Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Terrill Family Papers

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Terrill, Ada Thurman
Title: Terrill Family Papers
Accession No.: MA01.1
Quantity: 1 cubic feet
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St Dallas, TX 75201

Historical Sketch

Ada Thurman Terrill's teaching career started when she was fifteen in a McMinnville, Tennessee, private school. She was one of ten children of a Sequachie Valley, Tennessee, farmer whose back injury forced him to become a merchant. She started teaching at a newly established private school, Winchester Normal in Winchester, Tennessee, where she paid for her education by teaching. Mrs. Terrill met her future husband, Menter Bradley Terrill, while teaching at the school.

Menter Terrill was the son of the school's president and was a student teacher, too. Several years later in 1891 Ada Thurman and Menter Terrill were married. They first came to Texas in 1894, when Menter was named head of Denton Normal, now University of North Texas. After seven years in Denton, the couple decided to move back east so that they could complete their graduate work at Yale. They returned to Texas in 1906 to open a preparatory school for boys.

The Terrill School was established in 1906 in Dallas by Menter and Ada Terrill. The School was one of the first preparatory schools in Texas and was located in a converted barn on the corner of Swiss and Peak Streets. There were forty-two students that registered the first year. More than 150 were enrolled in 1916, the last year that the Terrill's operated the school.

Scope and Contents

The papers, in one box and one case, includes material collected for the eightieth birthday of Ada Thurman Terrill by her former students, genealogical data on the Thurman family, and photographs and material about the Terrill family.

The scrapbook contains letters written to Ada Terrill by her former students at Terrill School, newspaper clippings about the celebration that was held in her honor, photographs, and other ephemera relating to the event. The remainder of the collection consists of a book compiled by Ada Thurman Terrill that describes the genealogy of the descendants of Oliver Miller Thurman and Lucinda Jones Thurman. The book includes family history, photographs and a letter. Other items include a tribute to Menter Terrill written by close friend Rev. Henry Alford Porter upon Menter Terrill's death, miscellaneous family photographs, and newspaper clippings.

Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper and the original clippings were discarded. Sheets of acid-free were placed between the pages of the scrapbook to prevent further deterioration.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Ada Thurman Terrill
Menter Terrill
Terrill School
Family Names:
Dallas (Tex.)
Terrill Family Papers

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA01.1 Terrill Family Papers, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Acquisition Information

The Terrill Family Papers were purchased by Marvin Stone on behalf of the Dallas Public Library.

Processing Information

Processed by Allison Baker

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Scrapbook. Compiled and presented to Ada Thurman Terrill by her former students at Terrill School on September 24, 1946.

Box Folder
2 1 Genealogy book of Thurman family, 1638-1936

Box Folder
2 2 Newspaper clippings, 1946, 1950

Box Folder
2 3 Photographs, c.1891-1950.

Box Folder
2 4 Tribute to Menter Terrill, February 26, 1931.