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John Warren Smith Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3



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John Warren Smith Papers, 1836-2009 | SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

By Trent Shotwell

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Collection Overview

Title: John Warren Smith Papers, 1836-2009Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Extent: 13.0 Boxes

Arrangement: The collection contains documents, probate records, maps, pictures, articles, correspondence and the manuscript for the novel No Holier Spot of Ground: A Texas Story. Many of the items in this collection are the research materials collected in preparation for this book. The materials are arranged in the order previously assigned to them.

Subjects: Cincinnati (Tex.), Confederate States of America - Army - Texas Brigade, Ghost towns - Texas, Plantation life - Texas, Polk County (Tex.), Slavery - Texas, Smith, John Warren, 1928-, Steamboats - Texas, Trinity River (Tex.) - Description and travel, Walker County (Tex.), Yellow fever - Texas

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The John Warren Smith Collection (1836-2009; ten boxes) contains materials documenting the history of John Warren Smith and the Smith family of Walker County, Texas.  The Walker County probate and deed records include information that was used in the writing of John Warren Smith’s novel No Holier Spot of Ground published by Sam Houston State University’s Texas Review Press in 2004.  The original manuscript and author’s notes for No Holier Spot of Ground are part of the collection, which also includes materials pertaining to many early Walker County residents, businesses, and historically significant incidents.  Included are articles on the Trinity River and steamboat travel, early Huntsville newspaper clippings, early Texas and Walker County maps, information on Polk County, and material on the ghost town of Cincinnati, Texas.  The majority of the materials concern the Smith family of Walker County (Cincinnati) and includes information regarding Hood’s Texas Brigade, the yellow fever epidemic, slaves, the mentally ill, lawsuits, family wills, as well as photographs of family gravestones.  Also included in the collection are early Sam Houston Normal Institute and Sam Houston Teachers College certificates and diplomas for Boyce O. Smith and Mary Traylor.

Collection Historical Note

John Warren Smith was born in Huntsville, Texas in 1928.  His parents were Willie B. Smith and Mary Traylor Smith.  He grew up in Huntsville and attended Sam Houston State Teacher’s College in the late 1940s.  During his High School years, he was yearbook editor and while at Sam Houston, Smith had a poetry column in the school newspaper.  He was President of the National Honor Society and worked as literary editor for the SHSTC Alcalde.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Sam Houston State Teacher’s College and went on to earn his Master of Arts from Columbia University in New York.  Smith then attended the University of Texas in Austin where he was awarded his Ph.D. and worked as an instructor. Smith also spent a summer at the University of Michigan and the Sorbonne in Paris. Early in his life, John Warren Smith had the desire to write a family history that would include some of the stories and accounts he had always heard.

After receiving his education, John Warren Smith taught English and American Literature in Ft. Worth at Texas Christian University for fifteen years.  He was appointed Acting Dean of the College of Arts/Sciences and co-authored Patterns for Prose Writing while at Texas Christian University.  Smith went on to teach for 20 years at West Texas State University then moved to Houston where he continued to research his Walker County heritage.  As he discovered his unique and interesting family history, Smith began his decade long work on No Holier Spot of Ground.

In 2004 No Holier Spot of Ground was published by Sam Houston State University’s Texas Review Press.  The novel takes place on family land from the early 1830s to 1869 and concentrates largely on John Stephen Smith as well as his extended family at his plantation near Huntsville.  No Holier Spot of Ground gives a glimpse of the Civil War’s impact on early Texas settlers and of the Smith family land alongside the Trinity River near “Old Cincinnati”, now a ghost town.

John Warren Smith now lives in Houston, Texas close to his two sons and has published several other books.

Subject/Index Terms

Cincinnati (Tex.)
Confederate States of America - Army - Texas Brigade
Ghost towns - Texas
Plantation life - Texas
Polk County (Tex.)
Slavery - Texas
Smith, John Warren, 1928-
Steamboats - Texas
Trinity River (Tex.) - Description and travel
Walker County (Tex.)
Yellow fever - Texas

Administrative Information

Repository: SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: Some materials in this collection are restricted due to personal content. Restrictions are noted at the file level.

