Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Organization

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Life in Dallas, 1918-1970, n.d.

Life in Fort Worth, 1938-1973, n.d.

People, 1896-1983, n.d.

Oversize Box, 1961-1971

University of Texas Arlington

Beeman Fisher Papers:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Fisher, Beeman, 1898-1983
Title: Beeman Fisher Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1896-1983
Bulk Dates: 1960-1970
Abstract: The Beeman Fisher Papers are composed of materials documenting Fisher's business and civic activities in Dallas and Fort Worth and other areas of Texas from 1896-1983.
Identification: AR402
Extent: 1.89 linear ft.
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library

Biographical Note

(Samuel) Beeman Fisher, business and civic leader, was born in DeSoto, Texas, on September 9, 1898. A descendant of Dallas founder John Neely Bryan, Fisher began his career at age fourteen by working as a copy boy for the Associated Press in Dallas. In 1918 he was assigned to the AP's bureau in South Dakota, but returned to Texas in 1920 to work with the publicity department of the Dallas Railway Company. In 1921 he accepted a job with Texas Power & Light and eventually became advertising manager. During this time he was involved with the Dallas Advertising League, serving as president in 1924-1925, the Dallas Electric Club, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Boy Scouts of America. He was also a delegate to the 1924 Austin convention called to begin plans to celebrate the Texas Centennial. During his time in Dallas he became friends with a number of prominent area citizens, such as Robert L. Thornton, Sr., John W. Carpenter, Ted Dealey, and Carl Estes of Longview.

After a brief stint in 1937 as manager of WOAI radio station in San Antonio, he returned to the electric utility industry a year later, joining Texas Electric Service Company in Fort Worth as an assistant to the president. He rose through the ranks to become executive vice president in 1960, and, a year later, TESCO's president. In 1966 he was elected chairman of the board of TESCO, and though he officially retired in 1969, he remained with the company as a consultant.

Fisher was very active in the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, serving as president in 1968, and the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, serving two terms as president from 1964-1966. He was a member of the Fort Worth Exchange Club, receiving the Golden Deeds Award from that body for 1970. He was a supporter of Radio Free Europe, and, in 1967, was one of a group of American businessmen invited to tour their facilities in Europe. Active in Democratic Party politics, he was a member of the Texas delegation to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Fisher served as a trustee for Texas Christian University, and he and his wife Mary were both awarded honorary doctorates from that institution in 1973. He also held memberships in such organizations as the Fort Worth Art Association, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Newcomen Society, and Historic Fort Worth, Inc.

Fisher died at age eighty-four on June 29, 1983.

Sources:

  • Resume of S. Beeman Fisher, AR402, Box 2, Folder 9.
  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 1 July 1983.

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Scope and Contents

The Beeman Fisher Papers, arranged in four legal-size document boxes and one oversize box totaling 1.89 linear ft., are composed of materials documenting Fisher's business and civic activities in Dallas and Fort Worth and other areas of Texas from 1896-1983, the bulk of which date from 1960-1970. The four series consist of 54 folders and include newspaper clippings, correspondence, cards, photos, certificates, artifacts, pamphlets, newsletters, lists, texts of speeches, brochures, and a scrapbook.

Series I consists of newspaper clippings, programs, newsletters, certificates, artifacts, and lists that document the business and civic activities of Beeman Fisher during his early years in Dallas from 1918-1936. Working variously for the Associated Press, the Dallas Railway, and Texas Power & Light, Fisher took advantage of the opportunity to become involved with and often serve as an officer of such civic organizations as the Dallas Advertising League, the Dallas Electric Club, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Boy Scouts of America. This allowed Fisher to form lifelong friendships with several prominent local and state leaders. Also included are a folder of newspaper clippings documenting early plans for the Texas Centennial and a folder containing materials pertaining to a venison barbecue outing, hosted by Fisher, attended by a number of local business leaders.

Series II documents Fisher's business and civic activities in Fort Worth from 1938-1973. Fisher's rise through the ranks at TESCO, culminating in his presidency in 1961 and through his retirement in 1969, and his involvement with the Fort Worth and West Texas Chambers of Commerce, are chronicled mainly through newspaper clippings. Certificates, programs, artifacts, pamphlets, booklets, lists, and texts of speeches highlight Fisher's involvement in a variety of other areas, such as higher education, politics, historic preservation, the fine arts, and charitable organizations.

Series III, People, contains biographical and family information, including family history leading back to John Neely Bryan, the founder of Dallas. Also included are cards and correspondence, from and to Fisher.

Newspaper articles document the lives and deaths of a number of Fisher's family and friends, including such prominent citizens as Longview editor Carl Estes, Dallas businessmen R. L. Thornton, Sr., Ted Dealey, and John W. Carpenter; Fort Worth business leaders Marvin Nichols and J. Marvin Leonard, editor James North, and United States Ambassador to Australia Edward Clark. Personal items consist of articles on the public utility industry, copies of favorite quotes, two cloth items, and ephemera, such as a 1949 World Series ticket, and luggage tags and other items from a trip to the Far East. Photographs with and without Fisher showcase business and civic functions, as well as hunting and fishing occasions.

Virtually no items from Fisher's childhood are included, and the records are equally as silent on his first marriage and the birth of his daughter. Fisher's life in the 1930's and 1940's is only a little less sparsely represented. The Texas Centennial newspaper clippings deal only with the 1924 convention called to begin discussion of possible plans for celebration of the Centennial in 1936, not with the actual Centennial Exposition itself. As a descendant of Dallas founder John Neely Bryan and his friendships with prominent Dallas/Fort Worth area citizens, Fisher's records provide some information for researchers interested in local history.

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Organization

The Beeman Fisher Papers are organized in four series.
Series I. Life in Dallas, 1918-1936, n.d. 0.23 linear ft. (7 folders)
Series II. Life in Fort Worth, 1938-1973, n.d. 0.44 linear ft. (12 folders)
Series III. People, 1896-1983, n.d. 0.97 linear ft. (35 folders)
Series IV. Oversize Box, 1961-1971. 0.25 linear ft.

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Restrictions

Access

Open for research.

Literary Rights

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
Fisher, Beeman, 1898-1983--Archives.
Subjects
Businessmen--Texas--Fort Worth--Archives.
Businessmen--Texas--Dallas.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection.

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Administrative Information

Citation

Beeman Fisher Papers, AR402, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.

Acquisition

The Beeman Fisher Papers were donated by Madeline Neely of Kerrville, Texas, and received by Gerald Saxon, Director of Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington, on November 18, 1992.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Barbara A. Schmidtzinsky, July 1997.

Upon acquisition, the collection contained fifteen oversized scrapbooks arranged in a roughly chronological order, a Golden Deeds Award book, a framed picture of R. L. Thornton, Sr., newspapers recounting the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, and a three-ring binder containing a proposal for restoration of the Foster cabin, later to be placed in Fort Worth's Log Cabin Village. Due to the poor condition of most of the newspaper articles, many of which had been glued or taped to another backing before being put into the scrapbooks, the processor decided to dismantle the scrapbooks. Newspaper clippings and other deteriorating items were photocopied onto acid-free paper and the originals were discarded, as were duplicates of several items. Newspaper clippings of events of national importance, such as the death of U. S. Presidents Wilson, Harding, and Kennedy, were discarded also. Several articles and clippings unrelated to the collection were also discarded. Materials were then rearranged topically, and chronologically within each topic.

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Container List

 

