Elaine Heard Collection of National Society Magna Charta Dames, Austin Colony Records
An Inventory of the Collection
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 In September 1989 the newly appointed President and Chancellor of the National Society rescinded the directive to establish the Pro-Tem Committee and recognized the Officers of the Texas Division elected at the Annual State Parliament held in 1988.
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.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Elaine Heard Collection of National Society of Magna Charta Dames, Austin Colony Records (AR.2004.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2004/007
Donation Date: 2004
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.
Detailed Description of the Collection