Skip to main content

Appleman Family Papers

Identifier: AC-585

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 108 digital images, scanned from the Applemans' family collection of photographs. Most photographs have only their front side scanned, but those photographs 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 photographs of Lois are images taken of her with her classmates at the Sproule School of Dance. The collection also includes photographs 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. The locations of the photographs include Huntington, West Virginia; Beaumont, Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; the South Liberty Oil Field in Liberty, Texas; and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. 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 images of various homes around the city. Most of the locations are unidentified, but one photograph was taken in front of the original YMCA building on Forsythe Street. Another photograph was taken in front of what was possibly the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Fletcher.


  • Creation: 1890s-1980s


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

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.

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 automobile 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 1920's. 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 on October 26, 1906. Lois married Luther Albert Holmes around 1931, and they had one daughter, Frances Holmes (February 16, 1932 - January 1992). She then 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, was born in 1940.

The family was very involved in the social life of Beaumont in the 1910's and 1920's. 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.


108 TIFF files


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 photographs of family members, their travels, the B. K. Appleman Buick dealership, and photographs of early Beaumont. It also includes advertisements for the B. K. Appleman Gumbo Bit and patent applications.

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.

  1. Appleman Family Photographs
  2. Appleman Patents
  3. Appleman Scrapbook
  4. Old Beaumont

Acquisition Information

Donated by Nancy Caffey , 2013 August.


No further accruals are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 August.

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

Finding Aid for the Appleman Family Papers, 1890s-1980s
Tyrrell Historical Library Staff
2013 September 04
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Tyrrell Historical Library Archives Repository