A Guide to the Abigail Curlee and Thomas Jefferson Holbrook Papers, 1917-1981
Texas senator Thomas Jefferson Holbrook (ca. 1879-1964) received his law degree from the University of Texas (UT) in 1906. From 1907 through 1919, he worked as a legal advisor and credit manager for the Mistrot Brothers in Galveston and the Sanger Brothers in Dallas from 1919 through 1921. The following year, Holbrook was elected to represent Galveston in the state legislator, a position he held until 1939. Additionally, he was a member of the Texas Masons and a charter member of the Scottish Rite educational board at UT.
In 1943, Holbrook married Abigail Curlee (1897-1996), a native of Waxahachie. Curlee received her bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in history from UT, where she studied the development of plantations in Texas. From 1921 through 1931, she worked as the executive secretary of the Travis County Welfare Board and also taught at the Sophie Newcomb College until her marriage to Holbrook. Additionally, Curlee served as assistant director of Texas Historical Survey and was a member of a number a different societies, including the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Texas State Historical Society, and the Austin League of Women Voters, as well as civic and welfare organizations during World War II, such as the city of Austin’s Civilian War Service Executive Committee.
"Abigail Curlee Holbrook."Austin American-Statesman. February 6, 1996.
"Former Sen. Holbrook Dies, Funeral Today."Austin American. October 22, 1964.
Composed of correspondence, financial records, printed materials, drafts of manuscripts, notes and research materials, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, and photographs, the Abigail Curlee and Thomas Jefferson Holbrook Papers, 1917-1981, document the personal and professional affairs of the Holbrooks. Thomas Jefferson Holbrook’s correspondence concerns his business affairs and career as an attorney and legislator as well as his role developing the Scottish Rite fraternity at the University of Texas, while Abigail Curlee Holbrook’s correspondence relates to familial affairs, her research on Texas history, and her involvement in various organizations, such as the Texas Folklore Society and the Texas State Historical Association. Financial records consist of receipts, blank checks, tax returns, and bills; printed material includes playbills, brochures for various products, theater tickets; newspaper clippings discuss politics issues in Texas, the University of Texas, and the participation of women in World War II, among other topics. The collection includes drafts of manuscripts, research notes, and Photostats of reports on such historical topics as slave plantations and cotton production in Texas. Additionally, memorabilia pertains to travel and political activities, while photographs depict family members and a funeral.
This collection is open for research use.
A portion of these papers is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Abigail Curlee and Thomas Jefferson Holbrook Papers, 1917-1981, 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