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Sam Houston Center

Sam Houston Center Collections

Sam Houston Regional Libary and Research Center

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s (TSLAC) Archives and Information Services Division (ARIS) and serves as the official regional historical resource depository for the 10 southeast Texas counties of Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler. The Center’s collections include over 12,000 cubic feet of historical materials related to Southeast Texas, including local government records, manuscripts, fine art prints and photographs, blueprints and maps, newspapers, rare books and journals, three-dimensional artifacts, and a variety of audio-visual materials and microfilm.  For more information on the Sam Houston Center and its holdings, including materials not available online, visit the Center’s page or contact reference staff at samhoustoncenter@tsl.texas.gov.

These images have various known copyright and other restrictions but are available for reference purposes. See individual copyright statements at the item level for more information regarding copyright and publication options. Please include the credit “(image number, collection name,) Courtesy of Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission” when using these images in any way.

These collections can be found elsewhere in the Texas Digital Archive and are grouped together here for convenience purposes as a virtual collection.

Horald V. Watson collection | Greg D. Box photograph collection | L.J. Whitmeyer glass plate negatives collection | Clyde and Thelma See glass plate negatives collection| Don Kelly Southeast Texas Postcard collection || Jean Laffite collection


Horald V. Watson Collection, 1917-1920s, about 1940, 1954, 1957, undated

Grady Barnhart and four men in Batson, Texas, oilfield

Grady Barnhart and four men in Batson, Texas, oilfield

Creator: Watson, Horald V., 1901-1977
Title: Horald V. Watson collection
Dates: 1917-1920s, about 1940, 1954, 1957, undated
Abstract: The Horald V. Watson collection includes one set of Daisetta water control records, two prescription sheets from Bell’s Pharmacy and Drugs, an official pocket seal, and photographs of Batson, Hull, Daisetta, and Galveston, Texas, dating 1917-1920s, about 1940, 1954, 1957, undated. Photographs from this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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Greg D. Box Photograph Collection, about 1900-1910

A matted photograph of the Batson Oil Gusher

Batson Oil Gusher

Collector: Box, Greg D.
Title: Greg D. Box photograph collection
Dates: about 1900-1910
Abstract: The Greg D. Box photograph collection consists primarily of photographs of oil workers, equipment, and oil fields in Sour Lake, Texas, dating about 1900-1910. Views of the town include a fire at the Sour Lake National Bank.

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L.J. Whitmeyer Glass Plate Negatives Collection, about 1890-about 1910

Group portrait in front of porch

Group portrait in front of porch

Collector: Whitmeyer, Jack, Jr., 1921-2010
Title: L.J. Whitmeyer glass plate negatives collection
Dates: about 1890-about 1910
Abstract: The L.J. Whitmeyer glass plate negatives collection consists of 39 glass plate negatives of Hardin County, Texas, dating about 1890-about 1910. Select images within this collection were created by photographers Hughes and Lane of Batson, Texas. Images are of group portraits, street scenes and the surrounding area of Saratoga and Batson, Texas. Some of the plates are cracked, broken or damaged.

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Clyde and Thelma See Glass Plate Negatives Collection, about 1905-about 1920

Man on horseback with young child

Man on horseback with young child

Collector: See, Clyde A. (Clyde Alan), 1922-2002
Title: Clyde and Thelma See glass plate negatives collection
Dates: about 1905-about 1920
Abstract: The Clyde and Thelma See glass plate negatives collection consists of 122 glass plate negatives and eight contact prints of Hardin County, Texas, dating about 1905-about 1920. One image was created by Fletcher Photo Company; other creators are unknown. Images are of group portraits, street scenes, and the surrounding area of Saratoga and Batson, Texas. Some of the plates are cracked, broken, or damaged.

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Don Kelly Southeast Texas Postcard Collection, about 1898-about 1997

Beaumont: The Town of Towns postcard

Beaumont: The Town of Towns postcard

Collector: Kelly, Don, 1940-
Title: Don Kelly Southeast Texas postcard collection
Dates: about 1898-about 1997
Abstract: Don Kelly, Southeast Texas community leader, collected 1473 postcards, picture postcards, photographic postcards, and photographs depciting notable scenes of life, locale, and architecture in an area of Southeast Texas surrounding the cities of Orange, Beaumont, and Port Arthur. These three cities comprise the principal subjects of the collection; additional places depicted include the Spindletop Oil Field, Sabine Pass, Sour Lake, the Sabine River, and the Neches River. Dates covered are about 1898 to about 1997, the bulk about 1898 to about 1930. Subjects covered include church buildings, public schools, school buildings, hotels, oil fields, oil wells, oil refineries, restaurants, dwellings, streets, central business districts, parks, city halls, hospitals, post office stations and branches, courthouses, floods, industrial buildings, railroad stations, rivers, waterfronts, mills and mill-work, cargo ships, commercial buildings, the properties of John Warne Gates, the Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Company, Texaco, Inc., and the Gulf Oil Corporation.

Materials after 1932 are not available in the TDA due to concerns about copyright.

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Jean Laffite Collection, 1773-1986, undated

Julius (Jules) Laffite, 1858

Julius (Jules) Laffite, 1858

Creator: Laffite, Jean
Title: Jean Laffite collection
Dates: 1773-1986, undated
Abstract: Jean Laffite, along with his brother Pierre, engaged in piracy and smuggling in New Orleans, Louisiana, and then Galveston Island, Texas, during the 1810s-1820s. The Jean Laffite collection has two components. One component consists of original journals, documents, photographs, and publications allegedly written or owned by Jean Laffite or other Laffite family members. These materials were in the possession of claimed Jean Laffite descendant John A. Laffite. The second component consists of documents, photographs, postcards, maps, publications, clippings, research materials, manuscripts, and artwork that were collected by former Texas Governor Price Daniel Sr. The collection pertains to Jean Laffite’s career as a pirate/privateer, his alleged post-1820s life in the United States, Laffite family history, John A. Laffite’s activities and communications concerning his alleged Laffite family materials and his sale of the materials, and Price Daniel’s purchase of and interest in the Laffite materials. Photographic formats include tintypes, cartes-de-visite, and prints. Material dates from 1773 to 1986, and undated, with the bulk dating 1845-1979. Photocopies of some material contain information that originally dates from 1608 to 1980. Portions of this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

The collection is organized into nine series, of which the following have been digitized: Government and other official documents, Journals/Diaries, and Photographs.

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