Austin History Center

Betty Wilke Cox Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cox, Betty Wilke, 1928-2006
Title: Betty Wilke Cox Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1910-2008
Bulk Dates: 1996-2006
Abstract: Personal and professional records of Austin writer, editor and publisher Betty Wilke Cox.
Identification: AR.2005.009
Quantity: 3.6 linear feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Betty Jean Wilke Cox-Hudman (1928-2006) of Austin was a writer, editor, Austin American-Statesman Neighborhood staffer, and newspaper reference librarian. Born September 25, 1928 in Fort Worth, she was the daughter of longtime editor and writer of the Fort Worth-Press, L.A. Wilke. Her mother was Viola Helen Anderson Wilke.

Cox-Hudman graduated from Gainesville High School in 1944 and went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. She began her newspaper career as a reporter for the Nolan County News and Sweetwater Reporter in the late 1940s. She met Bill G. Cox, a reporter from Amarillo, while at the Reporter in 1947. They married and had a son, Mike Cox, who would go on to become an Austin American-Statesman staff writer and author.

Cox-Hudman moved from journalism to teaching and librarianship. She taught in Dallas and Del Valle, and worked for the Austin Public Library, the Texas State Library, Texas A&M’s Special Collections Library, the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas, and the Austin American-Statesman. She briefly ran a branch library in Phoenix, AZ.

After retiring in 1993, Cox-Hudman began a book publishing company, Woodburner Press, and operated a writing-editing consultancy, Hudman Editing. As a consultant, she assisted 14 books into publication. She was also the author of Liz Carpenter: Girl from Salado, a biography of Liz Carpenter, the former press secretary of Lady Bird Johnson.

Cox-Hudman was an active member of the Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church and did volunteer library work. She was also an avid reader, painter, and gardener. On August 28, 2006, Cox-Hudman died after a long struggle with congestive heart failure.

Scope and Contents

Research materials, drafts, correspondence, creative works, printed material, photographs, clippings, and financial materials, divided into five series, tell of the life, work, and interests of Betty Wilke Cox. The “Personal” series details her interests, activities, and personal relationships. Providing excellent insight into her personal life is her correspondence with her son, Mike Cox. The four other series comprising Cox’s professional work Cox as an author and as proprietor of Woodburner Press and Hudman Editing. The research notes, materials, correspondence, and drafts in each of the series document her work as author, editor, researcher or publisher for Liz Carpenter, Harvey Gann, Will Wilson, and Ramiro “Ranger Ray” Martinez. Also documented is Betty’s work indexing Liz Carpenter’s autobiography Ruffles and Flourishes and reviewing the play Divine Lunacy. Anomalies in the collection are Betty’s extensive collection of material regarding the 1967 Austin City Council Election, the personal correspondence and speeches of Liz Carpenter, the personal scrapbook of Harvey Gann, which includes photographs and extensive clippings from his years in the Austin Police Department, and a collection of personal material and artifacts from Will Wilson, Sr.


The Collection is divided into five series, with some of the series divided into subseries.
I. Personal
II. Professional - Liz Carpenter Biography
III. Professional - Hudman Editing Services
A. Liz Carpenter
B. Will R. Wilson
C. Ramiro Martinez
D. Assorted projects
IV. Professional - Woodburner Press
A. Harvey Gann
B. Assorted projects
V. Professional - Assorted Writing Projects


Restrictions on Access


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Carpenter, Liz, 1920-
Cox, Betty Wilke Hudman, 1928-2006
Cox, Mike, 1948-
Estes, Billie Sol, 1924-
Gann, Harvey E., 1920-
Haley, J. Evetts (James Evetts), 1901-1995
Martinez, Ramiro "Ray," 1937-
Sharp, Frank W., 1906-1993
Smith, Ruby Simon
Stewart, Ozella Thorn
Sutherland, Thomas
Waldon, Lewis
Wallace, Ruth
Wilson, Will R., Sr., 1912-2005
Hudman Editing Services
Texas Press Association
Woodburner Press
Austin (Tex.)
Publishers and publishing – Texas – Austin

Related Material

AR.1991.098 - Mike Cox Papers

Separated Material

Many published materials came with the donation. Most of these were newsletters of area organizations (i.e., Austin Writer’s League) and were returned to the donor as the AHC already had copies. A few publications were added to the General Collection, Periodicals, and the Austin Files at the AHC:

General Collection:

  • 2002 Texas Newspaper Directory. Texas Press Association. 2002.
  • Austin’s Blueprint for Laughter. Women’s Architectural League of Austin. 1977.
  • Gann, Harvey. Escape I Must! Woodburner Press, 1995.
  • Herskowitz, Mickey. Sharpstown Revisited: Frank Sharp and a Tale of Dirty Politics in Texas. Eakin Press, 1994.
  • Modisett, Bill. J. Evetts Haley: A True Texas Legend. Staked Plains Press, 1996.
  • Osborne, W. C. “Os.” Running High, Looking Good. Woodburner Press, 1996.
  • Smith, Ruby S. Wine, Cheese and Bread: A POW’s Survival Story in Italy. Woodburner Press, 1998.
  • Speeches Delivered at the Attorney General’s Eleventh Annual Law Enforcement Conference, September 29, 1961.
  • Wallace, Ruth M. Wings ‘n Things. Woodburner Press.
  • York, Donna Hartley. Austin Area Publications Directory. 1981.


  • Austin Report. vol 12, nos. 28 and 29

Austin Files:

  • Texas Trade & Paper show
  • Balcones District
  • Aqua-Olympics
  • Eakin Press
  • Austin Saengerrunde
  • Woman’s Way

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Betty Wilke Cox Papers (AR.2005.009). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1972/078

Donation Dates: 2005-04-13; 2006-08-29; 2006-10-04; 2006-10-23; 2006-11-06; 2006-12-16; 2007-04-22

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By/Date: Lorrie Dong, Peter Haligas, and Karen Holt, 2006-12-04. Final Processing and Finding Aid By/Date: Mike Miller, 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I. Personal

Series Abstract Information about or gathered by Betty Cox about general Austin topics and her son, Mike Cox
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, Mike & Betty, 1970-79
2 Correspondence, Mike & Betty, 1980-84, n.d.
3 Correspondence & newsletters, 1991-2003
4 Correspondence – Austin Writer’s League, 1994; n.d.
5 Letters, news clippings, and Voter’s Guide, 1967 City Council Election, 1967
6 Election material (J. J. Pickle, Walter Mondale), 1968; n.d.
7 Handwritten obituary of Betty Cox
8 Assorted material
9 Photographs

Series II. Professional. Liz Carpenter biography

Series Abstract In 1993, Cox published a biography of Liz Carpenter called A Girl from Salado. This series includes all of Cox's research materials and correspondence from this project, including a small collection of Carpenter personal materials gathered by Cox during her research.
Subseries A. A Girl from Salado.
Box Folder
1 14 Research notes & material
15 Research notes & material
Box Folder
2 1 Reference material sent to Cox; research notes, 1992, n.d.
2 Research notes, materials, and handwritten drafts, 1992, n.d.
3 Research notes, materials, and handwritten drafts, 1993, n.d.
4 Clippings & pamphlets, 1970-2001
5 Draft sent to Carpenter, 1993
6 Marked draft, chapters 1-5
7 Marked draft, chapters 6-10
8 Marked draft, chapters 11-16
9 Draft sent to Eakin Press, 1993
10 Draft sent to Eakin Press, 1993
11 Manuscript copy sent from Eakin Press to Cox, 1993
Box Folder
3 1 Publications & statements, 1994, n.d.
2 Correspondence – Cox, 1991-1997, n.d.
3 Correspondence – Eakin Press, 1992-1994
4 Eakin Press, assorted material, 1990-1995, n.d.
Subseries B. Liz Carpenter personal material
Box Folder
3 6 Correspondence and speeches, 1991, n.d.
7 Photograph, 1993

Series III. Professional. Hudman Editing Services

Series Abstract This series includes four subseries: Liz Carpenter, Will Wilson, Ramiro Martinez, and Assorted Projects.
Subseries A. Liz Carpenter

Subseries Abstract In addition to the biography of Carpenter, Cox indexed Carpenter's memoir, Ruffles & Flourishes when it was republished by Texas A&M UP in 1993.
Box Folder
3 5 Ruffles & Flourishes assorted material, 1992
Subseries B. Will R. Wilson

