A Guide to the Thomas William House Papers, 1838-1872
Born in Stoke St. Gregory, Somersetshire, England, Thomas William House (1814-1880) emigrated to the United States in 1835. After briefly working in New York City as a banker, House moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he managed the bakery of the St. Charles Hotel. In 1838, he opened the bakery and confectionary firm House and Loveridge in Houston, Texas, which he later co-administered with Charles Shearn. Two years later, House married Shearn’s daughter Mary Elizabeth, with whom he had five children. By 1853, he had helped establish the Houston and Galveston Navigation Company and purchased the dry goods and grocery business James H. Stevens and Company, which he renamed T. W. House and Company. Elected mayor of Houston in 1862, House developed the Houston Gas Company and several railways, including the Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange as well as the Houston and Texas Central. Additionally, House owned a sugar plantation in Arcola and a 70,000-acre ranch in La Salle County while also producing cotton.
Beazley, Julia. "House, Thomas William."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed June 15, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fho68.
Composed of six volumes of Photostats of correspondence, financial records, and circulars, the Thomas William House Papers, 1838-1872, document House’s career as a merchant, cotton producer, and business developer in Houston, Texas. Consisting mainly of business letters, correspondence primarily concerns the shipment of merchandise and cotton to England, while financial records include promissory notes, receipts, and inventories of goods and prices. Additionally, circulars for several businesses in Houston advertise clothing and liquor, among other items.
This collection is open for research use.
Thomas William House Papers, 1838-1872, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers