A Guide to the Smith Family Papers, 1893-1979
Born in Humphreys County, Tennessee, A. J. Smith married Bettie "B. G." Daniel in 1869 and the couple moved to Texas the following year. He worked as a teacher in Texas for over 10 years before devoting himself to land investment, while B. G. was involved with the United States Daughters of 1812 and served as historian of the American Legion Auxiliary. Of the Smiths' three children, only their son Floyd survived to adulthood. He attended the University of Texas at Austin (UT), where he served on the Sam Houston Senate of the Delta Theta Phi fraternity and met his future wife Jewell McAllister.
Floyd and Jewell had one child, Bettie Margaret Smith (1933-1979), who grew up on the family's McCulloch County farm near Lohn. She attended Ward Belmont Junior College in Nashville Tennessee, before entering her parents' alma mater in 1950. After receiving her bachelor of arts in English, Bettie taught school in cities across Texas from 1953 to 1960, before returning to the family farm. She returned to UT in 1964 to complete coursework for a major in mathematics. Following a year of work at Texas Instruments, she moved to Lohn in 1966 to manage the farm fulltime, earning an accounting degree from the University of Arizona in 1972 to aid her in this work. In her will, Bettie donated a large portion of her estate to UT's College of Engineering, where several facilities and faculty positions are now named in her honor.
Comprising correspondence, survey records, blueprints and plans, financial records, minutes, legal papers, clippings, printed material, and a record book, the Smith Family Papers, 1893-1979, document the interests and property of Bettie Margaret Smith, as well as the lives of her parents Floyd and Jewell Smith, and grandparents A. J. and B. G. Smith. Composing the bulk of the collection, legal and financial records relate to the family's land and livestock in Austin and McCulloch County, Texas, as managed by Bettie and Jewell, and include receipts, deeds, invoices, surveys and field notes, and abstracts of title. Correspondence to Floyd and Bettie pertains chiefly to news of family and friends. Other missives to Bettie from government officials show her active interest in agricultural legislation, while her college records chronicle her time at Ward Belmont Junior College, the University of Texas (UT), and the University of Arizona. Additionally, notes, correspondence, and other papers concern Floyd's involvement with fraternities and the Sam Houston Senate of Delta Theta Phi while as student at UT.
The papers of B. G. Smith, including minutes, printed material, and correspondence, document her activities as a member of the United States Daughters of 1812, while a newspaper obituary and remembrance chronicle the death of her husband A. J. Smith. Additionally, a record book she created as historian of the Texas American Legion Auxiliary contains descriptions of each member's work in the organization.
This collection is open for research use.
Smith Family Papers, 1893-1979, 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.
This collection contains unprocessed materials.
Detailed Description of the Papers