Yates and Others

Walter William Fondren, Sr.

Walter William Fondren, Sr.[1]

Male 1877 - 1939  (61 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Walter William Fondren 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born 7 Jun 1877  Union City, Obion, Tennesse Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 5 Jan 1939  San Antonio, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Forest Park Cemetery, Houston, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4511  Yatesville History & Genealogy
    Last Modified 25 Apr 2019 

    Father Thomas Richard Fondren,   b. 1844, Lawrence, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1883, Obion, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years) 
    Mother Susanna Fondren,   b. Abt 1846, Tennesse Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1887, White, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years) 
    Married 7 Feb 1870  Lawrence, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2362  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ella Florence Cochrum,   b. 1 Jun 1880, Florence, Boone, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1982, Houston, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 101 years) 
    Children 
     1. Susie Ella Fondren,   b. 2 Dec 1904, Navarro, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Apr 1977, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     2. Walter W. Fondren, Jr.,   b. 23 Jun 1907, Houston, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Nov 1961, Houston, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)
     3. Mary Catherine Fondren,   b. 28 Aug 1908, Houston, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1970, Harris, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
    Last Modified 15 Aug 2022 
    Family ID F2436  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    fondren,walterwilliamsri4511_5.jpg
    fondren,walterwilliamsri4511_5.jpg

    Headstones
    fondren,walterwilliamsri4511_head.jpg
    fondren,walterwilliamsri4511_head.jpg

  • Notes 
    • 1910 United States Federal Census Name: Walter Fondren[Walter Fondron] Age in 1910: 2 Birth Year: 1908 Birthplace: Texas Home in 1910: Houston Ward 4, Harris, Texas Race: White Gender: Male Relation to Head of House: Son Marital Status: Single Father's Name: Wallis W Fondren Father's Birthplace: Tennessee Mother's Name: Ella Fondren Mother's Birthplace: Kentucky Wallis W Fondren 32 Ella Fondren 29 Susie Fondren 5 Walter Fondren 2 Katherin Fondren 1 Allen Cochrum 21 Emma Scott 18 Sim Fullmore 21 Willie Fullmore 26

      1920 United States Federal Census Name: Walter W Fondren Age: 12 Birth Year: abt 1908 Birthplace: Texas Home in 1920: Houston Ward 4, Harris, Texas Race: White Gender: Male Relation to Head of House: Son Marital Status: Single Father's Name: Walter W Fondren Father's Birthplace: Tennessee Mother's Name: Ella F Fondren Mother's Birthplace: Kentucky Able to Read: Yes Able to Write: Yes Walter W Fondren 42 Ella F Fondren 39 Susie Fondren 15 Walter W Fondren 12 Catherine Fondren 11 M Holly Cochrum 67 Ida Cochrum 26 Ed Caruthers 38

      New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Name: Walter W Fondren Jr Arrival Date: 4 Sep 1925 Birth Year: 1907 Birth Location: Texas Birth Location Other: Houston Age: 18 Gender: Male Port of Departure: Cherbourg, France Port of Arrival: New York, New York Ship Name: Aquitania

      New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 Name: Walter W Fondren Arrival Date: 24 Jul 1939 Age: 32 Gender: Male Port of Departure: New Orleans, Louisiana Ship Name: Ulua Port of Arrival: New Orleans, Louisiana Birthplace: Texas, Houston

      Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 Name: Walter W Fondren Jr Death Date: 1 Nov 1961 Death County: Harris Certificate: 64479

      Social Security Death Index Name: Walter Fondren SSN: 467-05-4912 Born: 23 Jun 1907 Died: Nov 1961 State (Year) SSN issued:

      Moved with family to Arkansas about 1883.

      FONDREN, WALTER WILLIAM (1877-1939). Walter William Fondren, oil operator and philanthropist, was born in Union City, Tennessee, on June 6, 1877, the son of Thomas R. and Susannah (Fondren) Fondren. His parents were first cousins. His father, a Civil Warqv veteran, died in the early 1880s, and when Walter was six he and his family moved to Arkansas in search of more productive farmland. Here he learned how to drill water wells, a skill he later adapted for drilling for oil. He was orphaned at age ten and worked on farms and in sawmills until age sixteen, when he went to Texas and became a farm laborer. In 1897 he gave up farming to work as a roughneck in the Corsicana oilfield,qv and by 1901 he was a skilled rotary driller, an expert on drilling equipment, and an independent operator in the newly discovered Spindletop oilfield.qv Fondren moved from field to field as new oil pools were discovered, and by 1905 he was operating under his own name and through a dozen companies and partnerships.

