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Edwards Brothers Lumber Company Records

Identifier: F-0004

Scope and Contents

Series 1: Audits and Correspondence - Edwards Brothers' audit records give a good overview of its operations during its last years. Its correspondence reveals the company's relations with customers and suppliers. Folders for the Offices of Defense Transportation and Price Administration, as well as the  Southern Pine Association and its War Committee illustrate cooperative, industry-wide attempts to deal with governmental regulations prior and subsequent to World War II. Extensive correspondence with the W. H. Norris Lumber Company (also evident in correspondence to other companies) shows the Edwards brothers' close tie to that company. The bulk of correspondence deals with individual, day-to-day business transactions and legal matters. - Series 2: Financial Records - The lumber company maintained records for each business with which they had business. Researchers might be interested in the various business cards, Dunn & Bradstreet Reports on Texas companies, as well as transactional bills, invoices and receipts. There are also records here which are specific to the internal operations of Edwards Brothers. These include inspection reports of their lumber and steam boiler, log and timber estimates and purchases, timber leases, Social Security requirements, and tax payments. These company folders containingand reports  These are described in ledgers, day books, ledger sheets, price lists, inventories, and lumber sales invoices. - Series 3: Employee Records - Edwards Brothers kept extensive records on employees as individuals and as a group. These records include detailed payroll lists, unemployment compensation and injury claims, separation notices, time sheets, physical examination forms, bad debt cards, withholding certificates, group insurance enrollment and record cards, and house rental records. - Series 4: Family Financial Records - Though several folders in this series concern H. C. Edwards, the majority relate to the financial records of R. L. Edwards and his children. In particular there are records documents Billy Edwards' E & E Ranch, which he began about the time the lumber company closed.


  • Creation: 1928-1967
  • Event: Donated in 1987

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

H. C. (Hugh Clete) and R. L. (Robert Lee) Edwards ran sawmills in Marion and Arcadia, Louisiana, before they moved to Bastrop, Texas in 1928. In July, 1936 they organized the Edwards Brothers Lumber Company, purchased the land of the defunct New Birmingham Development Company near Rusk, Texas, and moved their sawmill operations there, soon becoming Cherokee County's largest lumber manufacturing company. R. L.'s son, Billie (Robert Lavalle), and the bookkeeper, C. F. Mehner, were active in the company as were Ada Jane Pace (Mrs. R. L.) Edwards who ran the commissary, her assistants (first, Rosalie Byrum Kitchens; then Kitchens' sister, Eula May Byrum Daniels), and J. C. Banks (assistant bookkeeper). Soon after the move to Rusk, R. L.'s older son, Arthur Nathan, returned to Bastrop where he ran a retail lumber store. R. L.'s daughter, Hazel Lee (Mrs. Henry Pinkney) Townsend of Bastrop, then Austin, Texas was never active in the company. - In addition to the sawmill, the company operated a commissary (which sold groceries, dry goods, work clothes, and gasoline), a school bus, and rental houses for the workers. Since it ran a store and a sawmill, the company bought goods from a wide variety of vendors. It sold its goods directly, through lumber agents, and through other companies, especially the W. H. Norris Lumber Company, with which it had a special relationship. The partners, especially R. L., held oil and gas leases in Louisiana, but these and other investments seemed to be individual ventures. - R. L.'s death in 1951 and H. C.'s serious illness from about then until his death in 1953 caused the company to close in 1952. In addition to several jobs, including running a service station and managing the E & E Ranch, Billie sold off the company's assets and kept its name active through the late 1950s. - Perhaps because the company was a small business operated by brothers, there are no records to indicate its internal organization and operation, except that R. L. seems to have been more active in its purely business activities. The records, however, do document the company's relations with employees, customers, suppliers, governmental bodies, and trade associations. The estate settlements and other records after 1953 show the dissolution of a partnership and the liquidation of a company's assets after the partners' deaths.


12.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of four series arranged across 12 boxes. Series 1: Audits and Correspondence (Boxes 1-2)     Audits (1947-1952, 1954). Chronological.     Correspondence (1937-1960). Alphabetically by correspondent and then chronologically. Series 2: Financial Records, 1928-1961 (Boxes 3-10)     Sub-series 1 - Daily Operations. Alphabetical or chronological depending on the folder.     Sub-series 2 - Lumber Sales Invoices. Chronological.     Sub-series 3 - Business Partners. Alphabetically by company and then chronologically within folders.     Sub-series 4 - Legal Documents (Timber Leases). Chronological. Series 3: Employee Records, 1936-1953 (Box 11)     Alphabetical except for unemployment claims. Series 4: Family Financial Records, 1946-1967 (Box 12)     Alphabetically by individual and then chronologically within folders.

Method of Acquisition


Guide to the Edwards Brothers Lumber Company Records
Pam Palmer, 1989 and Robert Sherer, 1992
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository