Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical note

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) Cunningham, 1911-1979:

Hilda L. Cunningham, 1916-1988:

Family Scrapbooks:

Photographs:

Genealogy, 1987-2006

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) and Hilda Cunningham papers, 1889-2006



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Cunningham, T.M. (Thomas McHutchin)
Title: Cunningham Family
Dates: 1889-2006
Abstract Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) Cunningham (1887-1979), Presbyterian pastor, married Hilda Lydia Hugon (1889 - ?) in 1923. The couple had one daughter, Hilda Grace (Tinker), born in 1928. Both T.M. and Hilda were very active in the Presbyterian Church in Texas. Correspondence, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs document the involvement of the Cunningham's with the Presbyterian Church in Texas (1889-2006).
Identification: 1996-044, 2007-004, 2008-003, 2009-004; 2014-006
Extent: 13.25 inches, two volumes, two DVDs, five oversized photographs
Language: Materials are written primarily in English. A small amount of scrapbook material is in Spanish.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Biographical note

Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) Cunningham (1887-1979), Presbyterian pastor, was born March 22, 1887 in Turnersville, Texas. On February 14, 1923, he married Hilda Lydia Hugon (1889 - ?). Hilda Cunningham was born December 8, 1889. The couple had one daughter, Hilda Grace (Tinker), born in 1928. Both T.M. and Hilda were very active in the Presbyterian Church in Texas.

T.M. received a Bachelor’s of Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1916, and his Doctorate of Theology from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia in 1932, where he wrote his thesis on “Hymnology and the Music of the Church.” T.M. served in various capacities ranging from pastor to musician to Director of Religious Education at many Presbyterian churches in Texas, primarily in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, through the 1930s. From 1941-1947 he was a professor of Bible and History at Daniel Baker College in Brownwood, Texas. T.M. retired honorably in 1947. A musician and lover of music, T.M. studied voice at the Boston Conservatory of Music, and published a folio of music in 1969. Non-musical published works include Hugh Wilson, a Pioneer Saint in 1938, Story of Eliasville in 1958, and three others. T.M. Cunningham died February 27, 1979.

Hilda Cunningham attended North Texas State Normal School (now the University of North Texas) to obtain teacher training from 1916 until her graduation in 1918. She was very active in various clubs while a student. She later received a Bachelor’s degree of Art from the University of Texas, and completed some Master’s work at Boston University. In 1933, Hilda assumed the presidency of the Texas Synodical of U.S. Presbyterian women, which she held for several years. She had been the president of the Fort Worth Presbyterial previous to this appointment. She also served as secretary of the Woman’s Advisory Committee of the Presbyterian Church during this time. When the Cunninghams moved to Denton in 1936, Hilda began employment at the First Presbyterian church as “young people’s worker.” Hilda was very active in home missions, working through the church with African Americans, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans in Texas. She spoke Spanish, and frequently engaged in missionary work with Mexican Americans.

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Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs document the involvement of Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) and Hilda Cunningham with the Presbyterian Church in Texas (1889-2006). The material was received in four separate accessions (1996, 2007, 2008, and 2009) and is organized into five series. Original folder titles, where they existed, have been retained, and in some cases supplemented with further descriptive information.

Series I, Thomas (T.M.) McHutchin Cunningham, relates to the career and activities of T.M. Cunningham (1916-1979). Doctor’s degree material illuminates his struggle to finish his coursework and write his thesis, while the voluminous church bulletins and his pastor’s register record a busy career in the church. Correspondence reflects T.M.’s interest in his family, politics, and genealogy. While a young pastor, T.M. regularly wrote his family members and discussed happenings in the towns he was living in as well as he and Hilda’s activities (including a trip abroad) from 1918-1927. Included amongst these letters are newspaper clippings, church bulletins, and other mementos. These letters have been digitized and are accessible via The Portal to Texas History (http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-24653) [2009-004]. Additional correspondence, all incoming, was received from government officials such as Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and Vice President Henry A. Wallace. Additionally, T.M. compiled and produced the “Wilson Family Letter” for which family members mailed him updates about their families, which he collated and mailed out quarterly (1938-1944), biannually (1944-1947), and yearly (1948-1956). Two volumes of his published church music and several pages of typed lyrics document his interest in music.

