A Guide to the Marie B. Morrow Papers, 1926-1971
Marie Betzner Morrow was born on August 22, 1895 in Bunker Hill, Indiana. Her family moved to Oklahoma and then to Mercedes, Texas, one of the early families in the pioneering community near the Mexico border. She graduated from high school in Mercedes, taught at public schools in the Valley, and entered the University of Texas in the summer of 1918, eventually enrolling as a full-time undergraduate in 1923. She earned her BA (1926), MA (1927), and PhD (1932) from the UT Department of Botany and Bacteriology.
During the period from the end of the 1930s through the 1950s, Dr. Morrow was one of only two women to hold a tenured position in natural sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. She became an instructor at UT in 1927, teaching courses and writing lab manuals for the courses in general botany and plant morphology. She held the instructor position until 1939, when she was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Botany and Bacteriology. In 1945 the departments split, and she served as Associate Professor in Botany until 1957, when she transferred to the Department of Microbiology. Morrow retired as Associate Professor in 1970 but continued to work in her laboratory until her death in 1971.
Primarily focusing her research on soil microbes and mold spores, Dr. Morrow also worked with Texas allergists on the correlation between airborne mold spores and allergies. She wrote or co-wrote over 150 papers in scientific journals and received international renown for her work in fungal aerobiology. She served as part of the team from the UT Department of Microbiology that researched the microbiology of the Antarctic, and served as chair of the Fungal Allergy Committee of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Marie B. Morrow died on December 24, 1971, at the age of 76. Her sister Lorene Kelly Morrow established the Marie Betzner Morrow Centennial Chair and the Mary M. Betzner Morrow Centennial Chair in Microbiology, the latter in honor of their mother.
"Women in Early Natural Sciences at UT: Marie Betzner Morrow" by Nicole Elmer, June 16, 2016. Accessed November 14, 2016.
The Marie B. Morrow Papers, 1926-1971, include correspondence, printed material, photographs, and field notes that document Morrow’s professional and personal life. A scrapbook, daily calendars, clippings and programs from the 1930s, and materials on the 7th International Botanical Congress in Stockholm in 1950 can also be found.
This collection is open for research use.
These papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Marie B. Morrow Papers, 1926-1971, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff, May 1994.
Detailed Description of the Papers