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Guide to the

REBECCA ROME COLLECTION
1934-1988

10 linear inches

Accession Number:  9798-93

Collection Number:  26

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
November 2000

CITATION:  Rebecca Rome Collection, Collection 26, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Historical Sketch

     Rebecca Lee Irby Rome, born April 27, 1953, graduated from the University of Kansas Medical School with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1976.  After graduation she worked in the medical field in Kansas and Texas for six years.  In 1982, she entered Southern Methodist University Law School and worked as a law clerk and served on the board and staff of the Journal of Air Law and Commerce.

     In 1988 she undertook the task of working as a researcher on a local history book commissioned by the Irving Heritage Society.  The book, Irving:  A Texas Odyssey, was authored by Joseph Rice with the aid of research assistant Rebecca Rome and photo researchers Janet Romanyshyn and Edith Yonan.

     The book recounts the history of the area between the Elm and West Forks of the Trinity River.  The work covers the history of the early farming communities which would one day become a part of the city of Irving, the founding of the city of Irving, its pioneer families, the small-town years, and the town’s development into a dynamic city of over 150,000 residents.  A special chapter at the end of the book, detailing businesses and organizations in the city, was written by Mike Howard.  The book was published in 1989 by Windsor Publishing, Inc., of Chatsworth, California.

     Rebecca Lee Irby died in Bogue, Kansas, on December 15, 1998.

Sources:

Rice, Joseph. Irving:  A Texas Odyssey. Chatsworth, California: Windsor Publications, Inc., 1989.

The Rebecca Rome Collection, Collection 26, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Irving Daily News, January 10, 1999.

Series Description

Series I.  Rough Draft of Book, n.d. 2 inches (4 folders)
Arranged numerically by chapter.  Material includes rough drafts of chapters 1-5 and part of chapter 6.

Series II.  Research Notes and Material, 1960s-1980s. 3 inches (7 folders)
Arranged by material type.  Newspapers, interview notes, etc.  Includes the material collected and created by Rebecca Rome in her research for the book, Irving:  A Texas Odyssey.

Series III.  Newspapers, 1950s. 5 inches (2 flat newspaper boxes)
Arranged by name and date.  Material includes newspapers, complete editions and partial editions, given to Ms. Rome during the course of her research.

Scope and Content

     The Rebecca Rome Collection is contained in one manuscript box and two newspaper boxes, totaling 10 linear inches.  There are three series consisting of nineteen folders.

     Series I consists of typewritten rough drafts of chapters 1-5 and the last two pages of chapter six of the book Irving:  A Texas Odyssey.

     Series II is made up of material gathered by Ms. Rome while conducting research for the book.  There are a large number of newspaper articles and copies of pages from other publications dealing with Irving history.  Also included in the series are notes from interviews conducted by Ms. Rome and two research papers relating to Irving written by Ms. Rome.  The material has been arranged by document type such as newspapers, research papers, and interview notes.  Material concerning the 1955 firing of school superintendent Dr. John L. Beard and the aftermath, which included a walkout by teachers and other school district employees, was filed separately by Ms. Rome.  The processor has kept this material in separate files regardless of its type.

     Series III, Newspapers, consists of various Irving newspapers from the mid-1950s, which were given to Ms. Rome during her research.  Some of the papers are complete editions, and some are only sections or pages of a particular edition.

     All of the material, excluding the school firing information, was mixed in folders when received.  The processor arranged the material by type: newspaper articles, research papers, interview notes, etc.  The school material was in separate folders and the processor has kept it separate.

     The material is in good condition.  The newspapers are brittle.  Original newspaper articles in Series II have been photocopied for preservation purposes, but the originals have been retained in the collection.  Some interleaving has been done in the file folders.  One large poster entitled “How Red Are Our Schools” has been encapsulated and placed in Box 3.

Provenance Statement

     The Rebecca Rome Collection, accession number 9798-93, was donated to the Irving Archives in June 1998 by Rebecca Rome.  Prior to its donation, the material was in the possession of Rebecca Rome.

