A Guide to the Mabelle Purcell Papers, 1837-1974
Born to Edwin Charles Umland and Mattie Carroll in Waller, Texas, Mabelle Agnes Umland (1892-1978) enrolled in South Texas Baptist College before moving to Jewett with her family around 1900. Attending Southwestern University and the Southwest Texas Normal School, she received her permanent teaching certificate and taught school in Edinburg for two years. In 1912, Mabelle enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin (UT) to study German, though was unable to complete her degree due to the department’s discontinuation during World War I and her subsequent marriage to Stuart McLeod Purcell in 1917. The couple settled in Robstown, where they raised their three children while Mabelle attended the Texas College of Arts and Industries. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1936, she moved with her family to Austin, later acquiring a master’s degree in educational psychology from UT in 1951. Mabelle worked as a teacher at the Texas School for the Deaf and also developed an interest about the history of education in Texas, later authoring This is Texas (1977) and Two Texas Female Seminaries (1951).
Cottrell, Debbie Mauldin. "Purcell, Mabelle Agnes Umland."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 4, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpu01.
Composed of correspondence, press releases, biographical sketches, printed material, newspaper clippings, sheet music, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and photographs, the Mabelle Purcell Papers, 1837-1974, document Purcell’s research and writing of Two Texas Female Seminaries and on the history of education in Texas. Correspondence consists of letters with former students, while newspaper clippings concern school reunions in Austin. Press releases pertain to the publication of her book, biographical sketches and materials relate to the founders of the Live Oak Female Seminary and the Stuart Female Seminary, and printed material includes articles on historical subjects. Additionally, the collection contains sheet music, scrapbooks that include clippings and autographs, memorabilia related to the seminaries, and photographs and negatives illustrating administrators, faculty, and students of the female seminaries.
This collection is open for research use.
Mabelle Purcell Papers, 1837-1974, 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