University of Texas Arlington

R. C. Nichols Papers:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Nichols, R. C., 1928-
Title: R. C. Nichols Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1968-1982
Abstract: R. C. Nichols served in the Texas State House of Representatives from 1968 to1975. His papers focus on the period of Texas politics in the early 1970's that dealt with the reform movement in state government. The papers include information on such political figures as Gus Mutscher, Price Daniel, Jr., Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, Bob Eckhardt, Frank Sharp and Preston Smith. Those interested in Texas politics, especially during the time of the reform movement and the "Dirty Thirty," will find the papers interesting and useful.
Identification: AR393
Extent: 6 boxes (1.7 1inear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library

Biographical Note

Robert C. "Nick" Nichols, legislator in the Texas State House of Representatives, was born November 15, 1928, in Norflet, Arkansas. He graduated from high school in 1946 from Kokomo, Mississippi, and moved to Houston, Texas, in 1948, where he was employed as a welder by Rheem Manufacturing Company. During his twenty-one years at Rheem Manufacturing, he held every elective office in his local union, from shop steward to president of Local 2883, United Steel Workers of America.

Nichols' interest in politics led him to participate in politics at the grass roots level, beginning with the position of Democratic Executive Committeeman from 1959-1968; chairman, Northshore area, Harris County Democrats for four years; chairman of the 1960 Kennedy-Johnson campaign; and chairman of the 1964 Johnson-Humphrey campaign in the Northshore area of Harris County. Nichols also worked on the campaigns of Congressman Bob Eckhardt and State Senator Barbara Jordan.

Nichols was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in a special election in June 1968, in Legislative District 23, Place 1, to fill a seat that had been vacated by Glenn Vickery, who resigned to accept an appointment as justice of the peace. Nichols was re-elected in 1970 from the same district. During those years as a legislator, Nichols served on the House committees on Labor, Elections, Motor Transportation, Penitentiaries and Youth. During the 62nd Legislature in 1971, he was a member of the "Dirty Thirty" coalition pledged to honesty and reform in state government.

Nichols was re-elected in 1972 from a new single-member district, number ninety eight. In January 1973, Nichols was elected chairman of the Harris County delegation, and he was appointed to serve on three committees: the Insurance, Labor and Election committees. He was re-elected to a fourth term in 1974. Nichols declined to seek a fifth term in 1975, and retired from the House to concentrate on business.

During Nichols' terms as a legislator, his major areas of interest were auto insurance rate reductions, improvements in workmen's compensation laws, industrial safety, consumer affairs, anti-pollution laws and governmental ethics. He has opposed every increase or extension of the general sales tax and has consistently favored a tax on corporate profits.

R. C. Nichols is married to the former Lynda Slocum, and they live in Houston. The Nicholses have two children, Joanne and Wayne, who are both married, and also live in Houston.

Sources:

Press Release from the Texas State House of Representatives. Series I, folder 1, Campaign Material, n.d.


Scope and Contents

The R. C. Nichols Papers are contained in five legal size boxes and one oversized folder, and include materials created and collected by legislator R. C. Nichols, who served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1968-1976. Included in the papers are campaign material, 1968-1976; a file on the "Dirty Thirty;" press releases; newspaper clippings; and photographs.

The papers are organized into three series, consisting of sixty-five folders. The first series is Political Papers, consisting of eight folders, dated 1968-1982. This series includes campaign materials, information on the "Dirty Thirty," Bob Eckhardt, Ralph Yarborough, and press releases.

The second series is Newspaper Clippings, in fifty six-folders, dating from 1968-1976, consisting of articles in which Nichols is mentioned or quoted. There are also articles on subjects that reflect Nichols' political interests, such as auto insurance, the environment, and labor unions. The bulk of the clippings are dated from October 1971-March 1972 and center around the "Dirty Thirty," a coalition that Nichols belonged to that was pledged to honesty and reform in state government.

The third series is Photographs, and consists of two folders, which are undated, and include pictures of Nichols in session at the state capitol. There is also an oversize group photo of Nichols with one of the committees on which he served, and a photograph of the state capitol taken at night.

The R. C. Nichols Papers focus on the period of Texas politics in the early 1970's that dealt with the reform movement in state government. The papers include information on such political figures as Gus Mutscher, Price Daniel, Jr., Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, Bob Eckhardt, Frank Sharp and Preston Smith. Those interested in Texas politics, especially during the time of the reform movement and the "Dirty Thirty," will find the papers interesting and useful.


 

Organization

The papers were received in no particular order. All materials are arranged chronologically except for Series I, which is arranged alphabetically by topic. All material within each topic has been arranged chronologically. Undated material was placed at the end of each folder.
The R. B. Nichols Papers are organized in three series:
Series I. Political Papers, 1968-1982
Series II. Newspaper Clippings, 1968-1976
Series III. Political Photographs, n.d.

Restrictions

Access

Open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons
Nichols, R. C., 1928- --Archives.
Eckhardt, Bob.
Yarborough, Ralph Webster, 1903-
Subjects
Legislators--Texas--Archives.
Alternate Titles
Texas Political History Collection

Separated Material

The following materials were discarded: miscellaneous topical folders, such as a file of political cartoons and a file on Richard M. Nixon that had no relevance to the career of R. C. Nichols; miscellaneous newspaper clippings that had no reflection on the career of R. C. Nichols; and all duplicates.

Forty issues of the Texas Observer, from October 29, 1982 to August 31, 1984, were removed from the papers.


Administrative Information

Provenance

All materials included in the R. C. Nichols Papers were in the possession of R. C. Nichols until they were officially donated to the University of Texas at Arlington. The R. C. Nichols Papers were transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington Library, Special Collections Division, on February 15, 1994. The donation of materials was negotiated by George Green, Professor in the History Department of the University of Texas at Arlington. The papers were acknowledged by Dr. Gerald Saxon on February 24, 1994.

Citation

R. C. Nichols Papers, AR393, Box Number, Folder Number, The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections.

Acquisition

Gift; 1994.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Jonathan N. Mabb, May 1997.


 Note to the Researcher 

The newspaper clippings in these papers are arranged chronologically. However, they are bulky and uneven and extra care must be exercised to maintain the clippings in their original chronological order.

For more information in regard to Texas Politics, see also:

  • Herskowitz, Mickey. Sharpstown Revisited: Frank Sharp and a Tale of Dirty Politics in Texas. Eakin, Austin Texas, 1994. 176 pp.
  • Katz, Harvey. Shadow on the Alamo: New Heroes Fight Old Corruption in Texas Politics. Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1972. 298 pp.

Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I. Political Papers, 1968-1982

Box Folder
1 1 Campaign Material, Feb. 1968-Jan 31, 1976, n.d.
Contains press releases, lists of campaign donations, memos, ballots, and financial statements.
2 Dirty Thirty, May 14, 1971-April 4, 1972, n.d.
Contains press releases, minutes of a Dirty Thirty meeting, and new clippings.
3 Eckhardt Bob, May/June 1971-Feb. 6, 1982, n.d.
Contains newspaper articles, campaign material, quarterly reports, and notes from Congress that reflect the career of United States Congressman Bob Eckhardt.
4 Legislative Business, April 1969,-Aug 29, 1973
Contains press releases, newspaper clippings, and a list of issues that were voted on by the Texas House of Representatives.
5 Legislative Business, Jan. 8, 1974-Feb. 8, 1976, n.d.
Contains press releases and legislative reports.
6 Legislative Districts, June 6, 1971, n.d.
Contains maps of the new 23rd Legislative District and a report on Texas representative districts.
7 Letters, Feb 1, 1969-Aug. 16, 1976, n.d.
Contains letters written to R. C. Nichols from his constituents.
8 Yarborough, Ralph, July 1969-June 25, 1974, n.d.
Contains press releases and publications that refer to Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough.