Series II, Hilda L. Cunningham, records the activities of Hilda Cunningham (1911-1988). The series is comprised of collected printed material relating to home mission work with African Americans, Mexican Americans, and the Alabama-Coushatta Native American tribe. Two scrapbooks were compiled by Hilda: the first primarily documents her social life and involvement with various clubs at North Texas State Normal College, 1916-1918 (available through the Portal to Texas History here: http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth388767/). The second spans the years 1933-1954 and further documents her missions work as well as her involvement with Presbyterian Church organizations, particularly her tenure as president of the Texas women’s Synodical, through newspaper clippings, brochures, and photographs. Also documented extensively in the scrapbook is the Texas-Mexican Industrial Institute in Kingsville, Texas. Several diary entries discussing Hilda’s 1923 wedding are located in the wedding subseries and entries documenting Cunningham family life are within the second scrapbook.

Series III, family scrapbooks, consists of three scrapbooks that were most likely compiled by Hilda Grace. The Hilda (1914-1953) and T.M.C. (1889-1979) scrapbooks, respectively, document the lifetimes and personal interests of the subject and family members. The Hilda and Tom scrapbook (1923-1979) primarily contains photographs and materials relating to the pair as a couple and their activities together with the church, family, and travels. These scrapbooks were disassembled due to preservation concerns. The material from each page is housed in separate folders, and scans and photocopies of the original scrapbook pages are available. The digitized copies can be found here: http://digitalarchives.austinseminary.edu/collections/show/2

Series IV, photographs, contains loose photos of T. M., Hilda, and the Cunningham family, as well as group photos from church events, and five oversized photographs, one of which shows the attendees of the 1923 Christian Endeavor Convention. The remaining four photographs are rolled.

Series V, genealogy, consists of a letter and clippings related to family genealogical research.

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Organization of Collection

Series I, Thomas (T.M.) McHutchin Cunningham
Series II, Hilda L. Cunningham
Series III, family scrapbooks
Series IV, photographs
Series V, genealogy

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Usage Restrictions

Access to the four rolled photographs is restricted due to preservation concerns.

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Index Terms

Personal Names
Cunningham, Hilda.
Cunningham, T.M. (Thomas McHutchin)
Organizations
North Texas State Normal College.
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.--Synod of Texas.
Texas-Mexican Industrial Institute.
Women of the Church (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.)
Subjects
Home missions.
Presbyterian Church--Clergy.

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Related Material

The Portal to Texas History, Letters of Rev. Dr. Thomas McHutchin Cunningham: http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-24653

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) and Hilda Cunningham papers, 1889-2006, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Thomas McHutchin (T.M.) Cunningham, 1911-1979:

Box
B090 Doctor’s Degree:
Letter files, etc., 1926-1931
Ministry:
Form of Licensure, 1916
Minister Biographical Questionnaire, 1965
Bulletins:
Broadway Presbyterian, etc., 1928-1932
Box
D023 Correspondence:
Diary/personal letters [2009-004], 1918-1927
Box
B090 Government, 1943-1946
Wilson Family Letters, 1938-1956
Oldriska Palachek, 1932
Musical Composition:
Typed lyrics, undated
“God So Loved the World and Other Songs,” 1921-1966
Memories of Drew Drop Inn mini-scrapbook, 1911
Printed material:
The Texas Genealogist review of Hugh Wilson, a Pioneer Saint, 1938
Austin College Bulletin, 1960
Historical Foundation pamphlet, 1933
Genealogy chart, undated
Church Service Program, undated
Funeral materials, 1979
General:
Passport, 1927
Pilot flight record and log book, 1949-1968E
Clippings, correspondence, and notes, 1920-1922, 1940, 1964-1979

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Hilda L. Cunningham, 1916-1988:

Box
C157c Scrapbooks:
North Texas State Normal College scrapbook, 1916-1918
Box
B077 Presbyterian women’s organizations scrapbook, 1933-1954
Box
D023 Wedding:
Diary entries, 1922-1923
Invitation, 1923
Printed Missionary Material:
Indians in Texas, 1955-1973
Tex-Mex, 1935-1975
Negroes—Race Relations, 1935-1973
Printed Material:
Magazine articles, 1964-1968
Grace Noll Crowell poems, undated
Italian postcards, undated
General:
Pocket notes, 1916
Department of Woman’s Work certificate, 1935
Lecture on Hilda’s life and church service, 1988
Clippings, 1917-1922, 1974

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Family Scrapbooks:

Box
D024 Hilda, 1914-1953, and undated
T. M. C., 1889-1979, and undated
Box
D024/D025 Tom and Hilda, 1923-1979, and undated

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Box
D025 Photographs:
T.M. Cunningham, 1916, 1930, and undated
Hilda Cunningham, 1917, 1933, and undated
Cunningham family, 1924-1938
Group photos, undated
Assorted photos, undated
Box
B091 Four oversize photographs (rolled), RESTRICTED, undated
Box
FF3 29th Christian Endeavor Convention, July 4-9, 1923

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Box
D023 Genealogy, 1987-2006

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