Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the Aull Brothers Collection MS.676
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (77.31 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Preferred citation
  • Processing history
  • Acquisition
  • Use
  • Access

  • Title: Aull Brothers Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.676
    Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.1 linear feet (1 folder)
    Date: 1928, undated
    Abstract: This collection contains a 1928 publication titled Letters of James and Robert Aull and an undated manuscript, typed copies of newspaper clippings and correspondence by or about the Aull brothers from 1825-1925.
    creator: Aull, James, -1842
    creator: Aull, Robert

    Biographical note

    The Aull family was active in business affairs in western Missouri from the period of Missouri's early statehood. John Aull was the first member of the family to settle in the state, establishing a general store in Lexington. His brothers, James and Robert, came west in 1825, formed a partnership in 1830, and operated businesses in Richmond, Liberty, Independence, as well as the main store in Lexington. Their partnership lasted until 1837. According to the balance sheets from 1834, the total assets of the Lexington store of James and Robert Aull exceeded $142,000, while those of the Liberty, Richmond and Independence operations ranged from $51,000 to $61,000. James Aull was the major partner in each store with a third investor in each of the three branches. They conducted a lively trade in many commodities, from staples and tools to books, clothing, medicines, and luxuries purchased from as far afield as Philadelphia and New Orleans. The brothers also owned a ropewalk at Liberty for the manufacture of hemp rope, operated the Blue River Mill which ground flour for sale in their stores, and dabbled in the Santa Fe trade.
    In 1837 the partnership was dissolved with James keeping the Lexington store and Robert taking over the Independence operation with Samuel C. Owens. James became a very successful businessman beyond the retail trade, engaging in a considerable number of transactions in real estate and money lending. He also served as Postmaster for Lexington. James Aull died in pursuit of trade on one of the several expeditions to Mexican territory he financed. An entry in his daybook (v. 15) states, "James Aull was killed in Chihuahua on the 23rd June 1847 at night by four Spaniards and robbed of about $5,000." In addition to the Independence store, Robert Aull was active in a variety of business ventures in Lexington, establishing Robert Aull & Company and operating a banking house. His balance sheet for January 1862, the last available, which lists the value of his capital stock at over $335,000, attests to his success. Source: State Historical Society of Missouri, Aull Family Business Records, 1830-1862.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains a 1928 publication titled Letters of James and Robert Aull and an undated manuscript of typed copies of newspaper clippings and correspondence by or about the Aull brothers from 1825-1925. Also included is a carbon copy of the typed manuscript. The 1928 publication includes letters from 1828-1851, and lists the original letters as being in the collections of the Lexington Historical Society.

    Preferred citation

    Aull Brothers Collection, 1928, undated, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.676.

    Processing history

    Processed by Library staff after 1981. Fiding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, 2012 November 7, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).


    Gift of F. W. Hodge to the Eva Scott Fenyes Collection, 1942 November.


    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.


    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Aull Brothers.
    Carbon copies
    Commerce -- West (U.S.)
    Lexington (Mo.)
    Merchants -- West (U.S.)
    Santa Fe National Historic Trail