 

Series II. Newspaper Clippings, 1968-1976

Box Folder
1 9 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 6, 1968-Dec. 29, 1968
Contains clippings that reflect the career and interests of R. C. Nichols.
10 Newspaper Clippings, Jan. 1, 1969-Apr. 23, 1969
Box Folder
2 1 Newspaper Clippings, May 1, 1969-Sept. 21, 1969
2 Newspaper Clippings, Apr. 1970-Dec. 27, 1970
3 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 7, 1971-June 24, 1971
4 Newspaper Clippings, July 1, 1971-July 14, 1971
5 Newspaper Clippings, July 15, 1971-July 30, 1971
6 Newspaper Clippings, Aug. 1, 1971-Aug. 3, 1971
7 Newspaper Clippings, Aug. 4, 1971-Aug. 10, 1971
8 Newspaper Clippings, Aug. 12, 1971-Aug. 31, 1971
9 Newspaper Clippings, Sept. 1, 1971-Sept. 16, 1971
10 Newspaper Clippings, Sept. 17, 1971-Sept. 23, 1971
11 Newspaper Clippings, Sept. 24, 1971-Sept. 30, 1971
12 Newspaper Clippings, Oct. 1, 1971-Oct. 4, 1971
13 Newspaper Clippings, Oct. 5, 1971-Oct. 7, 1971
14 Newspaper Clippings, Oct. 8, 1971-Oct. 12, 1971
15 Newspaper Clippings, Oct. 15, 1971-Oct. 23, 1971
Box Folder
3 1 Newspaper Clippings, Oct. 24, 1971-Oct. 31, 1971
2 Newspaper Clippings, Nov. 1, 1971-Nov. 14, 1971
3 Newspaper Clippings, Nov. 15, 1971-Nov. 30, 1971
4 Newspaper Clippings, Dec. 1, 1971-Dec. 31, 1971
5 Newspaper Clippings, Jan. 2, 1972-Jan. 30, 1972
6 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 1, 1972-Feb. 15, 1972
7 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 16, 1972-Feb. 29, 1972
8 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 1, 1972-Mar. 8, 1972
9 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 9, 1972-Mar. 15, 1972
10 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 16, 1972-Mar. 19, 1972
Box Folder
4 1 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 20, 1972-Mar. 26, 1972
2 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 27, 1972-Mar. 29, 1972
3 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 30, 1972-Mar. 31, 1972
4 Newspaper Clippings, Apr. 1, 1972-Apr. 15, 1972
5 Newspaper Clippings, Apr. 16, 1972-Apr. 30, 1972
6 Newspaper Clippings, May 1, 1972-May 15, 1972
7 Newspaper Clippings, May 17, 1972-May 31, 1972
8 Newspaper Clippings, June 1, 1972-June 15, 1972
9 Newspaper Clippings, June 16, 1972-June 30, 1972
10 Newspaper Clippings, July 1, 1972-July 31, 1972
Box Folder
5 1 Newspaper Clippings, Aug. 11, 1972-Dec. 13, 1972
2 Newspaper Clippings, Jan. 1, 1973-Jan. 31, 1973
3 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 1, 1973-Feb. 14, 1973
4 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 15, 1973-Feb. 28, 1973
5 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 1, 1973-Apr. 30, 1973
6 Newspaper Clippings, May 2, 1973-Dec. 15, 1973
7 Newspaper Clippings, Jan. 5, 1974-Jan. 31, 1974
8 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 3, 1974-Feb. 28, 1974
9 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 1, 1974-Mar. 24, 1974
10 Newspaper Clippings, Apr. 3, 1974-May 26, 1974
11 Newspaper Clippings, June 2, 1974-June 30, 1974
12 Newspaper Clippings, July 7, 1974-July 31, 1974
13 Newspaper Clippings, Aug. 1, 1974-Oct. 31, 1974
14 Newspaper Clippings, Nov. 6, 1974-Dec. 14, 1974
15 Newspaper Clippings, Jan. 5, 1975-Jan. 29, 1975
16 Newspaper Clippings, Feb. 1, 1975-Feb. 25, 1975
17 Newspaper Clippings, Mar. 2, 1975-Mar. 30, 1975
18 Newspaper Clippings, Apr. 6, 1975-Apr. 18, 1975
19 Newspaper Clippings, n.d.



 

Series III. Political Photographs, n.d.

Box Folder
5 20 Photographs, n.d.
Contains photographs of R. C. Nichols in the Texas House of Representatives.
Box Folder
OS123 13 Photographs, n.d.
Contains three over-size photographs, including one of R. C. Nichols and one of the Port of Houston.