Temple, Arthur, Sr. (1894–1951)

By: Mark E. Martin

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1996

Updated: August 4, 2016

Arthur Temple, Sr., lumberman and industrialist, son of Georgie Derrick (Fowlkes) and Thomas Lewis Latané Temple, was born on April 20, 1894, in Texarkana, Arkansas. Raised in Texarkana and educated at Williams College, Arthur was trained in the family lumber business founded by his father. Temple married Katherine Robson Sage on November 20, 1916. They had a daughter, Ann Whitney Temple, and a son, Arthur Temple, Jr., who later oversaw the growth of the family company into a Fortune 200 industry (see TEMPLE INDUSTRIES).

Arthur Sr.'s eldest brother, Thomas Lewis Latané Temple II, began working in the family sawmill at Diboll, Texas, from an early age but proved temperamentally unsuited for leadership. Over time Arthur took on more responsibility for the family business, and when his father died in 1935 Arthur was elected company president in the depths of the Great Depression. Over the following years many difficult decisions were made that kept the company solvent but adversely affected Temple's health. He was president of Southern Pine Lumber Company, Temple Lumber Company, Temple Manufacturing Company, Temple Cotton Seed Oil Company, Grim Hotel Company (Texarkana), and the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce. He served as either vice president or director of Southland Paper Mills, Texarkana National Bank, Texas and Pacific Railway Company, Texas Employers Insurance Corporation, Temple Builders Supply, Southern Pine Association, Texas Manufacturers Association, First Federal Savings and Loan Association, the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, and the East Texas Chamber of Commerce. Temple was also briefly a member of the Rotary Club of Texarkana. He was a lifelong member of St. James Episcopal Church in Texarkana, a trustee of the Episcopal Foundation of the Diocese of Dallas, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Church Center of the Diocese of Dallas, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the St. James Day School. Katherine Temple also served the East Texas community in many ways; she supervised care of tubercular workers in Diboll, established the Temple Crippled Children's Home in Texarkana, served more than fifty years with the Texarkana Red Cross, and set up what became the Katherine Sage Temple Day Care Center in Diboll to provide care for employees' children. Arthur Temple, Sr., died unexpectedly of a heart attack in Texarkana on November 28, 1951.

Megan Biesele, The Cornbread Whistle (Lufkin, Texas: Diboll Historical Society, 1987). Gulf Coast Lumberman, January 1952. T. L. L. Temple Memorial Library Archives, Diboll, Texas.

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

Mark E. Martin, “Temple, Arthur, Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/temple-arthur-sr.

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January 1, 1996
August 4, 2016