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Don Reid Capital Punishment Collection

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Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Series 1



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Don Reid Capital Punishment Collection, 1959-1973 | SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

By Sunday Miller

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Collection Overview

Title: Don Reid Capital Punishment Collection, 1959-1973Add to your cart.

Extent: 3.0 Boxes

Arrangement: This collection is arranged by material type. The correspondence, articles, and newspapers are organized chronologically.

Subjects: Capital punishment, Huntsville (Tex.) - History, Texas. Department of Corrections, Texas. Department of Criminal Justice, Walker County (Tex.)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Don Reid Capital Punishment Collection (1959-1973; three boxes) collection contains materials which belonged to Don Reid, Jr. concerning his work with capital punishment in Texas. It consists of notes, letters to Mr. Reid, article rough drafts with editor’s notes, capital punishment publications, photos, magazine articles, clippings, and newspapers.

Collection Historical Note

Don Reid was born in Katy, Texas on December 2, 1906. Over his lifetime, Don Reid helped to shape capital punishment and prisons in the State of Texas.  Reid worked for The Huntsville Item newspaper as from 1937 until 1972. While working for The Item, Don was also a member of the Dallas Associated Press. He received his first assignment from the Associated Press in 1938 – to cover an execution fulfilled by the Texas Department of Corrections. This execution was the first of 189 executions that Don would go on to witness and write about, earning him the nickname the Death House Reporter. Mr. Reid became a well-known voice for the abolishment of capital punishment. Don was written about and published in various publications, such as Time magazine, Newsweek, The Houston Chronicle, and many more. He worked to make lasting changes to the Texas criminal justice system, including helping to develop Texas’ modern parole system and initiating a rehabilitation program for first time offenders. After retirement, Don published his book “Have a Seat, Please” (formerly known as “Eyewitness”), which continues to be widely read today.

Subject/Index Terms

Capital punishment
Huntsville (Tex.) - History
Texas. Department of Corrections
Texas. Department of Criminal Justice
Walker County (Tex.)

Administrative Information

Repository: SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

Use Restrictions:

The materials represented in this finding aid have been made available for research, teaching and private use. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) these items without prior permission on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies.

Please contact the Newton Gresham Library's Special Collections and University Archives department to request permissions to reproduce materials for any other purpose, or to obtain information regarding the copyright status of a particular digital image, text, audio or video recording.

Preferred Citation: Don Reid Capital Punishment Collection. SHSU Special Collections, Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.</span>


