Thompson & Tucker Lumber Company (Signed by J. L. Thompson)
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Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Thompson & Tucker Lumber Company dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which has been signed by J. L. Thompson as the company President as well as the company Secretary, was printed by Clarke & Courts of Galveston, Texas, and measures approximately 10 1/2" (w) by 7 1/4" (h).
This certificate's vignette features workers unloading lumber from a horse-drawn carriage and carefully stacking it.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
The Thompson enterprises began in 1852, when B. F. Thompson and his two sons erected a sash mill near Kilgore. They built two circular sawmills before the Civil War and another immediately after the war. After the death of W. W. Thompson in 1874, J. M. Thompson took in a partner, Henry Tucker, and carried on the business with the aim of gradually bringing in his sons. Of his sons the most active in the business were J. Lewis, Alexander, and Hoxie. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Thompsons built their empire in timber through a series of sound business decisions. In 1881 they moved their operations to Willard in order to market lumber via the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway. They facilitated their marketing with connections by partnership to retail lumberyards. They organized a collection of corporate vehicles-including the Thompson and Tucker Lumber Company, the J. M. Thompson Lumber Company, the Thompson Brothers Lumber Company, and the Thompson and Ford Lumber Company-to hold their interests. Most important, they acquired timberland and built mills, and their interests sprawled across East Texas. By 1907 their companies owned 149,736 acres of land and operated mills at Willard, Doucette, and Grayburg. From 1906 on, they managed their interests from corporate offices in Houston.
The panic of 1907 struck the expanding company hard. With reorganization of management, deferment of expansion, and infusions of capital from a retail lumberman named Ben Foster in Kansas City, the Thompsons survived the panic, retrenched, and resumed expansion by building new mills at New Willard and Trinity. The panic caused them, however, to rethink their operations and to make provision for future exigencies. They fenced thousands of acres of cut-over lands, set up a cattle company to use them, and established a demonstration farm on them, in order to facilitate sales of such lands to ranchers and farmers. The Thompsons also, in calculated fashion, separated the functions of ownership of lands and cutting of lumber. They turned lumbering operations over to two new companies in which they held interests, the Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company and the Rock Creek Lumber Company, and converted their older companies into land companies. In keeping with these policies, when the Thompsons bought 89,000 additional acres of timberland in Houston and Trinity counties in 1914, they cut none of the timber themselves but organized the Houston County Timber Company to hold the lands. In short, the Thompsons withdrew from lumbering and pursued other interests. J. Lewis and Alexander embarked upon careers in banking, and Hoxie took care of the brothers' land interests. In managing the land interests of the Thompsons, Hoxie Thompson pursued a twofold plan. First he sought to sell off cut-over lands as expeditiously as possible. The outstanding example of this occurred in 1936, when he sold 94,126 acres to the United States Forest Service for $12.50 an acre; these lands subsequently formed a large part of the Davy Crockett National Forest. His second concern was to keep mineral interests in land where he was disposing of surface rights. Consequently, during the 1930s and thereafter, despite the depression in the lumber business, the Thompsons remained prosperous through oil and gas leases. Meanwhile, by 1950 Hoxie had sold nearly all the Thompson lands.
John Lewis Thompson
John Lewis Thompson's Signature
Thompson was born in Rusk County, Texas on February 14, 1875. His father, J. M. Thompson, was one of the pioneer lumber men of Texas, and prominent in the early days Texas.
For a quarter of a century Thompson was one of the biggest lumber manufacturers of the South, a leader in the industry, and President of the Yellow Pine Manufacturers Association. He organized at various times during the twenty-five years he spent in this industry the following firms:
- Thompson Brothers Lumber Company
- Thompson-Ford Lumber Company
- Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company
- Rock Creek Lumber Company
He later got into the banking business, organizing and directing the Public National Bank of Houston.