TABLE OF CONTENTS
Austin (Tex.) Mayor's Office. Carole Keeton McClellan Records
An Inventory of the Collection
Carole Stewart Keeton was born in Austin, Texas, in 1939 to Page and Madge Keeton, a university dean and lawyer. She graduated from Austin High School where she served as the first female president of her class. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning her degree in government in 1961. Keeton's first marriage was to attorney Barr McClellan, and they had four sons together.
After college, Keeton taught civics and history courses at McCallum High School, and in 1972 was elected to the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees for a six year term in Place 6. In 1976, she was elected by the trustees to be the first female president of the AISD School Board and of the Board of Austin Community College. Keeton then ran for Mayor of Austin on the Democratic ticket and was elected in 1977, becoming the first woman mayor. She and Barr McClellan divorced during her first term. One of her main focuses as mayor was downtown revitalization.
After three consecutive terms as mayor, she was appointed to the State Board of Insurance by Governor Mark White where she served until 1986, when she resigned to run against U.S. Congressman J. J. Pickle as a Republican. She did not win that election, however in 1994 as Carole Keeton Rylander, she successfully ran for the Texas Railroad Commission. She was the first woman to serve on the commission, and served as commission chairman from November 1995 to January 1997, and from June 1998 to January 1999.
In 1999, Keeton was elected Comptroller of Texas, where she served until 2007. In 2003, she married Ed Strayhorn. In 2006, she unsuccessfully ran for governor as an Independent under the name Carole Keeton Strayhorn. As comptroller, she held a strong focus on funding education needs for Texans.
McClellan, Anna. "From McCallum to Mother to Mayor." The Shield Online, 14 Feb. 2019, https://macshieldonline.com/22795/features/from-mccallum-to-mother-to-mayor/
Smith, Amy. "She's Her Own Grandma." Austin Chronicle, 28 July 2006, https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2006-07-28/390533/
Sent correspondence makes up the bulk of the collection. Dating from May 1977 to February 1982, the outgoing correspondence documents Mayor McClellan's responses to Austin citizens' concerns over a variety of issues. Recurring issues represented in 1977 correspondence are hotel occupancy tax, fluoridation of water, and the Lake Austin Growth Management Plan. In 1978, letters also concern the Lake Austin Growth Management Plan, as well as downtown revitalization, economic development, Brackenridge Hospital, development on Shoal Creek, proposed construction of Barton Skyway bridge, and airport relocation. 1979 correspondence concerns such as issues as Rainey Street neighborhood development, Barton Creek Growth Management, housing assistance programs, and community education. Correspondence in 1980 discusses cable television, improvement of the amphitheatre in Symphony Square, damage from Hurricane Allen, Clarksville Community Development Corporation's Self-Help Housing Project, and the extension of the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail. Issues represented in 1981 correspondence include growth, development, historic designation for the moonlight towers, cable television, and the Memorial Day flood. Of note are letters to multiple area banks who agreed to assist the city in financing some of the expenses to recover from flood damages. Also of note is letter dated November 23, 1981, to John W. Graves discussing the mural at Juarez-Lincoln University that was painted over. Correspondence from 1982 covers a range of issues including the completion of MoPac from RM 2244 to Loop 360, airport relocation, affirmative action, flooding concerns, electric rates, and the establishment of an Employee Assistance Program for city employees. In her 1983 correspondence, McClellan sent farewells to council members and other colleagues.
Received correspondence is very sparse, and includes letters from Lady Bird Johnson and Philadelphia architect Edmund Bacon concerning a 1978 symposium on Austin's downtown revitalization. Of note is a 1982 letter from Willie Nelson asking to hold his annual Fourth of July picnic at Auditorium Shores the following year. Other correspondence consists of memorandum sent to the mayor as well as the council members and city manager. Issues discussed include: Congress Avenue red bricks, the Lake Austin Growth Management Plan, affirmative action, and memos from the Parks and Recreation Department and the Electric Utility Department.
The certificates recognize Carole Keeton McClellan, the City of Austin, and Austin citizens. Personal certificates were given to McClellan from Delwood II, University Hills Homeowners Association, and Austin Junior Forum and date from 1979-1981. Certificates of resolution from 1979 honor Father Joe Znotas of Santa Julia Catholic Church on his passing, and former city councilman Dick Nichols on his passing. Memorabilia from 1972 and 1981-1982 document McClellan's runs for School Board and Mayor.
Photographs include: McClellan and her four sons in 1982 (#001); McClellan's 1977 swearing in ceremony at Wooldridge Park (#002); a 1981 photograph with Anne Cofin (#003); an undated photograph with Austin City Council (#004); a 1977 photograph with Jane Smoot on the centennial celebration of the Richmond Kelley Smoot Home (#005); an undated photograph of McClellan receiving an award (#006); a downtown construction photograph (#007); a photograph with Don Cornelius from the set of the film Roadie in which McClellan played a sheriff (#008); a 1981 signed photograph of McClellan and Burt Reynolds when he was filming The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (#009); and photographs of the United States Airforce Thunderbirds, including a photo of the aircraft dedicated to the City of Austin (#010-012).
44 t-shirts collected by McClellan from 1979-1982 document various city events, organizations and businesses including: Capitol 10,000, Paramount Theatre, Gaslight Theatre, Brackenridge Hospital, and McClellan's campaign for mayor.
Open to all users
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.
Austin (Tex.) Mayor's Office. Carole Keeton McClellan Records (AR.P.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1978/010
Donation Date: 1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986
Processing and finding aid by Kelly Hanus in March 2019.