Bookmark and Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

TEMPLE, ARTHUR, JR.

TEMPLE, ARTHUR, JR. (1920–2006). Arthur Temple Jr., businessman and philanthropist, was born in Texarkana, Arkansas, on April 8, 1920, the son of Arthur Temple Sr. and Katherine Robson (Sage) Temple. His grandfather, T. L. L. Temple, founded the Southern Pine Lumber Company, and Arthur Jr. grew up in the lumber business. After leaving the University of Texas in 1938 he worked as a bookkeeper at a company lumber yard at Paris and in 1941 became manager of another company lumber yard at Lufkin, making it one of the company's most profitable. Following brief service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he became executive vice president and general manager of Southern Pine Lumber Company in 1948, and in 1951, following the death of his father, president. Temple undertook to modernize the company, which in 1963 became Temple Industries. Most notably, he advocated hiring college-trained foresters, led efforts in pioneering wood fiber and engineered wood technologies, and engaged in mortgage financing and banking. Following Time Inc.'s 1973 acquisition of Temple Industries, Temple became vice chairman of the media conglomerate, and after Time Inc. spun off Temple-Inland in 1984 Temple served as board chairman of that company until 1991 and emeritus board chairman until his retirement in 1994.

As the head of a Fortune 500 company, Temple was a pioneer of environmental responsibility. He advocated the preservation of wildlife habitat at a time when the East Texas forest industry placed little value on such efforts, and Temple Industries became an industry leader in conservation and stewardship. Temple himself was the first major industry leader to support creation of the Big Thicket National Preserve. He also provided leadership to the boards of many regional and national industrial associations and received several conservation awards. The forestry school at Stephen F. Austin State University is named in his honor. Socially, Temple was an early advocate for integration, fostering an atmosphere in Diboll that led to uneventful integration of all public facilities. Under his moral leadership, the Diboll school system integrated smoothly between 1965 and 1968, earlier than other area schools.

Temple's philanthropic efforts, through the T. L. L. Temple Foundation, created by his aunt, Georgie Temple Munz, helped build libraries and schools in East Texas. He also served on the boards of Lufkin's Salvation Army and Hospice in the Pines, the Humane Society of Angelina County, Lamar University, and Duke University. He received honorary doctorate degrees from Pepperdine University in 1982 and Stephen F. Austin State University in 2000 and was named to the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1983. Temple and his first wife, the former Mary MacQuiston, married in 1939. They had a son and a daughter before divorcing in 1963. He married Charlotte Dean later that year and they remained married until her death in 2002. Temple married Ann Mayo Shands in November 2005. Temple died of a heart attack on April 12, 2006, in Lufkin. See also LUMBER INDUSTRY.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Austin American-Statesman, April 13, 2006. Lufkin Daily News, April 12 and 13, 2006. The Pine Bough, December 2006, pp. 10–18. Vertical Files, The History Center, Diboll. Who's Who in America, 1988–89.

Martin Donell Kohout

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Martin Donell Kohout, "TEMPLE, ARTHUR, JR.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fte57), accessed August 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.