Series I.
Life in Dallas, 1918-1970, n.d.
0.23 linear ft. (7 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by topic, some undated materials. Newspaper clippings, programs, certificates, artifacts, newsletters, and lists pertaining to Fisher's business and civic activities as a young man in Dallas.
Box Folder
1 1 Dallas Advertising League, 1923-1927, 1953-1968, n.d.
Contains newspaper articles on the election of officers and other activities of the Dallas Ad League, programs of various meetings, and certificates honoring Fisher. As Fisher retained an interest in the Ad League's activities after his move to Fort Worth, some items postdate this period.
2 Dallas Electric Club, 1922-1926, n.d.
Contains newspaper articles on the election of officers and other activities of the Dallas Electric Club, a roster of club members from Fall, 1925, programs from various meetings, copies of Wakefield's Weakly Wallop, a copy of a script for a skit, and blank stationery sheets with Fisher's name printed on the letterhead as one of the Club's officers.
3 Miscellaneous, 1918-1934, 1954-1970, n.d.
Contains various newspaper clippings, letters, programs, certificates, and other publications highlighting Fisher's achievements and involvement with the following organizations: Associated Press, Dallas Railway, Keystone Lodge No. 1143, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America (including the Silver Beaver Award), Dallas Community Council, and the Texas Press Association. Three copies of The Pepomist, a publication of the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce, are included. Some items postdate the series, as Fisher continued his membership in some of these organizations after his move to Fort Worth.
4 Texas Centennial Plans, 1923-1924, 1936, n.d.
Contains mainly newspaper clippings from across the state regarding a January 8, 1924, meeting in Austin to discuss plans for a Texas Centennial Exposition, and the manner in which delegates would be elected to represent all areas of Texas. Also included is a letter to Fisher, with a copy of the minutes of that meeting and a tentative budget, and an invitation/publication to Fisher from Chairman Cato Sells to attend the Texas Centennial Celebration Convention on February 24, 1924, to begin discussion of actual plans. Fisher's season ticket to the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas is also included. Some items are undated and/or fragments.
5 Texas Centennial Reprint, n.d.
Single item, reprints of the front pages of The Dallas Morning News for various important dates: October 26, 1886 (Dallas State Fair opens); February 16, 1898 (Battleship Maine blown up); September 9, 1900 (Galveston storm); January 23, 1901 (death of Queen Victoria); February 9, 1904 (Japanese attack Russian warships); April 18, 1906 (San Francisco earthquake); May 26, 1908 (Dallas flooding); July 2, 1912 (Woodrow Wilson is Democratic Party nominee); August 2, 1914 (Germany declares war against Russia); November 12, 1918 (Armistice ending World War I proclaimed); October 25, 1929 (stock market collapse); June 13, 1936 (FDR visits Dallas). Note: this newspaper is fragile and should be handled carefully.
6 Texas Power & Light, 1920-1936, n.d.
Includes a small number of newspaper clippings of the activities of Texas Power & Light. Of special interest is a handwritten letter to TP & L dated 11-8-1920 from an A. N. Standard returning eleven cents of an incorrect amount of change that he had received from payment of a light bill in 1913. He had used the extra change for a movie and a cream soda, and had never forgotten it; thus, seven years later, he was returning the money, plus 10% interest.
7 Venison Barbecue Outing, 1926, 1927
Contains a copy of a telegram sent by Fisher inviting approximately twenty-five newspaper men and others to a venison barbecue held near Trinidad, Texas, in December, 1926, and the telegram responses of the invitees. Also included are a list of attendees to the December, 1927, barbecue, and telegram and letter responses. Other items include a blueprint of the barbecue oven and a map to the site.

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Series II.
Life in Fort Worth, 1938-1973, n.d.
0.44 linear ft. (12 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by topic, some undated materials. Newspaper clippings, letters, programs, certificates, booklets, artifacts, pamphlets, texts of speeches, and lists pertaining to Fisher's business and civic activities in Fort Worth.
Box Folder
1 8 Chamber of Commerce, 1947-May 21, 1968
Contains newspaper articles, pamphlets, programs, certificates, and booklets from Fisher's involvement with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. Most items date from the 1960's, especially 1968, the year he served as its president. Included is a copy of Action 68--an outline of the Chamber's plans for the community during Fisher's tenure as president.
