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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note/Historical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the Richard Leigh Watkins Papers, 1896-1911



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Watkins, Richard Leigh
Title: Richard Leigh Watkins Papers
Dates: 1896-1911
Abstract: Richard Leigh Watkins was born circa 1878 and raised in Tennessee. Between 1910 and 1911 Watkins was business manager for the Beeville Manufacturing Company. Also in 1910 Watkins and five other men formed the Texas Title Guaranty Company. Watkins was active in a variety of associations and clubs in San Antonio, and in 1910 was one of the vestry of St. Mark’s Church. The Richard L. Watkins Papers, 1896-1911 consist of the papers of this San Antonio lawyer and reflect both his social and business life.
Identification: MS 137
Extent: 2.1 linear feet (about 1,600 items)
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Biographical Note/Historical Sketch

Richard Leigh Watkins was born circa 1878 and raised in Tennessee. In 1896 he attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he studied English Literature, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Latin. He graduated from the Law Department of Vanderbilt University in 1899. The next year he moved west to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in about 1904 settled in San Antonio and opened a law practice. In 1909 Watkins formed a partnership with another San Antonio lawyer, W.A. Wurzbach. In addition to his law practice, he was a notary public in Bexar County from 1905 to 1911. Between 1910 and 1911 Watkins was business manager for the Beeville Manufacturing Company. Also in 1910 Watkins and five other men formed the Texas Title Guaranty Company. Watkins was active in a variety of associations and clubs in San Antonio, and in 1910 was one of the vestry of St. Mark’s Church.

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Scope and Content Note

The Richard L. Watkins Papers, 1896-1911 consist of the papers of this San Antonio lawyer and reflect both his social and business life. The papers are divided into two series, Personal and Business Records and include correspondence, legal documents, invitations, and printed materials. The bulk of the material dates from 1905 to 1911, and includes some files from the Texas Title Guaranty Company which eventually was subsumed by the Stewart Title Company. Correspondence predominates in both the personal and business records.

The Personal series briefly and partially documents Watkins’ private home life and also the social and cultural life of San Antonio in the first decade of the 20th century. There are records concerning clubs and associations that existed in San Antonio at the time, including: the Alamo Athenaeum, the Publicity League, the Riding Club, the San Antonio Country Club, the Scientific Society of San Antonio, the Twelfth Night Club, and the Woodmen of the World fraternity.

The Business Records, and in particular, Watkins’ law office records, make up the majority of this collection, and they document the practice of a lawyer who was particularly active in property and land title law. The records consist primarily of correspondence regarding clients and cases, but there are also legal documents such as wills, petitions, contracts, court records of legal cases, abstracts of record title, certificates of title to property, and insurance policies.

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Arrangement

The papers are arranged as follows:
Personal
Business

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Permission to Publish

Please contact University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections for information about permission to publish material from the collection.

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Index Terms

Persons
Watkins, John H.
Watkins, Richard Leigh.
Wurzbach, William A. 1869-1939
Organizations
Dallas Railway Co.
Stewart Title
Texas Title Guaranty Company
Topics
Abstracts of title--San Antonio (Tex.)
Abstracts of title--Texas--Bexar County.
Country clubs--San Antonio (Tex.)
Land titles--Registration and transfer--Texas.
Land titles--Texas--Bexar County
Land titles--United States.
Practice of law--Texas--San Antonio--History
Societies and clubs--Texas--San Antonio
Title companies--Texas
Locations
Bexar County (Tex.)
San Antonio (Tex.)
Genre/form
Abstracts of title.
Account books.
Contracts.
Correspondence.
Ephemera.
Invitation cards.
Land titles.
Petitions.
Wills.
Local Subjects
Business
San Antonio History

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Related Material

Stewart Title Company Records, 1870-1965, MS 32, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Richard L. Watkins Papers, 1896-1911, MS 137, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

This collection was separated from the Stewart Title Company Records in 2004.

