TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Dorothy and James Wimberly Collection, 1947-2010
Dorothy “Dot” Margaret Stepp Wimberly (1924-2008) and her husband James Weldon Wimberly (1922-1980) were married on September 5, 1942. The couple eventually settled in Austin, Texas, where they raised their only child, daughter Karen, and devoted much of their lives to promoting social welfare and civic justice. They were also active members of the University Presbyterian Church. Dot was passionate about politics, and supported Texas State Representative Sarah Weddington throughout the 1970s, both in Washington D.C. during the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade and as a secretary in her Austin office. Later, Dot took on secretarial and administrative roles in the offices of Senator Lloyd Doggett, the University of Texas, and Texas Governor Ann Richards, in addition to her volunteer work with local organizations such as Planned Parenthood of Austin and the League of Women Voters.
WWII veteran James Wimberly began his career as a social worker working for the American Red Cross in 1950. He later worked for the Philadelphia branch of the United Way, the Community Council of Greater Dallas, and finally served as Director of Human Services for Texas United Community Services. James stayed involved with the issues of his profession on a countrywide scale, becoming a charter member of the National Association of Social Workers, and speaking at the National Conference on Social Welfare and the National Association for Statewide Health and Welfare Organizations. In 1979, Texas Governor Bill Clements appointed him to the Texas Advisory Committee for the White House Conference on Families. As a long-time lobbyist, James was particularly devoted to helping children and the elderly. In recognition of his years of service, the Texas Legislature authorized the United Way to plant a tree and accompanying commemorative plaque in his honor on the Capitol grounds.
Photographs, correspondence, clippings, and assorted records and memorabilia compose the Dorothy and James Wimberly Collection, 1947-2010. The collection is arranged according to the people the material primarily concerns, namely the Wimberly family and the Texas politicians with whom they worked most closely. Highlights of the collection include Sarah Weddington’s correspondence with Karen Powell née Wimberly, the senate resolution authorizing James Wimberly’s memorial tree at the Texas State Capitol, souvenirs and written remembrances of the Wimberly’s 1978 stay in Washington, D.C., and the book The Miracle of the Killer Bees: 12 Senators Who Changed Texas Politics by Robert Heard, 1981, signed by Lloyd Doggett to Dorothy Wimberly.
This collection is open for research use.
Dorothy and James Wimberly Collection, 1947-2010, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Keelee James, 2013.