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Mildred Watkins Mears Papers
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Mears Papers

Series 1, Correspondence

1/1: Seven Letters
Of the seven letters in this series, all are written from Mears to various correspondents such as members of the Gatesville Methodist Church; "Week End", a radio show from New York; John Banta of the Waco Times-Herald; Robert Davis; and James Day, Texas State Archivist (1946-1963), concerning requests for research materials for her book on the history of Coryell County, Texas.

The exception was written to Mears in 1946 by Zelma Scott, who also wrote and published a study of Coryell County, A History of Coryell County, Texas (Texas State Historical Association, 1965) two years after the publication date of Mears' book.

Series 2, Drafts, Manuscripts, Galleys, and Research Notes

This series contains drafts of chapters and other sections published as Coryell County Scrapbook (Texian Press, 1963). Also present is a printer's galley of a portion of the book, as well as one file of stories not published in the final book, and one file of miscellaneous research and background notes. The drafts are mostly typewritten, with some handwritten annotations, while the research material is mostly handwritten.

1/2: Manuscript of the index, table of contents, preface, and book jacket text. Undated

1/3-12: Manuscript of Chapters One-Ten. Undated

1/13: Printer's galley. Undated

1/14: Unpublished drafts of stories. Undated

1/15-16: Research notes and clippings. 1940s-1960s S2-1/16: gathers original clippings and photostatic copies for which surrogates have been produced by the repository on archival quality paper, and those copies inserted in the other folders to prevent damage to less acidic documents

Mildred Watkins Mears Papers

  • US TxAM-C 192
  • Collection
  • 1946-1963

This collection consists of some correspondence, a significant number of mostly typed manuscript drafts, both published and unpublished, and a printer's galley for her book, Coryell County Scrapbook, published in 1963 by Texian Press of Waco, Texas. Also present are a few newspaper clippings, as well as handwritten and typed research notes for her published book.

The manuscript drafts reveal an engaging blend of scholarship, personal recollection, and anecdotal history chronicling the development of Coryell county from when the area was part of Coahuila, Mexico, through to its formal organization as a county in the state of Texas in 1854. Included is an account of the growth of Fort Hood as a military base in the early 1960s.

Stories are cited from early twentieth-century newspapers recounting Indian skirmishes with pioneering settlers, deeds of cattle rustlers and trail drivers, as well as events surrounding prohibition and various political rivalries. The early days of Fort Gates, now Gatesville, and the later development of Camp Hood, now Fort Hood, one of the nation's largest military installations, are described. Statistical tables and records present expenditures for, and descriptions of, buildings, jails, courthouses, prominent homes, banks, and businesses in Coryell county.

Interspersed among the political and economic accounts of the county's progress are more personal stories of weddings, births, parties, church events, legendary horses, dogs, local heroes, and even the county's centennial celebration in 1954. Mears' relatively unadorned narrative describes in some detail the increasing social, economic, and political prosperity and influence, as well as the setbacks, of Coryell County. Mears' work brings to life frontier Texas culture during the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth century.

Mears, Mildred Watkins