Processing Information

Processed by Gerrianne Schaad and Paul Washington, Archives Intern, July 2005 (accession 2004-22).

Encoded by: Nikki Lynn Thomas, Manuscripts Archivist, September 2007

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Detailed Description of the collection

 

Personal

The Personal series briefly and partially documents Watkins’ private home life and also the social and cultural life of San Antonio in the first decade of the 20th century. There are records concerning clubs and associations that existed in San Antonio at the time, including: the Alamo Athenaeum, the Publicity League, the Riding Club, the San Antonio Country Club, the Scientific Society of San Antonio, the Twelfth Night Club, and the Woodmen of the World fraternity. Watkins retained numerous booklets containing the annual reports, charters and bylaws for these clubs and associations. A 1909 booklet published by the San Antonio Country Club includes a drawing of the club building as it appeared at that time. Watkins also kept handwritten and typed copies of speeches and remarks he made at meetings of these clubs and associations.
Watkins’ personal correspondence (in the form of carbon copies of his original typed letters) reflects his interest in exploring potential investments in railroad companies and various bonds. His correspondence includes an 18-page report on the Dallas, Cleburne and Southwestern Railway Company that appears to have been prepared as a background report for potential investors. Also of note, is a letter to his brother, John H. Watkins, giving details of the construction of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio in 1909.
Other documents of interest include invitations to family weddings in Tennessee, a Democratic Party pledge certificate (circa 1908), which reveals some of the political ideas of the era, and a political button with a photograph of Republican U.S. President William Howard Taft, dating from his visit to San Antonio in October 1909. .
Box
1 Associations and Clubs
Alamo Athanaeum, 1905-1907
Alamo Athanaeum, 1905-1907
Democratic Party pledge certificate, undated
Elks Cafe coupon book, undated
The Publicity League, San Antonio, 1910
The Riding Club, 1906-1907
San Antonio Country Club, 1908-1909
Scientific Society of San Antonio, 1904, undated
The Twelfth Night Club, 1907
Woodmen of the World fraternity, 1907, 1910
Corresondence
Outgoing
Watkins to aunt re: his health and household affairs, December 11, 1909
Watkins to W.P. Battle re: death in family, July 5, 1910
Watkins to landlord, 1905-1910
Watkins to rector of Grace Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 25, 1910
Watkins to Grace Watkins (mother), 1910
Watkins to John Watkins (brother), 1908-1911
Watkins to various re: land transactions for mother, 1906-1911
Incoming
Invitations to Parties and Functions, 1905-1910
Invitation to attend event in honor of U.S. President Taft’s visit to San Antonio, October, 1909
To Watkins from Julia Armstrong, 1910
To Watkins from Auntie, 1909-1910
To Watkins from Bessie, 1908
To Watkins from John Crawley, 1907
To Watkins from P.H. Eley, 1908
To Watkins from The International Club of San Antonio, 1908
To Watkins from Nat, 1909
To Watkins from Nellie P., 1905, 1909
To Watkins from “Teacakes,” 1910
To Watkins from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1905
To Watkins from Grace Watkins (mother), 1906
To Watkins from John Watkins (brother), 1907-1908
To Watkins from John Watkins (brother), 1909
To Watkins from John Watkins (brother), undated
To Watkins from John Watkins re: Richard’s application for U.S. District Attorney at San Antonio, 1909
Box
2 To Watkins re: Investment in Dallas, Cleburne and Southwestern Railway Company, 1906
Unidentified senders, 1895, 1904-1904, 1907, undated
Financial
Household purchases, 1905-1908, 1911-1912
Insurance Policy on piano in home, 1909
Poll tax receipts, 1907-1910
San Antonio Water Supply Company receipt, 1910
Handwritten Note re Marriage decision; prayer, undated
Legal Files
Watkins, Grace (mother), discharge from liabilities and suits, May 26, 1909
R.L. Watkins vs. Claude V. Birkhead, undated
R.L. Watkins vs. J.P. Forrest, July 1910
Photographs of unidentified woman, undated
Presentations and debates, 1905 and undated
University of Virginia academic grade record, 1896
Miscellaneous files
Program for Theatre production at ball high School, Galveston, TX, 1907
History of Grace Church, Memphis, Tennessee, undated
Obituary for John P. Edmonson, Memphis newspaper, undated

