A Guide to the Earl Vandale Papers, 1897, 1908-1967
Born to John Andrew Adam and Olive A. (Crislip) Vandale in Roane County, West Virginia, Earl Vandale (1882-1952) attended West Virginia University where he studied law. He then taught in rural schools before entering the oil and gas business in 1908, originally in his home state, then in Ohio and Oklahoma. In 1922, he moved to Texas, settling in Amarillo in 1925. In 1911, Vandale married Grace A. Burke, with whom he had one son before her death in 1920. In 1925, he married Vada Lee Davis. Vandale also maintained one of the largest and most important collections of rare books and documents related to Texas.
His son, John James Vandale (1915-2007), graduated from Washington and Lee University and was also active in the oil and gas industry before joining the Navy during World War II, where he commanded two ships and served in both the Pacific and European theaters. After the war, he participated in Operation Deepfreeze I, an Antarctic exploration mission headed by Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Vandale continued to serve in the Navy until his retirement in 1972 and returned to the oil and gas business.
Carroll, Mary Joe. "Vandale, Earl."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 19, 2011.
"All Obituaries - Text." Amarillo Globe-News. Accessed August 19, 2011.
Composed of typed manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence, and clippings, the Earl Vandale Papers, 1897, 1908-1967, document the lives and careers of Earl Vandale and his son, John James Vandale. Typed manuscripts are of John James Vandale’s dissertation on the history of Chaves County, New Mexico, while four notebooks chronicle Earl Vandale’s land dealings in Texas. The bulk of correspondence is from John James to his wife while in the Antarctic on Operation Deepfreeze I. Subjects of the clippings range from Earl Vandale’s Texana collection to his son’s Antarctic Expedition. Also included in the collection are Vandale’s high school certificates, a guest book from the opening of The Earl and Vada Vandale Collection of Western Americana, a ledger book, invitations, newsletters and cookware brochures.
Journalist Laura V. Hammer’s documents contain her correspondence and notes on the Texas Panhandle’s history including personal anecdotes of early settlers.
This collection is open for research use.
Earl Vandale Papers, 1897, 1908-1967, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Ryder Kouba, August 2011. Subsequent revisions were made by Paloma Graciani Picardo, December 2014.
Detailed Description of the Papers