Circa 1890s–early 1900s Collection of Thirteen Handwritten Letters to Judge R.E. Hendry and Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas, all sent from Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma.

“[A]n expert in real estate and abstract man”


Collection of letters relating to business transactions and the selling or administering of real estate in the 1890s and early 1900s. All the letters are addressed to two men in Mineral Wells, Texas, Judge R.E. Hendry and Ed C. Baker, all of whose correspondents write from Indian or Oklahoma Territory.

Judge R.E. Hendry is seen in the record as a county judge and ex-officio Superintendent of Education in Palo Pinto County. In 1886, one Robert E. Hendry (1847–1910) was a schoolteacher in Mineral Wells and the prime instigator of building the town’s first public school.¹

Ed C. Baker (1862–?) worked in the real estate and abstract business in Mineral Wells, establishing his business there in 1885. “[H]e established a real estate office at Mineral Wells, dividing his time between the two towns, continuing his dual occupation until January 1, 1890, when he sold his real estate and abstract business to Judge Hendry. Mr. Baker went to King and Knox counties, where he engaged in real estate operations and also opened a set of abstract books for those counties. In the fall of 1892 he returned to Mineral Wells and on the first of April, 1893, he entered the real estate business here. In 1897 he bought out Judge Hendry, thus regaining possession of his original abstract books. He conducted the business alone until 1904, when he admitted W.E. O’Neall to a partnership and the firm is now Baker and O’Neall. Mr. Baker is an expert in real estate and abstract man and is not only thoroughly familiar, from a life-long experience, with Palo Pinto county land, its values, and the situation generally, but he is equally well informed concerning land and real estate in almost every part of Texas, the requirements of his large clientage taking him into nearly all parts of the state. He has the entire confidence of the people, who know his value and ability, and among his regular clients are some of the wealthiest men of Texas.”²


First Series:

1. Autograph Letter Signed from W.D. Berry in Wagoner, I.[ndian] T. [erritory] writing to J. B. Pollard of Mineral Wells, Texas. Wagoner, I.T. July 9, 1895. [2]pp., large folios, on Berry’s letterhead.

W. D. Berry writes to his “Uncle Johnny” and pens the details of a fairly straight forward horse trade involving mares, studs, colts and a little gray pony. Berry complains of the month-long rains and encourages his Uncle to visit to go fishing and chicken hunting. He concludes the letter by promising to show Pollard “...some of these rich Indian widows.”

2. Autograph Letter Signed from W.D. Berry in Wagoner, I.[ndian] T. [erritory] writing to Judge R. E. Hendry of Mineral Wells, Texas. Wagoner, I.T. August 15, 1895. [1½]pp., large folios, on Berry’s letterhead.

This letter from Berry is a continuation of the horse trade transaction involving J. B. Pollard in Berry’s letter above, dated July 9, 1895. In essence, the transaction has been stalled or has been waylaid for reasons unknown to Berry. Judge Hendry is serving as a facilitator in the transaction and Berry cautions Hendry not to give any of the notes credit until Pollard pays out in cash.

3. Autograph Letter Signed from W.D. Berry in Wagoner, I.[ndian] T. [erritory] writing to Judge R. E. Hendry of Mineral Wells, Texas. Wagoner, I.T. September 27, 1895. [1]pp., large folio, on Berry’s letterhead.

A further continuation of the horse trade transaction involving J. B. Pollard in Berry’s two letters in Summer, 1895. Berry writes to Judge Hendry to iron out where and how Pollard’s notes will be redeemed and/or discounted.

Second Series:

1. Autograph Letter Signed from A.W. Wood in Mangum, Grear County, I.[ndian] T.[erritory] writing to Judge R. E. Hendry of Mineral Wells, Texas. Mangum, I.T. [nd., c. 1890s]. [1¼]pp., quarto sheet. On lined paper, embossed “Goldenrod.”

A. W. Wood is paralyzed (“I am parolized from my hips down and can not get around), as he notes in his letter to Judge Hendry of Mineral Wells, Texas. Wood is frustrated. The nearest post office is 24 miles away and Wood is not receiving any written replies to his queries from the Judge. Wood is clearly desperate for Judge Hendry’s help. He needs assistance to sell his property: “...we want you to sell it at some price or other. We are in need of the money to buy a little bunch of cattle. Buy us, Hendry if you can’t sell my property. Please help [get] it rent to Mr. Hand or some other good person please ... Please rite soon…”

2. Autograph Letter Signed from A.W. Wood in Mangum, Grear County, I.[ndian] T.[erritory] writing to Judge R. E. Hendry of Mineral Wells, Texas. Mangum, I.T. [nd., c. 1890s]. [3½]pp., 8vo., bifolium. On lined paper, embossed “DeKalb.”

