University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Texas State Federation of Labor Records, 1910-1961

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Mullinax and Wells (Dallas, Tex.), Texas State Federation of Labor, Acreman, Harry W., 1890-1978, Sparks, Paul C., Holleman, Jerry Rodgers, 1919-1979
Title: Texas State Federation of Labor records
Dates: 1910-1961
Abstract: The Texas State Federation of Labor Records, 1910-1961, contain court records, correspondence, bills, reports, newsletters, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, notices, and speeches related to the Texas State Federation of Labor and their involvement in legal and legislative activities.
Identification: camh-arc-004274
Extent: 3.75 linear feet
Language: English .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

The Texas State Federation of Labor was founded in 1900 and served as a representative body of labor organizations in Texas. It promoted progressive policies in Texas, including compulsory education, the eight-hour day, and equal pay for equal work, and supported the early reform efforts of Thomas M. Campbell and James E. Ferguson. While the Texas State Federation of Labor activities primarily involved legislation, the 1940s and 1950s saw a widening of Texas labor work to also include politics, legal defense, education, public relations, and economic reporting.

Following a downturn for Texas labor in the 1920s, the Texas State Federation of Labor experienced growth throughout the 1930s and the 1940s as a result of the New Deal and World War II, respectively. The Texas State Federation of Labor, along with the American Federation of Labor, faced a growing number of disputes following World War II due in part to McCarthyism and accusations that unions contained communists. Texas labor began to publically support certain politicians, including Coke Stevenson and Ralph Yarborough, in their campaigns for various offices starting in the late 1940s and became more heavily involved in legal activities. The Texas State Federation of Labor eventually merged with the Texas State CIO Council in 1957 to form the Texas AFL-CIO.

Maroney, James C. "Texas State Federation of Labor." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed June 09, 2020.

Scope and Contents

Documents include court records, correspondence, bills, reports, newsletters, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, notices, and speeches related to the Federation or its member unions; the bulk of the collection consists of court records and correspondence concerning legal cases. Monthly reports with bills from the Mullinax, Wells and Ball law firm review legal actions and other developments arising from state and federal restrictions on union activity. Correspondents include Harry W. Acreman, Paul C. Sparks, and Jerry R. Holleman, Federation executive officers, 1948-1954. Subject files include information on labor law and organizing; race relations; migrant workers; the anti-communist movement; Grady Ivy, Dallas ironworker imprisoned under the O'Daniel Act; Southern Sugar Strike, 1955; and relations with CIO, reflected in materials of the Texas State Industrial Union Council. Court records document the 1950 Brown and Root, Inc., suit against the Federation and 91 member locals for restraint of trade under Texas' 1947 right-to-work law; picketing rights; working conditions; union representation; wage scales; and discriminatory discharge. Seven cases involve Teamsters locals.

Materials organized into four series: I. Correspondence. II. Financial Records. III. Subject Classified Files. IV. Court Cases. Court Cases are arranged alphabetically. All other arrangement is chronological. Some original folder titles have been changed for clarity and some subject files have been consolidated.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Ivy, Grady
Corporate Names
Brown & Root, Inc.
Mullinax and Wells (Dallas, Tex.)
Texas State Federation of Labor
Anti-communist movements
Labor disputes
Labor laws and legislation
Labor unions
Race relations
Social conditions

Related Materials

See also:

A Guide to the Mullinax (Otto) Papers.

Mullinax, Wells Labor Case Records and the Texas AFL-CIO, Texas State Federation of Labor Records at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Separated Material

Additional material in TXC 300.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Texas State Federation of Labor Records, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jana Pellusch, 1992. Subsequent revisions made by Caroline Collins, June 2020.

