A Guide to the E. A. Peden Papers, 1917-1921
Edward Andrew Peden (1868-1934), businessman and Houston community leader, was born in Calhoun County, Georgia. In 1882, after attending Sam Bailey Institute in Griffin, Georgia, Peden moved to Houston and became a clerk at Inman and Company, cotton merchants. He then switched to the hardware and mill supply business, and in 1891 founded Smith, Peden, and Company with his father. Peden’s brother joined the company three years later. In 1902 the partnership incorporated as Peden Iron and Steel Company, which proved to be a successful venture, with branches in San Antonio, Louisiana, and Mexico.
Peden had a varied and successful life as a businessman, serving as the first chairman of the Harris County Navigation and Canal Company; as director of the First National Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Ashbel Smith Land Company; and as president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, the Ship Channel Land Company, and the Goose Creek Oil Company. Additionally, he worked as the federal food administrator for Texas during World War I, and organized the European Child Relief Bureau of the American Relief Association for President Herbert Hoover. An avid fundraiser, Peden served as a trustee of Rice Institute and the Houston Art League as well as generating funds for the Houston YWCA and Presbyterian schools and colleges in Texas. Peden died in 1934.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Peden, Edward Andrew," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/PP/fpe14.html (accessed July 27, 2010).
The E. A. Peden Papers, 1917-1921, contain correspondence, photographs, reports, regulations, pamphlets, books, and newspaper clippings. The papers relate to Peden’s work with the Texas Food Administration, the United States Food Administration, and the American Relief Administration, and pertain to the conservation, production, marketing, and distribution of food during World War I. Additionally, the papers document Peden’s involvement with the American Aid Program for Europe and include anti-German propaganda. Furthermore, the papers contain photographs, including one of Herbert Hoover, ca. 1918.
The collection is open for research.
E. A. Peden Papers, 1917-1921, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Lawrence Landis, October 1990.
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