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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Creator Sketch

Scope and Contents of the Records

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Reference:

Description of Series

Series 1: Bessie Wells Gracy, 1900-1963, undated (99 items).

Series 2: Jane Gracy Bedichek, 1929-1989, undated (47 items).

Series 3: John Adam Gracy, 1917-1965, undated(109 items).

Series 4: Other Associated Families, Family Members, and Research Materials

Austin History Center

Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: Bedichek, Jane Gracy
Creator: Gracy, John A.
Creator: Gracy, Bessie Wells
Title: Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1884-1989.
Bulk Dates: 1950-1989.
Abstract: This collections contains documents about the Gracy family of Austin, including family photographs, genealogical research, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and information about the Gracy Title Company and the Virginia Society of Colonial Dames.
Call Number: AR.S.017
Quantity: 1 linear foot (2 boxes)
Collection Unit: Archives and Manuscript Collection.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas, 78701.

Creator Sketch

John Adam Gracy, the eldest child of David Bergen Gracy and Emma Lee (Caldwell) Gracy was born on August 20, 1888. He was educated at Texas A&M and received his law degree from University of Texas School of Law in 1910. Initially joining his father's business, the Gracy Title Guaranty Co. in Austin, TX, John went on to serve as President of Guaranty Mortgage and Realty Company from 1927 to 1933, and as Vice President of the Capitol National Bank from 1935 to 1950. While at Capitol National Bank, John was the first banker in central Texas to make Federal Housing Administration government loans, a program that greatly changed the nature of loans, allowing repayment over longer periods of time in smaller installments. Active in community life, John served on the Austin, TX draft board, volunteered for the Red Cross and Boy Scouts and was a member of the Austin Genealogical Society. John married Bessie Wells on December 5, 1917 in Austin, and had one surviving child, Jane Gracy (Bedicheck) born September 9. 1918. He passed away August 5, 1965 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, TX.

Bessie Wells Gracy was born August 20, 1890, a daughter of Peter C. and Catherine F. (Walling) Wells of Austin, TX. Bessie Wells married John Adam Gracy on December 5, 1917 in Austin and had one surviving child, Jane Gracy (Bedicheck) born September 9. 1918. Bessie Wells Gracy was a member of Virginia Society of Colonial Dames of America and University Methodist Church, Austin, TX. Bessie Wells Gracy passed away February 5, 1975.

Jane Gracy Bedichek was born on September 9, 1918 to John A. Gracy and Bessie Wells Gracy, the only surviving child of this union. Jane received her initial education in the Austin Public Schools, graduating from High School in 1935. Jane went on to attend Wellesley College and the University of Texas at Austin. Jane received a Masters in Social Work from Columbia School of Social Work in 1944 and held various positions with the Red Cross and other social service agencies throughout her life. In 1946, Jane married Bachman Greer Bedichek, the son of Roy Bedichek. Jane and Bachman Bedichek had five children. Widowed in 1964, Jane has spent most of her time in civic, environmental and scholarly organizations. In 1998, Jane edited The Roy Bedichek Family Letters. At the time of this collection's processing, Jane Gracy Bedichek resides in Scarsdale, NY.

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Scope and Contents of the Records

The Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers (274 items, occupying one linear foot) is comprised of letters, correspondence, legal documents, photographs, clippings and printed material spanning the activities of two generations of the Gracy family from 1884-1989 with the bulk of the dated material between 1950-1989. The Gracy Family Papers are divided into four series. The first three series, John A. Gracy, Bessie Wells Gracy, and Jane Gracy Bedichek, represent the work and collected articles of three separate creators.

With 109 items, mostly from 1950-1963, John Adam Gracy's series is the largest in the Gracy Family Collection. John A. Gracy's papers are divided into three subseries documenting his life, Gracy family genealogical research, and research on behalf of Bessie Wells Gracy's application to the Virginia Society of Colonial Dames. 47 items in the first subseries document John Adam Gracy's marriage to Bessie Wells, his retirement from Capitol National Bank, and photographically depict various family and social events. The 19 items in the second series feature two of John Adam Gracy's research works: Gracy Ancestors and Wells Ancestors, along with the research notes he utilized to conceive them. The third subseries depicts John Adam Gracy's research and application for the Virginia Society of Colonial Dames on behalf of his wife Bessie Wells.

