University of Texas San Antonio

Inventory of the Tom Slick papers, 1938-1987

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Slick, Tom.
Title: Tom Slick papers
Dates: 1938-1987
Creator Abstract: Thomas Baker Slick, Jr. was an oilman, rancher, philanthropist, and founder of the Southwest Research Institute and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
Content Abstract: The bulk of the collection represents the office files of Tom Slick and includes correspondence, reports, financial documents, minutes, project and subject files spanning from 1938-1962.
Identification: MS 361
Extent: 62.5 linear feet (63 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Tom Baker Slick, Jr. was born in 1916 in Clarion, Pennsylvania to Thomas Baker and Berenice (Frates) Slick. When Slick. was twelve, his family moved from San Antonio to Oklahoma City. In 1938 Slick earned a degree in biology from Yale University, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa. After college, he took graduate courses at Harvard and MIT as well as serving in the Navy in the Pacific and Japan.

Tom Slick, Sr., one of the most famous oil operators in the Southwest and known as the 'King of the Wildcatters' died in 1930, leaving a inheritance to his children. Tom Slick, Jr. used the inheritance to support activities in a variety of fields, including scientific research, oil drilling, cattle breeding, exploration, and his collection of modern art. Slick established a number of research organizations, including the Foundation of Applied Research (1941; now the Texas Biomedical Research Institute), the Institute of Inventive Research (1944), the Southwest Research Institute (1947); the Southwest Agricultural Institute (1957); the Mind Science Foundation (1958), and the Human Progress Foundation (1960). Slick was co-inventor of the lift-slab method of building construction and co-founder of Slick Airways. He wrote The Last Great Hope (1951) and Permanent Peace: A Check and Balance Plan (1958). As an avid adventurer and world traveler, Slick organized several expeditions to search for the Abominable Snowman or Yeti in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal as well as expeditions in search of Bigfoot or Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest.

On October 6, 1962, Slick and his pilot were killed in a plane crash in southwestern Montana.

Source: James R. Compton, "SLICK, THOMAS BAKER, JR.," Handbook of Texas Online -

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection represents the office files of Tom Slick and includes correspondence, reports, financial documents, minutes, project and subject files spanning from 1938-1962.

The materials were originally organized into a series of 53 plastic storage tubs with descriptions of the materials contained in each tub. This order has been maintained and tub numbers are included with box content descriptions and date ranges.


Access Restrictions

Boxes 34 and 43 are closed pending preservation work. The rest of the collection is open to the public.

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.

Usage Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Slick, Tom, 1916-1962.
San Antonio (Tex.)
Local Subjects
Science and Technology

Related Material

There are no known other archival collections created by Tom Slick, Jr. at the date of accessioning.

Columbia University Libraries Columbia Center for Oral History has a 1951 oral history interview with Tom Slick, Jr. entitled Reminiscences of Thomas Baker Slick. Oklahoma University Libraries Western History Collection maintains a collection of Tom Slick, Sr. papers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Tom Slick Papers, MS 361, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Donated in August 2011 (2011-041) by Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Processing Information

Collection encoded by Nikki Lynn Thomas, Manuscripts Curator.