Box and Folder Listing


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[Series 1],
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Series 1Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Fred Leath Execution Notes, 1961, November 9Add to your cart.
Don Reid Notes Regarding Fred Leath Execution
Folder 2: Don Reid Notepad, 1973, January 25Add to your cart.
Don Reid Notepad with Miscellaneous Notes
Folder 3: Miscellaneous Notes, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Don Reid Miscellaneous Notes Containing Notes on Executions
Folder 4: File Folders and Envelope with Notes, UndatedAdd to your cart.
File Folders and Envelope with Written Notes
Folder 5: Letter to Don Reid from James N. Davis, 1961, May 25Add to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from James N. Davis regarding Carolyn Lima Execution
Folder 6: Letter to Don Reid Concerning Donald Ray Wilson, 1962, March 21Add to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from Mrs. B. L. Miller regarding Donald Ray Wilson Execution and Memorial
Folder 7: Letter to Don Reid from Robert H. Wood, 1972, August 13Add to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from Robert H. Wood regarding Salem Witch Trial and Reid's Wife
Folder 8: Letter to Don Reid from Arthur E. Wells, 1972, August 13Add to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from Arthur E. Wells regarding Capital Punishment
Folder 9: Letter to Don Reid from William C. Burk, 1972, August 25Add to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from William C. Burk
Folder 10: Letter to Mr. Jules Loh from Mr. N. McPhaul, 1972, August 30Add to your cart.
Letter to Mr. Jules Loh from Mr. N. McPhaul
Folder 11: Letter to Don Reid from Lee Duewall, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from Lee Duewall
Folder 12: Letter to Don Reid from Ellen Burbank, 1959, June 9Add to your cart.
Letter to Don Reid from Ellen Burbank, Chairman of the Conneticut Committee to Abolish Capital Punishment
Folder 13: Pro Capital Punishment Letters to Don Reid, 1972, July 4Add to your cart.
A Collection of Letters Sent to Don Reid, Anotated as Pro Capital Punishment
Folder 14: Letters to Don Reid Against Capital Punishment, 1972, August 13Add to your cart.
A Collection of Letters Sent to Don Reid, Anotated as Against Capital Punishment
Folder 15: Texas Executions Report Beginning February 8, 1924, 1965 , January 1Add to your cart.
Texas Department of Corrections Executions Cases Beginning February 8 , 1924
Folder 16: National Prisoner Statistics, 1969, AugustAdd to your cart.
Publication by NPS Bulletin Containing National Prisoner Statistics on Capital Punishment, No. 45 from 1930- 1968
Folder 17: Capital Punishment in Texas, 1924 - 1968Add to your cart.
Article by Ruper C. Koeninger "Capital Punishment in Texas" - a report of a study 483 people executed in Texas
Folder 18: Reader's Digest Advance Proof, 1960, MayAdd to your cart.
Reader's Digest Advance Proof "Capital Punishment is Not the Answer" Story 48
Folder 19: Capital Punishment Pamphlets, 1957Add to your cart.
Capital Punishment Bible Study Pamphlet and Donation Request Form
Folder 20: The Diary of Hugh Finnegan: The Controversial Texas Death House Priest, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Short Biography of Hugh Finnegan
Folder 21: Uncommon Sense About Capital Punishment, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Article Written by Dr. John R. Silber, President of the Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment
Folder 22: Capital Punishment Scrapbook, 1958, September 15Add to your cart.
Scrapbook Created by Jack Donahue Containing Newspaper Clippings Related to Capital Punishment
Folder 23: Texas Department of Corrections Pre-Release Manual, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Publication by The State of Texas Preparing Offenders for Release from Prison
Folder 24: Austin Avenue Methodist Church News, 1958, September 11Add to your cart.
Flier Printed by Austin Avenue Methodist Church News, Vol. 11 No. 43
Folder 25: EYE: People and Pictures, 1954, FebruaryAdd to your cart.
Magazine Containing Article by Don Reid, "I Watched 100 Killers Die"
Folder 26: Don Reid Rough Drafts, 1972, July 29Add to your cart.
Rough Drafts of Don Reid's Articles Containing Editor's Notes
Folder 27: Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment Roster, 1961, SeptemberAdd to your cart.
Roster of the members of the Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment Roster
Folder 28: Letters to Don Reid Regarding Time Magazine, 1965Add to your cart.
Congratulatory Letters to Don Reid on the Publication of his Time Magazine Article, "Death House Beat"