Literary Rights Statement

     Permission to publish from the Rebecca Rome Collection must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to Researcher

For further information on the 1955 school strike and ensuing events see:

Collection 6 Irving Chamber of Commerce Scrapbooks

Accession number 9697-35 John N. Morris Collection

Accession number 9900-30 Elise Walker Collection

Container List

Series I.  Rough Draft of Book, c. 1987

Box 1

Folder

1     Chapters 1 and 2
Contains a typed, rough draft of chapters 1 and 2.

2     Chapter 3
Contains a typed, rough draft of chapter 3.

3     Chapter 4
Contains a typed, rough draft of chapter 4.

4     Chapter 5 and part of 6
Contains a typed, rough draft of chapter 5 and last two pages of chapter 6.

Series II. Research Notes and Material, 1930s-1980s

(Newspaper abbreviations used: IDN-Irving Daily News; DMN-Dallas Morning News; DTH-Dallas Times Herald)

Folder 5 

Research Material--Newspaper articles, 1960s-1980s
Newspaper photo-Irving High School football team, 1924 (no name, n.d.); newspaper photo-Irving train depot, c. 1904, caption “Murphy’s Mansion” (IDN n.d); article-“Sowers Name Seemed Destined for History” (Daily News Texan 4/16/64); article-“It’s Now Irving” (IDN 4/16/64) very poor quality copies; article-“Early settlers choose Irving” (Irving News 4/20/86.)

Newspaper articles from Irving Daily News 2/22/76:
“Irving’s history is long and colorful;” “Irving-What’s in the city’s name;” “Sowers early settlement;” “Tree stumps outnumbered folks back in early 1900s;”  “First settlers came to area in covered wagons;” “Seeking a better life;” “Gas pump at livery stable sure sign of the times;” “Launching city’s library not easy job for woman;” “Everyone back then thought his religion was best.”

Newspaper article “Firemen Fast on Feet” (no name, n.d.); “Las Colinas Cowboy Gilbert Colwell carries on tradition” (Las Colinas Weekly, 7/16/87); article on Irving volunteer fire department from pages 3 and 24 of the Texas Fireman, (9/1952).

Newspaper articles (1951-1955) and summary of notes on mobsters associated with the Irving area: Herbert (The Cat) Noble, Hollis Delois Green, and Jettie Bass.

Newspaper articles:  “Irving Riding Crest of Boom” (DMN 2/17/52); “Irving’s Plymouth Park Whole New Community” (DMN 3/18/56); “1,200 New Homes Rising Up In Irving Worth $11,000,000” (DTH 4/23/52); “Founders of Irving Due Honor” (DMN 12/1956); “359-Home Addition Planned at Irving” (DTH 1/8/55); “Irving OK’s 6 New Plats” (DMN 6/16/54); “Co-operation Is Watchword of Irving’s Continuous Growth” (no name, 2/7/34).
Newspaper insert: Parade of Progress-History Section (IDN 2/23/75).

Folder 6 

Research Material--Other than newspaper articles
Fan-Irving diamond jubilee fan with pictures of early church buildings on it; chart-Irving’s projected growth rate through 1990 from Department of Community Development, n.d.; map-the chief settlements of Dallas, 1841-1853, from A. C. Greene’s A Place Called Dallas, 1975; map-Irving from Directory of the Forks, 1938; map-Kit Community Map by Dick Story 1900 (News Texan c. 1964); map-Grapevine Prairie, n.d.; map-Irving section of Sam Street map, 1900; front page of research paper “A Biography of Irving, Texas” by Tim Delaney, (1/11/77); list of contacts and phone numbers for information on specific areas of research; chapter outline for book on Irving history; copies of Irving pages from Dallas County Historic Commission historic buildings publication, 1982; handwritten notes primarily from Irving city ordinance and minute books; Rebecca L. Rome résumé; tip sheets for effective oral history interviews.

Folder 7 

Research Material--Interview Notes, 1987-1988
Contains typewritten excerpts from interviews with: Jim Collins; A. J. (Alvie) Barton; Monroe Pendergrass; Bettye Roundtree Gleghorn; Marshall Caster; Mrs. Todd Hawks; Mrs. J. H. (Brooks) Mammen; “Doc” W. E. H. Mitchell; John Caster; Eleanor (Gorman) London; Verda Wright; Joe Crouch and Rosa Lee (Louper) Crouch; Kitty (Crouch) Pierce and Ruby (Rutley) Hufman. Also, handwritten notes from interviews with Dave W. Britain; Richard Gulden, Ruby (Colwell) Gulden and Mrs. Mary Lousie Wadsworth; Robert and Helen (Keeling) Sale.

Folder 8 

Research Material--Research Papers
Contains two research papers written by Rebecca Rome; a rough draft of a paper entitled “History of Irving’s Governmental Status” (undated) and a finished version of a paper entitled “Law in a Small Town” (Spring 1987).  Also included are one typed, rough draft, and one hand-written, rough draft of “Law in a Small Town,” and hand-written research notes for the papers.

