Austin History Center

Ruth and Hal Bybee Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bybee, Ruth, -1969
Creator: Bybee, Hal
Title: Ruth and Hal Bybee Papers
Dates: 1936-1955
Abstract: Ruth and Hal Bybee were very in the Austin, Texas community as members of civic organizations and serving on a variety of non-profit boards. The papers document Ruth's involvement with the Austin Public School Board of Trustees, the Austin Community Chest and Council, and the YWCA during the late 1930s through the early 1950s, as well as her husband's involvement with the Kiwanis in the late 1930s.
Identification: AR.A.007
Quantity: 1.2 linear feet (3 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Ruth and Hal (Halbert) Bybee were longtime Austin, Texas residents active in variety of local education, civic and religious organizations. Ruth and Hal Bybee were married in 1914 and moved to Austin, Texas from Indiana soon afterwards where Hal joined the staff of the University of Texas Geology Department. With the exception of a four-year term in San Angelo as a geologist for the Dixie Oil Company from 1925 to 1929, Hal was connected with the UT Department of Geology until the 1950s. Ruth received a master's degree in botany at the University of Indiana before moving to Austin and becoming involved in the University Ladies Club, American Association of University Women, Kappa Kappa Gamma House Association, Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Community Council of Austin and Travis County, Austin Community Chest, University American Legion Auxiliary and the Andrew Carruthers chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Ruth also served on the Austin Public Schools Board of Trustees for thirteen years (1939-1952) and was president of the City Parent-Teacher Council.

Hal Bybee died in 1957 at the age of 69. Ruth moved to Houston, Texas in 1969, where she died in 1977 at the age of 86.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, financial records and programs that document Ruth and Hal Bybee's civic participation in Austin community organizations from 1936 to 1955. The bulk of the collection is composed of materials created and maintained by Ruth chronicling her involvement with the Austin Public School Board of Trustees, the Austin Community Chest and Council, and the YWCA, with a small amount of material pertaining to Hal's membership with the Kiwanis.

The Ruth Bybee series (1939-1955) is arranged into two subseries: Personal and Organizations. The Personal subseries (1947-1955) consists of a few letters written to Ruth including a congratulatory letter for being one of the nominees to receive the Most Worth Citizen of Austin award in 1950. The Organizations subseries (1939-1953) documents Ruth's tenure on the Austin Public Schools Board of Trustees (school board) as well as her affiliation with the Austin Community Chest and Community Council, the Young Women's Christian Association and several other civic organizations. Austin Public School Board of Trustees records date from 1939 to her resignation in 1952 and include general correspondence; reports from the Departments of Visiting Teachers and Child Adjustments; correspondence, reports and meeting minutes regarding school facilities and the building program including Public Works Administration projects; financial records regarding school budgets and funds, receipts and disbursements, tax rates, and a charter amendment to provide funds to raise teachers' salaries; correspondence and reports about various school programs and curriculum such as child care, health, home ' family life education, and reading including a discussion about Christian Scientists' objection to compulsory vaccination for small pox and teaching the Bible in school; enrollment projections for the 1950s; and biographical information about, and reports and correspondence written by Austin Public Schools superintendents A. N. McCallum, Russell Lewis and J. W. Edgar. The Community Council of Austin and Travis County and the Austin Community Chest were both Austin organizations involved in planning for social welfare and planning and were intertwined by mergers and reorganizations. Materials documenting the Community Council of Austin and Travis County, Community Chest of Austin, Inc. and the Community Chest & Council of Austin and Travis County include constitutions, memorandum, board meeting minutes, studies, financial records and merger information dating from 1947 to 1953. The majority of the YWCA records are financial in nature dating from 1945 to 1953, with a few statistical reports and a copy of the constitution and guidelines also included. There is also a small amount of materials pertaining to the Austin Servicewives Project Advisory Committee, Austin-Travis County Mental Hygiene Society and the City County Youth Council.

The Hal Bybee series (1936-1940) contains materials related to his membership in the Austin Chapter Kiwanis Club. Included are membership lists and attendance reports, announcements and programs of Kiwanis events, Kiwanis local chapter achievements reports and a letter written by Hal justifying why turned down the appointment as the chairman of the Program Committee.


I. Ruth Bybee
  • Personal
  • Organizations
    • Austin Public Schools
    • Community Council/Community Chest
    • Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)
    • Other Associations
II. Hal Bybee
  • Kiwanis Club, Austin Chapter


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Bybee, Halbert Pleasant.
Bybee, Ruth Woolery.
Edgar, J. W.
Lewis, Russell.
McCallum, Arthur Newell, 1865-1943.
Austin Community Chest.
Austin Public Schools (Austin, Tex.).
Austin Public Schools. Board of Trustees.
Community Council of Austin and Travis County.
Kiwanis Club (Austin, Tex.)
YWCA Greater Austin (Tex.).
Young Women's Christian Association.
Austin (Tex.)--Social conditions.
Nonprofit organizations--Texas--Austin.
Public schools--Texas--Austin.
Public welfare--Texas--Austin.
Women--Societies and Clubs.
Document Types:
Financial records.
Meeting minutes.

