In the late 1870's Dr. Howell Tyson Lykes of South Carolina left his medical practice and began a cattle ranching business in Tampa, Florida. By 1895 Dr. Lykes was shipping cattle from Tampa to Cuba.
From 1900 to 1910 all seven of Dr. Lykes sons joined the family business founding, The Lykes Brothers Steamship Company. For the next 60 years the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company became a powerful business in maritime imports and exports.
In the 1950s the Lykes Brothers were recognized as the US's largest shipping line with a fleet of 54 cargo ships. After the US established trade relations with China a Lykes Brothers Steamship was the first to sail into the Shanghai Harbor.
A family tradition of the Lykes Brothers was to name all the steamships after family; many of these steamships imported and exported goods out of the Port of Houston.
The company also expanded operated passenger services to and from the U.K., U.S.A, the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
To see more images of the Houston Ship Channel visit the University of Houston's Digital Library Ship Channel Collection.