Folder 29: Christmas Card to Don Reid, 1961, DecemberAdd to your cart.
Christmas Card to Don Reid from Texas Offenders
Folder 30: Time Magazine Article "Death House Beat", 1959, June 8Add to your cart.
Article Written for Time Magazine "Death House Beat" by Don Reid
Folder 31: Texas Parade Article "Texas Death Row Reporter", UndatedAdd to your cart.
Article Written by Van Hetherly "Texas Death Row Reporter"
Folder 32: Reader's Digest Article "161 Trips to the 'Room' to Watch Men Die", 1960, May 7Add to your cart.
Article Written for Reader's Digest by Richard Friedman "He Covers the Condemned: 161 Trips to the Room to Watch Men Die" on Don Reid
Folder 33: Together Article "He'd Rather Stay Home", 1961, FebruaryAdd to your cart.
Article Written for Together Magazine for Methodist Familes by Frances Hathaway "He'd Rather Stay Home" on Don Reid
Folder 34: Don Reid with Governor Connally Photo, 1963, January 26Add to your cart.
Photo of Governor John Connally along with Mr. and Mrs. Reid, Dan Blocker, and other unidentified persons
Folder 35: Huntsville Unit Death Row Photo, 1965Add to your cart.
Photo of Death Row at the Huntsville Unit, Huntsville, Texas
Folder 36: Managing Editors Notes, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Associated Press Managing Editors Notes
Folder 37: "Is Capital Punishment Right?", UndatedAdd to your cart.
Article Entitled "Is Capital Punishment Right?"
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 38: The Times-Picayune, 1972, August 20Add to your cart.
The Times-Picayune Article "Witness to 189 Electrocutions Against Capital Punishment
Folder 39: The Texas Observer, 1961, March 4Add to your cart.
The Texas Observer Artilce "Death Penalty Debated"
Folder 40: The Houston Press, 1958, March 15Add to your cart.
The Houston Press Article "Are Innocent Men Being Sent to the Chair?"
Folder 41: The Houston Press, 1961, March 1Add to your cart.
The Houston Press Article "Vet Newsman Has Seen Dozens Die in Chair -- Opposes Penalty"
Folder 42: The Houston Press, 1961, April 24Add to your cart.
The Houston Press Article "Reid Elected President of State's SDX"
Folder 43: The Huntsville Item, 1959, June 11Add to your cart.
The Huntsville Item Article "Time Weekly Tells of Item Editor's Coverage of News"
Folder 44: The Huntsville Item, 1973, February 11Add to your cart.
The Huntsville Item Article "Dignitaries Visit TDC"
Folder 45: The ADA Evening News, 1959, June 10Add to your cart.
The ADA Evening News Article "No Thank You"
Folder 46: The Austin Statement, 1960, November 11Add to your cart.
The Austin Statement Article "Executions Don't Work, Says Witness of Many"
Folder 47: The Sunday Pictorial, 1959, June 21Add to your cart.
The Sunday Pictorial Article"He Has Watched 158 Men Executed"
Folder 48: The Houston Post, 1954, May 17Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "If It Doesn't Kill Him, Chair Improves a Man"
Folder 49: The Houston Post, 1960, November 12Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Texas Fight is Mapped on Capital Punishment"
Folder 50: The Houston Post, 1963, August 11Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "A Disturbing Question"
Folder 51: The Houston Post, 1964, March 16Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Calvert Lauds Spirit as 302 Felons Get Diplomas"
Folder 52: The Houston Post, 1967, September 13Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Last Was in July, '64, More Than 3 Years Ago"
Folder 53: The Houston Post, 1973, March 22Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Graham Backs Death Penalty"
Folder 54: The Houston Post, 1973, March 26Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Capital Punishment"
Folder 55: The Odessa American, 1955, May 19Add to your cart.
The Odessa American Article "Butcher Reported in 'Good Spirits' As Time Of Execution Draws Near"
Folder 56: The New York Times, 1972, April 16Add to your cart.
The New York Times Article "Student Voters Tip Texas Scales"
Folder 57: The Wesley Word, 1961, November 14Add to your cart.
The Wesley Word Vol. 1  Article "Death for Criminals"
Folder 58: The Dallas Morning News, 1962, March 24Add to your cart.
The Dallas Morning News Article "Editor Describes Beat on Death Row"
Folder 59: The Dallas Times Herald, 1960, November 24Add to your cart.
The Dallas Times Herald Article "Execution Opposition Explained by Editor"
Folder 60: My 23 Years in the Death House, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Article Written by Don Reid, "My 23 Years in the Death House"
Folder 61: Uncredited Article, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Uncredited Article Regarding Lewis E. Lawes , Warden of Sing Sing Prison
Folder 62: The Houston Chronicle, 1950, June 10Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article, "Father of Eight Electrocuted for Slaying Second Wife" re: Jack Farmer
Folder 63: The Houston Chronicle, 1954, March 25Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article, "Hotelman Executed for Wife's Murder"
Folder 64: The Houston Chronicle, 1960, April 23Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article, "Executions Wrong, Says Newsman Who Saw 160"
Folder 65: The Houston Chronicle, 1961, November 4Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Ad Placement for "Viewpoint Capital Punishment" Radio Show
Folder 66: The Houston Chronicle, 1962, April 19Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article "Killer of Bodenheimer Boy Dies in Electric Chair"
Folder 67: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, January 1Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article "The Chair: Has Its Idleness Fostered Icnrease in Heinous Crimes? Sate Legislators Gird for Battle Over Death Penalty"
Folder 68: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, February 4Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article "New Mexico Votes to Keep 'Unwritten Law' on Books"
Folder 69: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, February 15Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article "Death Penalty and Murder Abolition Not a Factor in Rate Increase, Study Says"
Folder 70: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, March 16Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article "Executions in Public Suggested"
Folder 71: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, March 22Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Article "Another Way to Look at Capital Punishment"
Folder 72: History of Huntsville, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Flier on the History of Huntsville "The Gateway to Lake Livingston"
Folder 73: "An Ordained Minister", 1972, July 7Add to your cart.
"An Ordained Minister" Opinion Piece Written by Rita Jean Underwood
Folder 74: "H.E. Robinson Article", 1961, April 25Add to your cart.
H.E. Robinson Article "Huntsville Editor to Head Texas Sigma Delta Chi Unit"
Folder 75: Books, UndatedAdd to your cart.
"Books
Folder 76: The Rotojet, UndatedAdd to your cart.
The Rotary Club of Marlin Rotojet Newsletter Club No. 1846 187th District
Folder 77: The Bergen Evening Record, 1958, June 2Add to your cart.
The Bergen Evening Record Reprint Article "Capital Punishment on Trial: May Be Condemned to Death"
Folder 78: The Lufkin News, UndatedAdd to your cart.
The Lufkin News Article "Reid Tells Kiwanians Execution is Not Answer"
Folder 79: The Huntsville Item, 1972, June 22Add to your cart.
The Huntsville Item No. 43 Article "Death Row Inmantes Say Decision is Coming" Written by Don Reid
Folder 80: The Los Angeles Times, 1972, June 30Add to your cart.
The Los Angeles Times Article "Man Glad He Won't See 190th Execution"
Folder 81: The Corpus Christi Times, 1963, August 29Add to your cart.
The Corpus Christi Times Article "Here on Visit Prison Town Editor Interviews Convicts"
Folder 82: Time Magazine Article, 1973, June 4Add to your cart.
Time Magazine Article "Women, Gimps, Blacks, Hippies Need Not Apply"
Folder 83: The Texas Observer, 1961, March 4Add to your cart.
The Texas Observer Article Printout "Death Penalty Debated" and A Dramatic Hearing -- 'Death is So Final'"
Folder 84: Austin Avenue Methodist Church News, 1958, September 11Add to your cart.
Austin Avenue Methodist Church News Flier
Folder 85: The Houston Post, 1955, August 24Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Capital Punishment No Cirme Stopper, Reid Says"
Folder 86: The Houston Post, 1968, June 8Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Texas Court Denies Plea for Stickney"
Folder 87: The Houston Post, 1961, November 16Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Stickney's New Stay Set Aside - Lawyers Planning to File for Writs With Highest Court"
Folder 88: The Houston Post, 1964, July 30Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Article "Johnson Executed for Grocer's Killing Here"
Folder 89: Unknown Newspaper Clipping 1, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Uncredited Newspaper Clipping of Article "Stickney Will Try Again as Execution Hour Near"
Folder 90: Unknown Newspaper Clipping 2, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Uncredited Newspaper Clipping of Article "By Death-House Reporter: Good Probation Setup Urged for State Prison"
