Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Organization

Restrictions

Index Terms

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Note to the Researcher

Description of Series

Series I. Arlington, Texas, ca. 1900-1950s

Series II. Business Records of Joe O. Crawley

Series III. Correspondence, 1894-1979

Series IV. Education, 1916-1982

Series V. Miscellaneous Subjects, 1941-1945

University of Texas Arlington

Joe O. Crawley Family Papers:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Crawley, Joe O., 1870-1938.
Title: Joe O. Crawley Family Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1894-1982
Abstract: The Crawley Family Papers provide a unique and humanistic perspective on the formative years of the City of Arlington and the University of Texas at Arlington. WWII correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley documents this important time in world history from the perspectives of former NTAC cadets serving in the armed forces. The papers include many interesting details that create a sketch of civic, educational, and economic development during the early years of Arlington. Those interested in the history and development of Arlington and/or the history of the University of Texas at Arlington will find these materials helpful. Researchers interested in World War II will find many insights and details in the WWII correspondence. The Joe Crawley business records series will be of use to architects, historic preservation advocates and others with an interest in the architectural history of Arlington. The Arlington High School Roaring 20s correspondence may be useful to sociologists and educators since it tracks individuals from one high school class in Arlington for several decades.
Identification: GA219-221
Extent: 1.25 linear ft.
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library

Biographical Note

Most of the items in the Joe O. Crawley Family Papers were collected and/or created by Joe O. Crawley (1870-1938), Mrs. Joe (Sarah Elizabeth) Crawley (1876-1972) and their daughter, Mildred Crawley Christopher (1903-1989).

Joe O. Crawley was born in 1870, moved to Arlington to work for a contractor in 1891, and made his career in the building industry. Joe married Sarah Elizabeth Thomas in 1895. They had three children: Cecil, Jim, and Mildred. Joe Crawley helped to construct the first Presbyterian churches in Arlington and the Arlington College/Carlisle Military School buildings. Joe Crawley also helped to build and/or remodel some of Arlington's early homes and businesses. He was elected Arlington Street Commissioner and also served as Fire Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department. He became grounds superintendent for North Texas Agricultural College (NTAC) in 1924 and remained there until his death in Arlington in 1938.

Mrs. Joe (Sarah Elizabeth) Crawley was born on February 15, 1876, in Sycamore, Alabama. She was a Red Cross worker in both world wars and active in the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington. She sang in the choir, taught a class of girls for 25 years, and later taught a women's bible class. After her husband's death in 1938 she used her home as a dormitory for the "military boys" before the college had dormitories. "It was a military house and I was a first lieutenant," she explained to a reporter in 1971. Many of these "military boys" went on to serve in World War II and corresponded with "Lieutenant" Crawley and addressed her as "Granny." These letters to Granny clearly demonstrate the love these young men felt for Mrs. Crawley and suggest that her home was a very special place during the early years of what is now the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).

Mildred Crawley Christopher was born in Arlington in 1903. She graduated from Arlington High School in 1922 and became an organizer for the Roaring 20s high school reunions. Correspondence with her classmates provides details about the lives of these graduates through 1982. She was also a graduate of NTAC and majored in voice and piano. She played piano for a silent movie theater in Arlington; a photograph of this theater is included in the Crawley Papers. She was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington and sang in the choir for 50 years. She was also a member of the Eastern Star. She and her husband Royce had two daughters, Sarabeth (Mrs. Wylie Mack Kimmons) and Jeanne (Mrs. L. J. Miears). Mrs. Christopher died in 1989.

Sources:


  • Arlington Daily News. April 11, 1971.
  • Arlington Treasured Recipes. Fort Worth: Moody Printing Company, 1975, pp. 468-469.

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Scope and Contents

The Joe O. Crawley Family Papers are contained in three document boxes, one oversize box (OSB223), and space in Map Annex drawer 106/4, totaling 1.25 linear feet. There are five series consisting of 43 folders, photographs and documents in an oversize box, and architectural renderings and specifications and photographs in the Map Annex. These papers document several decades of various aspects of the early years of Arlington from the perspective of at least two generations of the civic-minded Crawley family.

