Austin History Center

Benson Family Scrapbooks and Papers

A Preliminary Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Benson family
Title: Benson Family Scrapbooks and Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1943-1984
Bulk Dates: 1932-1944
Abstract: Scrapbooks that highlight the Benson family involvement in Austin society in the 1950s through the 1970s.
Identification: AR.2009.064
Quantity: 1 linear foot (2 scrapbooks and 1 box)
Location: Archives stacks, Oversized Volumes
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Walter S. Benson Jr. was born in 1917 in Austin. He graduated from Austin High School and the University of Texas. Walter worked at W. S. Benson Publishers, an educational book publishing company started by his father in 1918. His wife, Frances Byrd Bolton Benson, was born in 1922 in Jacksonville, Texas. Frances attended Lon Morris College and was a Stephen F. Austin University student when World War II began. Marriage to Walter in 1945 interrupted her plans to attend the University of Texas. Frances was an active member of the Junior League of Austin.

Walter and Frances had two children, Barbara Bolton (born 1946) and Walter Scott III (born 1953).

Barbara Bolton Benson-Padgett graduated from Austin High School, attended Marjorie Webster and the College of Artesia. She was a 1967 debutante and a member of the Junior League and the Cotillion Club. Barbara married Gary Emerson Duck in 1971, from whom she was divorced in 1991. Barbara remarried in 1997 to William B. Padgett. Barbara is a member of the Austin Woman's Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Walter III earned a business degree from St. Edwards University. He continues to operate the publishing company W. S. Benson and Company. He married Cindy Archer from Tyler, Texas in 1982. They had 2 children, Walter IV (born 1989) and Courtney Amanda (born 1992). Courtney died in 2003.

Frances died on November 21, 2005.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of two scrapbooks. One of the scrapbooks highlights Frances Benson's involvement in the Junior League of Austin and her participation in many of the fashion shows held by the organization during the 1950s and 1960s. The scrapbook also contains clippings from the Austin society pages that mention Frances and her husband Walter S. Benson, Jr.

The second scrapbook is a collection of all the photographs, newspaper clippings and ephemera collected during Barbara Benson's debutante year. Barbara "was presented to Austin society at the annual Presentation Ball at the Driskill Hotel" in December of 1967. Some of the items in the scrapbook are annotated by Barbara. Items that were not secured in the scrapbook were removed and put in folders. The majority of this removed material is cards and invitations.

In addition to the scrapbook there is a small amount of financial documentation pertaining to the purchase of stock of The Driskill Hotel Corporation in 1971. There is also a limited amount of correspondence and other ephemera from Congressman J. J. Pickle (Frances's brother-in-law) and Allan and Marialice Shivers (neighbors of the Bensons).


Materials removed from the scrapbook are arranged by material type.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Benson, Barbara Bolton
Benson, Frances Byrd Belton
Benson, Walter, Jr.
Pickle, J. J.
Shivers, Allan, 1907-
Shivers, Marialice
Bachelors of Austin.
The Driskill Hotel Corporation
Junior League of Austin (Tex.)
Austin (Tex.)
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs
Debutante balls--Texas--Austin
Fashion shows--Texas--Austin

Separated Material

A tee-shirt and handkerchief were removed from the collection and discarded per donor’s instructions.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Materials donated by the Benson family.

Preferred Citation

Benson Family Scrapbooks and Papers (AR.2009.064). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2009/046

Donation Date: 2009-08-13

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By/Date: Molly Hults/2009-08-30

Detailed Description of the Collection

Benson Family Scrapbooks,

1 Loose scrapbook items, 1961-1979, undated
Oversized Volumes Frances Benson Scrapbook, 1943-1984
Barbara Benson Debutante Scrapbook, 1967-1970