Archive Record

Object Name Pamphlet
Catalog Number 2010.010.005.a,b
Description Two identical W.C. Teas promotional pamphlets. Provides brief history of the company, employees, and the companies for which the W.C. Teas completed work.

W.C. Teas Company (Electrical contracting) was started by W.C. Teas. He was a mechanical engineer, who came to Chattanooga in 1897 and became a pioneer in the electrical industry. The company was first on Broad Street and later on 1212 McCallie Avenue. Before he opened the business he worked at the Read House and completed a steam room in the basement for them. Incorporated in 1913.
Mr. Teas wanted to sell off his business after a scandal left him in a predicament. He had divorced his wife and married his secretary. His son-in-law, Curtis, worked for Teas, but was so upset by Teas' behavior that he left and began his own business, Curtis Electric. So Teas sold out to Herbert Haile, Sr. Curtis later supposedly contested ownership after W.C. Teas became more successful, even though Teas' last will and testament willed the remainder of the business to Haile, Sr. Teas passed away in 1962.
Herbert Haile, Sr. began working for Teas around 1915, working during the summers while attending school. He was drafted into service during World War I, and worked full time for Teas beginning in 1920. Haile Sr. became president and general manager by 1926 and had purchased the business from Teas for approximately $25,000 over 5 years.
Herbert "Buddy" Haile, Jr. Buddy, born in 1931, worked for the company while in high school, beginning around 1945 as an apprentice electrician during the summers for 60 cents per hour. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1955 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He was involved in Naval ROTC, and had served two years in the US Navy in Asia. In 1957 when he left the service, he married Margaret Millerbrook of Gary, Indiana, whom he met while in college. He then worked for the company first in inventory tracking in the stock room, then as estimator, administrative assistant, vice president, and then president in 1961. C.W. Whitaker worked for the company until the mid 1980s.
The first large company job under Buddy was for Eastgate Mall, which opened in September 1962. It was the first shopping mall in Chattanooga, and Buddy called it a "learning experience."
It was a successful business. The biggest year W.C. Teas completed about $5 million in work. Average years were $2 to $3 million per year. There was also a retail side to the business, which sold appliances, electrical accessories, and lighting, but it closed in 1964. Their slogan was "Everything electrical." They also used to sell toy trains.
Date 1961 circa
Extent of Description 9.50" x 11.00"
Accession number 2010.010