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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Governor Bill Daniel Biographical Sketch

Vara Faye Martin Daniel Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel collection, 1941-2006, bulk 1951-2006,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel Collection:

An Inventory of the Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel Collection at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Archives, 1941-2006, bulk 1951-2003



Overview

Creator: Daniel, William Partlow, 1915-2006.
Title: Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel collection
Dates: 1941-2006
bulk 1951-2003
Abstract: The Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel collection consists primarily of newspaper articles, programs, invitations, reports, correspondence, press releases and publications that pertain to the lives and activities of Governor Bill Daniel and his wife Vara Martin Daniel. Among the subjects documented are Bill Daniel's tenure as a Texas State Representative from 1949 to 1954; his tenure as Governor of Guam from 1961 to 1963; Governor and Mrs. Daniel's philanthropy toward Baylor University and other institutions; Daniel's service as District Lay Leader for the Beaumont District Board of Missions of the Methodist Church; events Daniel hosted at his Plantation Ranch in Liberty County, such as his annual party for disabled children and the "Big Thicket treks"; his occupation as a rancher; and various honors and awards bestowed upon the Daniels. Also included is a history of the Concord Baptist Church in Rye, Liberty County, Texas that references Governor Daniel's relationship with and support of the church. Dates covered are 1941 to 2006, with the majority of the materials covering between 1951 and 2003.
Quantity: 0.9 cubic ft.
Location: These records are housed at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, P.O. Box 310, Liberty, Texas 77575, 936-336-8821.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Governor Bill Daniel Biographical Sketch

William Partlow "Bill" Daniel, the son of M.P. and Nannie Partlow Daniel and the younger brother of Texas Governor and U.S. Senator Price Daniel, was born November 20, 1915, in Dayton, Texas. After he obtained his law degree from Baylor University Law School in 1938, Daniel set up a general law practice in Liberty. He married Vara Faye Martin, a music teacher from Hillsboro, in December 1939. The couple had four children.

Daniel served as Liberty County Attorney from 1943 until 1944, when he resigned to join the U.S. Army. Following his military service, Daniel served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1949 to 1954, representing District 14 (Liberty and Hardin counties) and District 20 (Liberty and Chambers counties). During his tenure he helped secure passage of legislation that provided for the construction of new state office buildings, the Supreme Court building, and the State Archives and Library Building in Austin.

In 1949 Daniel acquired the historic Plantation Ranch on the Trinity River near Romayor, Texas, where he raised cattle and other livestock. Among his other activities during this period, Daniel served as Director General of the Liberty Bicentennial Observance in 1956 and ambassador at large for Texas beginning in 1957. In the latter role, he traveled the country representing Texas at various cultural, educational and historical events. He and Mrs. Daniel traveled as envoys to several Central and South American countries.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Daniel governor of the U.S. Territory of Guam, an office he occupied until 1963. During his tenure, he launched "Operation Guam Friendship," in which he arranged the importing of livestock from his Texas ranch in an effort to upgrade the quality of the Guamanians' livestock. Governor Daniel also successfully lobbied to have the U.S. Navy's strict security clearance for entry into Guam lifted and thus open the island to tourism. After his service in Guam, Governor Daniel returned to his law practice in Liberty and his ranching work. He served as chairman of the State Bar of Texas History Committee and founded the Texas Bar Historical Foundation. In recognition of his accomplishments in this area, the State Bar in 1991 named its new historical repository The Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Center for Legal History.

Bill Daniel took part in rodeos, wild west shows, stage productions and movies. He portrayed Colonel Neill in the film The Alamo (1959) and performed the role of Buffalo Bill in the musical Annie Get Your Gun at the Music Hall in Houston. He created Governor Bill's Wild West Show for the Southeast Texas State Fair in Beaumont.

Governor Daniel has been active in many charitable endeavors. For many years beginning in the 1950s, the Daniel family hosted annual Easter egg hunts, annual parties for disabled children, and other events at the Plantation Ranch. The ranch was the site of a "frontier village" consisting of about two dozen restored buildings. The Daniels donated 23 of the buildings to Baylor University in Waco, Texas; they were moved to the campus in 1984, becoming the Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village. In addition, the Daniels endowed scholarships at Baylor, the University of Texas and Prairie View A&M University. The University of Texas established the Governor Bill Daniel Professorship in Archival Enterprise. Governor and Mrs. Daniel also provided financial support to the Methodist Home in Waco and several area hospitals.

