Alba Heywood Family Papers, 1858-1948Add to your cart.

By Zachary Richardson

Collection Overview

Title: Alba Heywood Family Papers, 1858-1948Add to your cart.
Predominant Dates: 1909-1929
ID: 01/ HM.56
Extent: 16.0 Boxes
Arrangement: Arranged and described at the folder/item level.
Languages: English


Correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, printed material, literary productions, photographs, and scrapbooks relating to Alba Heywood's activities as a land developer in the lower Rio Grande Valley town of San Benito, Texas.

Collection Historical Note

HEYWOOD, ALBA (1859–1921). Alba Heywood, oil producer and land developer, son of Chester Wright and Clarissa Beancia (Bannister) Heywood, was born at Kingsville, Ohio, on April 9, 1859. He attended public schools and worked as a newsboy in Cleveland as a teenager. After a stint as a farm laborer, he became a canvassing agent and impersonator; he and his three brothers, Dewey, O. W., and W. Scott, eventually formed a vaudeville team and traveled throughout the country. The Heywood brothers acted quickly upon the discovery of the Spindletop oilfield to form the Heywood Brothers Oil Company, which acquired profitable oil leases at the field. With secure storage, pipelines, and markets, the Heywoods survived the depressed oil prices in the wake of the booms of the early 1900s. Expanding rapidly, the Heywood Company discovered oil at Jennings, Louisiana, in 1902. Alba was on Louisiana Governor N. C. Blanchard's staff with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel from 1904 to 1908. He returned to Texas and helped develop a massive irrigation project in the Rio Grande valley that developed 55,000 acres and founded the city of San Benito. He served as President of the San Benito Land and Water Company, the Jennings-Heywood Oil Syndicate, and the San Benito Bank and Trust Company. In addition, he was secretary of the Jennings Oil Company and of Cameron County Water Improvement District Number Two. Heywood was married to Genevieve Stoy in 1892 and to Francis Turner on July 19, 1906. He was a Bryan Democrat and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He ultimately made his home at San Benito. He died on September 15, 1921.

Source: Robert Wooster, "HEYWOOD, ALBA," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 03, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Subject/Index Terms

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Archives and Rare Books department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

Collection is housed in the UNT Archives and Rare Book department vault. The UNT Archives and Rare Book department request a 24 hour notice from patrons in order to page materials from vault and ready the materials for use. Please contact the UNT Archives and Rare Book department for further information.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: Manuscripts
Accruals: A-010, 86-012
Preferred Citation: Alba Heywood Family Papers, University of North Texas Archives and Rare Books
Processing Information: Box-level description available for collection in the UNT Archives. Please contact the UNT Archives for more information.


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