A Guide to the Maddox Family Papers, 1850-1935
The Maddox brothers, John. W. Maddox (1846-1935), and his brother Frank M. Maddox (1851-1921), began working as surveyors in the panhandle in the early 1870s. John Maddox was associated for a time with Gunter and Munson in their land speculation activities in the 1870s and formed a partnership with G.W. Angle in San Antonio in the early 1880s. Frank Maddox came to Austin in 1875, where he was associated for a time with Paul McCombs, was joined by his brother in the mid 1880s; and with Charles E. Anderson (1852-1924), a former employee of the General Land Office, formed the firm of Maddox Brothers and Anderson. This firm continued to be active through the last two decades of the nineteenth century and into the second decade of the twentieth. During this time employees of the firm included W.S. Porter, better known as O. Henry.
Through the 1890s an important business focus of the Maddox Brothers was land speculation and real estate development, in addition to their regular work as surveyors. With John Powers they established the Day Land and Cattle Company, possibly as a way to make use of land purchased on speculation. As land agents they purchased large numbers of Veteran Donation certificates and Confederate Scrip which were being issued by the State of Texas at this time. These certificates were then used to locate land which was subsequently sold, either whole or subdivided. Maddox Brothers and Anderson also purchased large blocks of school land located in west Texas being sold by the state very cheaply. Most of this activity in land speculation came to a virtual halt after 1898 when no more unappropriated public land was available. After that time the main focus of the firm shifted once again to surveying. Frank Maddox was also active in local politics and held official positions: he was elected mayor of Austin in 1907, and served as deputy surveyor of Dickens County around 1915.
The Maddox Family Papers consists of maps, correspondence, and typescript materials dating from 1850 to approximately 1941. The bulk of the materials is made up of maps and sketches which were gathered or produced in relation to the surveying and real estate interests of John W. Maddox and his brother Frank M. Maddox. Additional correspondence and other materials are also present which relate to personal and some business matters of the Maddox family.
I. Maps and Sketches, 1850-1925.
The maps in the Maddox Family Papers consist of approximately 450 maps dating from 1850 to the 1920s, the bulk of which were produced from the 1870s through the 1890s. Present are maps made by a variety of different processes including photograph, lithograph, tracing, blueprint, sketch, and manuscript. Tracings are generally hand-drawn copies of maps made on a treated cloth. Most of the sketches are also made on cloth, while manuscript maps are on paper.
The maps in the Maddox Family Papers were used for different aspects of their business and reflect their interests and activities at various times. Many of the maps are county land maps indicating original land grants on Texas public lands, mostly in west Texas. The majority of the land grant maps were originally prepared by the Texas General Land Office and reproduced by lithograph, blueprint, or tracing. Included in this group are a large number of lithographs printed by the St. Louis firm of Gast. A few of the lithographed county land grant maps were prepared by railroad companies for the sale of railroad scrip. Other land maps are present, particularly tracings, which show smaller portions of counties, sometimes only covering a few grants. Many of the tracings have notations indicating that they were prepared by the General Land Office for Maddox Brothers and Anderson.
Several groups of ranch maps are also present. These maps depict the boundaries and holdings of several Texas ranches including the OX, XIT, Pitchfork, Santa Rosa, Ward, Kenedy, and King. Details on these maps often indicate such features as fence lines, windmills, and corrals. The ranch maps were generally prepared by the Maddox Brothers and Anderson.
Still another group of maps present are various state and city maps, including Austin, Swearington, Lockhart, and Galveston. Austin is particularly represented, with a large number of maps made after 1900. Many of the Austin maps were made in connection with subdivision developments. One particularly notable map in this group is a large lithograph, dated approximately 1885, depicting the Glen Ridge subdivision (never developed), and including pictures of several fine Austin homes of the time.
II. Correspondence, 1886-1916
The correspondence consists of letters and postcards to and from various members of the Maddox family including Frank Sr., Mrs. Frank Maddox, daughter Ada Mary, Frank Jr., and John W. The postcards are from various other people.
III. Printed Materials, 1859-1941
The bulk of the printed materials contain newspaper articles about O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) and a brief "recollection" of O. Henry by Frank Maddox. All produced after the writer's death in 1907. W. S. Porter was once an employee of the Maddox Brothers.
Two reports on the subjects of railroads, "First Annual Report of the Houston and Great Northern Railroad Company" and "Report of the State Engineer of Texas" have no obvious relation to the business dealings of the Maddox brothers, but could indicate that the firm speculated in lands awarded to railroads in Texas.
Finally, there is a printed contract awarding Ada Mary Maddox 1/4000 mineral rights in various lands totaling approximately 2500 acres.
Materials may be under copyright protection. US copyright law does allow for reproduction of materials under copyright for uses such as critique, criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form.
The maps in the Maddox Family Papers were loaned by the Frank Maddox family in 1936 for exhibit at the Texas Centennial Exhibition in Dallas. Offered for sale in 1991, the Maddox Family Papers were acquired by the Archives and Records Division of the Texas General Land Office with the assistance of generous grants from several Texas foundations.
[Short title of Document], [Date: Day-Month-Year]. Box [#], Folder [#], p. [#]. Maddox Family Papers (AR.285.MFP). Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin.
The maps in this collection have been digitized and are available through the Texas General Land Office's Maps and Sketches Database online.
Additionally, materials relating to O. Henry in this collection have been digitized and are linked to in the Detailed Description of the Collection below. The digitized O. Henry items are part of a collaborative digitization project hosted by the Portal to Texas History and funded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Detailed Description of the Collection