Among other honors Governor Daniel received are Baylor Lawyer of the Year (1985), the State Bar Presidents' Award (1993), and induction into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame (2003). He died in Liberty on June 20, 2006 and was buried in the Liberty City Cemetery.

(Sources include: Baker, Eugene W. Mr. Texas: Governor Bill Daniel. Waco, Texas: Baylor University, [1982?]; and Gracy, David B. Sunrise! Governor Bill Daniel and the Second Liberation of Guam. Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, c2010.)

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Vara Faye Martin Daniel Biographical Sketch

Vara Faye Martin was born on June 17, 1917, in Hillsboro, Texas, the third child of Will M. and Daisy Beavers Martin. She attended Hill Junior College in Hillsboro and Texas State College for Women in Denton (now Texas Woman's University). She graduated with honors from TSCW in 1938 with a major in public school music and a minor in piano and English. She moved to Liberty, Texas that same year to direct the music program for the Liberty public schools. She married Liberty attorney Bill Daniel in December 1939. They had four children: William, Ann, Susan, and Dani.

Mrs. Daniel devoted herself to numerous civic and charitable activities in Liberty and elsewhere. Along with her husband, she hosted annual Easter egg hunts and annual parties for disabled children at the couple's Plantation Ranch at Romayor, Texas beginning in the 1950s. As First Lady of Guam from 1961 to 1963, she and Governor Daniel sponsored a number of civic, religious, cultural and educational projects. Vara Daniel accompanied her husband on his extensive travels as ambassador-at-large for Texas, as envoy to Central and South America and other countries, and on his big-game hunting and movie-making expeditions.

Known as the "First Lady of Liberty," Vara Daniel was a member and past president (1972-1973) of the Trivium Club, the oldest federated women's club in Liberty, and a member and past regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She served as organist for the First United Methodist Church of Liberty, pianist for the Liberty Rotary Club and Lions Club, and a director of the Southeastern Savings and Loan Association in Dayton.

Along with Governor Daniel, she established and endowed scholarships at Baylor University, the University of Texas, Prairie View A&M University, and the Methodist Boys Ranch in Waco, Texas. The University of Texas established the Vara Martin Daniel Regents Professorship in Archives of Music and the Humanities. The Board of Regents of Hill Junior College honored Mrs. Daniel as a Distinguished Alumna, and the college's alumni association voted her into their Hall of Fame. In addition, she received the Sons and Daughters of Liberty Award, the Philanthropic Award from the Texas Library Association, and the Human Relations Award from the Texas State Teachers Association.

Vara Daniel died of cancer on February 7, 1987, in Liberty. The Daniel family established the Vara Daniel Mammography Clinic at Liberty Baptist Hospital in her memory. A play park at M.D. Anderson Hospital and the fine arts building at Hill Junior College, among other facilities, were named in her honor.

(Sources include: Cottrell, Debbie Mauldin. "Vara Faye Martin Daniel," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 12, 2017.)

