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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Smith and Yarrington Families Papers, 1862-1976

Austin History Center

Smith and Yarrington Families Papers

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: Smith family, Yarrington family
Title: Smith and Yarrington Families Papers
Dates: 1862-1976
Dates (Bulk): 1862-1863
Abstract: The Smith and Yarrington families were joined by the marriage of Arthur H. Yarrington, an Austin businessman, and Mary Smith, daughter of prominent Austin merchant Robert H. Smith, in 1885. The families' papers contain abstracts of title and other land records, slave bills of sale, substitution documents, and biographical information that offer a glimpse of the financial and social activities of the Smiths and Yarringtons.
Accession number: AR.2007.010
Quantity: 0.20 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

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.

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Scope and Contents

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.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

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.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Robbins, R. B.
Smith, Robert H.
Yarrington, Arthur H.
Yarrington, Lester.
Yarrington, Mary Smith.
Subjects
Abstracts of title--Texas.
Genealogy--Texas.
Land title--Texas.
Slavery--Texas.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Places
Austin (Tex.)--Genealogy.
Travis County (Tex.)--Commerce.
Travis County (Tex.)--Race relations.
Document Types
Financial records.
Legal documents.
Writings.

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Related Material

Austin Files


  • AF Biography - Robert Henry Smith
  • AF Subject - Yarrington Shoe Company B5236 (28)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Smith and Yarrington Families Papers (AR.2007.010). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2007/061

Donation Date: 23 July 2007

Processing Information

Original donation arranged in 2007. Collection rearranged, finding aid created and encoded by Toni Cirilli in 2019.

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Other Finding Aid

The initial inventory for this collection can be found here.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Smith and Yarrington Families Papers, 1862-1976

Box Folder
1 1 Slave bills of sale, 1862-1863
2 Substitution documents, 1862-1863
3 Abstracts of title & land transactions, 1903-1925, undated
4 Lester Yarrington biography, 1976

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