Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents Note

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: Family papers, 1881-1996

Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-1965

Series 3: Photographs and scrapbooks, 1853-1970s

Southern Methodist University

Dowell family papers

A Guide



Collection Summary

Collector: Dowell (Family : J. McCarty, 1888-1937)
Title: Dowell family papers
Dates: 1853-1996, bulk 1940s-1950s
Abstract: J. McCarty Dowell and Rosabel Greer Dowell lived in McKinney, Texas at the beginning of the twentieth century. Their twin boys, McCarty Jr. and Greer, attended Southern Methodist University before and after they served in the Navy during World War II. This collection includes the twins' letters to their mother from 1943-1946, Dowell and Greer family documents, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Identification: MSS 0131
Quantity: 8 boxes, 1 oversize folder (7 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

J. McCarty Dowell was a cotton merchant in McKinney, Texas who wed Rosabel Greer Dowell in 1923. Two years later, the couple welcomed twin sons, James Greer and J. McCarty Jr. The twins began attending Southern Methodist University in 1942, but their college was interrupted for World War II service in 1943 when they joined SMU’s V-12 unit. “Greer” was a sonarman on the USS Essex and USS Ault, and “McCarty” was a medic in the United States Navy. In 1946 they resumed their studies at SMU. McCarty graduated in 1949 with a bachelor of business administration degree, and Greer received his bachelor of arts in 1949, followed by a law degree in 1951.

Greer married Louise Lomax in 1950 and they had two children. He moved to Dallas and was the assistant city attorney in 1958, a city judge from 1961-1969, and a district judge until 1979 before his death in 1982. McCarty married Doris Allen in 1956 and they had one daughter. McCarty had a career in insurance and his wife Doris was the society editor for the Dallas Times Herald.

Sources:

“Judge Greer Dowell, 57, dies,” Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas), June 22, 1982: 17. Readex: America's Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb.newsbank.com

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Scope and Contents Note

The twins’ letters to their mother during World War II form the bulk of this collection since McCarty wrote almost daily letters for three years. There are also several letters from J. McCarty Sr. while he was serving in the Army Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I. Much of these materials were collected by Rosabel Greer Dowell, and her Boyd High School scrapbook is an excellent example of a teenage girl’s experience in early twentieth century Texas. Photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence document this McKinney family during the first half of the twentieth century.

Books can be found by searching the cataloging with this search string: “Part of the Dowell family collection.”

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 3 series:
Series 1: Family papers, 1881-1996
Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-1965
Series 3: Photographs and scrapbooks, 1853-1970s

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library. It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Material Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which DeGolyer Library assumes no responsibility.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Subjects (Persons)
Dowell family
Greer family.
Subjects (Organizations)
Southern Methodist University - Students.
United States. Navy -- Military life.
Subjects
Women -- Texas -- McKinney -- History -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American.
Places
McKinney (Tex.) -- History.
Collin County (Tex.) -- History.
Document Types
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Scrapbooks.

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Related Material

Dowell family papers, George W. Cook collection of Texas manuscripts and artifacts, Box 17, MSS 123

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Dowell family papers, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Acquisition Information

Purchased on the George W. Cook Fund, 2018.

Processing Information

Photographs were removed from frames and placed in acid free folders. Several scrapbook pages were removed from covers due to preservation issues, and they were placed in acid free folders. Cynthia Franco processed the collection and encoded the finding aid in 2019.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Family papers, 1881-1996
3 boxes

Rosabel Greer attended McKinney schools, as well as her sons Greer and McCarty. Rosabel’s mother was Lillie Mayes Greer, and clippings about the family are found in folder 13. The Dowell family men were Masons and their documents are in folder 11, and J. McCarty Sr.’s panorama photograph is listed in series 3.
Box Folder
1 1 Rosabel Greer Dowell papers, 1910-1950
2 Rosabel Greer Dowell scrapbook, 1916-1917; A History of Collin County, Texas (1958) annotated book with handwritten Mayes family histories and clippings
3 Greer Dowell schoolwork, circa 1930s
4 McCarty Dowell schoolwork, 1934
5 The Lion yearbook, 1941
6 Greer Dowell World War II documents, 1946
7 McCarty Dowell World War II documents, 1944-1945
8 World War II ephemera, publications, service ribbons, 1944-1946
9 McCarty Dowell voice letter [vinyl record], 1944
10 McCarty and Doris Dowell wedding invitation and clippings, 1956
11 Dowell family masonic materials, 1915-1950
12 Dowell family genealogy, 1950
13 Mayes family clippings, 1897-1925
14 Doris Dowell’s memory book for granddaughter Savannah Grace Phillips, circa 1996
15 Programs, 1942-1959
16 Maps, 1939-1940
17 Dowell family ephemera with John F. Kennedy 5 cent stamp and 2 half dollar coins, 1940-1964
18 Dowell family newsclippings, 1940s
19 McKinney, Texas newsclippings, 1960s-1973
Box Folder
2 1-2 Dowell family abstracts of title, 1912-1973
3-5 Dowell family deeds, 1883-1943
6 Correspondence and documents regarding sale of Mrs. A.B. Mayes house, 1919-1921
7 Greer and Dowell family real estate documents, Collin County, Texas, 1881-1973
8 Josephine Crute [Doris Dowell’s cousin] will and death certificate, 1994
9 Greer family deed records [photostats]
Box
8X C. Greer certificate from New Orleans Polytechnic, 1903