Series I consists of a variety of materials documenting civic life, chamber of commerce activities, and the development of Arlington, including a city budget and proposals for public works projects. A publication of The Golden Triangle Edition, September 20, 1956, documents the excitement and growth associated with the construction of The DFW Turnpike. Also of special interest is the publication Kings Crusader, September 1950, a memorial issue for Dr. J. T. Upchurch who founded the Berachah Home for unwed mothers, which operated in Arlington from 1903-1935.

Series II consists of the business records of Joe O. Crawley that partially document his activities as a builder during the first half of the twentieth century. Most of the architectural plans and specifications are for homes and businesses in Arlington. An incomplete set of financial records is included.

Series III consists of correspondence to members of the Crawley family spanning eighty-five years. The majority of the correspondence is to Elizabeth "Granny" Crawley (Mrs. Joe) from the "boys" serving in WWII who boarded with her while military cadets at North Texas Agricultural College. These letters provide humanistic details into WWII from a variety of perspectives and fronts. The military letterheads, stamps and cancellations, greeting cards, and V-Mail accompanying this correspondence provide interesting artistic insights into the WWII era. Other correspondence includes early letters to Mr. and/or Mrs. Joe Crawley and greeting cards to various family members. Notes and sympathy cards to Mrs. Crawley in response to deaths in the family are also included.

Series IV consists of an assortment of correspondence, documents, photographs, and memorabilia from Arlington educational institutions, including Arlington High School and various incarnations of what is now called the University of Texas at Arlington. Most significant is correspondence to Mildred Crawley Christopher and memorabilia regarding the Roaring 20s reunions which track the 1922 graduates of Arlington High School through 1982.

Series V consists of a variety of information ranging from a broadside which describes how to operate the first residential hot water heater installed in Arlington (at the Crawley home) and a 1971 newspaper clipping which shows Elizabeth (Mrs. Joe) Crawley with this hot water heater. A WWII era Red Cross manual, photographs, advertising gift items from Arlington businesses, and artifacts related to travel from the first half of the twentieth century including railroad time tables, travel brochures, and road maps of the American Southwest are also in this series.

The original order of the papers was unknown. Series were created to reflect categories of information collected by the Crawleys, and chronological order was established at the folder level. Envelopes were placed in front of pages in the WWII correspondence because some of the letters were not dated. There are a few time lapses between the dates on the envelopes and the dates on the letters, perhaps reflecting the difficulties of mail delivery during a war. Occasionally the date on the letter is after the date on the postmark. The envelopes are with the letters that were removed from them. Care should be taken to maintain this order. Some of the older materials are fragile and should be handled gently. Undated materials were placed at the end of each folder. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper, and the original clippings were discarded. Empty note pads and receipt books and multiple copies were also discarded.

The Crawley Family Papers provide a unique and humanistic perspective on the formative years of the City of Arlington and the University of Texas at Arlington. WWII correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley documents this important time in world history from the perspectives of former NTAC cadets serving in the armed forces. The papers include many interesting details that create a sketch of civic, educational, and economic development during the early years of Arlington.

Those interested in the history and development of Arlington and/or the history of the University of Texas at Arlington will find these papers and records helpful. Researchers interested in World War II will find many insights and details in the WWII correspondence. The Joe Crawley business records series will be of use to architects, historic preservation advocates and others with an interest in the architectural history of Arlington. The Arlington High School Roaring 20s correspondence may be useful to sociologists and educators since it tracks individuals from one high school class in Arlington for several decades.

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Organization

The Joe O. Crawley Family Papers are organized in five series:
Series I. Arlington, Texas, 1918-1950s (0.1 linear ft. (3 folders))
Series II. Business Records of Joe O. Crawley, 1913-1938 (0.2 linear ft. (6 folders))
Series III. Correspondence, 1894-1979 (0.4 linear ft. (14 folders))
Series IV. Education, 1916-1982 (0.3 linear ft. (11 folders))
Series V. Miscellaneous Subjects, 1914-1945 (0.3 linear ft. (9 folders))

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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.

