A Guide to the Dewitt Carlock Greer Collection, 1925-1984
Although born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dewitt Carlock Greer, 1902-1986, grew up in Pittsburg, Texas. He received a degree in civil engineering from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1923. He worked in a variety of positions, as a landscape engineer, constructing parks, and city engineer, before joining the Texas Highway Department (now the Texas Department Transportation) as an engineer in 1928.
At the Highway Department, Greer assisted in laying out a highway system for Henderson County, then moved up to district engineer. In 1936, the Greer family moved to Austin, where he became the head of the Highway Department’s division of construction and design. Greer was appointed state highway engineer in 1940.
The outbreak of World War II interrupted Greer’s plans for a massive expansion of the Texas highway system. Following the war, those plans were implemented, the largest of its kind in the world. The Texas Highway Department constructed 50,000 miles of paved highway and more than 40,000 miles of paved farm roads. He served as both member and chairman of the Texas Highways and Public Transportation Commission for fifteen years.
Known for running his department without scandal or wasting taxpayer money, Greer received many engineering and administration honors and also had scholarships endowed under his name at Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin. Following his retirement in 1981, the state highway department named its headquarters in Austin after him.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Greer, Dewitt Carlock,"http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/fgr83.html (accessed June 7, 2010).
The Dewitt C. Greer Collection, 1925-1984, encompasses correspondence, biographical materials, speeches, and interview materials reflecting Greer’s role in the development of the Texas highway system and his participation in state, national, and international professional organizations.
Printed materials include awards testimonials, resolutions, and press releases documenting recognition of his achievements on state and national levels; newspaper clippings about Greer and Texas State Highway Department activities, many of which are annotated; and magazine articles. Photographic materials include an album depicting Pittsburg, Texas, on Greer Day, 1966, and a large collection of photographs of important occasions in Greer’s career and of people and events in Texas State Highway Department history. The collection also includes plat maps of DeWitt’s Colony (1825-1835) and Gonzales, Texas (1831-1837).
This collection is open for research use.
Dewitt Carlock Greer Collection, 1925-1984, 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