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A. S. Williams III Americana Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Henry DeBardeleben business records W.0052

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Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

October 2013

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-11-15T16:06-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Henry DeBardeleben business records

Unit ID:

W.0052

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.5 Linear feet

Dates:

Bulk, 1886-1905

Dates:

1886-1953

Location:

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama

Abstract:

Official meeting minutes, stockholder letters, stock certificates, and legal documents produced by the DeBardeleben Coal Corporation, the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company, and the Bessemer Coal, Iron and Land Company.

creator

DeBardeleben, Henry F.

creator

Williams, A. S., III

Access Restrictions:

None

Acquisition Information:

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Preferred Citation:

Henry DeBardeleben business records, The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Scope and Contents note

This collection includes meeting minutes, stockholder letters, stock certificates, and legal documents produced by the DeBardeleben Coal Corporation, the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company, and the Bessemer Coal, Iron and Land Company. While materials date from 1886 to 1953, the bulk of the material is dated between 1886 and 1905. Two minute books document the director and stakeholder meetings of the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company. Entries are dated 1886 to 1900, and the earliest entries discuss the founding of Bessemer. The collection also contains stock certificates issued by the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company in 1887, legal documents issued between 1886 and 1905, letters sent to stockholders between 1886 and 1903, and two copies of a DeBardeleben Coal Corporation financial report, dated 1939-1948.

Biographical/Historical note

Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben was born on July 22, 1840, in Autauga County, Alabama. After the death of his father, DeBardeleben and his family moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where they lived with cotton gin manufacturer Daniel Pratt. DeBardeleben left school to supervise one of Pratt's factories and soon became Pratt's trusted business partner. DeBardeleben married Pratt's daughter, Ellen, in 1863.

After the Civil War ended, Pratt began to invest in mining ventures in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1872, he gained control of the Red Mountain Iron and Coal Company and placed DeBardeleben in charge of the newly acquired business; DeBardeleben, however, proved to be an unsuccessful manager and resigned in 1873. DeBardeleben continued to invest in the emerging coal and iron industry in Birmingham, partnering with Truman H. Aldrich to found the Pratt Coal and Coke Company in 1878. In poor health, DeBardeleben sold the company to Enoch Ensley in 1881 and moved to Mexico. DeBardeleben continued to invest in Birmingham's industry, founding the DeBardeleben Coal and Iron Company in 1886 and founding the city of Bessemer. The company merged with Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company in March 1892. DeBardeleben remained on the board of directors until he resigned in October 1894. DeBardeleben died on December 6, 1910, in Birmingham.

Source: Rikard, Marlene Hunt. "Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben." American National Biography Online.

Processing Information:

Processed by

Haley Aaron and Martha Bace, 2013

General note

Title on phase box spine: Papers of Henry DeBardeleben

Related Archival Materials note

The W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library holds additional collections of Bessemer Coal, Iron and Land Company records. See Bessemer Coal, Iron, and Land Company Records, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama.

Source(s)

Bessemer Coal, Iron, and Land Company. (local)

Bessemer Land and Improvement Company. (local)

DeBardeleben Coal Corporation. (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

Williams, A. S., III (local)

Bessemer (Ala.) (lcsh)

Business and Labor (localbroad)

Business records (lcsh)

Coal mines and mining (lcsh)

Jefferson County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Stock certificates (lcsh)

DeBardeleben Coal Corporation audit report, 1939-1948 Item 1 Box W0052.01

DeBardeleben Coal Corporation audit report, 1939-1948 (c.2) Item 2 Box W0052.01

Bessemer Land and Improvement Company minute book, 1887-1891 Item 3 Box W0052.01

Bessemer Land and Improvement Company minutes, 1892-1900 Item 4 Box W0052.01

Stock certificates, 1887 Box W0052.01 Folder 1

Legal documents, contracts, 1886-1905 Box W0052.01 Folder 2

Stockholder letters, advertisements and reports, 1886-1953, undated Box W0052.01 Folder 3