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Fort Brown Quartermaster's Ledger

Identifier: BD-0023-TSC

Scope and Contents

The Fort Brown Quartermaster's Ledger consists of two-page reports that were originally bound in a single volume. The reports describe specifications for buildings on the Fort Brown military installation. This includes information about the floor plans, building dimensions, construction materials, mechanicals, appliances, and any changes or updates made to the building over time.

There are 192 buildings covered within the ledger from Fort Brown, in Brownsville, Texas, and four from Boca Chica, in Brownsville, Texas. Construction and facility renovation dates from the buildings covered in the ledger range from the 1860s to the 1940s, while the reports were created from 1919 to 1946. Additional reports in the ledger encompass supporting forms for operations including sewerage, maintenance, water testing, and the like, totalling 30 forms.

Most of the buildings covered by the reports deal with housing, including 138 reports covering housing and houses for soldiers, and another 30 regarding officers' quarters. 19 reports cover barracks as well. 18 reports cover garages, 16 storage facilities, 11 stables, 10 mess halls, 9 bathrooms, 7 pumping stations, 7 saddles, 6 equipment, 6 office buildings, 5 sewerage, 5 sheds, 5 sports and recreational facilities, 5 warehouses, 3 forge shops, 3 gasoline, 3 laundries, 3 lighting, 3 pipes, 3 shopping centers, 3 water supply, 2 auditoriums, 2 corrals, 2 guardhouses, 2 hay, 2 machinery, 2 magazines (military buildings), 2 medical offices, 2 military exchanges, 2 military hospitals, 2 restaurants, 2 sidewalks, 2 streets, 2 vehicle maintenance and repair, 2 veterinary hospitals, and 2 wagon sheds. The rest ofthe reports cover arms and armament, the post bakery, a band stand, the officers' club, boilers, a car wash (wash rack), the post chapel, a service club, electric lines, fencing, fire engines, a fire station, the flagstaff, gasoline pumps and storage tanks, a granery, hutments, a guard house, police, parking, plumbing, headquarters, personnel, polo, radio, railroads, scales (motor trucks), septic tanks, a library, spillways (resacas), target practice, a theater, and window shades.


  • Creation: 1919 - 1946

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. A digital collection has been created, with the assistance of Texas Southmost College.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is owned by Texas Southmost College (TSC). All inquiries into use of reproductions and licensing should be directed to TSC or Brownsville Historical Association, TSC's community partner and repository.

Materials in our collections may be protected by copyright. Publication, transmission, or reproduction of items protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Whenever possible, accurate information about the copyright status of material is provided in the item record and/or documentation for material in the collection. The Library does not own the copyright in much of the material in its collection and is therefore unable to grant copyright permission to publish those items. It is the researcher's responsibility to determine copyright or other use restrictions and obtain proper permission when publishing or distributing materials found in these collections. Researchers must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use. Additional information about copyright and fair use is available via the Library's Copyright Guide at

Biographical / Historical

Fort Brown was built, originally as Fort Texas, in 1846, by orders of General Zachary Taylor. The original fort was a star fort made of earth, 800 yards in perimeter. During the Mexican-American War, the fort was seiged for six days and Major Jacob Brown was killed. Fort Texas was renamed Fort Brown in commemorance of Major Brown. A brick wall separated the fort from the City of Brownsville, which was founded in 1848.

The fort remained active until after World War II. In the 1950s, much of the original structure was bulldozed to build a levee along the Rio Grande. Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park is stabilizing and interpreting the remaining earthworks. Some of the remaining buildings from Fort Brown were purchased by Texas Southmost College in 1948, and can be viewed on the college campus today.


Handbook of Texas Online, Elizabeth Pettit Davenport, "Fort Brown," accessed September 07, 2017,

Wikipedia, "Fort Brown," accessed September 07, 2017,

National Park Service, "Fort Texas / Fort Brown." accessed September 07, 2017,


99 Files : Scanned pages, JPG

Language of Materials



The Fort Brown Quartermaster's Ledger Collection is arranged by folder by building number. Buildings located at Boca Chica are listed next. Ancillary reports dealing with structural, mechanical, and other issues are at the end of the collection.

Physical Location

The original reports in this collection are owned by Texas Southmost College and are housed with the Brownsville Historical Association (BHA) at their Market Square Research Center. Researchers should contact BHA to arrange to view the collection.

In Progress
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives Digital Collections Repository