But Also Good Business: Texas Commerce Banks and the Financing of Houston and Texas, 1886-1986

Overview


For more than a century the Houston area has grown steadily and at times spectacularly. The lifeblood of the region's development has been the flow of credit; its heart, the banks that have pumped investment dollars through the economy, and particularly Texas Commerce Bank, one of the city's largest.

From the chartering of Texas Commerce's first predecessor in 1886, the bank's ancestor institutions helped finance the growth of the region's lumber, cotton, and oil industries and...

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Overview


For more than a century the Houston area has grown steadily and at times spectacularly. The lifeblood of the region's development has been the flow of credit; its heart, the banks that have pumped investment dollars through the economy, and particularly Texas Commerce Bank, one of the city's largest.

From the chartering of Texas Commerce's first predecessor in 1886, the bank's ancestor institutions helped finance the growth of the region's lumber, cotton, and oil industries and played important roles in Houston's civic life. One of them, the National Bank of Commerce, was long controlled by Jesse Jones, secretary of commerce and head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation under President Franklin Roosevelt and one of the fathers of modern Houston.

In recent decades Texas Commerce again received considerable publicity as one of the fastest growing and most profitable banks in the nation. Since the early 1970s, it acquired more than seventy subsidiary banks throughout Texas and the region.

In their research the authors had complete access to bank records and to current and retired bank officers. The balanced, readable result will fascinate bankers, investors, economic and business historians, and others interested in the economic development of a state region.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert C. McMath

"Professors Buenger and Pratt have produced a first-rate history of Texas Commerce Bank and of the bank's corporate "family tree." More importantly, they have used the history of this leading financial institution to explore the linkages between banking and economic development in the vast region of which Houston is the hub. The combination of carefully researched corporate history and wide-ranging analysis of regional economic development makes this book an important addition to the history of banking and of Texas and the Southwest."--Robert C. McMath, Jr., Professor of History, Georgia Institute of Technology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780890969809
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1986
  • Pages: 468
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Chapter 1. Introduction: A Century of Growth by a Bank and Its Region 3
Chapter 2. The Rise of Houston and Its Banks, 1886-1914 12
Chapter 3. Creating a New Banking Order, 1905-14 40
Chapter 4. Jazz Banking in Boomtown, 1914-29 64
Chapter 5. Avoiding Disaster, 1929-33 90
Chapter 6. King Cotton and Its Banks Dethroned, 1929-45 109
Chapter 7. Creating Stability, 1933-45 132
Chapter 8. Responding to a World of Opportunities, 1945-56 146
Chapter 9. Merging for Size and Management Succession 177
Chapter 10. Financing a Maturing Region, 1956-71 210
Chapter 11. Industrial Management Comes to Texas Commerce 239
Chapter 12. From Bank to Bancshares, 1971-85 262
Chapter 13. Banking Amid Boom and Bust 303
Chapter 14. Conclusion: Banking and Regional Development 336
Appendices
A. Bank Directors 347
B. Bank Executive Officers: Biographical Sketches 371
C. Page One, Commerce National Bank Directors' Minutes 387
Notes 389
Bibliography 423
Index 435
Historical Highlights
Houston Banks and the Financing of the Ship Channel, 1911 23
William Bartlett Chew 28
James Everett McAshan 33
Jonas Shearn Rice and William Marsh Rice, Jr. 51
William Thomas Carter 54
Jesse Holman Jones 75
The Gulf Building 80
James Addison Baker 82
Roy Montgomery Farrar 99
Gainer B. Jones and Memories of the Bank Salvage Effort 105
Albert Dee Simpson 128
E. O. Buck and the Emergence of Modern Oil Lending 149
John E. Whitmore and the Formative Years of Real Estate Lending at NBC 161
A Journey to the East 170
An Epidemic of Management Succession Problems 179
Robert Pace Doherty 182
Tunneling Under the Unit Banking Law 194
The ABCs of Oil Production Payments 213
Producing Dollars from Concrete 227
The Brief Reign of Chairman Mecom 247
All in the Family 250
Ben Love and the Coming of Industrial Management 255
Oil Prices 307
The Texas Commerce Tower 325
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2003

    Banking ih Houston Before the Boom

    Texas Commerce Bank is no more, swallowed up by the banking mergers, but it had a history which paralleled the history of Houston and its growth. One of its predecessors, National Bank of Commerce, was controlled by Jesse Jones. Jones would later will his interests to the Houston Endowment who will sell it to American General, a very Houston kind of deal. TCB would later be personified by Ben Love, who learned the banking trade at River Oaks Bank and Trust. This book offers a view of how Houston did business before the great mergers of the 1980s and 1990s.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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