Samuel Fain Carter, biography c. 1926
[New Encyclopedia of Texas]
  Source: Davis, Ellis A. and Edwin H. Grobe, eds. New Encyclopedia of Texas. Dallas, Tex. Texas Development Bureau, 1926. Vol. I, p. 238.

S.F. CARTER, for upwards of twenty-five years one of the vital forces of progress at Houston and head of one of the strongest banking institutions in this city, has during an active business career covering some forty years, starting as a young man without capital and pioneering in the lumber industry, risen to be one of the leading capitalists of Southeast Texas. While Mr. Carter's activities have included diverse businesses, perhaps one of the finest things he has done was the organization of the Lumbermen's National Bank in May, 1007 (the name later changed to the Second National Bank) of which institution he has been president since its organization in 1007. With his genius for financial affairs and his keen insight into commercial activities, Mr. Carter has developed this institution along conservative lines until it ranks as one of the leading banks in this section of the state. Capitalized in 1907 at $400,000.00 and $100,000.00 surplus, this has since been raised to $1,000,000.00 capital, surplus $500,000.00 and undivided profits $300,000.00. The steady, assured prosperity of the institution is also reflected in the deposits, which in 1912 were $3,500,000.00 and in 1925 $13,500,000.00, with total resources of more than $15,000,000.00. The officers of the Second National Bank are S. F. Carter, president; Guy M. Bryan, active vice president; C. S. E. Holland, active vice president; Hudson P. Ellis, active vice president; H. M. Garwood, vice president; William D. Cleveland, Jr., vice president; J. A. Fite, assistant vice president; L. R. Bryan, Jr., assistant vice president; H. J. Bernard, cashier; F. D. Ferrell, assistant cashier; H. M. Seydler, assistant cashier; Harvey A. Carey, auditor. The directorate is composed of a group of prominent business men of the city and is as follows: A. C. Abell, president Houston Co-operative Manufacturing Company; Jesse Andrews, Baker, Botts, Parker and Garwood, attorneys; Guy M. Bryan, active vice president; S. F. Carter, president; S. F. Carter, Jr., Fain Carter Home Building Company; W. L. Clayton, Anderson, Clayton and Company, cotton; William D. Cleveland, Jr., William D. Cleveland & Sons, wholesale grocers and cotton factors; Lynch Davidson, president Lynch Davidson and Company; T. K. Dixon, Kessler and Dixon, grocers; Hudson P. Ellis, active vice president and trust officer; O. F. Ewing, investments; J. A. Fite, assistant vice president; H. M. Garwood, Baker, Botts, Parker and Garwood, attorneys; Maur; ce L. Goldman, M. L. Goldman Company; C. S. E. Holland, active vice president; S. B. Houx, president American Construction Company; E. A. Hudson, president E. A. Hudson Furniture Company; John A. Hulen, president Trinity and Brazos Valley Railroad Company; B. F. Louis, lawyer; Cyrus W. Scott, president Cyrus W. Scott Manufacturing Company; Thomas C. Spencer, president Spencer Sauer Lumber Company; A. S. Vandervoort, manager Houston Building Company; H. K. Waddell, vice president WaddelPs Housefurnishing Company; G. S. Waid, vice president Southern Pacific Lines; J. M. West, president West Lumber Company; E. R. Wicks, vice president and general manager Vaughn Lumber Company.

Mr. Carter was born in Alabama, the fourteenth of September, 1857, son of J. Q. A. and Mildred Richards Carter. His parents came to Texas when he was a year old, locating at Sherman where his father was a merchant and one of the prominent business men of his time. Mr. Carter attended the Sherman public schools until he was fourteen years of age, at which time he left school and went to work. His first employment was setting type with the Sherman Courier and after five years on this paper he went to Galveston with the Galveston News where he spent four years. He then went to Beaumont as bookkeeper for a lumber company, and in this city laid the foundation for his fortune. Without capital or outside assistance, Mr. Carter secured his first interest in a lumber company and when he left Beaumont in 1892 to come to Houston he sold his interests in that city for twenty-five thousand dollars.

With this for his capital, Mr. Carter came to Houston and began on a somewhat larger scale his lumber operations, organizing the Emporia Lumber Company, which he sold fourteen years later for a million dollars. In 1906 Mr. Carter disposed of the last of his interests in the lumber industry, a year later organizing the Lumbermans National Bank. In 1910 he built the sixteen story Carter Building, at that time the finest building in the South, and still one of the finest buildings of Houston and more modern than most. This building was constructed at a cost of a million dollars and was planned so that six additional floors could be added. Contract for the extra floors has been let and the building will have twenty-two floors by 1926. In 1923 Mr. Carter sold the building to the Second National Bank, of which he is president, and the name was changed to the Second National Bank Building. A photograph of the building enlarged to twentytwo stories appears on another page.

Mr. Carter has devoted his time not alone to his private interests, which are numerous, and among which are the American Maid Flour Mills, of which he is a substantial stockholder, the First Texas Joint Land Bank, of which he is a director, and others, but has at all times taken a keen interest in the progress of his community. He has stood ready at all times to give both of his services and his means for the development of his city, and many movements owe their successful outcome to the ready assistance of this splendid citizen.

Mr. Carter was married at Galveston the twentythird of January, 1882, to Miss Carrie E. Banks, daughter of a pioneer Galveston family. They have a family of four children, namely, Mrs. Clara C. Roos, Mrs. Guy M. Bryan, S. F. Carter, Jr., and Mrs. E. L. Crain, and have ten grandchildren. Mr. Carter is a member of the Methodist Church and helped to build the new Methodist church here. He also takes an active interest in the work of the Young Men's Christian Association and the Young Women's Christian Association. He is a member of the Houston Country Club and the Old River Club and fraternally is a Woodman of the World.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections and contributions of new material.