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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
Crawley family--Archives.
Crawley, Joe O., Mrs.--Correspondence.
Upchurch, J. T. (James Tony), 1870-1950.
Organizations
Grubbs Vocational College--History.
North Texas Agricultural College--History.
Subjects
Architecture, Domestic--Designs and plans.
Soldiers--Texas--Correspondence.
Places
Arlington (Tex.)--History.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection
Fielder Museum Collection

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Separated Material

Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper, and the original clippings were discarded. Empty note pads and receipt books and multiple copies were also discarded.

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Administrative Information

Provenance

The Joe O. Crawley Family Papers were donated to the Fielder Museum by the Crawley Family and transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington Library, Special Collections Division, in 1993.

Citation

The Joe O. Crawley Family Papers, GA219-221, Box Number, Folder Number, The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Linda Pelon, September 2000.

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 Note to the Researcher 

Many of the papers in these papers are fragile and must be handled with care. Within the WWII correspondence there are some discrepancies between the dates on the letters and the envelopes from which they were removed. Care was taken to maintain the association between letters and the envelopes. Please be attentive to retaining this order. The envelopes are in front of the letter removed from them. This was necessary for the chronology since some letters were not dated.

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Container List

 

Series I. Arlington, Texas, ca. 1900-1950s
0.1 linear ft. (3 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by folder topic and chronologically within folders. Memorabilia and ephemera from civic events, municipal documents including a city budget and proposals for public works projects, and promotional materials.
Box Folder
GA219 1 Civic life, 1918-1979, n.d.
Programs and invitations to a variety of civic events and other information, including a J. T. Upchurch memorial edition of The King's Crusader.
2 Municipal, 1919-1932, n.d.
Includes a copy of the city budget for 1932 and proposals for public works projects fro sewers and a reservoir.
3 Promotional items, ca. 1940-50s
Picture postcards, advertising, other promotional items.

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Series II. Business Records of Joe O. Crawley
0.2 linear ft. (6 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by folder topic and chronologically within folders. Advertising, architectural plans and specifications, and financial records.
Box Folder
GA219 4 Advertising, 1913, n.d.
5 Architectural Plans and Specifications, 1914
Plans for remodeling an Arlington business.
6 Architectural Plans and Specifications, ca. 1910
Arlington High School Annex.
7 Architectural Plans and Specifications, ca. 1910-1920s
Remodeling of the Arlington homes of John Griffin and Charles Brower.
8 Financial Records, 1897-1929, n.d.
9 Financial Records, 1932-1938

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Series III. Correspondence, 1894-1979
0.4 linear ft. (14 folders)

Arranged into two subseries. The first subseries is correspondence to Mrs. Joe O. Crawley. This correspondence is arranged chronologically and includes many letters to "Granny" from "the boys" serving in WWII who had been boarders with Mrs. Crawley when they were students at North Texas Agricultural College. These letters "home" document a humanistic dimension of WWII. Military letterheads, V-Mail, WWII era stamps and cancellations are included in this correspondence. The second subseries, Other Correspondence, includes correspondence in chronological order to other family members, including Cecil Crawley, the son of Joe and Elizabeth, followed by correspondence to later generations of the Crawley family, also arranged in chronological order. The second subseries consists mostly of letters from friends and family members and sympathy cards.
Subseries I. Mrs. Joe Crawley Correspondence
Box Folder
GA219 10 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, 1894-1937
11 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, 1941-1942
12 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, 1943
13 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, Jan.-March, 1944
14 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, April-June, 1944
15 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, July-Nov., 1944
16 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, Dec., 1944, n.d.
Box Folder
GA220 1 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, Jan.-Feb., 1945
2 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, March-June, 1945
3 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, July-Dec., 1945
4 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, 1946, n.d.
5 Correspondence to Mrs. Joe Crawley, 1961
Subseries II. Other Correspondence
Box Folder
GA220 6 Correspondence to Cecil Crawley, 1916-1923
7 Correspondence to the Crawley-Christopher Family, 1952-1979, n.d.