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel collection consists primarily of newspaper articles, programs, invitations, reports, correspondence, press releases and publications that pertain to the lives and activities of Governor Bill Daniel and his wife Vara Martin Daniel. Among the subjects documented are Bill Daniel's tenure as a Texas State Representative from 1949 to 1954; his tenure as Governor of Guam from 1961 to 1963; Governor and Mrs. Daniel's philanthropy toward Baylor University and other institutions; Daniel's service as District Lay Leader for the Beaumont District Board of Missions of the Methodist Church; events Daniel hosted at his Plantation Ranch in Liberty County, such as his annual party for disabled children and the "Big Thicket treks"; his occupation as a rancher; and various honors and awards bestowed upon the Daniels. Also included is a history of the Concord Baptist Church in Rye, Liberty County, Texas that references Governor Daniel's relationship with and support of the church. Dates covered are 1941 to 2006, with the majority of the materials covering 1951 to 2003.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The files are arranged primarily in the order in which they were received. The majority of the newspaper articles are arranged chronologically by decade. Oversize materials are arranged separately, in Box 1983-008-3.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center reading room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished works are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. The term of copyright for published material varies. Researchers are responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects (Persons):
Daniel, Vara Faye, 1917-1987.
Daniel, William Partlow, 1915-2006.
Subjects (Organizations):
Baylor University. Law School.
Baylor University--Alumni and Alumnae.
First Concord Baptist Church (Rye, Tex.)
Methodist Church (U.S.) Texas Conference. Beaumont District.
Subjects:
Governors--Guam.
Legislators--Texas.
Philanthropists--Texas--Liberty--Biography.
Politicians--Texas--Liberty.
Ranchers--Texas--Liberty County.
Universities and colleges--Texas--Waco.
Places:
Austin (Tex.)
Guam.
Liberty County (Tex.)
Waco (Tex.)
Document Types:
Clippings (information artifacts)--Texas.
Correspondence--Texas.
Greeting Cards--Texas.
Invitations--Texas.
Newspapers--Texas.
Postcards--Texas.
Press Releases--Guam.
Programs (documents)--Texas.
Publications--Texas.
Reports--Guam.
Reports--Texas.
Souvenir Programs--Texas.
Speeches (documents)--Guam.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
Governor Price Daniel Papers, 1944-1966, bulk 1957-1962, 466 cubic ft.
U.S. Senator Price Daniel Papers, 1947-1963, bulk 1952-1957, 117 cubic ft.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel collection. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1983.008, 1991.128, 1991.154, 1991.158, 1992.019, 1992.146, 1992.147, 1992.157, 1993.011, 1993.087, 1993.260, 1994.037, 1994.064, 1994.134, 1994.140, 1996.038, 1996.044, 1996.129, 2000.125, 2003.077, 2003.211, 2005.108, 2005.185, 2006.100, 2006.103, 2007.027, 2007.183, 2008.100, 2008.152

The Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel Collection was donated to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center on February 17, 1983 by Governor and Mrs. Bill Daniel. Governor Bill Daniel made two additional donations on April 26, 1996 and June 29, 2000. The Atascosito Historical Society made additions on July 26, 1991 and June 30, 1992. Robert L. Schaadt made additions on June 28 and July 31, 1991; June 30, 1992; October 29, 1993; January 31 and February 28, 1994; January 31, 1996; October 30, 2003; November 28, 2005; October 31, 2007; and June 6, 2008. Dana Abshier made an addition on April 10, 2003. Charles W. Fisher, Jr. made an addition on April 22, 1994. David G. Gracy, II made an addition on January 29, 1996; Lisa Meisch made an addition on July 3, 2006. Michael Parrish made an addition on February 3, 1992. James Patton made an addition on September 11, 2008. Richard Pickett made an addition on February 13, 2007. Geneva Sisk made an addition on June 14, 2005. Newspaper articles from the Vindicator pertaining to Bill Daniel were copied and added to the collection in-house on July 23, 1992; January 14 and April 1, 1993; and April 29, 1994.

Processing Information

Finding aid by Charlene Kourie, 1983

Updated by Lynda Young and Lisa Meisch, November 2005

Updated by Lisa Meisch, February 2011

Updated by Lisa Meisch, April 2013

Updated and edited by Lisa Meisch, 2015

EAD encoding by Caitlin Burhans, December 2016

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel collection, 1941-2006, bulk 1951-2006,
0.9 cubic ft.