Bessie Wells Gracy's series is more than a third of the collection with 99 total items, with 81 of these being photographs and negatives. This is the oldest part of the Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers with the bulk of the dated items falling between 1900 and 1920 highlighting Bessie's childhood and early womanhood. A large portion of this series depicts Bessie Gracy's childhood friends and activities, particularly the Brownies, a women's basketball team that Bessie belonged to in her youth and continued to reunite with every year for close to 60 years. Of particular interest is a transcript of an oral history Bessie told to her grandchildren sometime in the 1950s.

The third largest series in the Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers are the papers of Jane Gracy Bedicheck, the daughter of John Adam and Bessie Wells Gracy. Comprised of 48 items with the bulk between 1930-1941, Jane Gracy Bedicheck's series documents her childhood, early womanhood, and the period right after her graduation from Wellesley in 1939. One highlight of this collection is the handwritten "Spring Booklet" dated March 1930, wherein eleven year old Jane writes a short story telling the tale of three flowers, the Rose, Tulip, and Bluebonnet competing for the affection of the Prince of Spring. In addition, this series contains four editions of the Camp Waldemar War Whoop from 1929 as well as the first-term 1929 roster of Camp Waldemar's attendees.

The fourth series in this collection is a gathering of documentation related to extended Gracy family members. This series is composed of 19 items with the bulk of the information between 1884 and 1983. John Adam Gracy's sister, Mary Gracy Cheek is the topic of 14 of the 19 items. Included in this subseries is a photocopy of DB Gracy's family Bible entries from 1884, and Mary Beth Gracy's "History of the Gracy Title Company."

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Organization of the Records

The Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers are arranged into four series: John A. Gracy, Bessie Wells Gracy, Jane Gracy Bedichek, and Other Gracy Family Members. The first three series bear the names of their creators. The final series is a collection of materials related to other Gracy family members. John A. Gracy's series is further broken down into three subseries documenting his life, his Gracy genealogical research, and his genealogical research and application for his wife Bessie Wells Gracy to become a member of the Virginia Society of Colonial Dames.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

None.

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Index Terms

Persons:
Bedichek, Jane Gracy
Bedichek, Bachman Greer
Buck, Frank
Cheek, Mary Gracy
Cheek, Maurice
Cheek, Betty
Gracy, John A.
Gracy, Bessie Wells
Gracy, Mary Beth
Gracy, David B., II
Hamilton, Captain James
Walling, Thomas
Organizations:
Virginia Society of Colonial Dames.
Gracy Title Company.
Subjects:
Gracy Family Genealogy.
Bessie Wells Gracy Genealogy.
Camp Waldemar.
The Brownies (Girls' Basketball team).
Gracy Title Company.
Places:
Austin, TX.
Scarsdale, NY.
Camp Waldemar.
Document Types:
Creative works
Research notes.
Correspondence.
Letters.
Clippings.
Photocopies.
Photographs.
Printed materials.
Titles
Camp Waldemar War Whoop.
Texas Ranger.
Spring Booklet.

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Related Material

  • Bacon-Hardeman-Davis Genealogical Collection.
  • Brown Genealogical Collection.
  • Caldwell Genealogical Collection.
  • Smithwick Genealogical Collection.
  • Walling Genealogical Collection.
  • Washington Genealogical Collection.
  • Wells Genealogical Collection.
  • Wright Genealogical Collection.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Bedichek, Wells and Gracy Families Papers (AR.S.017). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

Acquisition Information:

Donor#: DO/1975/010.

Donation Date: 1976.

Processing Information:

Preliminary Processing By/Date: Patricia Nugent and Rebecca Kyle/May 2002

Final Processing and Finding Aid By/Date: Rebecca Rich-Wulftneyer/June 2002

Final Encoding of Finding Aid By/Date: Uri Kolodney/July 2004.

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Other Finding Aids

MARC Record.

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Reference:

Gracy, Alice Duggan. The Gracy Family of New York and Texas. Austin TX: Privately Published, 1986.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1: Bessie Wells Gracy, 1900-1963, undated (99 items).

Box Folder
1 1 "Grandmother Gracy Recounts Family History to John Louise Paul."
(1 item).
2 Letters, 1900-1963,undated
(7 items).
2 To Linda Wells, 1900.
(1 item).
2 From Nita Hill, 1910.
(1 item).
2 From Winifred Lind, 1913.
(1 item).
2 From Peggy, 1913.
(1 item).
2 From unknown, undated
(1 item).
2 From Emily, 1948.
(1 item).
2 From George L. Walling to Vera A. Conover, 1963.
(1 item).
3 Photographs, The Brownies (Girls' Basketball Team).
(19 items).
3 The team, 1903.
(1 item).
3 Team Reunion, 1955.
(5 items).
3 Glover and. Enuna John, undated
(1 item).
3 Team Reunion, undated
(10 items).
3 Negative, B/W, undated
(1 item).
3 Photocopy of team photo listing team member names on margin, undated
(1 item).
4 Photographs, 1905-1917, undated
(23 items).
4 Bessie Wells Gracy Wedding Photo, 1917.
(4 items).
4 Grand. Canyon, 1905.
(1 item).
4 Various, undated
(18 items).
5 Photographs, 1920-1942, undated
(10 items).
5 Silver Anniversary Party for John and. Bessie Gracy, 1942.
(2 items).
5 Bessie and. Jane Gracy, 1934.
(1 item).
5 Bessie Wells Gracy and. Linda Wells, 1920.
(1 item).
5 Various, undated
(7 items).
6 Photographs, Bessie and. friends, undated
(28 items).
7 Photograph, undated
(1 item, framed, with mat and glass).
8 Newspaper Clippings, undated
(9 items).

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Series 2: Jane Gracy Bedichek, 1929-1989, undated (47 items).

Box Folder
1 9 Creative Works, 1930, undated
(2 items, 12 leaves).
9 "Spring Booklet", March 1930.
(1 item, 10 leaves).
9 "History Pledge", undated
Extent (1 item), 2 leaves
10 Letters, 1934-1989.
(12 items).
10 From Lee (telegram), 1937.
(1 item).
10 From Roy Davis, 1988-9.
(3 items).
10 From Roy Davis accompanying enclosures.
(5 items).
10 From Roy Davis, accompanying enclosures, photograph.
(1 item).
10 From anonymous, undated
(1 item).
10 From Jane to Carolyn Brown, 1934.
(1 item, postcard).
11 Newspaper Clippings, 1939-1964, undated
(13 items).
11 Obituary: Bachman Bedichek, 1964.
(7 items).
11 Wedding photo, 1946.
(1 item).
11 Graduation announcement from Wellesley, 1939.
(1 item).
11 Attending UT for Masters, 1939.
(1 item).
11 Various, undated
(3 items).
12 Photographs, 1941.
(4 items).
12 Photographs, 1937.
(2 items).
12 Various, undated
(6 items).
13 Printed Material, 1929-1940, undated
(8 items).
13 Camp Waldemar War Whoop, 1929.
(4 items).
13 Camp Waldemar Directory, 1st term 1929.
(1 item).
13 Texas Ranger, September 1939.
(1 item).
13 The Court of the Old South Program, 1940.
(1 item).
13 The Court of the Old South Calendar, 1940.
(1 item).

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Series 3: John Adam Gracy, 1917-1965, undated(109 items).

Subseries 1: John A. Gracy Papers
Box Folder
2 1 Memoirs, undated
(1 item).
1 Recollections of the Buck family, undated
(1 item).
2 Letter, 1950.
(1 item).
2 From Roberta P. Dickson, 1950.
(1 item).
3 Legal Document, 1917.
(1 item).
3 Marriage License for John Adam Gracy and Bessie Wells, 1917.
(1 item).
4 Newspaper Clippings, 1917-1965, undated
(13 items).
4 Obituary, John A. Gracy, 1965.
(3 items).
4 Wedding, John A. and Bessie Gracy, 1917.
(1 item).
4 Assorted, undated
(9 items).
5 Photographs, 1941, 1958, undated
(31 items).
5 Photographs, 1958.
(1 item).
5 Photographs, 1941.
(2 items).
5 Photographs, undated
(24 items).
5 Negatives, undated
(4 items).
Subseries 2: Wells and Gracy Genealogical Research
Box Folder
2 6 Creative Works.
(2 items, 34 leaves).
6 Gracy Ancestors, undated
(1 item, 14 leaves).
6 Wells Ancestors, undated
(1 item, 20 leaves).
7 Research Notes/Files, 1960, and undated
(14 items, 70 leaves).
7 Gracy Genealogical Research.
(14 items, 70 leaves).
8 Research Notes, undated
(3 items, 110 leaves).
8 Notebooks, Gracy Genealogical Research.
(2 items, 70 leaves).
8 Loose materials, Gracy Genealogical Research.
(40 items).
Subseries 3: Virginia Society of Colonial Dames, Application and Research
Box Folder
2 9 Applications, 1963.
(4 items).
9 Membership to Virginia Society of Colonial Dames for Bessie, 1963.
(4 items).
10 Correspondence, 1956-1963.
(9 items).
11 Research Notes/Files, 1962, and undated
(30 items, 57 leaves).
11 Letters regarding Hamilton genealogy, 1962.
(5 items, 7 leaves).
11 Colonial Dames Research, 1962, and undated
(25 items, 50 leaves).

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Series 4: Other Associated Families, Family Members, and Research Materials

Box Folder
2 12 Mary Gracy Cheek Newspaper Clippings, 1958, and. undated
(2 items).
13 Mary Gracy Cheek Photographs, undated
(12 items).
14 Family History, undated
(1 item).
14 Photocopy of DB Gracy's Bible record.
(1 item).
15 Publication, 1983.
(1 item).
15 "History of the Gracy Title Company" by Mary Beth Gracy, 1983.
(1 item).
16 Newspaper Clippings, and 1884undated
(3 items).
17 Bedichek.
(7 items).
18 Bedichek, Bachman G.
(5 items).
19 Haynie.
Box Folder
3 1 Brown, Lutcher
(4 items).
2 Brown, Lutcher and Olive.
2 Wells, Emily.
3 Caldwell.
4 Caldwell.
5 Caldwell.
6 Caldwell, John.
7 Caldwell and Haynie.
8 Caldwell and Haynie.
9 Caldwell Family Photographs.
10 Goodloe, Millie P. (Caldwell Family).
11 Bacon-Hardeman-Davis.
12 Bacon-Hardeman-Davis.
13 Smithwick: The Evolution of a State.
14 Walling.
15 Walling-Ricks-Wright.
16 Walling, George.
17 Washington.
18 Portfolio and Clippings.
Box Folder
4 1 Gracy, Bessie Wells.
2 Wells (Account by Jane Bedichek).
3 Wells History.
4 Wells, Wayman.
4 Land Records.
5 Norton-Wells.
6 Wells.
6 Land Records.
7 Wells, Carol.
8 Wells, Martin.
8 SF Austin's Writings, Colonization, Jenkings.
9 Wells Research Notes.
10 Wells, Boyd.
11 Wells, Boyd Family.
11 Peter, Tom John.
12 Wells, Louise.
12 Wells, Linda.
13 Wells Material from Peter Wells.
14 Wells, Peter Carr.
Box Folder
5 1 Jenkins.
1 Wilbarger.
2 Wright, Walling, Hamilton, Davis.
2 Oakwood Cemetery.
3 Probate Court Records.
4 Wright.
5 Wright, Joseph and Rachel Hamilton Wrigh.
6 Wright, Joseph.
7 Wright, Joseph.
8 Research Guides.
9 Miscellaneous Family Records.
10 People in Old 300.
10 Handbook and Misc.
11 Publications.
12 Memorandum Noteboo.k
13 Unidentified.
14 Austin Collection.
15 Newspaper Clippings.
15 San Antonio Newspapers.
15 Negley-Brown-Oak Court.
16 Copies of Historical Maps.
17 A Visit to Texas: The Journal of a Traveler.
18 Cranfill: Old Chisolm Beef Trail.
19 A History of the South.
20 Newspaper Clippings.
21 Family Pictures.

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