9 Chamber of Commerce, June 2, 1968-1969, n.d.
Contains newspaper articles, certificates, programs, booklets, tickets, name tags, and texts of speeches from Fisher's involvement in Chamber activities. Highlights include a dedication at Meacham Field (with a copy of remarks made by Secretary of Commerce C. R. Smith); tickets to the Action Spectacular, the formal grand opening of the Tarrant County Convention Center; and an address by Fisher to the Fort Worth Board of Realtors on "Selling Fort Worth."
10 Education-Other Institutions, 1963-1970, n.d.
Contains a small number of items, mainly newspaper articles and programs, concerning Fisher's involvement with other area educational institutions, namely Arlington State College, Tarrant County Junior College, and The University of Texas at Dallas. Included is the text of Fisher's Commencement Address to the 1963 graduates of Arlington State College, now The University of Texas at Arlington.
11 Education-Texas Christian University, 1962-1973, n.d.
Includes newspaper articles, programs, pamphlets, booklets, and copies of press releases of TCU activities. Highlights include the naming of Fisher as the Chairman of the TCU Research Foundation in 1963, and the awarding of honorary doctoral degrees to Fisher and his wife, Mary, a former teacher at TCU. Included also are a letter to Mrs. Fisher requesting size information for robes and Mrs. Fisher's actual doctoral diploma.
Box Folder
2 1 Fort Worth Exchange Club, 1958, 1968-1970, n.d.
Contains newspaper articles, programs, and newsletters pertaining to the Exchange Club. Fisher was the recipient of the Exchange Club's Golden Deeds Award for 1970, and a scrapbook detailing this award is housed in OS321.
2 Log Cabin Village, n.d.
Fisher was a member of the committee presenting a proposal to the Fort Worth City Council for the restoration of the Foster Cabin to be placed in Log Cabin Village. Includes costs analysis of the restoration, Foster family history, retyped copies of letters to Foster family members dating from 1836-1864, and sketches of walls and floors. Photos that were part of this proposal are in Box 4, Folder 9.
3 Miscellaneous, 1951-1969, n.d.
Includes newspaper clippings, programs, tickets, certificates, and artifacts showcasing Fisher's involvement in numerous other civic organizations. These include, but are not limited to, the following: Texas Manufacturers Association, Junior Achievement, Tarrant County United Fund campaigns, Texas Historical Foundation, American Quarter Horse Assocation, Historic Fort Worth, Inc., and the Newcomer Society. A certificate from Kiwanis International has been removed to OS321.
4 Political Activities, 1946-1969, n.d.
Contains newspaper articles, membership cards, and invitations and programs pertaining to Fisher's involvement with the Democratic Party. Invitations and programs of inaugural activities for Governor John Connally in 1963 and President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 are included, as is an invitation for Fisher and his wife to a barbecue given by LBJ at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas. A souvenir kit for the 1965 Inaugural of Johnson and a large photo of the 1968 National Democratic Convention in Chicago are in OS321.
5 Radio Free Europe, 1967-1970.
In 1967 a group of thirty prominent Americans, including Fisher, were invited to tour the facilities of Radio Free Europe Fund, Inc. in West Germany. Included are news articles pertaining to the trip, an itinerary, a list of participants, trip highlights, and Fisher's luggage tags and boarding passes.
6 TESCO--Activities, 1947-1970, n.d.
Contains mainly news articles on Fisher's advancement through the ranks of TESCO, particularly his naming as president in 1961 and Chairman of the Board in 1966. A list of names of people sending congratulatory messages is in OS321. Also includes a utility convention paper and TESCO annual reports. Items of special interest include the following: Fisher's TESCO Group Medical Insurance Card, a certificate naming Fisher Boss of the Year for 1968, and a caricature of Fisher with Reddy Kilowatt, the TESCO mascot. This folder does not include any material from 1969, the year of Fisher's retirement.
7 TESCO--Retirement, 1969, n.d.
Contains news articles announcing Fisher's retirement from TESCO. A resolution of appreciation from TESCO's Board of Directors has been removed to Box OS321, as has typed sheets of excerpts from letters congratulating him on his retirement.
8 West Texas Chamber of Commerce, 1952-1970, n.d.
Contains newspaper clippings, pamphlets, programs, text of a speech, certificate, and a cardboard plaque highlighting Fisher's involvement in the development of the West Texas area through his membership in the WTCC. Most articles date from the 1960's, especially 1964-1966 when Fisher served as president and was chosen "West Texan of the Month" for October, 1966.