      9/26/2008

      Working assumption is the following:

      The delayed marriage listing in White County, Arkansas of 1872 reflects that "James" is J.T. Fondren's correct given name and that on this date he was 24 years old and marrying Mary E. McKinney who is 16.

      This gives credibility to the assumption that James is the correct name of J.T. therefore we should resist forcing the census documentation with different names from John or James to nicely fit the facts of passed down family history.

      Secondly, the stated age of 24 in 1872 was provided by an adult James T. Fondren. Research of TN census documentation is frustrating while attempting to find a James T. Fondren born 1846. This adult provided age of 24 provides a basis to accurately calculate James T. Fondren's age and it reflects a birth year of 1848, NOT 1846.

      As of this date, I will build a genealogy based on this new accurate dating by James T. Fondren and compare this result with family history.

      After this assumed base is built, I will attempt to further validate these findings with what should be a recorded fact in Obion County, TN based on family history. The family history indicates that the children of James T. Fondren were first cousins to Walter William Fondren born 1878 and his siblings. This is so as one of James T. Fondren's siblings was a parent of Walter William Fondren and his siblings. Family history indicates this sibling of James T. Fondren was a brother.

      The historical fact I will attempt to validate this working scenario with is our family history indicates that Walter William Fondren's parents both died suddenly in 1883 or 1884. Family history indicates that James T. Fondren returned to Union City, Obion Co., AR and received guardianship of Walter William Fondren (and it is speculated that his siblings were also included in the process). James T. Fondren returned home with these children and raised them in Kensett, White Co., AR until they were adults.

      I will now seek the court records to validate and/or correct the record based on the court records should they exits and can be found. Ron Yates

      Tennessee Marriages, 1851-1900 about SUSAN FONDREN Name: THOMAS R. FONDREN Spouse: SUSAN FONDREN Marriage Date: 07 Feb 1870 County: Lawrence State: TN

      1880 United States Federal Census Name: Susanna Fondren Home in 1880: Jacksonville, Obion, Tennessee Age: 31 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1849 Birthplace: Tennessee Relation to Head of Household: Wife Spouse's Name: Thomas R. Father's birthplace: Tennessee Mother's birthplace: North Carolina Thomas R. Fondren 32 Susanna Fondren 31 Anna E. Fondren 9 James T. Fondren 8 Elizabeth O. Fondren 6 Walter Fondren 2 Charles R. Fondren 11M

      SERVICES ARE HELD HERE FOR W.W. FONDREN

      Funeral Rites Conducted at St. Paul's Methodist Church for Pioneer Texas Oilman. Funeral service for Walter W. Fondren, Sr., one of the original founders of the Humble Oil and Refining Company were held at 3 p.m. Friday in St. Paul's Methodist Church. Mr. Fondren died Thursday in San Antonio of a heart attack. The body arrived in Houston Thursday night and lay in state until 10:30 am. Friday at the residence, 3410 Montrose Boulevard. Rev. Dawson C. Bryan, new pastor of St Paul's Methodist Church, Bishop A. Frank Smith, Bishop Sam R. Hay, Bishop C. C. Selecman and Rev. J. N. R. Score conducted the services. Burial was in Glenwood Cemetery. BEGAN AS A DRILLER

      Mr. Fondren, a pioneer in the Texas oil industry, began as a driller and field worker in the Corsicana field in 1898. Later he became a drilling contractor and independent oil operator. He was one of the organizers, in 1911, of the Humble Company, serving as vice president and director from 1912 until 1917. When it was organized in 1917 as the Humble Oil and Refining Company he continued as vice president until 1933 when he retired. In 1934 he assumed responsibility as district director of the Federal Housing Administration, serving 41 counties. Mr. Fondren at the time of his death was vice president and director of the National Bank.

      "Walter W. Fondren, Sr., Houston, Texas, lived on Fondren Farm, Kensett, Arkansas, with Grandfather Thomas' family, from age 6 years to about age 17 years, 1895 year, left and eventually went to Texas (Louisiana, at first). Walter and Daddy were first cousins, being sons of two Fondren brothers, Union City, Tennessee. [This was later determined that JT Fondren was a sibling to Susannah Fondren]. See my article titled "The Arkansas-Texas Fondren's Connection", written Sept. 30, 1998, Winter Haven, Florida." (Source: Fondren-Clements Papers; transcribed by Ronald E. Yates 8/23/2009)

  • Sources 
    1. [S88] GEDCOM File : db-fondren.ged, 12 Mar 2008.