Austin History Center

Mary Jane Bode Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Bode, Mary Jane, 1926-1998
Title: Mary Jane Bode Papers
Dates: 1977-1980
Abstract: Mary Jane Bode was a journalist, press secretary to Attorney General John Hill, and a Texas State Representative from 1978-1980. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, administrative materials, speeches, and working files relating to Bode’s campaigns in 1977 and 1980 and her time as a State Representative, 1977-1980.
Identification: AR.S.012
Quantity: 3 linear feet (6 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, Oversize Materials, Outer Vault, qAR
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

Mary Jane Bode was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1926. Bode originally started her career as a journalist who focused on political issues and worked as a Capitol correspondent for Long News Service in Austin, Texas. In 1968 she ran for the Texas House of Representatives using the slogan “We Need a Woman in the House,” but lost. She began at this time working as a Press Secretary for Texas Attorney General John Hill until a special election in 1977 left a vacant District 37-B seat in the House of Representatives. Bode ran for the open seat and won by sixty-six votes. In 1978, she ran for re-election and gained another full term until 1980 when she lost when her district changed. While Bode was in office she was dedicated to helping people with disabilities, public employees, and children.

After her time in the Legislature, Bode returned to journalism working in Corpus Christi, Del Rio, and San Antonio. Bode died in 1998 in Illinois.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials from Mary Jane Bode’s election campaigns and time as a Texas State Representative in Austin, Texas. Included are correspondence (letters and telephone), campaign memorabilia, speech materials, working files, administrative materials, and photographs.

The Campaign Materials (1977-1980) series includes pamphlets and election mailers, endorsements, budget materials, speech materials, telephone surveys, and newsletter materials related to Bode’s time campaigning for the Texas House of Representatives Seat. In addition, there is correspondence organized by General, Organizations, Individuals, and Post-Election which contains information about Bode's campaign in 1978 and letters from friends and colleagues about her loss in 1980.

The Legislative Materials (1977-1980) series contains correspondence and telephone, administrative, working and subject files, speeches, publicity, and marketing, and photographs related to Bode’s time as a Texas State House Representative. Included are correspondence materials, both sent and received, along with all information about telephone calls Bode received. There are administrative materials that contain information about budgets, visitor registers, travel vouchers, and Bode’s voting guide. Also there is a scan of a plaque issued to Bode, a print of the Texas State Capitol Dome, and a Certificate of Election to Texas House of Representatives. In addition, there are working and subject files which documenting Bode’s work on different projects such as the Major’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, the Austin Visitors Center, and the Texas Public Employees Association. The collection also contains materials relating to speeches, publicity, and marketing, specifically video cassettes on the Texas Women’s Political Caucus, speech information, and ephemera. Also included are different photographs, specifically a few head shots of Bode and numerous candid photographs of Bode with different individuals during her time as a House Representative, along with color and B&W contact sheets, 71 color negatives, 28 B&W negatives, and 177 color slides.


The collection is arranged into two series:
  • Campaign Materials
  • Legislative Materials
    • Correspondence and Telephone
    • Administrative
    • Working and Subject Files
    • Speeches, Publicity, and Marketing
    • Photographs


Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Bode, Mary Jane, 1926-1998.
Hill, John Luke Jr., 1923-2007.
Subjects (Organizations)
Austin (Tex.). Austin Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities.
Austin (Tex). Austin Visitors Center.
Austin (Tex). Texas House of Representatives.
Austin (Tex). Texas Public Employees Association.
People with disabilities--Employment.
Women legislators--Texas.
Texas. House of Representatives.
Austin (Tex.). Campaign Paraphernalia.
Austin (Tex.).
Austin (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Travis County (Tex.).
Document Types
Administrative records.
Black-and-white photographs.
Financial records.
Membership lists.
Project files.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • Biography - Mary Jane Bode

General Collection

  • A 328.7640082 JO Jones, Nancy Baker Capitol Women: Texas Female Legislators, 1923-1999. 2000.
  • A VHS 328.764 GE Getting Where We've Got to Be: Women in the Texas Legislature. 2000. (Video Cassette)

Oral History

  • Tape 0331. Bode, Mary Jane, State Representative From District 37.B, interviewed by Cooksey, Lynn on 02/24/1980

The University of Mississippi Library has an Oral History by Mary Jane Bode as part of their Southern Women Legislatures Project.