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Business

The Business Records, and in particular, Watkins’ law office records, make up the majority of this collection, and they document the practice of a lawyer who was particularly active in property and land title law. The records consist primarily of correspondence regarding clients and cases, but there are also legal documents such as wills, petitions, contracts, court records of legal cases, abstracts of record title, certificates of title to property, and insurance policies. Also included are administrative and financial documents such as Watkins’ professional licenses, cancelled checks, receipts, financial ledgers and bankbooks. Of note is an unsigned copy of a San Antonio Battle of Flowers Association charter and letter of incorporation, dated March 10, 1910. Mrs. Watkins was to be a Charter member.
In addition to his law practice, Watkins’ had three other areas of business activity, including: his role as a Notary Public for Bexar County, his co-founding of the Texas Title Guaranty Company, and his business management of the Beeville Manufacturing Company. The collection includes as relatively small amount of records generated by these areas of activity. The papers also contain correspondence between Watkins and the Stewart Title Company, documenting the purchase of the Bexar Abstract Company by the Stewart firm.
Box
2 Beeville Manufacturing Company
Contracts, 1910-1911
Correspondence, 1910-1911
Law Practice
General Office
Business cards of Watkins and associates, undated
License to practice law in Bexar County, 1906
Memorandum of agreement for Watkins’ partnership with Wurzbach, 1909
Occupation license and tax receipts, 1906, 1907
Office building lease with Alamo National Bank, 1904
Samples of legal forms and documents, 1908, undated
Telegram receipt book, 1909
Telegram receipt book, 1910-1911
Miscellaneous work notes, undated
Annotated list and description of cases, 1908-1909
Clients
Becker, Charles
Bosselman, George
Clemens, Henry and Clara
Dart, Mary
Delcuze, E.G.
Depew, S.I.
Guardian Mercantile Agency
Heck Mercantile
Higginbotham, A.H.
Holder, J.H.
Hughes, M.D.
Lane, B.P.
Lessing Lodge
Lester, L.P.
Lozano, J.
Box
3 Martinez, Frank and Francisco
Paura, Juan F.
Rothschild and Company, 1908-1909
Rothschild and Company, 1910-1911
Saladino, A.
Sanchez, Alfredo
Smith, J.
Sturgess, Mrs. M.J.
Vollrath, Mrs. M.J
Wolf, Philip H. and Catherine, correspondence, 1907-1911
Wolf, Philip H. and Catherine, court documents, 1909-1911
Client Legal Documents
Abstract of Record Title, Shelby County, Tennessee, Aug. 29, 1892
Blinn, F.H. – Chattel Mortgage and property sale to E.C. Raymond, Sept. 8, 1903
Certificate of Examination of Record of Delinquent Taxes, Bexar County, April 6, 1907
Certificate of Title to Farm lands, March 25, 1907
Colvin, Lee and Annie, land purchase, Dec. 19, 1907
S. Crawford vs. J.L. Crawford, M. Crawford and T.S. Galloway, Jan. 31, 1889
Ector County court petition re: School redistricting and call for election, 1909
Feldman, H.C., land purchase, Dec. 2, 1908
Fredericksberg Independent School Trustees vs. R.M. Burrier, Sept. 9, 1905
H.C. Heldman vs. National Bank of Commerce, 1905
John B. Hildebrandt vs. T.C. Erney, Jan. 1, 1911
Augusta Krafft, divorce papers, October 1909
W.C. Lembke vs. H. Odin and Ethel M. Odin, July 11, 1907
