Sledge Family Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Woodrow William Sledge (he changed his name from William Woodrow Sledge in 1966) was born in Kyle, Texas on September 24, 1912 to Cinncinatus Norfleet and Mary Alice Brown Sledge. He graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marco in 1934 and moved to Austin with the intention of attending graduate school at the University of Texas but instead accepted a teaching job when one came available. He worked for the Austin Independent School District (AISD) for 33 years in various capacities including social studies teacher, tennis coach, and real estate services director before retiring in 1977. He took time off from teaching while serving in the United States Marines during World War II and in the 1950s to work as a realtor. While employed as a teacher he led the movement to win Social Security benefits for Austin teachers.
Woodrow was married to Marguerite Woodul Sledge for 46 years before she died in 1991. In his personal life he was tennis enthusiast and won the Austin senior men's singles tennis championship on his 55th birthday. He was also an outspoken champion of the rights of the older Americans and a member of the Gray Panther organization. Woodrow was very involved in the campaign for extending the mandatory retirement age of Austin and AISD employees. He expressed his opinions of ageism and other topics in his column "Candid Commentary" in The Austin Citizen.
Woodrow and Marguerite had a daughter Diana Kate Sledge who was born on October 13, 1948. Diana followed in her parents' footsteps and was also an educator in central Texas.
Woodrow William died on January 13, 1996 after a long battle with cancer.
The majority of the collection documents Woodrow Sledge's professional and personal activities dating from 1937 to 1988. Insight into his personal life and history is provided by biographical materials, including an extensive genealogical chart tracing the family back to the 1700s, and the subject files on tennis and the Gray Panthers. His long career with the Austin public school system (and its successor the Austin Independent School District) is highlighted with materials relating to his employment as both a full time employee and as a contractor. In addition, there are documents that are related to his involvement in the movement to win Social Security benefits for teachers and his belief in the right for teachers to exercise their right to free speech on public issues. Materials relating to his vocal disappointment with the Austin Independent School District for not hiring his daughter Diana for a teaching position in the mid-1970s are also included.
The Diana Sledge series includes a limited amount of biographical materials dating from the mid-1970s including photographs, school transcripts, and a resume.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Donated by Woodrow Sledge's grandson.
Sledge Family Papers (AR.2007.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2007/011
Donation Date: 2007
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010
Detailed Description of the Collection