Guide to the

CLARA GIBBS’ IRVING HERITAGE SOCIETY PAPERS
1978-1997

2.5 inches

Accession Number: 9697-41
Collection Number: 72

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
August 2011

CITATION:  The Clara Gibbs/Irving Heritage Society Papers, Collection 72, Box 1, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library. 

Biographical Sketch

Clara Gibbs, born January 6, 1904, moved to Irving with her husband Chet in 1936.  Ms. Gibbs was a teacher at Irving High School and worked with her husband in his real estate business.  During the 1950s and 1960s Gibbs Realty built about 900 homes in Irving.  She was a charter member of the Irving Heritage Society in 1978.  She was also a member of numerous other social and civic organizations in the city of Irving.  Clara Gibbs died May 30, 1997, at the age of 93.

Source:  Clara Gibbs obituary from the Irving News, June 1, 1997.

Historical Sketch

The Irving Heritage Society was founded in 1978.  During the U.S. Bicentennial celebration, 1975-1976, the Schulze family donated their 1912 family home to the city to serve as a house museum.  The Irving Heritage Society was formed to maintain and preserve the “Heritage House.”  In addition to role as caretaker of the house, the Heritage Society was instrumental in the creation of Heritage Park and the placing of a turn-of-the-century railroad depot, caboose, and pioneer cabin in the park, 1984-1986.  The group also sponsored the publication of a book on Irving’s history, Irving a Texas Odyssey, 1989.

Scope and Content Note

The collection is arranged in four series and contained in four folders in a half-manuscript box.
The collection provides a good record of the early days of the Irving Heritage Society and the donation of the Heritage House to the City of Irving as a U. S. Bicentennial gift.

Series I. consists of Heritage Society related documents.  The bulk of the materials are lists of docents for the Heritage House and descriptions of each room in the house to be used as descriptive guides by the docents.  Also included are invitations to Heritage Society sponsored events, 1980-1993, and an invitation to the Irving Heritage Society Valentine Tea, 1980.  The tea is a yearly event that is meant to carry on a tradition begun by Mrs. Virginia Schulze at her home, now Heritage House, in 1914.

Series II. is made up of material relating to the forming of a local Bicentennial Committee, 1974, and Volume 1 Number 1 of the Irving Bicentennial Commission newsletter, Celebrate ’76. 

Series III. consists of newspaper clippings regarding preparing the Heritage House for its first public tours, June 1975 and articles about Heritage Society activities.  Of note is a photocopy of a newspaper article relating to Virginia Schulze holding a house warming Valentine Tea party in 1914.

Series IV. is made up of issues of Heritage Society’s newsletter, The Whistle Stop, 1979-1997 (sporadic).
Provenance Statement

The Clara Gibbs’ Irving Heritage Society Papers were donated to the Irving Archives by the estate of Clara Gibbs (executor Henry George) on June 18, 1997.  Prior to their donation to the Archives, the collection was in the possession of Clara Gibbs and later her estate executor.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish from the Clara Gibbs’ Irving Heritage Society Papers must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to Researcher

Consult with Archivist for additional information on the Irving Heritage Society.     

Container List

Series I. Heritage Society Documents, 1974-1993

Box 1

Folder Title, Dates, and Description

1 Invitations, Rosters, Room Descriptions, 1970s-1990s
Contains invitations and meeting and event notices to various Irving Heritage Society sponsored events, 1980-1993; a program from Irving Heritage Festival, 1992; several rosters of Heritage House hostesses, c. late-1970s; scripts for Heritage House docents to use in describing each room in the house. Of note is a letter to First Presbyterian Church about preservation of their original 1934 church building and an invitation to the Valentine Tea, 1980.

2 U. S. Bicentennial Material, 1973-1976
Contains documents relating to the creation of a local Bicentennial Commission.  Included are lists of names for consideration; organizational structure charts; a copy of Donley County’s application as a Bicentennial Community of Texas, 1973; and Irving’s Bicentennial Commission’s newsletter Volume 1, Number 1, 1975.

3 Irving Heritage Society Newsletters – The Whistle Stop, 1979-1997     
Contains issues of The Whistle Stop – August 1979-April 1997 (no issues from 1988; 1989; 1991); also included are two newspaper columns entitled The Whistle Stop one of which is an edited version of Ike Story’s remembrance of the Kit community from the 1904 Irving Index.  In the article he mentions that the “Buck and Breck” post office was in the vicinity of Kit.

4 Newspaper Clippings, 1975-1989 (bulk 1975)
Contains newspaper clippings regarding preparing the Heritage House for its grand opening on July 4, 1975.  Also included is an article about Veda Hudson Thompson who lived in Irving from 1908-1915 and was in Irving High School’s first graduating class, 1914 and a photocopy of the 1914 article about the house warming at the C. P. Schulze’s that began the tradition of the Valentine Tea.