Austin History Center

Elaine Heard Collection of National Society Magna Charta Dames, Austin Colony Records

An Inventory of the Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Heard, Elaine
Title: Elaine Heard Collection of National Society Magna Charta Dames, Austin Colony Records
Inclusive Dates: 1960-1990
Abstract: The National Society Magna Charta Dames, Austin Colony is a hereditary society composed of women and men who are lineal descendants of one or more of the Barons of England that rendered service securing John, King of England's seal on the Magna Charta. The Colony was approved by the Texas Division Parliament in 1980, with the first Austin Colony bylaws constructed and adopted on November 9, 1982. The collection contains correspondence, meeting minutes, event flyers, agendas, financial documents and yearbooks that highlight the activities of the organization from the 1960s through 1990.
Identification: AR.2004.002
Quantity: .4 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,  810 Guadalupe,  PO BOX 2287,  Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The National Society Magna Charta Dames (NSMCD) was organized in 1909 and is a hereditary society composed of women and men who are lineal descendants of one or more of the Barons of England that rendered service securing John, King of England's seal on the Magna Charta. The Texas Division was organized on March 19, 1960. The Austin Colony, Texas Division was approved by the Texas Division Parliament in 1980, with the first Austin Colony bylaws constructed and adopted on November 9, 1982. Before 1980 women from Austin belonged to the San Antonio Colony. In 1973 a petition was sent to the Texas Division Regent and to the National Society Magna Charta Dames president, Dorothy Wurts. While the request was not approved immediately, a subsequent request was approved with Mrs. John C. Horton appointed Austin Colony Regent for the two-year term, March 1980-1982.

In 1988 a rift between the NSMCD President Dorothy Wurts and the Texas Division Regent over violations of policies of the National organization resulted in Wurts issuing a directive that the Officers-Elect voted in by the Texas Division Parliament for 1988-1990 were not recognized and Wurts established an Interim Pro-Em Committee chaired by Jessie McIlroy Smith (of the Austin Colony) to serve until the regularly scheduled Parliament in 1990. Elaine Heard was elected as treasurer of the Interim Committee. The unexpected death of Wurts in May 1989 and subsequent retirement of the NSMCD Chancellor John Wurts, Sr. led to further conflict between some members of the Texas Division and the Interim Pro-Tem Committee. In September 1989 the newly appointed President and Chancellor of the National Society rescinded the directive to establish the Pro-Tem Committee and recognized the Officers of the Texas Division elected at the Annual State Parliament held in 1988.


Scope and Contents

Elaine Frances White Heard became a legatee of the National Society Magna Charta Dames (NSMCD) in 1963 and an active member of the Austin Colony in 1980. Her mother, Viola Baker White, was a member of the NSMCD San Antonio Colony/Austin Colony for more than twenty-five years. The records in this collection appear to be a combination of early records belonging to White and Austin Colony records collected by Heard in her capacity as a member of the Austin Colony and as treasurer of the Interim Pro-Tem Committee. The correspondence, meeting minutes, event flyers, agendas, financial documents and yearbooks highlight the activities of both the Texas Division and the Austin Colony from the 1960s through 1990. Of note is a three-ring binder maintained by Heard that contains the Treasurer's Reports of the Texas Division and the Austin Colony beginning in 1981 and also includes correspondence, meeting minutes and reports pertaining to the Interim Pro-Tem committee through 1990.


 

Arrangement

Arranged by material type.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

None.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Persons:
Heard, Elaine White.
Smith, Jessie Rebecca McIlroy, 1912- .
Wurts, Dorothy.
Organizations:
National Society Magna Charta Dames.
Places:
Austin (Tex.)
Subjects:
Women--Societies and clubs.

Separated Material

Much of this donation pertained to Robert Leon White (University of Texas supervising architect) and his wife Viola Baker White and was transferred to the University of Texas Alexander Architectural Archives.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Elaine Heard Collection of National Society of Magna Charta Dames, Austin Colony Records (AR.2004.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2004/007

Donation Date: 2004

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Box Folder
1 1 Administrative materials, 1983-1987
2 Correspondence (general), 1977-1994
3 Events and agendas, 1970-1990, undated
4 History, 984, undated
5 Meeting minutes (Austin Colony), 1986-1990
6 Projects and genealogy research, 1987, undated
7-8 Three ring binder (financial records and interim committee papers), 1981-1990
9 Interim Pro-Tem Committee minutes and correspondence, 1988-1990
10 Interim Pro-Tem Committee financial records, 1988-1990, undated
11-12 Yearbooks, 1960-1990