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Lyne Taliaferro Barret Papers

Identifier: A-0005

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, field notes, deeds, receipts, contracts, and promissory notes of Barret. Includes material on the Angelina River clearance and the Confederacy and Reconstruction, the personal papers of T. Jeff and Amanda Johnson and business records of the Melrose Petroleum Oil Company (1845-1914).


  • Creation: 1836-1966
  • Event: Donated in 1966


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

Lyne Taliaferro (Tol) Barret, pioneer oilman, was born at Appomattox, Virginia, on November 7, 1832. His family moved to Texas in 1842, first to San Augustine County, and then to the Barret plantation at Melrose. Barret began his career as a clerk and by 1862 had become a partner in the mercantile firm Hardeman Brothers and Barret. He first became interested in the oil industry before the Civil War and contracted with Lucy W. Skillern to lease 279 acres near Oil Springs in 1859, but the war stopped his preparations.

From about 1863 to 1865 he served as captain of the Quartermaster Corps, Confederate States of America, for the Nacogdoches district. After the war, Barret, Benjamin P. Hollingsworth, Charles A. Hamilton, John T. Flint, and John B. Earle organized the Melrose Petroleum Oil Company. Drilling began at Oil Springs during the summer of 1866 and resulted in the first producing oil well in the state. Due to the low price of oil and the political unrest caused by Reconstruction, the venture was a financial loss for Barret, who returned to the mercantile business in Melrose.

L. T. Barret was a Mason, secretary of the Melrose Methodist Church, and served as justice of the peace in Melrose in 1862 and 1899. He married Angelina Martha Thomas on August 26, 1857, and they had eleven children. Barret died in Melrose on March 23, 1913.

("BARRET, LYNE TALIAFERRO." The Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed Fri Nov 14 10:03:54 US/Central 2003.)


1.50 Cubic Feet


This collection consists of 649 items, is described in 39 folders, and is housed in three clamshell boxes and one oversize bundle. The collection is organized at the item-level.

Related Materials

L. T. Barret Collection. ETRC Personal & Family Collection. A/0274

Gladys Hardeman Research Collection. Personal & Family Collection. A/0069

Guide to the Lyne Taliaferro Barret Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository