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Finding Aid for the Appleman Family Papers

Appleman Family Papers

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Finding Aid for the Appleman Family Papers, 1890s-1980s

Tyrrell Historical Library

2013 September 04

Profile Description

Creation: 2013 September 04. Encoded in Exchanger XML Editor by Tyrrell Historical Library staff.
Language: English

Descriptive Summary

Repository:Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont Public Libraries, 695 Pearl St, Beaumont, TX 77701
Creator:Appleman family
Title:Appleman Family Papers
Extent:108 TIFF files
Asbstract:The Appleman family owned the first Buick dealership in Beaumont, and actively participated in the social life of the town. This collection of digital photographs, scanned from the originals, includes photos of family members, their travels, the B. K. Appleman Buick dealership, and photos of early Beaumont. It also includes advertisements for the B. K. Appleman Gumbo Bit and patent applications.
Language:Materials are in English.

Organization of Collection

This collection is held in one folder, with four subfolders. Subfolder titles correspond to series titles, and photographs are listed chronologically, and then alphabetically.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 108 digital images, scanned from the Applemans' family collection of photographs. Most photos have only their front side scanned, but those photos which had writing on the back also had their back scanned.

A majority of the photographs consist of family portraits, depicting Boyd K. Appleman, Ada Frances Appleman, Lois Appleman, and Frances Holmes. Among the photos of Lois are photos taken of her with her classmates at the Sproule School of Dance. The collection also includes pictures of the exterior and interior of the Appleman Buick dealership at 901 Pearl Street in downtown Beaumont (it later was moved to College Street). There is also a photograph of "The Virginias," which appears to be a men's chorus, and a portrait of "Soldier Billy," a soldier with whom the family corresponded until his death in 1928.

A second folder of images contains scans of the patent submitted by William Appleman for his steering gear. It also has scans of advertisements for the Appleman Gumbo Bit.

The third folder of images includes photographs from a scrapbook documenting the family's travels. Photographs' locations include Huntington, West Virginia; Beaumont, Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; the South Liberty Oil Field in Liberty, Texas; and the Grand Canyon. It also contains photographs of oil fields in Texas, possibly the "Second Spindletop" field in Beaumont.

The fourth folder holds photographs taken around Beaumont, including several pictures of various homes around the city. Most of the locations are unidentified, but one photo was taken in front of the original YMCA building on Forsythe Street. Another photo was taken in front of what was possibly the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Fletcher.

Biographical Note

Boyd Kenida Appleman was born in Pennsylvania on November 21, 1874, to Mathias M. Appleman and Margaret J. Barber. He married Ada Frances Buckwalter (born 1869), and they had one daughter, Lois Ethel. The family moved to Beaumont, Texas, where Appleman opened the city's first Buick dealership. They established their home at 2599 Calder Avenue. Appleman also served as a director of the Beaumont Security State Bank and Trust Company.

In addition to his auto business, Appleman was an inventor. He filed patents for a "starting mechanism for explosive engines," and also invented the Appleman Gumbo Bit. This bit was used during the second Beaumont oil boom of the 1920s. It excelled at drilling through the "gumbo" clay soil which is found in the southeast Texas region. Likewise, Appleman's older brother, William (March 14, 1856 - March 13, 1936), invented a steering gear for automobiles, which was patented in 1915.

Boyd Appleman married Ada Frances Buckwalter, born 1869, on January 1, 1901, in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. They had one daughter, Lois Ethel Appleman, who was born October 26, 1906. Lois had one daughter, Frances Holmes (February 16, 1932 - January 1992), with Luther Albert Holmes. Lois married John Winn Caffey (June 16, 1891 - August 11, 1964), on February 2, 1934, and they had one son, Boyd Winn Caffey (October 6, 1936 - April 18, 2013), and one daughter, Nancy Lois Caffey, born in 1940.

The family was very involved in the social life of Beaumont in the 1910s and 1920s. Lois took dancing lessons from Judith Sproule at the Sproule School of Dance. They also enjoyed driving around Beaumont in their Buicks and taking photographs of local homes and shops.

Boyd died on September 12, 1962, and Ada died in 1947. Lois died on December 9, 1960. They are all buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas.

Index Terms

Appleman, Boyd Kenida, 1874-1962
B. K. Appleman Buick Dealership (Beaumont, Tex.)
Sproule School of Dance (Beaumont, Tex.)
Buick automobiles
Family life
Inventors--Beaumont (Tex.)
Grand Canyon (Arizona, United States : canyon)
Huntington (Cabell county, West Virginia : inhabited place)
Liberty (Liberty county, Texas : inhabited place)
Black-and-white photographs
Digital images


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions may apply.


The Tyrrell Historical Library holds copyright for materials created by the Appleman family. Exceptions include items published elsewhere, for which copyright is retained by their creator and/or publisher. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Appleman Family Papers, 1890s-1980s, AC-585, Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Nancy Caffey , 2013 August.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 August.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 September.

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