Folder 9 

Research Material--Dr. Beard Firing/Teacher Walkout
Contains photocopies of the following newspaper clippings related to the incident:  “Beard Hearing Ends Suddenly” (DMN 5/6/55); “Politics Angle Tied to Ouster of Beard” (DMN 5/5/55); “Group Plans Investigation of Rehired Irving Teachers” (DMN 5/5/55); “Citizens Quiz Board on Rehiring Action” (DMN 5/4/55); “Irving Group Makes Plea for School Accord” (DMN 5/6/55); “Public Service No Strike Role” (DMN 5/5/55); “Irving Board Told to Keep Status Quo” (DMN 4/14/55); “Reinstate Beard Irving Group Asks” (DTH 2/18/55); “Irving School Offers 3-year Pact to 340” (unknown, n.d.); “Irving Gets its School Status Back” (DMN 1/11/57); “Irving Board will Canvas Vote Electing Beard Slate” (DTH 5/9/55); “Both Sides Ask Truce at Irving” (DMN 5/9/55); “Beard Asks Board to Return Him to Job” (DTH 5/17/55); “Beard Slate Wins All Posts at Irving” (DMN 5/8/55); “Two City Officials Quit at Irving” (DMN n.d.); “Dr. Edgar Rapped for Irving Step” (DMN 1/25/56); “Beard States Ouster Views” (DMN 5/4/55),  “Irving Board to Take Action on Problems at High School” (10/26/54); “Board Will Study Problems of School Growth at Irving” (DTH 11/9/54).

Contains originals of the following newspaper articles:  “Irving School Vote to be Canvassed” (DTH 5/7/56); “Most Incumbents Win New Terms in County’s School Elections” (DTH 5/5/57); “Four Anti-Beard Men Win in Hot Irving School Race” (DTH 5/6/56); “Irving School Group Meets State February 11” (DTH n.d.); “Qualifications Told for Ideal School Board” (DTH 10/19/55); “Dr. Withee Seeks Board Re-election” (no name, n.d.); “Candidates, Voters Eye Dripping Skies” (Irving News 5/4/58); “Textbook Committee is Named by Board” (no name, n.d.); “Teachers Assignments Announced” (Irving Herald-Index 8/22/57); “Turnout of 4,500 Expected in Saturday Trustee Vote” (Irving News Record 5/1/58); “Board Will Study Problems of School Growth at Irving” (DTH 11/9/54); “Irving Board to Take Action on Problems at High School” (DTH 10/26/54); letter to the editor (no name, n.d.).

Folder 10 

Research Material--Dr. Beard Firing/Teacher Walkout
Contains Dr. Beard’s response to charges against him; a “Written Narrative by xxxxxx Who Wishes to Remain Unnamed” regarding reasons for Dr. Beard’s firing; “Sequence of events surrounding teacher’s strike–1954-55” complied by Rebecca Rome, and rough draft of sequence of events.

Folder 11 

Research Material--School Board Election Campaign
Contains the following pro-Beard and anti-Beard campaign material: “A Message from the Irving School Board to the Citizens of Irving”; “How Red are Our Schools” poster defending the NEA (original of this has been encapsulated and placed in oversize box 1); “Open Letter to the Board of Trustees of the Irving Independent School District” from the Irving Citizens Committee; “Confuse and Conqueor [sic]” response by Citizens Committee; “Dear Voter” letter from Citizens Committee in response to S.O.S. bulletin (3/24/55); “Save Our School” bulletin (3/24/55); invitation to the mother’s appreciation tea for teachers who didn’t walk out;  “Octopus” flier put out in response to Citizens Committee fliers; “Stop-Look-Think” flier (n.d.); four-page pseudo-newspaper called the “Irving Sentinel” with headline “Irving Herald Wins Fascist Award” (n.d.); two-page pseudo-newspaper called “The Irving Truth” with headline “Audit Shows Funds Juggling”; pseudo-newspaper called the “Irving Times” with headline “Stencil Found in Hiding Place in Striking Principal’s Office.”