Box Folder
1983.008-1 1 Presenting…Los Charros 1959 Round-up Rodeo, 3rd Annual World's Largest College Rodeo, University of Texas, Austin, Texas. Official program, April 9-11, 1959
[Bill Daniel served as director general.]
2 Mr. Texas: Governor Bill Daniel. Compiled and written by Dr. Eugene W. Baker, Historian. Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1982
[Includes articles on Bill Daniel, Vara Martin Daniel, and M.P. Daniel. Signed by Bill Daniel. Insert: "She Fought the Good Fight," by Jean Murph. Citizens' Advocate, February 13, 1987. Tribute to Vara Daniel.]
3 Souvenir programs, Big Thicket Trek from Plantation Ranch to Y.M.B.L. Rodeo, Fair Grounds Arena, Beaumont, Texas, June 21-23, 1960; June 27-29, 1961; and June 28-29-30, 1962
4 Booklet, Plantation Ranch, Colonized 1825. Composed and produced by Rolfe Christopher, Beaumont, Texas. about 1954
[Includes photographs of and information about the Plantation Ranch and Bill Daniel.]
5 Souvenir program, "A Ranch Party Wild West Show and Old Time Rodeo," March 25, 1973
6 Liberty Bicentennial Observance, 1756-1956, Liberty, Texas, April 18-21, 1956
[Souvenir program and souvenir "currency" with map of Liberty city limits.]
7 Articles and programs pertaining to Bill Daniel's annual party for disabled children at Plantation Ranch, Liberty County, Texas, 1958, 1962, 1965-1966, and 1968-1969
8 One photographic Christmas card from Governor Daniel and family, the Governors Palace, Agana, Guam, about 1961
9 Publication, Glimpses of Guam 1960, prepared under the chairmanship of Chaplain Charles W. Lawler, Naval Station, Guam, and compiled by Chaplain C.L. Seaton, Naval Station, Guam, about 1960
10 1961 Annual Report: The Governor of Guam to the Secretary of the Interior. United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1961
11 "Operation Guam Friendship" report, about 1961-1963
[Pertains to the shipment of livestock to Guam by Governor Bill Daniel.]
12 Memorandum from Governor Bill Daniel to the Director of Agriculture of Guam regarding livestock management, November 3, 1961
13 Speeches pertaining to Bill Daniel's tenure as governor of Guam, January-February 1962
14 Press releases pertaining to Bill Daniel's tenure as governor of Guam, 1961-1962
15 "Guam is Good and Now Its Boosters Want the World to Know," by Ernest A. Richter, Managing Editor. Stars and Stripes, Vol. 5, No. 14, April 8, 1962
16 Newsletter, "Texas Legend Honorary Chairman of Hospice Ball," Wings, Vol. VIII, published by The Center for Hospice Care at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital, Baytown, Texas, August-December, 1995
17 "House Hears Economy Plea" by Richard M. Morehead. The Dallas Morning News, January 14, 1953
[Pertains to Bill Daniel's tenure as state representative and his unsuccessful race for speaker of the house.]
18 Invitation to dedication ceremony for the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center, Governor Bill Daniel Auditorium, Senator Will and Daisy Martin Music Wing, and Vara Martin Daniel Fountain Plaza, Hill College Campus, Hillsboro, Texas, October 25, 1987
19 Invitation to "Tribute and Recognition in Loving Memory of the Honorable M.P. Daniel and Mrs. Vara Martin Daniel and in Grateful Appreciation of a Half Century of Service to Baylor University by Governor Bill Daniel," October 23, 1987
20 Invitation and program, establishment of the Governor Bill Daniel Professorship in Archival Enterprise and the Vara Martin Daniel Regents Professorship in Archives of Music and the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin, November 15, 1985
21 Souvenir program, Big Thicket Day celebration, Historic Plantation Ranch, Liberty County, Texas, April 26, 1975
22 Material pertaining to the Beaumont District Board of Missions of the Methodist Church and district lay leader activities of Bill Daniel, 1941-1944, 1948, and 1979
23 Christmas card from the Bill Daniel family, about 1940s
[Photograph of the family on the front.]
24 GEO Special: Texas, 1985
[German-language magazine. Special issue about Texas, with article on Governor Bill Daniel (p. 134).]
25 "New Pastor for Local Methodist," Liberty Vindicator, November 11, 1943
[Pertains to the appointment of the Rev. Bruce O. Power as pastor of First United Methodist Church of Liberty and Bill Daniel's election as lay delegate to the South-Central Jurisdictional Conference. Photocopy.]
26 Brochure and articles pertaining to the Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Center for Legal History, Austin, Texas, 1990s
27 Program, invitation, and correspondence pertaining to the Governor Bill Daniel Student Center, Hill College, Hillsboro, Texas, including the dedication ceremony, 1992-1993