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Series III.
People, 1896-1983, n.d.
0.97 linear ft. (35 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by topic, some undated materials. Newspaper clippings, correspondence, cards, photos, programs, certificates, artifacts, pamphlets, and brochures pertaining to Fisher's family and extensive network of friends and acquaintances.
Box Folder
2 9 Biographical Information, 1926-1983, n.d.
Contains a copy of Fisher's resume, a letter from a relative containing some family history, Fisher's typhoid fever quarantine release card dated 1926, a set of articles and letters pertaining to Fisher's watch, a set of handwriting analysis cards, and copies of his obituary notices from local newspapers.
10 Cards--Holiday Greetings from Fisher, 1922-1948, n.d.
Contains copies of holiday greeting cards sent by Fisher, dated 1922, 1923, 1936, 1938, 1946, 1948, and three undated cards. Fisher's early cards often related to his job, or, in one case, his daughter.
11 Cards--Holiday Greetings to Fisher, 1924-1969, n.d.
Contains holiday greeting cards dating from the 1920's, 1940's, and 1960's, plus some that are undated. Included is also an undated, typed list of names of people from whom Fisher received Christmas cards.
12 Cards--Other Occasions, 1921, 1969, n.d.
Includes birth announcements, Valentine's Day cards, birthday cards, Mother's Day card, Thanksgiving Day card, and postcards.
13 Correspondence--from Fisher, 1918-1969.
Contains only four letters from Fisher: two to his mother when he was in South Dakota, one to Carl Estes, and the letter announcing his retirement from TESCO. Also includes a picture postcard, never sent, to August Busch, from the 1936 Texas Centennial.
Box Folder
3 1 Correspondence--to Fisher, August 15, 1922-October 13, 1958.
Contains letters on a variety of topics. Some of these had photos attached, and these have been removed as noted.
2 Correspondence--to Fisher, October 5, 1962-December 24, 1970, n.d.
Contains letters on a variety of topics. Three letters are from Fisher's granddaughter, Susan, one is from his sister, Ollie, and two are holiday greetings, one of which has foreign currency attached.
3 Correspondence--to Fisher on his Retirement, 1969, n.d.
Contains congratulatory letters to Fisher upon his retirement from TESCO.
4 Family, 1896-1970, n.d.
Contains articles, letters, and a booklet. Most articles pertain to Fisher's wife, Mary and her involvement in civic activities, and Dallas founder, John Neely Bryan, to whom Fisher was related. Other items are from daughter, Madeline, and granddaughter, Susan. Of particular note is a copy of a letter dated 1896, signed by Dick Winfrey, also a relative of Fisher's.
5 Friends--Carl Estes, 1943-1970
Includes mainly newspaper articles on the life of Estes, the publisher of the Longview Journal and News, and a longtime friend of Fisher's. Other items include a letter, invitation, and programs from the ceremony dedicating a Texas Historical Marker to Estes in 1967.
6 Friends--Obituaries, 1923-1970, n.d.
Contains mainly newspaper articles on the deaths of various people of Fisher's acquaintance. Some of these include Fort Worth editor James North, Dallas civic leader John Carpenter, Fort Worth engineer Marvin Nichols, Dallas newsman Ted Dealey, newsman Harry Crozier, and Fort Worth civic leader J. Marvin Leonard. Also includes several funeral service programs and sympathy card acknowledgements.
Box Folder
4 1 Friends--Robert L. Thornton, Sr., 1948-1964
Contains mainly news articles on the life of R. L. Thornton, known as "Mr. Dallas," also a longtime friend of Fisher's. Other items include the text of a speech given at an appreciation luncheon honoring Thornton, a telegram notifying Fisher of Thornton's death, and newspaper articles of his obituaries and lifetime achievements.
2 Personal Items--Cloth Items, 1923, 1928
Contains two cloth items of satirical content commemorating the election of Homer Fisher (no relation) as president of the Dallas Electric Club and a Texas Power & Light social occasion.
3 Personal Items--Electricity, 1921-1923, n.d.
Contains articles on the public utility industry, particularly electricity.
4 Personal Items--Ephemera, 1949-1970, n.d.
Includes various personal items. Of special interest are the following: memorabilia from World War II; a ticket to the 1949 baseball World Series; luggage tags, postcards, and letters of introduction from U. S. Ambassador Edward Clark from the Fishers' tour of the Far East; and two first flight covers (stamps and envelopes) from American Airlines executive C.R. Smith.
5 Personal Items--Sentiments and Thoughts, 1925-1961, n.d.
Contains copies of newspaper articles, clippings, and typed quotations on various topics. Of particular note is an article written by Fisher entitled "My Dream for Fort Worth.
6 Photographs--Hunting and Fishing, 1950-1971, n.d.
Contains photos of hunting and fishing excursions with friends. Some photos do not include Fisher. 1950-1966
7 Photographs--Hunting and Fishing, 1950-1971, n.d.
Contains photos of hunting and fishing excursions with friends. Some photos do not include Fisher.1967
8 Photographs--Hunting and Fishing, 1950-1971, n.d.
Contains photos of hunting and fishing excursions with friends. Some photos do not include Fisher. 1968-1971, n.d.
9 Photographs--Log Cabin Village, n.d.
Contains photos from the Foster cabin restoration proposal found in Box 2, Folder 2.
10 Photographs--With Fisher, ca. 1920-1973, n.d.
Contains photos of Fisher, with others, on various business and civic occasions. Photographs--With Fisher, 1923-1929, n.d.
11 Photographs--With Fisher, 1937-1949, n.d.
12 Photographs--With Fisher, 1950-1954
13 Photographs--With Fisher, 1955-1958
14 Photographs--With Fisher, 1961-1965
15 Photographs--With Fisher, 1966-June, 1968
16 July, 1968-September, 1968
17 Photographs--With Fisher, ca. 1968
18 Photographs--With Fisher, 1969-1973
19 Photographs--With Fisher, n.d.
20 Photographs--Only Fisher, n.d.
Contains portrait photos of Fisher.
21 Photographs--Without Fisher, 1929-1947
Contains photos of occasions where Fisher is not readily identifiable in the photo. Photos of interest include: downtown Dallas in 1932, George B. Dealey in 1934, and possible photos of daughter Madeline, and first wife, Pauline.
22 Photographs--Without Fisher, 1948-1973
Contains photos of occasions where Fisher is not readily identifiable in the photo. Includes photos of Mary Fisher.
23 Photographs--Without Fisher, n.d.
Contains only two photos: one of R. L. Thornton, Sr., and one of a Ku Klux Klan parade.

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Series IV.
Oversize Box, 1961-1971
0.25 linear ft.

Contains photos, certificates, lists, and a scrapbook.

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