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Series IV. Education, 1916-1982
0.3 linear ft. (11 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by folder topic and chronologically within folders. Correspondence to Mildred Crawley Christopher regarding Arlington High School's Roaring 20s reunions: memorabilia from Arlington High School, Grubbs Vocational College, North Texas Agricultural College, and Arlington State College; textbook covers ca. WWII.
Box Folder
GA220 8 Arlington High School Memorabilia, 1916-1952
9 Arlington High School Roaring 20s Reunions, 1976, 1979, 1982, n.d.
Address lists.
10 Arlington High School Roaring 20s Reunions, 1968-1976
Correspondence to Mildred Crawley Christopher.
11 Arlington High School Roaring 20s Reunions, 1978-1982
Correspondence to Mildred Crawley Christopher, photographs.
12 Arlington High School Roaring 20s Reunions, 1968-1979
Newspaper clippings and obituaries.
13 Arlington High School Roaring 20s Reunions, 1964-1982
Programs and publications
14 Arlington State College, n.d.
Photograph, post cards, instructions for uniforms.
15 Grubbs Vocational College, 1918-1923, n.d.
Lists of students and faculty members, memorabilia.
16 Grubbs Vocational College Bulletin, 1922
Box Folder
GA221 1 North Texas Agricultural College, 1931-1968, n.d.
Memorabilia
2 Text book covers, ca. 1930s

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Series V. Miscellaneous Subjects, 1941-1945
0.3 linear ft. (9 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by folder topic and chronologically within folders. An assortment of information including broadsides, ephemera, financial records, newspaper clippings, photographs, and printed material. Travel information includes railroad timetables, road maps, and tourism brochures from 1918-1937.
Box Folder
GA221 3 Broadsides, ca. 1900-1930
A variety of information sheets including instructions for the first gas hot water heater installed in Arlington at the Crawley home.
4 Ephemera, n.d.
Notepads, fan, address book, and other advertising items, most from Arlington businesses
5 Family Financial Records, 1926-1945. n.d.
6 Newspaper Clippings, 1918-1976, n. d.
Includes a feature story on Mrs. Joe O. Crawley.
7 Photographs, 1915-1939, n.d.
Meadowbrook swimming pool, WWII soldiers, 1915 and 1939 group pictures, and Arlington Picture Show, ca. 1915
8 Printed Material, 1914, n.d.
Red Cross booklets.
9 Travel, Brochures, n.d.
10 Travel, Railroad Timetables, 1918, 1935
11 Travel, Road Maps of the American Southwest, 1936-1937
Box Folder
OS360 1 Arlington High School Diploma (blank), n.d.
2 Broadside, Smith and Carson's Select Formulas by the Use of Which Money and Suffering May be Saved
3 Photograph, Arlington High School Class of 1915-1916
4 Photograph, Interurban Depot and S. A. Weleg Lumber Yard. Corner of Abram and Center, ca. 1912
5 Newspaper, The Golden Triangle Edition, September 20, 1956
6 Wedding Certificate for S. A. Wiley and Emma Crawley
Drawer Folder
Map Annex 106 4 Architectural Renderings:
Residence for W. T. Martin (5 sheets)
Handley, Texas. William Ragsdale, Architect. Greenville, Texas. January 1920
Alterations and Additions to residence for Mr. Charles Brower (3 sheets)
Arlington, Texas. William C. Meador, Architect. Dan Waggoner Building, Fort Worth, Texas. September 14, 1922
"Ye Plannery", Inc. Plan No. 20387 (6 sheets)
Architects. Dallas, Texas.
Detail Plans Supplemental to The National Builder (1 sheet)
Chicago, Ill., U. S. A. January 15, 1899. S. B. Moore, Architect.
Department of Navy Bureau of Yards & Docks (1 sheet)
Naval Air Station. Barracks for 500 Men. Approved July 2, 1918 (Y & D #77510)
Residence for Mr. H. C. Vandaveer (5 sheets)
Arlington, Texas. Lester N. Flint Co.Architects & Engineers. Andrews Building, Dallas
Alterations of Residence for Dr. W. B. McKnight (10 sheets)
Mansfield, Texas. M. L. Waller & Co., Architect. Fort Worth, Texas. 1914

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