University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Elijah L. Shettles Papers, 1792-1940



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Shettles, Elijah LeRoy, 1852-1940
Title: Elijah L. Shettles Papers
Dates: 1792-1940
Abstract: Elijah LeRoy Shettles was a Methodist minister, magazine editor, publisher, and bibliographer.
Extent: 5 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Elijah LeRoy Shettles was a Methodist minister, magazine editor, publisher, and bibliographer. Born in 1852 in Mississippi, Shettles spent his eighty-eight years working as a teacher, a farm-implement salesman, a law student, a pressman for a newspaper, a freight agent, a public weigher, a coal supplier, a gambler, a saloonkeeper, an insurance solicitor, a preacher, a church administrator, an editor, a book collector and dealer, and a representative of several university and public libraries. He was also a friend of the governors of two states, companion to men of prominence in business and letters, chaplain of the Texas Senate, publisher of books, and humanitarian.

From 1881 to 1891 Shettles traveled the Southwest as a hard-drinking, cheating, itinerate gambler, who frequently stopped long enough in a town to operate a gambling hall and saloon; most of these years he spent in Texas. In 1891 he felt a calling to the Methodist ministry. Shettles' ministerial career, all of it in Texas, spanned over thirty years. In 1908 he was made assistant editor of the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly. Shettles retired in 1921 and moved to Austin, where he devoted himself to book collecting. He made significant contributions to the development of the libraries at Rice Institute, Sam Houston State Teachers College, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Texas. Shettles died in 1940.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Shettles, Elijah Leroy," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsh29.html (accessed October 15, 2009).


Scope and Contents

Shettles’ papers include correspondence, diary, reminiscences, genealogical notes, biographical sketches, legal documents, land papers, maps, military papers, financial papers, notes, reports, minutes, proceedings, book lists, literary productions, newspapers, printed material, clippings, and photographs. The papers concern Shettles’ activities as secretary of the Fredonia Grange (1873); Elder of the Methodist Church; book collector, seller and authority; contributor to the libraries of the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University; assistant editor of the Texas Historical Quarterly (1908); publisher of William S. Reed’s The Texas Colonists and Religion and Don Biggers’ Our Sacred Monkeys (1933); author of historical sketches for the Arkansas Methodist; Shettles’ autobiography; historical sketches of Southern Methodist University and the University Methodist Church; manuscript of History of Oil Industry in Texas by Don Biggers; early Southern history including letters relating to Sam Houston, Indian affairs and the Civil War, a Cherokee land claim and the diary of A. B. F. Kerr; the court case of H. C. Hansen v. Texan Oil and Land Company of Delaware; and personal correspondence.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Biggers, Don Hampton, 1869-1957
Houston, Sam, 1793-1863.
Reed, William S.
Shettles, Elijah LeRoy, 1852-1940--Archives
Subjects (Organizations)
Book Collectors--Texas
Methodist Church--Texas--History.
Southern Methodist University. Library.
University of Texas at Austin. Library
Subjects
Petroleum industry and trade--Texas--History.
Southern States--History--1775-1865.
Places
Austin (Tex.)
Dallas (Tex.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Elijah L. Shettles Papers, 1792-1940, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory:

box
2G201 Correspondence:
1808-1809
1900-1906
January-September, 1907
box
2G202 October-December, 1907
1908
1909-1920
box
2G203 1921-1926
box
2G204 1927-1933
January-May, 1934
box
2G205 June-September, 1934
October-December, 1934
box
2G206 June-December, 1936
1937
box
2G207 1938
Undated and fragments
box
2G208 A. B. F. Kerr Diary
Reminiscences
Legal papers:
Land grants and deeds
Orders
Commissions
Appointments
Sawyers vs. United States Army
Cherokee land claim
Miscellaneous
Hansen vs. Texan Oil Suit
Business papers
Cash journals
Bills
Receipts
Invoices
box
2G209 Books lists
Manuscript, Recollections of a Long Life
Historical sketches:
Southern Methodist University and churches
Churches
box
2G210 Manuscript, “History of Texas Oil Industry”
Notes
Reports
Minutes and proceedings
Maps
Newspapers
box
2G211 Clippings
Printed material
box
2G212 Printed material
Miscellaneous
box
2R177 Recollections of a Long Life
box
3T112 Photographs:
[Elijah L. Shettles on horseback?]
[Birthday party for Elijah L. Shettles, May 1932?]
box
2.325/D1b CSA loan certificate, 1862
“Books for Sale by E. L. Shettles”