A Guide to the Paul Henry Freier Papers, 1890-1981.
Paul Freier (1915-1983) grew up in Refugio and Jim Wells counties, graduating from Orange Grove High School in 1933. He worked at various ranches and farms for two years before moving to Austin where he earned degrees in journalism and history. He met and married Adele Emma Cannizzo while attending the University of Texas at Austin. They had two children: Lorchen Alicia (b. 1939) and Lodovico Foster (b. 1942).
During and after his time at the University of Texas, Freier held a number of positions. He taught German and Texas history at UT and St. Edwards University in Austin. He surveyed areas of Texas for historical value before they were made into lakes and helped set up migratory labor camps in the Robstown, Weslaco, Princeton, McKinney, and Crystal City areas. In 1942, during the Second World War, Freier was sent to assist with the Granada, Colorado, alien detention center. The Freier family returned to Texas the following year and Freier began working at an airplane plant in Fort Worth.
After joining the U.S. Navy, Freier was station in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a clerk, where he remained until 1946. He returned to his family in Texas and they began a farm in Jollyville. The family moved once more to the Six Mile community, north of Port Lavaca in Calhoun County after Freier accepted employment at the Aluminum Company of America (ALOCA).
After retiring in 1976, Freier began writing historical articles for local papers, which he dubbed “Lookin’ Back.” From these articles, he eventually compiled “Lookin’ Back: A Scrapbook of History of Calhoun County and the Matagorda Bay Area.” His death in 1983 prevented him from reprinting the book with new articles.
Freier was a life-long member of several unions and societies, including the United Steelworkers of American (he was the financial secretary), Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Texas State Historical Association, and the Hermann Sons of Texas. He was also a member and director of the Old Trail Drivers Association of Texas, the Elbeetian Legion Motalk Tribe (former Lone Scouts of America), American Association of Retired Persons, the Victoria County Genealogical Society, and the Calhoun County Genealogical Society.
The Paul Henry Freier Papers, 1890-1981, contain the research files, photographs, newspapers and newspaper clippings, charts, maps, 21 audio cassettes, periodicals, pamphlets, and notes generated by Freier while researching his “Lookin’ Back” articles and compilation book.
This collection is open for research use.
Use of audio material by appointment only; please contact sound archivist.
Paul Henry Freier Papers, 1890-1981, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
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