TABLE OF CONTENTS
Smith and Yarrington Families Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Robert H. Smith was born in Jackson, Tennessee in 1833. He moved first to Webberville, Texas, where he married Mary Riggle, and then came to Austin in 1873 and opened a general store with his brother, William. The store moved to the 200 block of east Sixth Street in the 1880s, where Smith remained the proprietor until he retired in 1902. He was one of the most prosperous merchants in early Austin, as well as being a member of the Knights Templar of Austin. He had two children, a son named Robert B. Smith, and a daughter named Mary, who later married Arthur Yarrington. He died of a stroke on April 29, 1905 at the age of 71.
Arthur Yarrington was born on February 12, 1860 in Richmond, Virginia. He moved to Austin in 1883, and two years later he married Mary Smith, daughter of Robert H. Smith, a successful general store owner. After a brief stint working for his father-in-law, Yarrington established his first businesses, a laundry and a cotton commission and grain brokerage, with Elly B. Fisher. Years later, he opened the Yarrington Shoe Co. with one of his sons, Lester. He then became a notary public for a time, working into his late sixties. With his wife, Mary, he had four children: two daughters, Etta and Josephine, and two sons, Lester and Robert. Arthur Yarrington died at the age of 76 on April 24, 1936.
The Smith and Yarrington Families Papers contain legal and financial documentation dealing with land and slave transactions during the 1860s and the early twentieth century. Abstracts of title show the transfer of a tract of land in Travis Heights, lot 1, block 1, from its original owner to Arthur H. Yarrington. Slave bills of sale describe the purchase of slaves by Robert H. Smith during the Civil War. There are also Civil War substitution documents for Henry Boese, who worked for Robert Smith when he lived in Webberville, and a photocopy manuscript of an autobiography by Lester Yarrington.
Open to all users
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Smith and Yarrington Families Papers (AR.2007.010). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2007/061
Donation Date: 23 July 2007
Original donation arranged in 2007. Collection rearranged, finding aid created and encoded by Toni Cirilli in 2019.
Other Finding Aid
The initial inventory for this collection can be found here.