The Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association was incorporated by professional and lay historians in Houston on June 15, 1955, as a nonprofit educational corporation designed to collect records, issue occasional publications, and stimulate interest in the field of local business history, an area in which there was little institutional activity at the time. The first board of trustees consisted of Rice University professors William H. Masterson (president) and Edmund T. Peckham (treasurer), University of Houston professors Crisler B. Ransom (vice president) and Edward E. Dale (trustee), Houston Post columnist James A. Clark (secretary), Bank of the Southwest president Lewis R. Bryan, Jr. (trustee), and Houston Public Library director Harriett Dickson Reynolds (trustee). Professor James A. Tinsley of the University of Houston was the association's first and only executive director. The association reached a peak of 300 individual and corporate memberships in the early 1970s, when its annual income approached $20,000. Archival storage space was donated by the Houston Public Library and the University of Houston. The association acquired several manuscript collections, most notably the personal papers of Joseph Stephen Cullinan and John Henry Kirby. Among its sixteen publications were monographs on the Houston Oil Company, the Texas sugar industry, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, the Houston East and West Texas Railway, Polignac's Brigade, Anderson, Clayton and Company, Gulf States Utilities Company, and addresses by William B. Bates, Isaac H. Kempner, William L. Clayton, Wallace E. Pratt, and Arthur M. Johnson. In the late 1970s a Sports Archive of forty taped interviews with persons prominent in local sports history was completed, along with two publications on the history of professional baseball in Houston. After the University of Houston and Rice University developed formal public history and archival programs, the association disbanded on November 1, 1985, and donated its archives and the Joseph S. Cullinan Publication Fund ($25,000) to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. The board members of the association at the time of dissolution were trustees Jack S. Blanton, Thomas A. Bullock, Charles Butt, Joe H. Foy, Charles F. Jones, Harris L. Kempner, S. W. Mothershed, Nat S. Rogers, and Ernest L. Wehner; president Harry W. Patterson; vice president Robert V. Haynes; secretary-treasurer Barbara Day; and librarian David M. Hennington.