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: John Warren Smith Papers. Thomason Special Collections, Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1],
[Series 2],
[Series 3],
[All]

Series 2Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Boyce Smith Diploma, 1930 August 29Add to your cart.
The University of Texas, Master of Arts Degree
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 2: Boyce Smith Certificate, 1919 August 13Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Service Certificate United States Marine Corps
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 3: United States Marine Corps Poster, circa 1919Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Writing in French
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 4: English translation of United States Marine Corps Poster, circa 1919Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
English translation of French poster
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 5: Boyce Smith Honorable Discharge USMC, 1919 August 13Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
United States Marine Corps
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 6: Boyce Smith SHNI Certificate, 1922 August 15Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Teachers Permanent High School Certificate, Bachelor of Science
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 7: U.S. Marine Correspondence, no dateAdd to your cart.
Transmission concerning copies of Citations of Marines in France
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 8: Boyce Smith Teacher Temporary Certificate, 1920 August 3Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The Department of Education, State of Texas
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 9: Boyce Smith SHNI Diploma, 1924 June 6Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
SHNI Diploma
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 10: Application for Membership in American Legion Auxiliary, no dateAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
Lilah Smith of Walker County.  Back of document has handwritten service record for Boyce Smith
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 11: Boyce Smith SHNI Bachelor of Science Diploma, 1922 August 25Add to your cart.
Diploma is framed and on the partition wall in Thomason Room
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 12: Mary E. Traylor SHNI Diploma, 1922 June 5Add to your cart.
Diploma is framed and on the partition wall in Thomason Room
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 13: Documents concerning land belonging to Joseph Utz, 1861Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder Item 1: Class of '21 Diploma Scroll Holder, 1921Add to your cart.
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder Item 2: Class of '22 Diploma Scroll Holder, 1922Add to your cart.
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder Item 3: Envelope from J.W. Thomason to Boyce Smith, 1924 June 17Add to your cart.
Envelope attached to cardboard tube
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder Item 4: Envelope from The University of Texas to Boyce Smith, 1930 November 18Add to your cart.
Envelope attached to cardboard tube
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Box 3Add to your cart.
Item 1: Alcalde, 1910Add to your cart.
Item 2: Alcalde, 1918Add to your cart.
Item 3: Alcalde, 1920Add to your cart.
Item 4: Alcalde, 1924Add to your cart.
Item 5: Alcalde, 1925Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Item 1: Alcalde, 1926Add to your cart.
Item 2: Alcalde, 1929Add to your cart.
Item 3: Alcalde, 1930Add to your cart.
Item 4: Alcalde, 1931Add to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Item 1: Alcalde, 1932Add to your cart.
Item 2: Alcalde, 1936Add to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Boyce Smith Diploma, 1930 August 29Add to your cart.
The University of Texas, Master of Arts Degree
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 2: Boyce Smith Certificate, 1919 August 13Add to your cart.
Service Certificate United States Marine Corps
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 3: United States Marine Corps Poster, circa 1919Add to your cart.
Writing in French
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 4: English translation of United States Marine Corps Poster, circa 1919Add to your cart.
English translation of French poster
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 5: Boyce Smith Honorable Discharge USMC, 1919 August 13Add to your cart.
United States Marine Corps
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 6: Boyce Smith SHNI Certificate, 1922 August 15Add to your cart.
Teachers Permanent High School Certificate, Bachelor of Science
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 7: U.S. Marine Correspondence, no dateAdd to your cart.
Transmission concerning copies of Citations of Marines in France
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 8: Boyce Smith Teacher Temporary Certificate, 1920 August 3Add to your cart.
The Department of Education, State of Texas
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 9: Boyce Smith SHNI Diploma, 1924 June 6Add to your cart.
SHNI Diploma
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 10: Application for Membership in American Legion Auxiliary, no dateAdd to your cart.
Lilah Smith of Walker County.  Back of document has handwritten service record for Boyce Smith
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 11: Boyce Smith SHNI Bachelor of Science Diploma, 1922 August 25Add to your cart.
Diploma is framed and on the partition wall in Thomason Room
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 12: Mary E. Traylor SHNI Diploma, 1922 June 5Add to your cart.
Diploma is framed and on the partition wall in Thomason Room
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Class of '21 Diploma Scroll Holder, 1921Add to your cart.
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 2: Class of '22 Diploma Scroll Holder, 1922Add to your cart.
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 3: Envelope from J.W. Thomason to Boyce Smith, 1924 June 17Add to your cart.
Envelope attached to cardboard tube
Originals or Copies Note: Original
Folder 4: Envelope from The University of Texas to Boyce Smith, 1930 November 18Add to your cart.
Envelope attached to cardboard tube
Originals or Copies Note: Original

Browse by Series:

[Series 1],
[Series 2],
[Series 3],
[All]


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