Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Ada Dodgen Family Papers, 1892-1918, 1924



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dodgen family
Creator: Thomas family
Title: Dodgen, Ada, Family Papers
Dates: 1892-1918, 1924
Abstract: Consisting of correspondence, photographs and some funeral notices, the Ada Dodgen Family Papers, 1892-1918, 1924 chronicle the life of a modest family in late 19th century Central Texas.
Accession No.: 2013-302
OCLC No.: 880851609
Extent: 6 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in 1878, Ada E. Dodgen was the daughter of a modest working class family established in Central Texas. She had at least two sisters, Polly and Sue, and one brother, D.L. Other family members include her uncle, M.G. Dodgen, and her cousin, Charley V. Dodgen.

It was around 1894 when she started a romantic relationship with Willy H. Thomas, from Clifton, Texas. They got married sometime around 1901. During the courtship period, Ada was working as a schoolteacher in Walnut Springs. Willy moved around the state trying to find his way in the face of the growing commercialization of ranches and farms. He worked as a day laborer in Clifton, Chase and Thurber. In 1898, Willy moved to Minco, Indian Territory, looking for better work opportunities. There, he stayed with his aunt and worked in the cattle industry. He may have also enrolled in the Cuban campaign of the Spanish-American war.

After their marriage, they settled in Meridian, Texas, and had 3 children, Gladys, Hattie and Hugh.

Sources:

"United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2MY-VVG : accessed 07 May 2014), Ada E Thomas in household of William H Thomas, Meridian, Bosque, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 1, sheet 3A, family 51, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1375546.

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Scope and Contents

Consisting of correspondence, photographs and some funeral notices, the Ada Dodgen Family Papers, 1892-1918, 1924, chronicle the life of a modest family in late 19th century Central Texas.

The letters, written primarily between Ada E. Dodgen and Willy H. Thomas, represent the times. Ada writes of teaching in the school, attending Methodist camp meetings and performing in singing groups, quilting with her friends, illnesses, and other family news. Willy reports on the hardscrabble life he is seeking out as a day laborer in the cotton industry or working on the cattle ranches in Indian Territory. Local incidents, such as murders, railroad robberies and city fires, are also documented.

The family photographs, most of them prior to 1900, include card photographs, gem photographs (tintypes) and photographic postcards. Although most of the pictures depict unidentified individual and group portraits, one of the photos is dated in Havana 1901.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Dodgen, Ada E.
Ferguson, L.D.
Jenson, Jas H.
Kent, Jim
Thomas, Willy H.
Dodgen family -- Archives
Thomas family -- Archives
Subjects
Cotton -- Texas -- History -- Sources
Education -- Texas -- History -- Sources
Families -- Health and hygiene -- Texas
Ranching -- Oklahoma -- History -- 19th century
Women -- Texas -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Places
Clifton (Tex.)
Grandview (Johnson County, Tex.)
Thurber (Tex.)
Waco (Tex.)
Walnut Springs (Tex.)
Bosque County (Tex.)
Indian Territory

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Dodgen (Ada) Family Papers, 1892-1918, 1924, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Paloma Graciani Picardo, May 2014.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
4Zf360c Correspondence
Between Ada E. Dodgen and Willy H. Thomas, 1894-1907, undated
Between Ada E. Dodgen and others, 1892-1907, undated
Between Willy H. Thomas and others, 1896-1900
Dodgen Family, 1896-1897
Thomas Family, 1901-1917
Poems and Fragments, 1895, undated
Funeral notices, 1907-1918, 1924
box
2W84a Photographs, undated

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