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Richard H. Bickerstaff Papers (MC 339) - Columbus State University

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Richard H. Bickerstaff Papers (MC 339)

Biographical/Historical Notes

Richard H. Bickerstaff was born on February 14, 1918 to Frank Jeter Bickerstaff and Bessie Bradford Bickerstaff. He was born in the family home at Brickyard, Alabama, the second of three sons, including his brothers Frank J. Bickerstaff Jr. and Robert Bradford Bickerstaff. He married Margaret Matheson Flournoy in June 1941. She died in 1998. They had three children; Mary Flournoy Bickerstaff Bradley, Richard Howard Bickerstaff, Jr. and Walker Reynolds Bickerstaff. Richard attended Brickyard School in Brickyard, Alabama and Columbus area schools. He graduated from Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia and attended Auburn University. Richard died February 20, 2014 at the age of 96 and is buried at the Bickerstaff family cemetery at Broken Arrow in Russell County, Alabama.

Richard H. Bickerstaff was descended from the pioneer Bickerstaff and Bradford families, which had deep roots in east Alabama and north Florida. Richard Bickerstaff led his family owned brick manufacturing business until its sale to an Australian firm Boral Ltd. in 1995. Bickerstaff Clay Products was founded in Russell County, Alabama in 1885 and was reportedly the fifth-largest clay brick maker when it was sold. A history of the company on the Boral website says that Bickerstaff Clay products came about when brothers William and James Bickerstaff purchased property on what is now Brickyard Road in Phenix City from the Abercrombie family. The land had been obtained by the U.S. government in 1832 through a treaty with the Creek Indians, with the tribe being moved westward and the Abercrombie family starting a cotton plantation on the site, which included a small brickworks. The Bickerstaffs turned their focus to brick manufacturing, with their families being born and raised on the land for decades. Improvements through the years led the company to start a subsidiary that made fork lift attachments to move bricks without pallets. This equipment was sold to other brick companies globally.

During his long career, he served as chairman of the Brick Institute of America and continued to be consulted by people in the industry on best practices. He served for many years on the Board of Directors of Synovus Financial Corporation and Total Systems Services, on the board of Columbus Bank and Trust, Columbus Mills and Tom’s Foods. He also operated Broken Arrow Land Company with his son Richard H. Bickerstaff Jr . In 2009 he led an eight person oversight committee on the $ 14.3 million renovation of First Presbyterian Church in Columbus. Throughout his long life he was active in many charities and civic activities.

Scope and Content

This collection of materials from the family of Richard H. Bickerstaff relates to the family history and genealogy, the history of Russell County, AL, Brickyard, Broken Arrow and the brickmaking industry, of which Bickerstaff Clay Products played a major role. Although very few of the materials are original documents, the information within is extremely valuable. The collection is contained within 6 boxes and divided into 3 series. Within each box, the folders are in alphabetical order by subject.

1860s-2013 6 boxes (6 l.f.)

Permission to Publish Permission to publish material from the Richard H. Bickerstaff Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required: Richard H. Bickerstaff Collection (MC 339) Columbus State University Archives Columbus, Georgia

Provenance

This collection was donated to the CSU Archives by the family of Richard H. Bickerstaff, via his daughter Mary Bickerstaff Bradley.

Note to Researchers

See also: other collections and books

Bickerstaff, Lindsay, Neill and related Families CS71. B6213 1979 (book)

L. Neill Bickerstaff, Sr. Collection (SMC 1)

Muscogiana-article by Sarah Bussey Bickerstaff

Pound and Flowers Architectural Drawings (MC 80)