Series III.  Newspapers

Box 2  

Folder 1

The Irving News-Citizen

February 3, 1957   Section 1, pages 1, 2, 11, 12
March 10, 1957   Section 1 pages 1, 2, 9, and 10
March 17, 1957   Section unknown, pages 3-6
March 21, 1957   Section unknown, pages 1, 2, 7, 8
August 11, 1957   Section 1, pages 1-10, comic section
August 18, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-10,
Section 2, pages 1-10, comic section
August 25, 1957   Comic section only
September 1, 1957  Comic section only

Folder 2 

Irving News

June 10, 1956   Section 1, pages 1-12
February 10, 1957  Section unknown, pages 5-8
February 17, 1957  Section unknown, pages 3-6
March 17, 1957   Section unknown, pages 1-4
March 21, 1957   Section unknown, pages 1,2, and 5-8
March 24, 1957   Section unknown, pages 3-6
March 31, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-8
April 7, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-8
April 28, 1957 Section unknown, pages 3-6
August 11, 1957 Section unknown, pages 1-8
August 25, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-10
September 1, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown pages 1-10
September 8, 1957  Section unknown, pages 7-8
February 2, 1958   Section 1, pages 1 and 2
May 4, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-8, comic section
May 11, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-10, comic section
May 25, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-4 and 9-12

Folder 3

Irving Herald-Index

March 28, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-6, section 2, pages 1-6
April 4, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-6, section 2, pages 1-6
May 2, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-6, section 2, pages 1-6
May 9, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-6, section 2, pages 1-6
August 22, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8 (new format)
September 5, 1957 Section unknown, pages 7-8

Folder 4 

Irving Herald

April 19, 1956   Section unknown, pages 3-6
May 3, 1956   Section 1, pages 1-12, section 2, pages 3-6
May 10, 1956   Section 1, pages 1, 2, 9, 10
May 17, 1956   Section 1, pages 1,2, 7, 8
June 14, 1956   Section 1, pages 1-10, section 2, pages 1-10
March 23, 1957   Section 1, pages 1-10
April 6, 1957   Section 1, pages 1-10
May 4, 1957   Section 1, pages 1-10
June 22, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-6, section 2, pages 1-6 (front page is dated June 22; rest of paper is dated June 23)
July 21, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section 2, pages 1-8
(front page is dated July 21; rest of paper is dated July 20)

Folder 5

     Three copies of a four-page paper called the Irving News.  Two of these are dated June 6, 1957, but have entirely different contents.  The third is dated June 27, 1957.  The papers have no volume nor number.  Eighty percent of them consists of advertising.  The format is different than the Irving News of the same time period. It is possible these are disguised advertisers or inserts of some kind. 

    Also in the collection are four issues of the Irving School News.  They are volume 1, numbers 1, 3, 4, and 6.  The issues are undated, but appear to be from c. 1956.  Volume 1 contains a sidebar stating that copies of the paper may be picked up at the Central School Administration Offices, so it appears this is an IISD publication.

Box 3

Folder 1 

Irving News Record, 1956

April 26, 1956 Section unknown, pages 1-8
May 3, 1956 Section unknown, pages 3-6, Sports section pages 1-6
May 10, 1956 Section 1, pages 1, 2, 9, 10
May 17, 1956 Section 1, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 1-8
June 14, 1956 Section unknown, pages 3-6

Folder 2

Irving News Record, 1957 

January 31, 1957 Section 1, pages 1, 2, 7, 8
February 14, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-6, section unknown, pages 1-8
February 21, 1957 Section unknown, pages 3-6
February 28, 1957 Section 1, pages 1, 2, 11, 12
March 7, 1957 Section unknown, pages 3-6
March 14, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 3-6, section unknown, pages 5-8, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-6, section unknown, pages 3-10
March 21, 1957 Section 1, pages 1, 2, 11, 12
March 28, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-4, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 3-12
April 4, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 3-10
May 2, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 1, 2, 7, 8
May 9, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section unknown pages 1-12, two four-page shopper sections
June 6, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 3-10
June 13, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-6, section unknown, pages 3-10
June 27, 1957 section 1, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 1-10
July 11, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 3-10, section unknown, pages 1-4, section unknown, pages 1-8
July 18, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 3-10
August 1, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 3-10
August 15, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-8, eight-page shopper section
August 22, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-8
August 29, 1957 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-12
March 27, 1958 Section unknown, pages 7-8

Folder 3

Irving News Record, 1958

April 24, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 1-12
May 1, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 3-6, section unknown, pages 5-8, section unknown, pages 1, 2, 7, 8, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-8
May 8, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 1-8, section unknown, pages 1-10, section unknown, pages 3-10, four-page insert for Plymouth Park Motors
May 15, 1958 Section 1, pages 1-12, section unknown, pages 3, 10, section unknown, pages 3-12
February 5, 1959 Insert about new IISD administration building opening, 12 pages