A. W. Wood has finally received a reply from Judge Hendry regarding selling his property, presumably in Mineral Wells, Texas, and he is greatly perturbed: “...now it seems sorta strange that it seems you think we had never got the deed and now Judge Hendry that all confidence in you when I left the [Mineral] Wells was the reason why I put my business in your hands. I have never been particular with you Judge. I will not take $1800 for it + if yu have not sold it for $2000 you needent [sic] to… I don’t want you to think hard of me for riting [sic] cus [because] I have. I want to live and let live. Please send me the rents for this month rents for the Hotel. If the Hotel is not sold pay to Stone the balance of the rents…”

Third Series:

1. Autograph Letter Signed from J.E. Borah in Norman, Oklahoma [Territory] writing to Judge R.E. Hendry of Mineral Wells, Texas. Norman, Oklahoma [Territory]. January 12, 1892. [1]p., octavo, on mercantile letterhead.

Borah states that the tenant who occupies his house in Mineral Wells “...writes me he wishes to purchase it.” Borah asks Judge Hendry to attend to it, adding “[l]et me know what you think it is worth now.”

2. Autograph Letter Signed from J.E. Borah in Norman, O[klahoma]. T[erritory]. writing to Messrs. Hendry & Benson of Mineral Wells, Texas. Norman, Oklahoma [Territory]. July 26, 1892. [1]p., octavo, on mercantile letterhead.

Letter from Borah concerning payment for work on a ditch at his home in Mineral Wells: “While at home last spring I tried to get the ditch cut but it seemed no one was interested…”

3. Fragment of an Autograph Letter Signed from J.E. Borah in Norman, Oklahoma [Territory] presumably writing to Judge R.E. Hendry or Messrs. Hendry & Benson of Mineral Wells, Texas. Norman, Oklahoma [Territory]. [nd., c. 1892?]. [1]p., octavo, on mercantile letterhead.

Undated letter fragment from Borah again writing, presumably to Judge Hendry or Messrs. Hendry & Benson concerning his house in Mineral Wells. Borah writes about a tenant’s rent, having a new fence gate made, and paying his taxes: “I would like for you to render and pay my tax the lot in my mother’s name (Mrs. A.B. Cole) would like to have rendered seperate [sic] from mine, it is…in Wiggins addition.”

Fourth Series:

1. Autograph Letter Signed from R.A. Vaughan in Wynnewood, I[ndian]. T[erritory]. writing to Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas. Wynnewood, I.T. October 3, 1902. [1]p., quarto, on ruled paper.

Vaughan asks Baker to examine a property deed desiring to know “...if there is anything in them.” Vaughan notes there was some mis-communication, clarifying that “...J.M Erwin was my uncle that bought the lots…”

2. Autograph Letter Signed from J. Wm. Jones in Durant I[ndian]. T[erritory]. writing to Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas. Durant, I.T. December 19, 1902. [1½]p., octavo, on ruled paper.

Durant reminds Baker of their previous acquaintance and enquires about a house in Mineral Wells that is owned by W.C. Holland of Dallas, Texas and other properties: “The lot lies just West of Presbyterian Church. ... Also the one belonging to C.A. Foster of Longview, Tex., or have you other lots in that neighborhood.”

3. Autograph Letter Signed from Lee Atkisson in Madill, I[ndian]. T[erritory]. writing to Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas. Madill, I.T. January 25, 1903. [1]p., octavo, on ruled paper.

Replying to Baker’s letter and informing him “...that you can let the party have those Lots that you spoke of.” Atkisson requests Baker to “...insist on him paying the [w]hole amount and getting a release Deed at onste [once] if you can.”

4. Autograph Letter Signed from L.R. Nimocks in Clinton, Okla[homa]. [Territory] writing to Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas. Clinton, Okla. January 20, 1904. [1]p., octavo, on saloon letterhead.

Nimocks writes about an insurance policy that is expiring—he uses the word “out”—on January 22. He writes: “I want it renewed and if it is due 22nd have it renewed so I won’t have to pay for it until Mch 1st.” Intriguingly, he adds a postscript asking “[w]hat about that collection.”

5. Autograph Letter Signed from L.R. Nimocks in Clinton, Okla[homa]. [Territory] writing to Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas. Clinton, Okla. March 11, 1904. [1]p., octavo, on saloon letterhead.

Mimocks instructs Baker about his wishes concerning the sale of a property: “If you can’t sell this property for $4500.00 clear of all incumbrance pas[t?] 1st of April.” He promises to pay Baker $100 if he can sell the property.


Description: Circa 1890s–early 1900s Collection of Thirteen Handwritten Letters to Judge R.E. Hendry and Ed C. Baker of Mineral Wells, Texas, all sent from Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma.

Indian Territory or Oklahoma Territory, now present-day State of Oklahoma. 1892–1904. 13 ALsS, approx. [18] manuscript pages in all. See individual descriptions below. Folds; some scattered minor losses, stains, or tears; overall good to very good.

[3725495]

Notes. 1. Plaques in Mineral Wells, TX, United States - Open Plaques accessed online. 2. Paddock, ed. History of North and West Texas. Vol. II (Chicago and New York, 1906).


Price: $450.00

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