Preliminary Inventory


Tom Slick Papers

1-2 General correspondence [appears “A to Z” - represents papers from the general category of individuals/organizations that did not fit into an individual or subject file], 1943–1962
(Tub 1)
2-3 Correspondence: Bache– Booz consisting of individuals and companies [Includes reports from Booz Allen Hamilton on the future of the foundation 1964], 1947-1965
(Tub 2)
4-5 Correspondence: Bopp-Chem [bulk company/organization correspondence Chemical Hormone Company and British Guinea files with maps], 1938-1962
(Tub 3)
5-6 Correspondence: E-F, 1948-1962
(Tub 4)
6 Correspondence: Harpoon-Hotels, 1938-1961
(Tub 5)
7-9 Correspondence: I, J, K [Includes file on Dr. Charles Kettering (GM VP of Research) and King Ranch. Bulk is insurance files], 1947-1962
(Tub 6)
9-10 Correspondence: L-Mi [Files on Middle East oil, military ideas, mining. Reports on natural resources in Mexico], 1944-1962
(Tub 7)
10-11 Correspondence: P, Q, R [Income Tax returns (P/R Taxes); of note a file on “Politics” with correspondence from U.S. Senators and candidates, LBJ, John Tower, and others], 1938-1962
(Tub 8)
11 Slick Oil Co. minutes, Joe Stanton correspondence. These appear to have been removed from their respective chronological/alphabetical files. It appears that this box should contain “S” correspondence [Contains only 4 files; there is no label on the tub; evidence of water damage to the files], 1948-1962
(Tub 9)
12 Correspondence: T-U [bulk Harris Trust Capital Statements and papers, Transworld Petroleum Corp 1959 binder, individuals correspondence and United Nations reports] 1950-1962
(Tub 10)
12-14 Correspondence: V, W, X, Y, Z [peopl and subject organizations; West San Antonio Development Corp binder], 1939-1962
(Tub 11)
14-16 Institute of Inventive Research files - correspondence, charts, reports, individuals’ files [Includes: several project files and related methods. These files are legal files that are stuffed in the box in the letter direction, so some damage may occur if not corrected], 1947-1961
(Tub 12)
16 Correspondence: Miscellaneous, people and subjects [Human Progress Foundation (accounts for after TBS death); also 1938 – 1956 Essar Ranch files], 1941-1966
(Tub 13)
17-18 Research foundations correspondence and reports, meetings, books on state, nation, worldwide research foundations, many of which Slick was associated with and some he was on the board, 1946-1956
(Tub 14)
18-20 Correspondence and papers for Slick family and children, Black book containing organizational survey of the Southwest Institutions, Southwest Endowment Corp. files, sale catalogs of Essar Ranch, tax matters, and unrelated files, 1947-1966
(Tub 15)
20 Accounting audit reports, 1956-1960
(Tub 16)
21 Southwest Foundation for Research and Education correspondence files, progress reports, patent files for cattle breeding (egg implantation technique), natural resource reports, 1947-1962
(Tub 17)
22 Southwest Foundation for Research and Education papers, correspondence and reports to individuals/organizations about funding, financing, budgeting, and projects [early cancer research], 1947-1965
(Tub 18)
23 Correspondence: S, 1949-1962
(Tub 19)
23-25 Southwest Endowment Corporation files [includes: correspondence, individuals and organizations, dead deals, financial statements of Southwest Endowment Corp as well as of other organization under review and reports on oil fields], 1954-1956
(Tub 20)
25-26 Southwest Endowment Corporation [includes: correspondence files and trustee reports, Institute of Inventive Research correspondence and project files, black notebook of ideas and projects from 1940s], 1944-1967
(Tub 21)
26-27 Southwest Research Institute Files [includes: correspondence to individuals, projects, SwRI financial statements, Houston affiliate], 1946-1965
(Tub 22)
27-28 Southwest Research Institute Files [includes: correspondence and founding legal docs and Board of Trustees and Governors reports], 1947-1960
(Tub 23)
28-30 Correspondence: Outgoing [contains files that contain copies of Tom Slick’s outgoing correspondence (1948-1958), and two files containing outgoing telegrams (1957-1958), and a calendar with handwritten engagements listed], 1948-1958
(Tub 24)
30-31 Correspondence: Tom Slick, Outgoing [contains files that contain copies of Tom Slick’s outgoing correspondence], 1959-1962
(Tub 25)
31-32 Financial reports for Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research [taxes, financial statements and cash disbursement reports, includes cancelled checks], 1980-1987
(Tub 26)
32-33 Office files of Vagtborg and Gesick [include: correspondence, reports, publicity material, news clippings, annual meeting report and photograph, Tom Slick speech, and personnel files], 1947-1962
(Tub 27)
34 RESTRICTED: Correspondence: A [extensive water damage] 1939-1961
(Tub 28)
33, 35 Correspondence: Chev-Du [includes: the Dresser Industries correspondence includes letter from Chairman asking Slick to step down from board so that Prescott Bush, who had retired from political office, could come back onto the board] 1938-1962
