Inter-State Investment Company Records, 1887-1927

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Inter-State Investment Company

Title:  Records, 1887-1927

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection:  3.0 cu. ft. and 1 Oversize Map

Location Number:  Mss. BB I61

Scope and Content Note

Records of the Inter-State Investment Company, a land speculation company formed by Charles T. Ballard; his family and friends acted as stockholders and officers.  With R. C. Ballard Thruston acting as purchasing agent the company bought lands in Harlan County, Kentucky, and Lee County, Virginia.  The company then leased or sold the land at a profit.  The records document shareholder meetings, lands purchased and legal claims to those lands, flora and fauna on the lands, and business activities of the company.

 

Volume one contains a seven page history of the Inter-State Investment Company written by R. C. Ballard Thruston and notes for shareholder meetings for 26 February 1889 through 8 March 1927.  A few pages of hand written notes, apparently used in preparing the chronologies in this volume, are also included.

 

Volume two contains minutes for shareholder meetings from 1887-1927.  Typed reports concerning stock and bond values are occasionally inserted in the volume.  One of these reports is typed on paper with the letterhead of Ballard & Ballard Co., Manufacturers of the Obelisk Flour.

 

Volumes three through seven contain typed transcripts of titles for lands in Harlan County, Kentucky, typed transcripts of court documents when the ownership of the property was in dispute, and topographical maps and maps showing property lines of the area drawn by Thruston.  The survey notes often mention local flora.

 

Volume eight is an index to what appears to be a company filing system.  The envelopes and other records this volume refers to are not located at the Filson, although some or all of the information they contained may be available in other volumes.

 

Volume nine is an index to abstracts of titles contained in volumes three through seven and ten through twelve of this collection.  This index refers to specific pages and volumes; however, the volumes referred to in this index are not numbered the same as the volume numbers assigned by this finding aid.  Instead volumes are described as, for example, Kentucky volume 2.

 

Volumes ten through twelve contain typed transcripts of titles for lands in Lee County, Virginia, typed transcripts of court documents when the ownership of the property was in dispute, and topographical maps and maps showing property lines of the area drawn by Thruston.  The survey notes often mention local flora.

 

Volume thirteen contains abstracts of titles, reports on forestry, birds, and coal in the Black Mountain, Kentucky and Crab Orchard, Virginia regions, and reports on possession of lands in Harlan County, Kentucky, and Lee County, Virginia.  Some photographs of forests and coal seams are also included.

 

Volume fourteen contains abstracts of titles containing general data such as articles of incorporation, leases, mortgages, consolidation and deeds of release to property formerly owned by the Inter-State Investment Company.

 

Volumes fifteen and sixteen contain abstracts of titles and reports of and letters relating to surveys.

 

Roll 17 is oversized material and consists of three copies of a topographical map showing the Inter-State Investment Company’s holdings of timber on the Clover Fork River in Harlan County Kentucky.

 

 

Historical Note

The Inter-State Investment Company was formed by Charles T. Ballard (1850-1918) in response to a boom in land prices in 1886-1887.  R. C. Ballard Thruston left his position at the Kentucky Geological Survey to act as a purchasing agent for the company based on his knowledge of coal and timber lands in the Virginia and Kentucky region.

 

Initial stockholders in the company included Charles T. Ballard, S. Thruston Ballard, Mrs. Fanny T. Ballard, R. C. Ballard Thruston, John Churchill, Judge Alford T. Pope, Mr. S. Zorn, Mr. A. V. Lafayette, Mr. W. N. Culp, and others.  Charles T. Ballard served as president, and A. V. Lafayette as secretary.

 

The majority of the property purchased was in Harlan County, Kentucky, with additional property in Lee County, Virginia, and Wise County, Virginia (including property which became the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia).  The company continued to purchase land, and in 1894, J. F. Bullitt was hired to go over titles and correct any errors.

 

The company sold the last of its land in 1909, the last of its timber rights in 1927 (effectively ending the active business affairs of the company), and retired the last of its bonds in 1942.

 

Source: History of the Inter-State Investment Company by R. C. Ballard Thruston

 

Folder List

Volume 1: History of the Inter-State Investment Company by R. C. Ballard Thruston

Volume 2: Minute Book, 1887-1927

Volume 3: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Harlan County, Kentucky, vol. 1

Volume 4: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Harlan County, Kentucky, vol. 2

Volume 5: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Harlan County, Kentucky, vol. 3

Volume 6: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Harlan County, Kentucky, vol. 4

Volume 7: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Harlan County, Kentucky, vol. 5

 

Volume 8: Index to Unknown Volume

Volume 9: Index to Abstracts of Title Made for Inter-State Investment Company

Volume 10: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Lee County, Virginia, vol. 1

Volume 11: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Lee County, Virginia, vol. 2

Volume 12: Abstracts of Titles to Lands Lying In Lee County, Virginia, vol. 3

 

Volume 13: Abstracts of Titles with Reports on Forestry, Ornithology, Coal and Possession of Lands in Harlan County, Kentucky, and Lee County, Virginia, Miscellaneous vol. 1

Volume 14: Abstracts of Titles Containing General Data Such as Articles of Incorporation, Leases, Mortgages, Consolidation and Deeds of Release to Property Formerly Owned by the Inter-State Investment Company, Miscellaneous vol. 2

Volume 15: Abstracts of Titles, Reports of and Letters Relating to Surveys, vol. 1

Volume 16: Abstracts of Titles, Reports of and Letters Relating to Surveys, vol. 2

 

Roll 17 (ovsz): Three Topographical Maps of Kentucky Property on Which Timber was Reserved

 

 

Subject Headings

Ballard, Charles T., 1850-1918

Birds – Kentucky – Black Mountain

Birds – Virginia – Crab Orchard

Coal – Kentucky – Harlan County

Coal – Virginia – Lee County

Forests and forestry – Kentucky – Black Mountain

Forests and forestry – Virginia – Lee County

Kentucky – Black Mountain – Photographs

Kentucky – Harlan County – Maps

Keokee Coal and Coke Company (Keokee, Va.)

Land speculation – Kentucky – Harlan County

Land speculation – Virginia – Lee County

Letterheads

Mines and mineral resources – Kentucky – Harlan County

Mines and mineral resources – Virginia – Lee County

Natural resources – Kentucky – Harlan County

Natural resources – Virginia – Lee County

Ornithology – Kentucky – Black Mountain

Ornithology – Virginia – Crab Orchard

Real estate investment – Kentucky – Harlan County

Real estate investment – Virginia – Lee County

Thruston, R. C. Ballard

Virginia – Lee County – Maps

Virginia – Lee County – Photographs

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