A Guide to the May Mathis Green Watson Collection, 1887-1959
Born in Rockport, Texas, artist and writer May Mathis Green Watson (b. 1883) was the daughter of pioneer rancher Thomas Henry Mathis, who founded the town of Mathis in San Patricio County after settling in South Texas in 1859. In partnership with George Ware Fulton, Youngs Coleman, and Thomas M. Colman, Mathis founded the Coleman, Mathis, Fulton Cattle Company in Rockport in 1871. After the company dissolved eight years later, Mathis received in a settlement the Henry Bend Ranch and land in Live Oak and Goliad counties. The other partners formed the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company, also known as the Taft Ranch.
In 1907, Watson married Joseph French Green, superintendent and general manager of the Taft Ranch from 1900 until his death in 1926. Following her marriage to Harry H. Watson in 1928, she moved to Corpus Christi. In addition to authoring a booklet and several newspaper articles on the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company and Taft Ranch, Watson also painted scenes of South Texas and Mexico.
Guthrie, Keith. "Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed March 14, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/aqc02.
Composed of 24 volumes, the May Mathis Green Watson Collection, 1887-1959, documents the experiences of Watson as an artist and writer. Consisting primarily of newspaper clippings as well as printed materials, sketches, and photographs, the scrapbooks mainly relate to the operation of the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company and the social, economic, and cultural life of Corpus Christi and the Texas Gulf Coast region. Comprised of historical articles, poems, editorials, and short stories, newspaper clippings concern ranching and agriculture in southern Texas, the Taft Ranch, stories about Watson’s first husband Joseph F. Green, national and local politics, notable citizens, women’s issues, and the activities of the Texas Federate of Women’s Clubs. Additionally, the collection contains newspaper articles written by Watson for the Taft Tribune, describing the Watsons’ travels throughout the United States, such as to Arizona, Oregon, and Alaska, as well as cultural and social commentary. Printed material includes an issue of the Journal of the Texas Historical and Biographical Record, which contains a biographical sketch of Joseph French Green; a booklet entitled, Taft Ranch, San Patricio County, Texas, written by T. N. Blackwell (1923); a copy of the Rockport Transcript (1874); and several issues of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times featuring the weekly column, "Camera Closeups of old Corpus Christi" (1952). Drawings and sketches by Watson illustrate flora and fauna, human figures, architecture, and landscapes, while photographs depict the Taft Ranch, the Aransas County courthouse, Hotel Aransas in Rockport, G. W. Fulton, T. N. Mathis, and other family members.
This collection is open for research use.
May Mathis Green Watson Collection, 1887-1959, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The 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