Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Hal Irby Greer Papers, 1918-1936

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Greer, Hal Irby, 1885-1936
Title: Hal Irby Greer Papers
Dates: 1918-1936
Creator Abstract: A native of Beaumont, Texas, Hal Irby Greer (1885-1936) saw combat duty in France during World War I as a member of the U.S. Army air service.
Content Abstract: Letters, printed material, essays, and photographs form the Hal Irby Greer papers. The collection focuses on Greer's World War I experiences.
Identification: Col 896
Extent: 0.2 linear feet (1 box)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

Hal Irby Greer was born in Beaumont, Texas, on 1885 October 18. He attended both Texas A&M University (then the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, or Texas A.M.C.) and the University of Texas. Greer married Catherine L. Smith on 1908 June 3 in Garland County, Arkansas. The couple had two sons, Willis Roswell Greer and Hal Wyche Greer, before divorcing around 1917.

Greer was quick to enlist in the military soon after the United States entered World War I, even though he was past the conscription age. Greer completed air training in Austin, Texas, and Garden City, New York. In France, he was an aviator in the U.S. Army Air Service. Greer was cited for bravery during the war but was also left permanently physically disabled, suffering from frozen lungs due to exposure and high flights. Greer began receiving treatments while still in France. When he returned to the United States following the war, he spent significant amounts of time in hospitals and underwent several operations, none of which fully restored his health.

Greer continued to reside in Beaumont until relocating to Houston around 1924; there he worked as an independent oil operator and oil land developer. He married Vallie Fletcher Hubbard (1896-1930) on 1924 October 2. Greer died in Houston on 1936 February 4.

Scope and Content Note

Letters, printed material, essays, and photographs form the Hal Irby Greer papers, documenting his World War I experiences. Letters from Greer to his parents describe daily military life in France and his combat experiences. Several clippings reproduce all or part of other wartime letters. Two brief, post-war essays also refer to his military service. Photographs are primarily snapshots taken during his army career, including several of aircraft. Some photographs of family are also part of the collection.


Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Greer, Hal Irby, 1885-1936.
Greer, Sarah I. (Sarah Irby), 1856-1946.
United States. Army Air Forces--Military life.
Airplanes, Military--United States--Photographs--1918.
Soldiers--United States--Correspondence.
Soldiers--United States--Photographs.
World War, 1914-1918--Aerial operations.
Personal papers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Hal Irby Greer Papers, 1918-1936, Col 896, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Willis R. Greer, 1976 March.

Processing Information

Processed by Warren Stricker, 1998 August.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 August.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Hal Irby Greer Papers, 1918-1936

Box Folder
1 1 Letter: Hal Irby Greer, France, to Hal W. Greer, 1918 May 17.
Letter: W.H.H. Biggs, Moore, Texas, to Mrs. Hal W. Greer, Laredo, Texas, 1918 September 13.
Letter: Hal Irby Greer, France, to Sarah I. Greer [typescript copy], 1918 September 14.
Letter: Hal Irby Greer, France, to Sarah I. Greer, 1918 October 16.
Letter: Mrs. Hal W. Greer, Beaumont, Texas, to Perry S. Brown, Beaumont, Texas, 1936 February 17.
2 Certificate: appointment of Hal I. Greer, 1st Lieutenant Air Service, U.S. Army, 1918 May 18.
3 Essay: “A Real Emblem of Both Slavery and Freedom,” circa 1918-1936.
Essay: “An Emblem of the World War,” circa 1918-1936.
4 Poetry: "Crusaders of the Air" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, sent to Hal Irby Greer by his mother, 1918 May.
5 The Literary Digest, containing letter from Hal I. Greer to Mrs. Hal W. Greer, 1918 June 8.
6 Clippings: World War I, 1918-1919.
7 Clippings: Obituaries, 1936.
8 Calling card, circa 1918-1936.
9 Postcards, circa 1918.
10-15 Photographs: World War I and family, circa 1918-1936.