Miller, Amos, will, Feb. 15, 1888
Perez, George and Leo, sale of barber shop materials from 223 S. Alamo Street to Watkins, April 6, 1907
Primm, William, re: will and marriage to freed slave, Sept. 28, 1877
Sagr, Russell, will, Feb. 11, 1901
San Antonio Battle of Flowers Association, charter and incorporation, March 10, 1910
San Antonio Horse Show Association, charter and incorporation, May 10, 1908
George H. Turnery vs. State of Texas (murder trial) undated
Ulrich et. al. vs. Wolchen, bill of costs, Justice’s Court of Bexar County, April 1910
Vendor’s lien notes, 1908, 1910
Wentworth, Conrad, title examination, undated
Whittie, W.S. to H.C. Feldman, copy of chattel mortgage, May 7, 1908
R. Woodruff vs. C.M. Woodruff, L. Woodruff and J. Loague re: assignment of dower, Jan. 31, 1889
Arthur Wuest vs. Ed Hall, c. 1907
Correspondence
To and From Watkins
Watkins/Stewart re: purchase of Bexar Abstracts Co. from Ben Stribling, Mar. 1910 to Feb. 1911
Box
4 Maco Minor Stewart re: Intervention Security Co. in Tripis vs. Southern S.S. and Imp. Co., 1910
Richard and John Watkins re: Title company, June-July, 1910
Contract negotiations for sale of Bexar Abstract Co. from Ben Stribling to Maco Stewart, May 1910
Contract for sale of Bexar Abstract Co., May and July, 1910
La Feria Grant, Lazaro Solis Tract land purchase deal, Sept. 1910 – March 1911
La Feria Grant, Lazaro Solis Tract land purchase deal – supplemental papers, 1885, 1887, 1910
La Feria Grant, Lazaro Solis Tract – reports, Sept. 1910 – March 1911
Law books and magazine subscriptions, 1907-1910
Outgoing
Watkins to American Title and Trust Co., Jan. 11, 1911
Watkins to L.X. Barron re: repayment of loan, Dec. 2, 1909
Watkins to Bexar County Commissioner’s Court re: issues of bonds, Jan. 20, 1909
Watkins to L.E. Bowman, Dec. 14, 1910
Watkins to James Bute re: J.C. Bardin and A.H. Brandes, Oct. 1908
Watkins to Carl and Kircheville, January 31, 1911
Watkins to P. Chapman re: J.T. Sluder and bond propositions, Jan. 24, 1911
Watkins to W.S. Conness re: repayment of loan, May 3, 1909
Watkins to County Clerk, Anderson Cnty. re: F.A. Showerman vs. G.B. Staats, Feb. 21, 1910
Watkins to G. Falvey, May 28, 1910
Watkins to Rudolph Groos re: repayment of loan, Feb. 26, 1910
Watkins to Herman Hersch re: German language lessons, Dec. 7, 1909
Watkins to Reverend J. Lindsey Patton re: illegal barbed wire fence, June 7, 1909
Watkins to T.H. McGee re: property title, Dec. 7, 1910
Watkins and Wurzbach to H.A. Miller re: abstract of title for Bertha Christian, Mar. 28, 1910
Watkins to B.W. Martin and Co. re: selling a safe, April 1908
Watkins to Jake Murie re: failure to pay, Sept. 25, 1905
Watkins to Geo. Perez re: father’s estate, March 5, 1908
Watkins to E.R. Richardson re: property purchase, Mar.1909
Watkins to E.R. Richardson re: delivering promissory notes, June 1910
Watkins to George Root re: selling cigars, June 1910
Watkins to Schober Brewing Co. re: beer for workmen, 1910
Watkins to John W. Tobin re: repayment of note, Nov. 1908
Watkins to James Walthall, Assistant Attorney General, June 30, 1910
Watkins to Cary Weisiger re: work with Pierce Oil Co., 1909
Watkins to John Windlinger re: property title in Taylor, TX, Sept. 4, 1909
Watkins to W.E. Wright re: repayment of loan, Dec. 9, 1909
Watkins to Wurzbach re: abstract of title, John Kress and I.T. Pryor, June 11, 1909