Related Material

General Collection

  • A 361.8 AU Austin Community Chest. Experience in Giving 1945-1949: A Statistical Study of Giving to the Community Chest of Austin, Inc. Over a Five-year Period, 1949.
  • A 361.8 CO Community Council of Austin and Travis County. Annual Report: Community Council of Austin & Travis County. (multiple years)
  • A 361.8 DI Community Council of Austin and Travis County. Directory of Community Services, Austin and Travis County. (multiple years)
  • A 369.5 Co Cook, Sam G. The Golden Years: Being a Chronicle of the Austin Kiwanis Club's 50 Years of Achievements on the Occasion of the 50th anniversary, 1969.


  • The Profile (YWCA)
  • Austin Young Women's Christian Association Newsletter
  • Red Feather News (Austin Community Chest)
  • Kiwanis Klarion

Archives and Manuscripts

  • AR.2003.014 YWCA of Greater Austin Records
  • AR.D.003 Austin Public School Records
  • AR.H.004 Austin City Council Parent-Teacher Association Records
  • AR.S.005 DeCourcy Kelley Papers

Austin Files

  • AF Bio Bybee, Halbert Pleasant (includes Ruth)
  • AF Subject Public School Board (Board of Trustees) P8100
  • AF Subject United Fund (Way)/Combined Charities - Community Chest of Austin, Inc. U1100 (1)
  • AF Subject Community Council of Austin and Travis County C6045
  • AF Subject Young Women's Christian Association Y0500
  • AF Subject Clubs - Service Organizations - Austin Kiwanis Clubs C5445 (3) (4)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Ruth and Hal Bybee Papers (AR.A.007). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1955/092

Donation Date: 1969

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Ruth Bybee, 1939-1955

Personal, 1947-1955
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, 1947-1948, 1951, 1955
Organizations, 1939-1953
Austin Public Schools Board of Trustees, 1939-1951
Correspondence, 1939-1951
Box Folder
1 3 Correspondence, 1939-1951
Departments, 1939-1949
Box Folder
1 4 Athletics, 1939-1949
5 Department of Child Adjustments, 1944-1948
6 Visiting Teachers' Department, 1945-1947
Facilities, 1939-1948
Box Folder
1 7 Architects, 1940-1946
8 Public Works Administration (PWA) contracts, 1939-1940
9 Mechanical information, 1940
10 Building program, 1946-1948
11 Site selection plan, 1947-1948
12 Cafeterias, 1941-1945
13 Assorted, 1948-1951
Financial, 1937-1949
Box Folder
1 14 Reports on the budget, 1937-1947
15 Tentative budgets, 1939-1946
16 Receipts and disbursements, 1944-1947
17 Zilker Permanent Fund, 1939, 1942
19 Permanent School Fund, 1942-1946
20 Tax rates, 1939-1949
21 Teacher salaries, 1945-1948
22 Assorted, 1942-1948
Box Folder
Programs/Curriculum, 1939-1951
Box Folder
1 23 Child care, 1939, undated
24 Health, 1940-1947
25 Home and family life education program, 1951, undated
26 Reading, 1945-1951
Student Body, 1939-1950
Box Folder
1 27 Enrollment, 1939-1947
28 Student census, 1945-1946
29 Enrollment projections, circa 1950
2 Percentages of promotions, 1944-1946
Superintendent, 1939-1947
Box Folder
2 1 A. N. McCallum, 1939-1940
2 Russell Lewis, 1942-1947
3 J. W. Edgar, 1947
Community Council/Community Chest, 1947-1953
Community Council, 1947-1950
Box Folder
2 4 Brochure, 1947
5 Constitution, 1948, undated
6 Memorandum, 1948-1950
7 Board meeting minutes, 1948-1950
8 Annual meeting minutes, 1948-1949
9 Day Care study, 1948-1949
10 Financial records, 1950
Community Chest, 1949-1951
Box Folder
2 11 Citizens' Advisory Committee, 1949-1950
12 Financial records, 1947-1951
Community Chest & Council, 1951-1953
Box Folder
2 13 Merger, 1951
14 Financial records, 1951-1953
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), 1945-1953
Box Folder
2 15 Constitution and guidelines, 1949, undated
16 Statistical reports, 1949, 1951
17 Budget summaries, 1946-1952
18 Financial reports, 1945-1950
19 Financial monthly summaries, 1947-1951
Box Folder
3 1 Financial monthly summaries, 1952
2 Financial monthly summaries, 1953
3 Weekly schedules, 1948-1951, undated
Other Associations, 1943-1945
Box Folder
3 4 Austin Servicewives Project Advisory Committee, 1945
5 Austin-Travis County Mental Hygiene Society, 1945
6 City County Youth Council , 1943-1945

Hal Bybee, 1936-1940

Kiwanis Club, Austin Chapter, 1936-1940
Box Folder
3 7 Announcements and programs, 1936-1940
8 Correspondence, undated
9 Membership, 1937-1940
10 Reports, 1938-1939