(Tub 29)
36-37 Paper correspondence files, maps, reports for “G” (estate papers) [bulk dealing with Glasscock; (bulk) glass specimen slides], 1938-1975
(Tub 30)
37-38 Correspondence: Mj-O [Contains a folder that lists Slick’s clubs, businesses, travel, and more with dates], 1951-1965
(Tub 31)
38-39 Correspondence: Assorted [Paper correspondence files for subjects and people, these are not in any particular order and would appear to be pulled from the alpha order of the other boxes, contains stock certificates and oil and gas company correspondence], 1955-1957
(Tub 32)
39-40 Correspondence, tax returns, financials for Slick Moorman Cattle Company, a black binder with the Essar Land and Cattle Company minutes and corporate documents, and Slick Moorman Oil Company correspondence 1952-1958
(Tub 33)
43 RESTRICTED: Correspondence, appraisals, statements on general horses, Appaloosas, and Arabians, photographs. [extensive water damage], 1958-1963
(Tub 34)
40-42 Bank statements and cancelled checks, 1957-1961
(Tub 35)
42 General Minerals entity bank statements, ledgers, expense vouchers; correspondence on Mexican mining laws (1959 - 1962); Patocha Ranch ledger (1961); Nixon State Bank materials (bank statements and cancelled checks (1959 – 1963), 1959-1963
(Tub 36)
44-45 Contains paper relating to Devine Road House: architectural blueprints, schedule of disbursements, cancelled checks, building plans and supplies, and swimming pool. Also includes a file on house furnishings, entertainment, landscaping, wine, and personnel files those working at the house. 1957-1962
(Tub 37)
45-46 Dynamics Research Inc., Dynamics Iron and Steel Corp files correspondence, financial and operating papers, reports, mining reports, 1962-1963
(Tub 38)
46-47 Personal bills, thank you notes, accounts, financial statements for Tom Slick, 1948-1962
(Tub 39)
47-48 Better Agriculture, Incorporated, one file (1956 – 1964) incorporation and dissolution documents, tax returns, correspondence; one shoe box of Better Agriculture, Inc. bank statements (1950s); binder with Better Agriculture bylaws, board minutes (1956); payroll book for Better Agriculture, Inc (1956) ledger book; corporate records book for Plato Gold Corporation (1962 – 1965) and ledger book for Plato Gold, 1950s-1965
(Tub 40)
48-49 Southwest Endowment correspondence files, project files including Disneyland, and individuals’ correspondence, 1953-1957
(Tub 41)
49-50 Files on silver, gold, copper, and timber mining; 1960-1966
(Tub 42)
50-51 Slick Airways correspondence, financial statements, business papers of the corporation, SEC reports, Civil Aeronautics reports, 1959-1961
(Tub 43)
51-52 Slick Oil Co. files correspondence financial statements, partnership percentages, related entities, projects, and individual and subject, 1953-1956
(Tub 44)
53 Slick Oil Co. files correspondence related entities, projects in Venezuela, progress reports, and individuals and subjects, 1953-1956
(Tub 45)
54-55 Slick Oil Co. records, correspondence about drilling ventures in Canada, production reports, royalty reports, stockholder reports, partnership agreements, correspondence files on individuals involved in Slick Oil, correspondence on acquisitions, 1947-1961
(Tub 46)
55-56 Texstar Corporation records, correspondence, financial statements, committee meetings minutes, news releases, reports on acquisitions of other entities [Texstar appears to the parent company of many of Slick’s other entities], 1948-1960
(Tub 47)
56-58 Texstar Corporation: general correspondence, budget forecast reports, stock sales reports, annual reports, two bound books on organization and asset acquisitions, 1959-1965
(Tub 48)
58 Texstar Joint Venture and Texstar Oil and Gas Program papers: reports on the assets and potential programs, financial statements, financing reports, direct and operating committee meeting minutes, 1961-1965
(Tub 49)
59-60 TransworldCorporation: correspondence, financials, extensive project files, proposed financing report, expense reports, individuals, real estate holdings, and mining agreements, 1960-1961
(Tub 50)
60-62 Transworld Resources Corporation and related entities: correspondence financials, tax statements, and numerous geological and mining studies. Transworld Resources Corp was organized to research and develop minerals and the mining industry, 1957-1969
(Tub 51)
62 Correspondence, financials, project files, expense reports for Transworld Corp and related entities Transworld Mineral Corporation and Transworld Resource Corporation [includes geological reports from mines], 1957-1958
(Tub 52)
62-63 Youtz-Slick Lift Slab invention and method and the US Lift Slab Corp [includes: detailed reports of the lift slab method as developed in cooperation with the Inventive Research Institute, blueprints and plans, correspondence about the using the method for construction, patent info, correspondence of co- inventor Youtz’s suit to be included in the patent, brochures and economic reports on the Lift Slab Method], 1949-1960
(Tub 53)