Watkins to Charles P. Yadon re: McLaughlin, April 22, 1910
General work issues, 1905, 1908, 1909
Incoming
August Baack to Watkins and Wurzbach, written in German, May 30, 1910
Bank of Commerce and Trust Co. to Watkins, Sept. 11, 1909
Cocke, Birkhead and Cocke to Watkins re: forming new law firm, Mar. 1, 1905
R.V. Bowden to Watkins and Wurzbach re: loan to Herbert E. Schubert, Sept. 22, 1910
D. Cobo to Watkins, Feb. 21, 1906
G. Frost to Watkins re: payment for service, Jan. 19, 1910
Jay A. Hughes to Watkins re: foreclosure on brother Arthur Hughes, January 1910
Jonesboro, Lake City and Eastern Railroad Co. to Watkins re: short line railroad at Fredericksburg, April 24, 1909
M. Kovacic to Wurzbach (in German), Feb. 16, 1910
W.L. McCamly to Watkins re: land certificate for James Worland, July 12, 1910
Memphis Abstract Co. to Watkins re: abstract plant and abstract photography, Mar. 7, 1910
Memphis Trust Co. to Watkins re: their company literature used in title business, Feb. 20, 1905
W. Olcott to Watkins re: Albert T. Patrick, Jan. 22, 1906
R.B. Rentfro to Watkins re: Frank C. Pierce, Mar. 14, 1911
John W. Robertson to Watkins re: announcement of law practice, Nov. 4, 1907
L.B. Robertson to Watkins re: property and city taxes, 1910, 1911
Rockenbach to Watkins re: receipt of deeds and abstract, Dec. 16, 1910
W.S. Townsend to Watkins re: A.M. Halliday, Nov. 1910, March 1911
Thomas W. White to Watkins re: Watkins’ new firm, Jan. 3, 1910
Williamson and Klingeman to Watkins re: Farr vs. Dr. McKee, April 27, 1910
W.A Wurzbach to Watkins re: success and anniversary of their partnership, Aug. 19, 1910
General work issues, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911
Unidentified sender, cc. to Watkins re: building a pottery in San Antonio, March 8, 1910
Unidentified senders to Watkins, 1910
Box
3 Financial
Box
4 Bank book, John Woods and Sons Bankers, 1904-1906
Bank deposit and debit records, 1905-1910
Bank records, Bexar Abstract Company, 1899
Cancelled checks
Alamo National Bank checks, 1896, 1897
Alamo National Bank checks, 1906
Alamo National Bank checks, 1907
Alamo National Bank checks, 1908
Alamo National Bank checks, 1909
Box
5 Alamo National Bank checks, 1910
Alamo National Bank checks, 1911
Law Office of Richard Leigh Watkins checks, 1906
Law Office of Richard Leigh Watkins checks, 1907
Law Office of Richard Leigh Watkins checks, 1908
Law Office of Richard Leigh Watkins checks, 1909
Law Office of Richard Leigh Watkins checks, 1910
Woods National Bank checks,, 1905
Box
6 Woods National Bank checks,, 1906
Check book, 1910
Expenses and fees, 1905-1910
Itemized list of fees collected by Watkins and Wurzbach, 1910
Statements and receipts for bills paid, 1907-1910
Ledger book, 1906-1907
Ledger book, 1909-1910
Box
5 Tax receipt, City Tax Collector, April 6, 1907
Box
6 Notary Public
F.O.B. Commission Company, Charter of Incorporation, November 20, 1905
Gross, Fred C. and James V. Upson, contract, March 9, 1908
B.P. Lane vs. Mrs. E. Wilbur, May 23, 1908
Record of Acknowledgments Book, 1905-1910
Request for re-appointment, Feb. 27, 1911
Texas Title Guaranty Company
Bank account book with Alamo National Bank, 1910
Contract starting Texas Title Guaranty Company, January 20, 1910
Watkins correspondence re: organizing Texas Title Guaranty Company, 1910
Stewart Title Company

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