A Guide to the Hal Irby Greer Papers, 1918-1936
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.
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.
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[Identification of item], Hal Irby Greer Papers, 1918-1936, Col 896, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Gift of Willis R. Greer, 1976 March.
Processed by Warren Stricker, 1998 August.
Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 August.
Detailed Description of the Collection