A Guide to the John Ossian Parmele Papers
Born in Middleton (now Winona), Mississippi, in 1858, John Ossian Parmele would work various jobs before embarking upon a career as a traveling salesman, a career that would last over 45 years. He moved from Mississippi to Granger, Texas, in 1894, and later moved his base of operations north to Dallas. Much of the merchandise he sold consisted of paper goods such as notebooks, ledgers, tablets, toilet paper, paper napkins, envelopes, and related materials such as pens, pencils, and erasers. Typically he would schedule three major trips a year in the fall, winter, and spring, and each trip would last two to three months, covering as many as twelve states on a single trip.
Around 1904 Parmele married Ollie Lester and moved to Atlanta and adopted a young boy in the 1920s. John O. Parmele died in 1934 and is buried in Atlanta.
Bulk of collection consists of business correspondence, receipts, invoices, etc. relating to Parmele's career as a traveling salesman. Most letters are written on company letterhead.
This collection is open for research use.
John Ossian Parmele Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Detailed Description of the Papers