The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company/Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company Records
Collection Number: M108
Dates: January 1905-February 1975
Volume: 57 volumes (10.45 cu.ft.)
In early 1904, Mr. William S. Morrison and Mr. Ira Gaston purchased a small brickyard located on the banks of the Bouie River 2 miles northwest of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The brickyard was then incorporated as the Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company, and sometime soon after the purchase, Mr. Paul L. Gaston bought Mr. Ira Gaston's interest in the company.
The Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company was the parent company of the Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company at Baptist, Louisiana, four miles west of Hammond. This plant was built in 1920.
In 1927, the Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company was sold to R. W. Dunn, W. E. Thigpen, and Herber Gillis. The name was changed to the Hattiesburg Brick Works and was rebuilt in its present location, directly across the public road (now Lakeview Road) from the original plant. The Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company was retained by the original owners.
In 1946, the Hattiesburg Brick Works was purchased from Mr. Thigpen, who was then the sole owner, by J. D. Lewis; and in March 1966, the Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company, still owned by the heirs of William S. Morrison and Paul L. Gaston, bought the Hattiesburg Brick Works from Mr. Lewis.
In 1979, the Hattiesburg Brick Works was sold to the Merry Company of Georgia.
This collection contains the partial records of two related brick companies owned by Mr. Ira Gaston and Mr. William S. Morrison, the Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and the Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company of Baptist, Louisiana. Financial journals, production records and time books are available for both companies. The records of the Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company document the company's activities between 1905 and 1927, while the records of the Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company document the years between 1920 and 1975. These records provide information about both the companies and the communities in which they were located.
The Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company was sold in 1927 and became the Hattiesburg Brick Works under the new ownership. None of the records in this collection are from the new company.
The journals document daily financial activities of these companies. While the primary function of the journals was to record expenses and revenues, they also identify local businesses and individuals which were buying brick. The production records generally document the number of bricks that were produced. They also usually contain notations about numerous procedures that took place in the making of bricks, so they provide an account of the daily activities in the brickyards. The time books contain wage and hour records of company employees. Correspondence, receipts, and various other types of miscellaneous materials were preserved by chance in the bound volumes of this collection. The most extensive of these miscellaneous records are 14 short financial statements of the Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company from the early 1920's. No other aspects of the businesses appear to be treated at length in these incidental materials, but individual items may provide complementary information about day-to-day operations.
The first subgroup of records were produced by the Riverside Brick and Manufacturing Company between 1905 and 1927, with the exception of a few records form 1928 and 1929 when the company was closing its books. The journals document all years except 1918-1923. The production records of the Riverside Company cover 1907-1908, 1918-1920, and 1924-1927. The time books cover 1915-1918, 1920-1921, and 1923-1925. The earliest of these records are a mixture of financial and production data which sometimes make them difficult to interpret and classify; none the less they are of interest because of the local families and businesses that are mentioned.
The second subgroup of records are for the Hammond-Baton Rouge Brick Company. There are journals for the years 1925-1927, 1930-1954, 1957-1958, and 1962-1963. Several of the journals differ in form from the general journals. For example, the general journal for 1939 contains entries for several different classification of expenses and revenues but the 1939 sales journal, as its name indicates, records only sales. Even though variations such as this exist, the journals are still of interest because they provide company records for the Great Depression, World War II, and the post-war boom. The production records, which also vary somewhat in the type of information they record, cover 1920-1929, 1935-1959, and 1964-1975. The records after 1945 appear to provide more technical information about brickmaking. The Hammond-Baton Rouge time books cover 1924-1925, 1928-1930, 1934-1936, and 1944.