Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - History



First Advisor

Perky Beisel

Second Advisor

Scott Sosebee

Third Advisor

Paul J.P. Sandul

Fourth Advisor

Linda Reynolds


The W.T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company began in 1898 and operated until 1968 when it was sold to the U.S. Plywood Corporation. The Polk County, Texas company harvested longleaf pine during a crucial period of development for the Texas economy. The lumber industry was the state’s first large scale commercial enterprise not dependent on farming and provided a model for future extractive industries in the state. The W.T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company town of Camden, Texas exemplifies rural implementations of the company town system in the Texas lumber industry. This public history thesis provides a brief history of paternalism and its impact in the development of company towns in the southern lumber industry. In addition the thesis provides an updated history of the W.T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company, its subsidiary companies, and the sawmill company town of Camden, Texas. The author discusses archival preservation and processing best practices applied to the company’s extensive collection of ledgers donated to the East Texas Research Center, a regional university archive. This work demonstrates the archival decisions making process regarding a more traditional processing method over MPLP and other archival processing techniques.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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