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Kirby Lumber Company Records

Identifier: F-0007

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence, business transactions, and financial statements dealing with the different phases of the company's activities. - Dr. Perky Beisel's graduate-level Collections Management class processed boxes 192-208. The students moved the materials from boxes to folders that allows for better access


  • Creation: 1886-1985
  • Other: Donated in 1971

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Kirby Lumber Corporation was organized in 1901. Its founder, John Henry Kirby, was already a well-known lumberman and timber buyer with large interests in Southeast Texas and the growing city of Houston. At its peak, the Kirby Lumber Corporation operated some seventeen sawmills and a similar number of logging camps, cutting the timber from more than 900,000 acres of virgin pineland. The Kirby company was easily the largest in the entire south. With palatial headquarters in Houston, Kirby presided over a vast empire. He was an important political figure and held offices in both Texas and the federal governments. He was also a leader in organizing the Southern Pine Association and frequently spoke for the industry on national questions. During the Great Depression the company fell into financial difficulty and its control passed into the hands of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company. John Henry Kirby continued as president of the enterprise until his death in 1940. The inactive papers of the Kirby Lumber Corporation were deposited in the Forest History Archives in the Stephen F. Austin State University Library in 1971 through the courtesy of Thomas Orth and J. B. Webster


300.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



There are 466 boxes, 1 bundle, and 179 ledgers.

Source of Acquisition

Thomas Orth and J.B. Webster

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

Robert D. Baker Manuscript, A-174.

Santa Fe Industries, B-109

Guide to the Kirby Lumber Company Records
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository