Guide to the

DORIS HAMILTON CASTER COLLECTION
1880s-1980s

10 inches

Accession Numbers: 9899-05; 0102-218; 0203-125; 0304-281; 0405-110; 0405-135; 0506-97; 0506-27

Collection 69

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
July 2010

CITATION: The Doris Hamilton Caster Collection, Collection 67, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Biographical Sketch

Lewis Henry Caster (1820-1908) and wife Jane Robinson and family arrived in northwest Dallas County in 1853.  The pioneer family settled in what would eventually become the Shady Grove community in today’s south Irving.  The Casters had five children.  Through the years, Caster family members spread throughout the area that became the City of Irving. 

One of Lewis Henry’s sons, Henry Caster (1858-1928), married Martha Tate and later Fannie Lively.  Henry and Martha adopted a son and named him Edmond.  In 1887, Henry and his seven-year-old son built a family cabin at what today is the intersection of Shady Grove and Belt Line roads.  Remnants of the cabin have been preserved and moved into Irving’s Heritage Park.

Edmond (1880-1956) married Cora Haley, the daughter of William Haley, in 1901.  William Haley was also a pioneer to the area.  He came to the region from Missouri in 1857.  He settled in what became the Sowers community in present-day west Irving near the intersection of Pioneer and Belt Line roads.  William and his first wife Catherine Lucinda Ewalt had eight children.  After Catherine’s death in 1875, William remarried and had eight more children.  Cora was a daughter from his second marriage.

The marriage of Edmond Caster and Cora Haley joined two of the area’s pioneer families. 

In 1911, Edmond began work as the overseer of a county prison work camp.  The prisoners worked constructing bridges in the county.  In 1919, he took a job as Dallas County Deputy Sheriff: a position he held until he retired in 1948. 

While serving as a deputy sheriff, he was involved in an attempt to arrest Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow near the intersection of today’s State Highway 183 and Esters Road.  It was rumored that the gangster couple were to rendezvous with family members along the undeveloped roadway.  Edmond Caster and other members of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department lay in wait.  Bonnie and Clyde spotted the officers and did not stop.  A gun battle ensued.  The couple was able to elude the lawmen, and no one was injured.

Later, Edmond Caster’s assistant deputy Ted Hinton participated in the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde at Gibsland, Louisiana.

Edmond and Cora Caster had four children.  Their youngest, Edmond Marshall Caster (1917-2002) married Doris Hamilton (1918-2005) in 1942.  Both attended Irving Schools in the 1920s and 1930s and graduated from Irving High School.  After serving in WWII, Marshall began work for the Coca-Cola Company in Baltimore, Maryland, and later St. Louis, Missouri.  In 1985, upon his retirement, the couple returned to their home town of Irving.

The material in this collection was donated to the Archives by Doris Caster.

Sources: Irving Archives Oral History Collection; Irving Archives obituary file; and Collection 67 – The Doris Hamilton Caster Collection.

Scope and Content

The Caster and Haley families were both large pioneer families in the northwest section of Dallas County.  Members of the families owned farms throughout the area that would later become Irving.  Due to the sparse population of the area, many members of the early settler families intermarried.  In this case, the marriage of Edmond Caster and Cora Haley in 1901 joined these two families.

The material in the collection was donated to the Irving Archives by Doris Hamilton Caster, the wife of (Edmond) Marshall Caster, who was the grandson of settler Lewis Henry Caster.

The collection includes information on the Caster family, the Haley family, the Hamilton family, and other members of the pioneer community and early Irving community.

The collection is arranged in four series and housed in one manuscript box, one textile box, space in Oversize Box 8, and the Archives Digital Photograph Collection.

Series I is made up of personal papers relating to the Caster family.  Included are a few pieces of correspondence addressing everyday matters and a small amount of genealogical research material on the Caster family.  The series also contains information put together for the 50-year reunion of the Irving High School Class of 1935.  Marshall Caster was a member of the class.  Also included are a few documents relating to the Irving Heritage Society, of which Doris Caster was an active member.  Of note in the series is an Irving Elementary School graduation exercise program, 1942.

Series II is made up of photographs.  There are both prints and digital-only images in the series.  The photos are of various members of the Caster and Haley families, 1900-1920s; Irving School class photos, 1920s; Marshall and Doris Caster; Marshall’s sisters Ruby Caster Taylor and Mabel Caster Miller, 1930s-1950s.  There is also a collection of studio portraits mounted on cardboard and tintypes from the 1880s-1910s in the series.  These photos are in good condition, but the subjects of the photos are not identified.  The donor could not identify them, but said she thought they were Caster family members.

Series III consists of photocopies of newspaper articles.  The clippings include obituaries, wedding notices, anniversary announcements, and general news topics involving family members and members of the early Irving community, 1904-1974.  Most of the articles are undated, but the bulk are from the 1930s-1950s.  Among the material is information on early Irvingites William Haley, Tom Haley, Dr. John Haley, Thomas Nycum (editor of The Irving Herald, 1946-1956), C. T. Lucas, William Moreland, Richard Lively, Ed Caster, Marshall and Doris Caster, Lorene Lucas Looper, Anna Haley, Mary Louise Stovall Wadsworth, and Albert Farine.  The original newspaper articles were in poor condition so they were photocopied and discarded.

Series IV is made up of small medical instruments used by Dr. John Haley, who was one of Irving’s first doctors.  There are also two Dallas Southern Clinical Society meeting lapel ribbons (1930 and 1931) and a memorial ribbon bearing the words “Royal Achates, Lodge No. 64” with a medical examiner medallion attached, undated.  Also included is Marshall Caster’s Masonic apron from Irving Lodge No. 1218, 1947, and two pioneer style dresses worn by Doris Caster when she served as a docent at the Caster Cabin in Heritage Park.

Provenance Statement

The Doris Hamilton Caster Collection was donated to the Irving Archives in eight accessions from 1999-2005.  Accession 9899-05 was donated October 26, 1999; accession 0102-218 was donated May 3, 2002; accession number 0203-125 was donated Feb. 21, 2003; accession number 0304-281 was donated Aug. 27, 2004; accession number 0405-110 was donated Feb. 25, 2005; accession number 0405-135 was donated May 2, 2005; accession number 0506-97 was donated May 8, 2005; and accession number 0506-27 was donated Nov. 28, 2005.  Prior to its donation to the Archives, the material was in the possession of Doris Caster.  Her son Edmond donated the pioneer dresses shortly after Doris’s death. 

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish from the Doris Hamilton Caster Collection must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to Researcher                 

The Irving Archives holds other Caster family-related collections and oral history interviews with family members; please consult with the archivist for further information.

Container List

Series I. Personal Documents

Box 1

Folder

1 Correspondence and Genealogy, 1939-1980s
Contains correspondence regarding family affairs of a general nature; an invitation to the Irving Elementary School graduation exercises, 1942; and genealogical information on the Caster family, specifically Henry Caster, Lewis Henry Caster, Henry Caster, and Edmond Caster.

2 Fiftieth Reunion – Irving High School Class of 1935
Contains a newspaper article and picture announcing the 50th reunion of the Irving High School class of 1935; a list of graduates from the Irving High School classes, 1930-1939; and information on the lives of the class members since graduation.

3 Irving Heritage Society, 1975 and 1988
Contains a list and description of houses on a historic home tour; a program from a roast of Robert Pierce, 1988; and a newspaper article and pictures relating to the Heritage House, 1975.

Series II. Photographs, c. 1880s-1985

4 Photographs, c. 1900-1985
Contains 15 photos relating to the Caster family and early Irving.  Including: a photo of a painting of the red brick school house; a couple identified as Uncle Louis and Aunt Ruth Caster, c. 1890; William Haley and his wife Lucinda Catherine Ewalt Haley, c. 1875; Henry and Elizabeth Caster?, c. 1890; Dr. John Haley in an automobile, c. 1915; portrait of Anna Haley, wife of Dr. John Haley, c. 1900; Irving club baseball team, c. 1920; Irving school class photo, c. 1924 (Doris Hamilton Caster middle row fifth from left); Irving school class photo, c. 1925; Irving High School graduation class of 1935 at 50th reunion, 1985; Caster Cabin in Heritage Park, c. 1986; Roy and Rosemarie Standfuss’s wedding picture, 1947; and an unidentified woman, c. 1950s.

5 Photographs, c. 1880s-1910
Contains 24 photographs mounted on cardboard backing and 11 tintype photos.  The photos are all studio portraits.  The subjects of the photos are primarily unidentified.  Positively identified in the photos are A. W. Caster; and Pete Madeline and Virginia James.

There are also 12 digital images which include: including several of Marshall Caster as a boy and in uniform in WWII, 1921-1945; a few of Marshall Caster, Doris Hamilton Caster, and their son Edmond, Jr.; Edmond and Cora Haley Caster’s wedding picture, 1901; Mabel Caster Miller and husband Roy Miller, 1921; Edmond with sisters Ruby Caster Taylor and Mabel Caster Miller, son Marshall and his wife Doris; Ruby Caster Taylor and Mabel Caster Miller, c. 1920s; and Edmond, Jr. and wife Bonnie, 1965 and 2000. 

Series III. Newspaper Clippings, 1904-1970s

6 Newspaper Clippings, c. 1904-1974 (bulk 1930s-1950s)
Contains photocopies of newspaper clippings relating to the Caster family and acquaintances, including obituaries, wedding announcements, and general interest stories about early Irving events and people.

7 Newspaper Clippings, c. 1930s-1950s
Contains newspaper clippings that are mounted in a scrapbook.  The clippings are primarily obituaries, wedding announcements, anniversary notices, and brief articles relating to members of the Caster and Haley families.

Series IV. Artifacts

8  Includes two identification ribbons worn by Dr. John Haley to Southern Medical Society conferences, 1930 and 1931.  Also included is a memorial ribbon with a medical examiner’s badge attached to the top of it.

Box 2  

The series also includes a number of small medical instruments used by Dr. John Haley around the turn of the 20th century and two pioneer-style dresses worn by Doris Caster when she served as a docent at the Caster Cabin.