston, La Porte and Houston Railway from 1896 until 1898, when it was sold under foreclosure to L.J. Smith of Kansas City.
Another famous Houston entrepreneur, James Rockwell, started working for Jones at the age of 20 at the lumber branch in Albany, Texas, and was soon the manager of all the Jones lumber yards. Rockwell, along with Jesse Jones, moved to Houston after M.T. Jones’s death, in 1898, to manage his estate and maintain the business headquarters.
Sources: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Jones, Jesse Holman," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/JJ/fjo53.html (accessed June 23, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Call, Texas," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/hlc1.html (accessed June 23, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Carter, Samuel Fain," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/fca73.html (accessed June 23, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Galveston, La Porte and Houston Railway," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/eqg9.html (accessed June 23, 2010).
Rockwell Fund, Inc. "A Brief History of Rockwell Fund, Inc." http://www.rockfund.org/about/index.shtml (accessed June 3, 2010)
The M.T. Jones Lumber Company Records, 1883-1914, consist of correspondence, business records, letterpresses, invoices, journals, analyses and reports, purchase orders, check registers, acknowledgements and receipts, contracts, ledgers, financial statements, and shipping records. The records pertain to the day-to-day operation and administration of the lumber company as well as to the ever-expanding Jones enterprise and to the lumber industry in general, during the late 19th century. Additionally, the records contain minutes, a constitution, and by-laws of the Company and its meetings, as well as multiple company journals. The records also contain the Jesse H. Jones papers as they relate to the lumber company, including correspondence and business records. Overall, the M.T. Jones Lumber Company Records document the founding, growth, and influence of one of the biggest lumber companies in Texas in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The collection is open for research.
M.T. Jones Lumber Company Records, 1883-1914, 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