OCLC Number


Detailed Description of the Collection


3C34 [SRH1230015451] Miscellaneous, 1938-1956
Mullinax, Wells, and Ball, 1948-1952
Mullinax and Wells, January 1953-June 1953
Mullinax and Wells
3C35 [SRH1230015452] Correspondence, July 1953-September 1954
2.325/D33c [SRH1230000825] Grain Millers News, four page section, July 1954
3C35 [SRH1230015452] Mullinax and Wells, October 1954-December 1954, April 1957
Financial records
3C36 [SRH1230015453] Legislative Fund statements, 1941
Monthly bills and reports from attorneys, November 1947-September 1955
Subject classified files
3C36 [SRH1230015453] Charters of locals, 1910-1950
Lists, 1952, undated
2.325/D33c [SRH1230000825] Three photostats of union charters, undated
3C36 [SRH1230015453] Employees' Association, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (Houston), correspondence, July 1938
Texas State Industrial Union Council, CIO
3C36 [SRH1230015453] Correspondence and miscellaneous, 1943-1953
2.325/D33c [SRH1230000825] "Open Letter" flyer, November 16, 1943
3C36 [SRH1230015453] Minimum wage, printed material, 1943-1950
Pettengill, Samuel B., correspondence, literary productions, 1944
Communism and unions
3C37 [SRH1230015454] Correspondence, 1944-1953
Reports, 1944-1951
Testimonials, 1953-1954, undated
Congressional hearings, 1952-1953
Dossiers, 1949, 1953, undated
Clippings, 1951-1953
2.325/D33c [SRH1230000825] Broadside, August 15, 1949
American veterans and Lamarr Bailey
3C37 [SRH1230015454] Correspondence, 1945, 1954
Clippings, literary productions, 1945
Civil rights (Texas)
3C37 [SRH1230015454] Correspondence, 1945-1961
Pamphlets and miscellaneous, 1957-1960
3C38 [SRH1230015455] Labor legislation, correspondence, and miscellaneous, 1947
International labor, studies, 1947-1956
Carpenters' District and State Councils
3C38 [SRH1230015455] Newsletters, 1948
Correspondence, 1950
Weekly newsletters, March 1950-February 1951
Fair Labor Standards, correspondence, brochures, reports, clippings, 1950-1960
Migrant workers
3C38 [SRH1230015455] Correspondence, 1951-1961, undated
Speech, list, reports, contracts, 1959-1960, undated
Ivy, Grady
3C38 [SRH1230015455] Correspondence, December 1952-April 1953
Court record, February 1952
Newsletter, December 1952
Texas politics, reports, 1952, 1955
Americans for Democratic Action, correspondence and reports, 1952-1955
Sugar strike
3C39 [SRH1230015456] Correspondence, May 1954-August 1955
Resolution, summary, 1955
List, flyers, stickers, undated
Labor organizers, correspondence, January 1955-March 1955
State labor organization, list, reports, 1956-1961
Closed Shop, Right to Work Laws, miscellaneous, 1958
National Labor Relations Board
3C39 [SRH1230015456] Rules, court document, undated
Clipping, October 1959
Miscellaneous printed material, 1938-1961
Court cases
3C39 [SRH1230015456] Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists Local 63 (Dallas) vs. Mrs. Lorene Collins Young, court records, 1949
Brown and Root, Inc., vs. Texas State Federation of Labor
3C39 [SRH1230015456] Correspondence, October 1950-January 1951
Clippings, March 1950-November 1950
3C40 [SRH1230015457] Court records, October 1950-December 1950, April 1951, February 1952, undated
2.325/D33c [SRH1230000825] Tabloid comic published by National Democratic Committee, undated
3C40 [SRH1230015457] Miscellaneous, 1950
Building and Construction Trades Council [(Amarillo) Construction and General Labor Union Local 688] vs. H. I. Stephenson
3C40 [SRH1230015457] Correspondence, December 1948-December 1949
Court records, undated
3K421 [SRH1230017783] E. I. du Pont vs. Orange Metal Trades Council and Oil Workers Union, court records, 1950
El Paso Building Trades Council vs. Texas Highway Commission
3K421 [SRH1230017783] Correspondence, August 1949-December 1950
Court records, 1950, undated
Circulars, February 1947-May 1950
Notices, July 1951, undated
Clipping, undated
2.325/D33c [SRH1230000825] Notices concerning wage rates in California, undated
3K421 [SRH1230017783] Elgin Standard Brick Mfg. Co. vs. United Brick and Clay Workers, court records, October 1949
George W. Prior Co. vs. United Garment Workers, court records, October 1949
Greenville Cotton Oil Mill Employees (Ex Parte Leo Henry, et al), court records, March 1948-December 1948
Mosher Steel Co. vs. United Steel Workers, court records, December 1949
Operating Engineers Local 564 vs. Velasco Laundry & Cleaners
3K421 [SRH1230017783] Correspondence, January 1949
Court records, 1949
Teamsters Local 393 (Beaumont) vs. Missouri Pacific Freight, correspondence, court records, 1949
Teamsters Local 577 (Amarillo) vs. Hearne Motor Freight Lines
3K421 [SRH1230017783] Correspondence, March 1949-October 1949
Court records, undated
Teamsters Local 745 (Dallas) vs. Best Motor Lines
3K422 [SRH1230017784] Correspondence, February 1949
Court records, 1949, undated
Teamsters Local 745 (Dallas) vs. Houston and North Texas Motor Freight Lines
3K422 [SRH1230017784] Correspondence, May 1949-August 1949
Court records, 1948-1952
Teamsters Local 745 (Dallas) vs. North East Texas Motor Freight Lines
3K422 [SRH1230017784] Telegram, May 1949
Court records, 1948-1949
Teamsters Local 745 (Dallas) vs. Ray Smith Transport Co., court record, 1949
Teamsters Local 745 (Dallas) vs. Vilbig Bros
3K422 [SRH1230017784] Correspondence, April 1949-July 1949
Court records, 1949-1950, undated
Acidic and fragile original papers (preservation photocopies are filed in original locations), undated