Separated Material

Mary Jane Bode's copy of the Constitution of the United States has been separated from the collection and deaccessioned.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Mary Jane Bode Papers (AR.S.012) Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1977/102

Donation Date: 1977 October 27, 1981 April

Processing Information

Final Processing and Finding Aid by Samantha Cook, April, 2017

Detailed Description of the Collection

Campaign Materials, 1977-1980

Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence - general received, 1977-1980
2 Correspondence - general sent, 1977-1980
3 Correspondence - organizations, 1979-1980
4 Correspondence - individuals, 1978, 1980
5 Correspondence - post-election, 1980
6 Pamphlets, door hangers, stickers, postcards, fliers, and small signs, undated
7 Election mailers, undated
8 Endorsements, 1978
9 Newspaper advertisements, undated
10 Mailing and volunteer lists, 1980
11 Television campaign materials, 1977, 1980
12-14 Contributions and expenditure statements, 1977-1980
15 Campaign budget, 1977-1980
16 Speeches, 1977
17 Press releases, 1977-1980
18 Newsletters, 1980
19 Drafts of newsletters, 1980
Box Folder
2 1 Speech guidelines for volunteers, 1980
2 Maps, District 37-B, undated
3 Telephone survey results, 1980
4 Telephone survey tally sheets, 1980, April-May
5 Telephone survey precinct tallies, 1980, April-May
6 Photographs - ad proofs, undated

Legislative Materials, 1977-1980

Correspondence and Telephone, 1977-1980
Box Folder
2 7 Correspondence - received, 1977-1980
8 Correspondence - sent, 1978-1980
9 Telephone messages, 1979-1980
10 Long distance calls, 1978
Administrative, 1977-1980
Box Folder
2 11 Christmas card lists, 1978
12-13 Budget status reports, 1977-1980
14 Project budgets, 1978-1980
15 "A True Friend" Plaque: Texas Public Employees Association, 1979
16 Visitors Register, undated
Box Folder
3 1 Travel vouchers filed, 1980
2-3 Travel vouchers paid, 1978-1980
4 Reports, 1978-1979
5-6 Annotated Voting Guide, undated
7-9 Daily Appointment books, 1978-1980
Location BoxItem
qAR 10/12 Print of Capitol Dome, undated
10/13 Certificate of Election to Texas House of Representatives, 1978
5-6 Contacts and Constituents card files with notes of opinions on legislative bills, 1978-1980
Working and Subject Files, 1978-1980
Box Folder
3 10 Clippings - Public Employees' Pay, 1978-1980
11 Oma Claunch, 1978-1980
Box Folder
4 1 Mayors' Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, 1980
2 Austin Volunteer Center, 1980
3 Council on State Governments, 1980
4 List of bills co-sponsored by Mary Jane Bode, undated
Speeches, Publicity, and Marketing, 1973, 1977-1980
Box Folder
4 5 Texas Women's Political Caucus (video cassette), undated
6 Speech ideas, 1977-1980
7 Ephemera, undated
8 Speeches and press releases, 1973, 1977-1980
9 Speech drafts, 1977-1980
Oversized Volumes Scrapbook, circa 1977-1980
Photographs, 1977-1980
Box Folder
4 10 #001-055, 1977-1980
11 #056-085, 1977-1980
12 #086-109, 1977-1980
13 #110-137, 1977-1980
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault B&W Neg drawer B&W negatives, (#383-410), 1977-1980
Color Neg drawer Color negatives (#312-382), 1977-1980
Color Neg drawer Presentation slides (#138-311), 1977-1980
Autographed John Hill photograph, undated