28 "Gov. Bill: A True Texan and a Man for All Seasons," by Alan Hunt, Docket Call, Vol. 99, Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas, Spring 1994
[Photocopy.]
29 Booklet, This Best But Last Chance: Representative Bill Daniel's Fight For A State Courts and Office Buildings in Texas 1949-1954 by David B. Gracy II, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 1995
[Two copies, both signed by Bill Daniel.]
30 Program booklet, 150th Anniversary of the Liberty Lodge No. 48, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, March 26-27, 1999
[Chartered January 30, 1849. Signed by Bill Daniel.]
31 Insuring Continued Excellence. Report on endowment campaign for Baylor University Law School, Waco, Texas, about 1980
[Typed insert, report on Baylor Law School, July 1984.]
32 List of un-erected bicentennial markers for Liberty, Texas bicentennial observance of April 1956. Compiled by Bill Daniel, April 1967
[Includes cover letter to Hon. Truett Latimer, Executive Director, Texas State Historical Committee, from Bill Daniel, April 25, 1967.]
33 Color photographic postcard, George W. Carroll Science Hall, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1984
34 Two color photographic postcards, Bill Daniel Student Center, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1984
35 Color photographic postcard, Vara Martin Daniel Fountain Plaza, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1984
36 First Concord Baptist Church: A History of Words and Pictures compiled by the Concord Baptist Church History Committee in celebration of their 155th Anniversary, Rye, Texas, May 21, 2000
37 "Governor Bill Daniel: Texas Tornado in the Tropics," by Ernest A. Richter, Managing Editor, Stars and Stripes, Vol. 5, No. 20, Texas Tornado Lawyer: Gov. Bill Daniel’s Grit and Benevolences on Guam, 1961-1963 compiled by Dr. David B. Gracy II, University of Texas at Austin, May 20, 1962, undated
[Expanded version of article that appeared in Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 64, No. 6 (July 2001).]
38 Chronological history of Bill and Price Daniel's Masonic Lodge membership and positions held in J.W. Speight Lodge No. 1235 and Liberty Lodge No. 48, undated
[Typewritten page.]
Box Folder
1983.008-2 1 Newspaper articles from the Liberty Vindicator pertaining to Bill Daniel, 1940s
[Photocopies.]
2 Newspaper articles from the Liberty Vindicator pertaining to Bill Daniel, 1950-1951
[Photocopies.]
3 Newspaper articles from the Liberty Vindicator pertaining to Bill Daniel, 1951-1953
[Photocopies.]
4 Newspaper articles from the Liberty Vindicator pertaining to Bill Daniel, 1953-1954
[Photocopies.]
5 "Governing Brothers," Houston Chronicle. Photograph of Bill and Price Daniel at the 54th Annual Governors Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1962
6 Newspaper articles from the Liberty Vindicator and KSHN-FM 99.9 radiogram pertaining to Bill Daniel or the Bill Daniel family, 2000s
7 Excerpt from Mexican American Odyssey: Felix Tijerina, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader, 1905-1965 by Thomas H. Kremeck. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2001
[Pages 238-239 and 250-251 reference Bill Daniel. Photocopy.]
8 Program and photocopied newspaper article pertaining to the Vara Faye Martin Daniel Park and Pavilion dedication, November 2005
9 Obituaries for Governor Bill Daniel from Liberty, Texas newspapers and Baylor University website, June 2006
10 Letter and attached documents from Governor Bill Daniel to Governor Rick Perry regarding reinstatement of memorial plaques at the Texas Supreme Court building honoring the Confederate veterans, January 9, 2001
[Photocopy.]
11 Order of service for memorial service for William Partlow "Bill" Daniel, First United Methodist Church, Liberty, Texas, June 23, 2006
12 "Plantation Ranch," The Junior Historian, Vol. 21, No. 4, January 1961
[Photocopy.]
13 Clarke, Mary Whatley, "Beautiful Plantation Ranch Brings Back the Romantic Past of East Texas History." Reprint of article from The Cattleman, November 1959
14 American Red Angus, March 1973
[Includes article "Gov. Bill Daniel – Lawyer, Showman or Breeder?"]
Box Folder
1983.008-3 1 Articles from various Liberty County publications pertaining to Bill Daniel's livestock, his induction into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and his role as grand marshall of the Dayton FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo, 1952 and 2003
2 "Bill Daniel In Hassle Over Furs, Asked to Quit Guam Post by JFK," The Houston Press, November 30, 1962
3 Newspapers containing obituaries of Governor Bill Daniel, June 2006

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