Vertical File-Biographical

Box List

Series 1: Family history

Box 1

  • Folder 1 - Bickerstaff family members
  • Folder 2 - Bradford Family genealogy
  • Folder 3 - Bradfordville, Leon County, Florida
  • Folder 4 - Broken Arrow plantation
  • Folder 5 - Burnside Family
  • Folder 6 - Cantey Family
  • Folder 7 - Cantey, Winter
  • Folder 8 - Caroline Mitchell Howard
  • Folder 9 - Colonial Dames application for Mary F. Bickerstaff (Mrs. Richard Y. Bradley)
  • Folder 10 - Contents of notebook entitled “The Bradford Family”
  • Folder 11 - Correspondence between Robert Fort Bradford and Martha Elizabeth Whitaker, 1865-1881
  • Folder 12 - Crews Cemetery, Rutland Place, Mitchell, AL
  • Folder 13 - Crowell-Bradford-Whitaker family genealogy
  • Folder 14 - Crowell Burying ground, Fort Mitchell, AL
  • Folder 15 - Crowell home in Ft. Mitchell, AL
  • Folder 16 - Colonel John Crowell, Ft. Mitchell mementoes and some Indians of Broken Arrow”
  • Folder 17: - Colonel John Crowell, his horses, Fort Mitchell, Broken Arrow (bound)
  • Folder 18 - Colonel John Crowell portrait
  • Folder 19 - Descendants of Henry Bradford Crowell
  • Folder 20 - Direct Descendants of John Crowe 1588-1673
  • Folder 21 - Estate of Thomas Moffett Flournoy and Minnie L. Flournoy
  • Folder 22: - Helen Augusta Howard 1865-1934
  • Folder 23 - Howard family genealogy
  • Folder 24 - Interview with Richard H. Bickerstaff by Vaughan Fitzpatrick, 2008
  • Folder 25 - Jim Henry
  • Folder 26 - Little Prince, Creek Indian Chief; lived at Broken Arrow
  • Folder 27 - Oswichee Cemetery
  • Folder 28 - “Oswichee Reminisces” (bound)
  • Folder 29 - Pedigree chart for Richard Howard Bickerstaff
  • Folder 30 - Photographs-family
  • Folder 31 - Photographs-family II ( copies)
  • Folder 32 - Postmaster F. J. Bickerstaff, Brickyard, AL
  • Folder 33 - Register Report for Henry Bradford
  • Folder 34 - Robert E. Lee memo about Robert F. Bradford
  • Folder 35 - Robert F. Bradford Civil War prisoner of war record
  • Folder 36 - St. Theresa area and homes
  • Folder 37 - Treaty with Creek Indians 1828; Colonel John Crowell, Ft. Mitchell, Broken Arrow
  • Folder 38 - Whitaker family
  • Folder 39 - Woodruff/Lindsay family

Series 2: Bickerstaff Connections

Box 2

  • Folder 1 - Abstract of title of lands of F. J. Bickerstaff, Russell County, AL
  • Folder 2 - “Adventures of Little Prince”, 1995 (2 copies)
  • Folder 3 - Alabama Indian tribes
  • Folder 4: - Bradford House, Halifax County, North Carolina
  • Folder 5 - Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida
  • Folder 6 - Correspondence between Becky Mosely and Richard H. Bickerstaff
  • Folder 7 - Correspondence with Mary Alma and Dave Lang
  • Folder 8 - Correspondence with Suzanne Mahaffey concerning Bradford-Whitaker Ancestry, 2009-2014
  • Folder 9 - D’Angelo/Bickerstaff correspondence, 2004-2013
  • Folder 10 - D’Angelo emails about GAR (Gwinnett Archeological Research)
  • Folder 11 - D’Angelo: Haigh Kiln
  • Folder 12 - D’Angelo: Historical and archeological research for the Constitution Lakes Project, DeKalb County, Georgia
  • Folder13: - D’Angelo: International Brick Collectors Association
  • Folder 14 - D’Angelo: Oconee River Greenway Authority
  • Folder 15 - Dawson-Howard- Bickerstaff murder
  • Folder 16 - Historic American Buildings survey- Fort Mitchell
  • Folder 17 - Julian Robertson and Bradford family connection
  • Folder 18 - Land deals in Muscogee and Harris Counties
  • Folder 19 - Lucius F. Humber and Leila Humber (murder trial)
  • Folder 20 - Maps of Tallahassee and Bradfordville, Florida
  • Folder 21 - Pine Hill Plantation Cemetery, Bradfordville, Florida
  • Folder 22 - Pisgah United Methodist Church, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Folder 23 - Property in Russell County, maps and deeds; “Little Prince” land, sold 1986
  • Folder 24 - Race Horses- John Bascombe and others of Colonel John Crowell
  • Folder 25 - “The Rise and Fall of William McIntosh” by Andrew Frank
  • Folder 26 - Silver thief
  • Folder 27 - University of Georgia: donations and documents of Southeastern Native Americans
  • Folder 28 - Westville