Folder 91: Unknown Newspaper Clipping 3, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Uncredited Newspaper Clipping of Article "Petition Asks Daniel to Spare Stickney"
Folder 92: Unknown Newspaper Clipping 4, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Uncredited Newspaper Clipping of Article "Lessons for Life - Even Pharisees Lost Little Time in Rejecting Captial Punishment"
Folder 93: Unknown Newspaper Clipping 5, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Uncredited Newspaper Clipping of Article "Flaws in Argument Against Death Penalty"
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 94: Newsday, 1960, March 9Add to your cart.
Newsday Center Section "Capital Punishment 3,000 B.C. to 1960
Folder 95: The Los Angeles Times, 1972, June 30Add to your cart.
The Los Angeles Times Newspaper Vol. 91
Folder 96: The Pasadena Daily Citizen, 1961, December 7Add to your cart.
The Pasadena Daily Citizen Newspaper
Folder 97: The Huntsville Item, 1972, July 3Add to your cart.
The Huntsville Item Newspaper No. 46
Folder 98: The Sacramento Bee, 1972, August 13Add to your cart.
The Sacramento Bee Newspaper
Folder 99: The Echo, 1961, JuneAdd to your cart.
The Echo Newspaper Vol. 32 No. 7, an Inmate Publication by the Texas Department of Corrections
Folder 100: The Echo, 1971, MayAdd to your cart.
The Echo Newspaper Vol. 42 No. 5, An Inmate Publication by the Texas Department of Corrections
Folder 101: The Texas Observer, 1959, March 14Add to your cart.
The Texas Observer Newspaper Vol. 50 No. 49
Folder 102: The Texas Observer, 1961, March 4Add to your cart.
The Texas Observer Newspaper
Folder 103: The Texas Observer, 1961, May 13Add to your cart.
The Texas Observer Newspaper Vol. 53 No. 6
Folder 104: The Houston Press, 1961, July 6Add to your cart.
The Houston Press Newspaper Vol. 50 No. 244
Folder 105: The Houston Press, 1962, January 17Add to your cart.
The Houston Press Newspaper Vol. 51 No. 98
Folder 106: The Dallas Morning News, 1965, November 18Add to your cart.
The Dallas Morning News Newspaper
Folder 107: The Dallas Morning News, 1965, December 25Add to your cart.
The Dallas Morning News Newspaper
Folder 108: The Dallas Morning News, 1972, August 14Add to your cart.
The Dallas Morning News Newspaper
Folder 109: The Lufkin News, 1966, January 17Add to your cart.
The Lufkin News Newspaper Vol. 60 No. 78
Folder 110: The Lufkin News, 1966, January 19Add to your cart.
The Lufkin News Newspaper Vol. 60 No. 80
Folder 111: The State Journal, 1955, February 28Add to your cart.
The State Journal Newspaper Vol. 1 No. 20
Folder 112: The San Antonio Light, 1953, January 8Add to your cart.
The San Antonio Light Newspaper Vol. 72 No. 356
Folder 113: The Houston Press, 1961, June 9Add to your cart.
The Houston Press Newspaper Vol. 50 No. 221
Folder 114: The Houston Post, 1953, May 3Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper
Folder 115: The Houston Post, 1954, October 24Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper
Folder 116: The Houston Post, 1960, April 17Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper
Folder 117: The Houston Post, 1961, June 10Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper 77th Yr. No. 27,826
Folder 118: The Houston Post, 1961, June 23Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper 77th Yr. No. 27,839
Folder 119: The Houston Post, 1972, July 2Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper
Folder 120: The Houston Post, 1973, January 14Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper
Folder 121: The Houston Post, 1973, January 22Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper Article "Does Death Penalty Curb Serious Crime?"
Folder 122: The Houston Post, 1973, April 3Add to your cart.
The Houston Post Newspaper
Folder 123: The Texan, 1973, April 25Add to your cart.
The Texan Newspaper Vol. 20 No. 4
Folder 124: Vieux Carre Courier, 1973, May 18Add to your cart.
Vieux Carre Courier Newspaper Vol. 10 No. 2
Folder 125: The Houston Chronicle, 1954, December 17Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Newspaper
Folder 126: The Houston Chronicle, 1960, June 28Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Newspaper
Folder 127: The Houston Chronicle, 1967, August 6Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Newspaper
Folder 128: The Houston Chronicle Magazine, 1972, September 17Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Magazine "What Will Happen to Old Sparky?"
Folder 129: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, January 29Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Newspaper
Folder 130: The Houston Chronicle, 1973, March 14Add to your cart.
The Houston Chronicle Newspaper Vol. 72 No. 154

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