A record of a fascinating life
The personal papers and correspondence of oilman Thomas Baker Slick, one of the most intriguing San Antonians ever, will now be available for public inspection as they are set to be donated to UTSA’s Library Special Collections.
The papers had been housed behind the gates of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, which is one of two prominent pure research institutions in San Antonio which Slick endowed, and which are located on what was his ranch.
“We are very pleased that these papers, which are so important to the history of San Antonio, will be housed in a state of the art facility where historians and others will have access to them,” said Kenneth Trevett, President and CEO of Texas Biomed. “Tom Slick was a remarkable visionary who really thought San Antonio would become a city of science and health, which indeed it has.”
Tom Slick, who died in a plane crash in 1962 at the age of 46, was one of the fascinating people ever to call San Antonio home. His father made millions in the first oil boom in the 1920s and earned the nickname ‘King of the Wildcatters.’
The younger Slick was a businessman, adventurer, inventor, and explorer of the world and of the possibilities of the human mind. His papers display a restless curiosity about issues ranging from the oil industry to the paranormal, the development of a birth control pill, and subjects like Bigfoot.
Slick was also an early advocate of world peace, and even wrote a book about it. He endowed a professorship in the topic of world peace at the University of Texas at Austin.
Slick’s letters will also show his correspondence with friends and business associates, ranging from the actor Jimmy Stewart to billionaire Howard Hughes.
“This gift is important to UTSA for a number of reasons,” says Krisellen Maloney, UTSA’s dean of libraries. ‘the addition of Tom Slick’s papers to our special collections will enhance the work of any researcher interested in the urban development of San Antonio. The materials are particularly valuable to us, given our status as a rising premier research university with strong engineering and biotechnology programs.”