Series 2: Bickerstaff Connections

Box 3

  • Folder 1 - Abercrombie Brickyard and family
  • Folder 2 - Abercrombie plaque/historic marker commemorating Brickyards
  • Folder 3 - Book orders /invoices
  • Folder 4 - Brickyard Project- 2012 Phenix City, AL -hotel, casino, zip line
  • Folder 5 - “The Cemeteries of Leon County, Florida”, 1978
  • Folder 6 - Chattahoochee Trace and Creek Trail of Tears
  • Folder 7 - Collinsworth Institute, Talbotton, Georgia (Nathan and Isador Strauss educated there)
  • Folder 8 - Creek Indian Treaties 1773, 1739, 1828 and 1832 (bound)
  • Folder 9 - Fall Line Trace Trail and Rails to Trails
  • Folder 10 - Fort Mitchell Park
  • Folder 11 - George Sallas
  • Folder 12 - Great Hog Chase
  • Folder 13 - Henri Jova, Atlanta architect of Midtown renewal
  • Folder 14 - Heritage Park: Historic Columbus Foundation
  • Folder 15 - “The Millionaires’ Colony; a somewhat intimate study of the Rich Wynntonites”
  • Folder 16 - Miscellaneous articles collected by RHB
  • Folder 17 - Mobile and Girard Railroad
  • Folder 18 - Phenix City Story and politics
  • Folder 19 - Pigeon shoot
  • Folder 20 - Plaque to Richard H. Bickerstaff from Bessemer Brick & Clay Workers
  • Folder 21 - Progressive Columbus Souvenir Edition 1902 (copy)
  • Folder 22 - Richard H. Bickerstaff’s personal correspondence-non-business and notes
  • Folder 23 - Russell County, AL ancestral homesteads
  • Folder 24 - Schoolhouse photographs
  • Folder 25 - Seale, Alabama
  • Folder 26 - Superior Court Case 1959: U.S.A. vs .Carrolton Sewer Pipe company, Sparta Ceramic Company
  • Folder 27 -:”Talking to the Man”, May 1965
  • Folder 28 - “There was a Land”, a story of Talbot County, Georgia (selected pages)
  • Folder 29 - Thronateska Fishing Club, 1913
  • Folder 30 - Whitewater in Columbus

Series 3: Brickmaking

Box 4

  • Folder 1 - BIA Award Nomination- John S. Steele
  • Folder 2 - Bickerstaff Clay Products balance sheet 1966
  • Folder 3 - Brick Forks
  • Folder 4 - Brick Industry-other companies and history
  • Folder 5 - Brickmaking - History I
  • Folder 6: - Brickmaking - History II
  • Folder 7 - Brickmaking publications
  • Folder 8 - Crary, J.W. - Brick maker
    • This folder includes a copy of Sixty Years a Brickmaker
  • Folder 9 - Dickey lawsuit-Plant site 6, part 1, 1987
    • This folder contains pre-closure data on W. S. Dickey.
  • Folder 10 - Dickey lawsuit-Plant site 6. Part 2, 1987
    • This contains the asset purchase agreement, W. S. Dickey pre-closure document, closing documents except original deeds and leases.
  • Folder 11 - Dickey lawsuit- Plant site 6, Part 3
  • This contains the Dickey property deeds, title policy and exceptions
  • Folder 12 - Dickey lawsuit -Plant site 6, Part 4
  • This contains Law Engineering and Superfund data.
  • Folder 13 - Employees of Bickerstaff Company
  • Folder 14 - “The English Pharaoh”; an Analytical History of Chattahoochee Brick Company, 1878-1978
  • Folder 15 - George C. Sells II, 1919-2005
  • Folder 16 - Homer L. Bryce
  • Folder 17 - Kilns and brickmaking
  • Folder 18: - Merry Brick Company, Augusta, Georgia
  • Folder 19 - “Pelfreyisms by Paul Pelfry, former Exhaulted Ruler of the United Brick and Clay Workers of America”
  • Folder 20 - Pensacola brickyards
  • Folder 21 - Photographs- brick plant

Box 5 Legal size documents

  • Folder 1 - Articles of Copartnership, 1920
  • Folder 2 - Bickerstaff Brick Company By-laws 1909
  • Folder 3: - Bickerstaff deeds of sale, 1911-1914
  • Folder 4 - Deeds- Abercrombie, Bickerstaff, Brinson 1839-1912
  • Folder 5: - Dissolution of Bickerstaff Brick Company, 1919
  • Folder 6 - Land grants/land patents
  • Folder 7 - Lindsay family

Box 6 Books

Among the collection of books donated by the Bickerstaffs, the following 5 were separated, cataloged, and shelved in the Archives Reading Room. They are:

  • The Millionaires’ Colony: A Somewhat Intimate Study of the Rich Wynntonites (F294.C7 M455 1929)
  • A Little History of the Magnolia Greene, Silver Run and Vilula Area, by Peter A. Brannon, 1966 (F332.R87 L58 1998)
  • A Concise History of Pittsview, Russell County, Alabama from 1891 to 1983, by Ellen Martin, 1983 (F332.R87 C66 1983)
  • Reminiscences in the Old South from 1834 to 1866; Things not to be Found in History, by John Williamson, Sr. (F209.C73 R46 1969)
  • Russell County Then … and Now; A collection of Articles, by John T. Smith (F332 .R87 S6 2002)
  • The remaining books listed below were kept with the collection.
  • Architectural Terra-Cotta, Superior Clay Corporation
  • Bricks and Brick Making: A Handbook for Historical Archeology, by Karl Gurcke, 1987
  • Bricks and Mortar, A Celebration of the First 50 Years of Midland Brick , by Mardi May, 1996 (autographed)
  • Brick and Tile Engineering, Handbook of Design, by Harry C. Plummer, 1950
  • Brick and Tile Engineering, by Harry C. Plummer, 1962
  • 1996, Autographed by George Cugley (Managing Director of Midland Brick.Cie)
  • "The Brick House", Builder’s Magazine, 2007
  • Brick Laying Vocational Training Student’s Textbook, by William F. Roark and Harry C. Plummer, 1965
  • Brick Making - Mud Cakes to Skyscrapers - From Then until Now, By Reid Wrenn 2008
  • Brick Making in Nebraska, by William F. Rapp, 1993
  • Brick Making in Sussex, A History and Gazetteer, by M. Beswick, 1993
  • Brick, Tile and Fireclay Industries in Scotland, by Graham Douglas and Miles Oglethorpe, 1993
  • The Building Brick Industry of the United States of America, 1961
  • Ceramics and Civilization: The Prehistory and History of Ceramic Kilns,Vol. VII , 1997 - Rice Kingery(ed)
  • Clay Pipe Engineering Manual, 1968
  • Clay that Burns, A History of the Fletton Brick Industry, by Richard Hillier, 1981
  • Colossus in Clay: Acme Brick Company, the Story of the Largest American-Owned Brick Maker, by Edwin E. Lehr, Ph. D., 1998 (Autographed)
  • Dig it, Burn it, Sell it! The Inside Story of IB Stock, Britain’s Largest Independent Brick Maker, by Michael Cassell, 1990
  • Directory Brick & Tiles Plants in the Southeast United States
  • Drummond, 10 Years of Good Energy in Columbia Social Balance, 2004
  • Evolution of a Potter, Conversation with Bill Gordy, by Lindsey King Laub, 1992
  • Gas Lines Magazine, July 1985
  • The Great Hudson River Brick Industry Commemorating Three and a Half Centuries of Brick Making, by George V. Hutton, 2003
  • A Handbook to the Pension Building, Home of the National Building Museum, by Linda Lyons, 1989
  • A History of J.C. Steele & Sons Incorporated Manufacturers of Clay Working Machinery, Statesville, NC, 1889, 1989
  • The History of Old Virginia Brick, 2008
  • In Commemoration of 100th Anniversary 1872-1972 of Victor Cushwa & Sons Inc., Williamsport, Maryland, Compiled and Edited by David K. Cushwa, 3rd
  • In Search of the Bricks of History, by Basil Saffer, 1994 (autographed)
  • The Isenhour Brick Company, A History
  • Lest We Forget, Nashville’s Lost Business and Their Stories (Autographed) by Ridley Wills II
  • November 1968 - The American Brick Industry, by H.W.H. West, the British Ceramic Society, 1967
  • Our Ancestors Were Engineers, by Arthur Weiz Crouch and Harry Dixon Clay Book, 1976
  • Pocket Guide to Brick Construction, 1990
  • The Refractories People, A History of the A.P. Green Refractories Co., by Orville H. Read, 1978
  • Structural Clay Tile, Principle of Design and Construction by Lawrence Dantzler, 1941
  • Reinforced, Brick, Masonry, Lateral Force Design, by Harry C. Plummer and John A. Blu me, 1953
  • A Tradition of Excellence (Chelwood Brick), 1997
  • 200 Years of Building America, 1975
  • Within These Gates (Autographed), by Daniel de Noyelles, 1982
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