Vaughan, George Curtis (1858–1940)

By: Alice Calkins Evett

Type: Biography

Published: September 1, 1995

George Curtis Vaughan, entrepreneur, was born at St. Johnsbury Center, Vermont, on February 24, 1858, the son of Roswell Curtis and Nancy Jane (Bacon) Vaughan. He worked in his father's drugstore and, after his father died about 1873, continued clerking there until he became a bank teller at the age of nineteen. In 1879 he married Katharine Fairbanks, and they moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he bought a drugstore and built a canning factory. Vaughan developed tuberculosis and in 1883 moved to Texas seeking a cure. He settled at Center Point and bought a two-thirds interest in a country store, George C. Vaughan and Company, which sold groceries, dry goods, and hardware. About 1885 he moved to Corpus Christi, but three years later his wife died and he moved back to Center Point with his son Roswell and his daughter, Genevieve. His youngest son, Edward, a month old at the time of Katharine's death, was taken to Denver to be raised by George's sister Mary and her husband, George Dunklee. Vaughan married Cornelia Torrey, daughter of John F. Torrey, in 1891; they had two children. In 1893 Vaughan established a wholesale business, the Vaughan Lumber Company, in San Antonio, and five years later he bought the Eagle Pass Lumber Company. In 1903 he started the Alamo Lumber Company, a retail business, in San Antonio. Properties of the firms reached across South Texas, and they had lumber leases in Louisiana and ranch property in Mexico. Interests of the Eagle Pass company included lumberyards in Mexico, and the International Sash and Door Company, which also made furniture, caskets, and most of the Ford truck and bus bodies used in Mexico. Vaughan was president of the Morris Plan Bank in San Antonio, and, for over forty years, director of the Alamo National Bank. He served for three years as president of the Lumberman's Association of Texas. He was a member of the board of St. Mary's Hall, San Antonio, and is credited with saving the school's existence during the Great Depression. He was an Episcopalian and served for many years as senior warden of the vestry of Christ Church, San Antonio. He was also a member of the Casino Club. He died on July 15, 1940, in San Antonio.

Elaine Hoffman Wagener, comp. and ed., George C. Vaughan, Early Entrepreneur (San Antonio: Watercress, 1984).

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

Alice Calkins Evett, “Vaughan, George Curtis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995