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Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-1965
2 boxes

Researchers should note that A.B. Mayes was Rosabel Dowell’s maternal grandfather and Lillie Greer was Rosabel Dowell’s mother. J. McCarty Dowell Sr.’s World War I letters can be found in folder 5. The World War II letters of Greer and McCarty form the bulk of this series. These letters describe their training and military experiences while serving in the United States Navy in the Pacific.
Box Folder
3 1 Letter to A.B. Mayes, 1901
2 Lillie Greer to daughter Rosabel Dowell, 1944-1946
3 Letters to Lillie Greer, 1925-1950
4 Susan Dowell letter to son J. McCarty Sr., undated
5 J. McCarty Dowell Sr. letters to his mother, 1918-1919
6 Letters to J. McCarty Dowell Sr., 1918-1932
7 Rosabel Greer to J. McCarty Dowell Sr., 1922
8 Rosabel Dowell to mother, 1944
9 Rosabel Dowell to son McCarty, 1944
10 Congratulatory letters to Rosabel Dowell after the twins’ birth, 1925
11 Inez Mayes to Rosabel Dowell, 1965-1965
12 Sam Rayburn to Rosabel Dowell, 1953
13 Letters to Rosabel Dowell, 1911-1959
14 Letters to Rosabel Dowell, undated
15-37 Greer Dowell to mother, 1943-1946
38 Greer Dowell telegram to brother McCarty, [between 1944 and 1946?]
39 Letters to Greer Dowell, 1943-1945
Box Folder
4 1 McCarty Dowell Jr. to father, 1930
2-32 McCarty Dowell Jr. to mother, 1943-1946
33 McCarty Dowell Jr. to grandmother, 1944-1946
34 McCarty Dowell Jr. to brother Greer, 1943
35 McCarty Dowell Jr. to Aunt Earna, 1945
36 Letters to McCarty Dowell Jr., 1945-1946

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Series 3: Photographs and scrapbooks, 1853-1970s
4 boxes

Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr.’s scrapbook in box 6X abruptly changes from SMU school activities to Navy enlistment documents. Their photographs of military life can be found in box 5. Most of this series contain group family photographs, which include the Greer and Mayes families.
Box Folder
5 1 Caroline Dowell, 1853; J. McCarty Dowell Sr., 1937
2-3 Rosabel Greer Dowell, 1900s-1950s
4 J. McCarty Dowell Sr. and family photograph album, 1920s-1940s
5 Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr., 1920s-1930s
6 Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr., 1930s-1940s
7 Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr., World War II
8 Southern Methodist University, 1947
9 McCarty Dowell Jr. and Doris Dowell wedding, 1956
10 1920s
11 1940s
12-13 1950s
14 1970s
15 Mayes family, 1890-1920s
16 Greer family, 1890s
17 James Messnick, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1930s-1940s [related to Greer family]
18 Various groups, 1938-1962
19-20 Unidentified
21 Negatives
22-25 Color slides of family vacations, undated
26 Blank postcards, circa 1940s-1950s
Box Folder
6X 1-2 Dowell family newsclippings, 1920s-1940s
3 Texas Centennial Scrap book [newspaper clippings collected by Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr.], 1936
4 Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr. scrapbook, 1926-1944
Box Folder
7X 1 J. McCarty Dowell Sr. family scrapbooks, 1939-1944
2-3 World War II and SMU clippings, 1944-1946
4 Greer Dowell and Louise Lomax Dowell wedding scrapbook, 1950
Box Folder
8X 1 Unidentified male portrait, undated
2 Unidentified illustrated male portrait, undated
3 Greer and McCarty Dowell Jr., 1925-circa 1930
4 Unidentified female portrait
Folder
Oversize Panorama of Scottish Rite Reunion, Thirty-Second Degree Class, Dallas, Texas, 1915 May 17-20

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