Uncovered Texas


Culbertson, John James

(March 16, 1853 - September 27, 1932) Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, John James Culbertson grew up in large northeastern cities. He married Emily Lou Lee of New Jersey in 1882 and soon became a salesman for a cotton product company based in Alabama. During his southern travels, Culbertson saw the potential for profit from cottonseed oil. He moved to Paris and was instrumental in building the first Paris cotton mill about 1884. The company, Paris Oil Works, was sold to American Cotton Oil Trust in 1887, and Culbertson moved to Arkansas to manage a southern oil company plant. Four years later the Culbertsons returned to Paris, where he built a small cottonseed oil empire through the Paris Oil and Cotton Company, later known as Southland Cotton Oil Company. Culbertson was asked to participate in a master plan for the growth of Paris in 1913. As an influential Texas financier, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas when it was formed in 1914. His nationwide reputation as a cotton producer led President Woodrow Wilson to appoint him to the board that organized a bureau to oversee cotton and cottonseed products for the U. S. Food Administration in 1917. After Paris was ravaged by fire in 1916, John and Emily Culbertson were among leading citizens who rebuilt the city. Held in high esteem by the people of Paris, the Culbertsons gave many public spaces, monuments and works of art to the city and several local institutions, including the Paris Public Library and the fountain of imported Carrara marble on the city's central plaza. (1999)

Paris, Texas

Lamar County

Year Erected: 1999

Marker Type: 27" x 42"

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