Subseries Abstract Wilson had a long career as an attorney and numerous public offices. Cox edited his account of the Watergate affair, A Fool for a Client, and an unpublished memoir/biography written by Wilson and Jack Keever. This subseries includes personal materials related to Wilson
Box Folder
5 1 Correspondence, Wilson to Cox, 1994-2000
2 Correspondence, Cox to Wilson, 1996-2002
3 Correspondence, from Cox, 1995-1999
4 Correspondence, from Cox, 2000-2003, n.d.
5 Correspondence, to Cox, 1994-2000
6 Correspondence, to Cox, 2000-2003, n.d.
7 Correspondence, to Wilson, 1993-2001
8 Correspondence, from Wilson, 1997-1998
9 News clippings on Wilson, Marjorie Wilson, and Lou Wilson, 1959-1962, n.d.
10 News clippings: political campaigns, 1956-1962, n.d.
Box Folder
6 1 News clippings: crime, 1956-1969, n.d.
2 News clippings: Tidelands legislation, 1951-1960
3 News clippings: Billie Sol Estes, 1962
4 News clippings: Frank Sharp, 1971
5 Handwritten notes on Wilson and related subjects
6 Printed notes on Wilson and related subjects
Box Folder
7 1 Draft (incomplete), 1998-01
2 Draft, 1999-06
Box Folder
6 7 Law School final exam, 1936
8 Dallas District Attorney report
9 Texas Attorney General campaign materials, 1956
10 Texas Governor campaign materials, 1962
11 US Senate campaign materials, 1961
12 Assistant US Attorney General – assorted material, 1969-1972
13 Notes
14 Personal letter, poem, 1953, n.d.
15 Marjorie Wilson – correspondence, assorted material, 1960-1961, n.d.
16 Photographs, 1910-1972, n.d.
Box Folder
7 3 Oral history transcripts – Wilson interview by Jack Keever, 20023
4 Draft of “The Will to Win” – unpublished manuscript by Wilson and Keever., 2002
Location BoxItem
qAR 19/077 Will Wilson for Senator editorial cartoon, 1961
19/078 Will Wilson for Senator editorial cartoon, 1961
19/079 Will Wilson for Senator editorial cartoon, 1961
Subseries C. Ramiro Martinez

Subseries Abstract Martinez was one of the APD officers that shot Charles Whitman in 1966 at the University of Texas tower shootings. Cox edited his book, They Call Me Ranger Ray, published by Rio Bravo Publishing in 2005.
Box Folder
8 1 Correspondence, 2004-2006
2 Notes & partial drafts
3 Draft, with corrections
4 First proof (manuscript)
Subseries D. Assorted Projects
Box Folder
8 5 Correspondence, 2001-2003, n.d.
6 Correspondence - Texas Press Association (TPA), 2001-2003
7 TPA Messenger Index, 1940s.
8 TPA Messenger Index, 1950s.
9 TPA Messenger Index, 1960s.
10 John Midkiff book – notes & correspondence, 1998-2003, n.d.
Box Folder
9 1 Ozella Thorn Stewart – notes & correspondence, 1998, n.d.
2 Ozella Thorn Stewart – edited manuscript, “Just Me or, How I Survived my Texas Childhood.”, 1995
3 J. Evetts Haley – Correspondence, 2003-2004
4 J. Evetts Haley – drafts & notes

Series IV. Professional. Woodburner Press

Series Abstract This series includes two subseries: Harvey Gann and Assorted Projects.
Subseries A. Harvey Gann

Subseries Abstract Harvey Gann was a long time Austin police officer. He wrote a book about his experiences as a POW during World War II, Escape I Must!, published by Cox in 1995. This subseries includes personal information related to Gann.
Box Folder
3 8 Notes & research materials, 1994, n.d.
9 Correspondence, 1979-1998, n.d.
10 Early draft fragments and notes
11 Illustrations and artifacts, 1937-1995, n.d.
12 Publicity materials, 1995, n.d.
13 Financial notes
Box Folder
4 1 Marked page proofs
2 Scrapbook (1 of 4) – front matter
3 Scrapbook (2 of 4)
4 Scrapbook (3 of 4)
5 Scrapbook (4 of 4) – back matter
6 Photographs, 1937-1941, n.d.
7 Photographs (color)
Subseries B. Assorted Projects
Box Folder
9 7 Correspondence, 1996-2002, n.d.
8 Assorted material
9 Ruby Simon Smith, Wine, Cheese & Bread – notes & correspondence, 1996-1998, n.d.
10 Ruth Wallace, Poems – notes, correspondence, and drafts, 1997-2002, n.d.
11 Lewis Waldon, A Dog Called Friday – notes & correspondence, 1998, n.d.
12 Invoices & financial records, 1996-1998

Series V. Professional. Assorted Writing Projects

Series Abstract This final series includes creative works written or edited by Cox where there is no indication that they were a product of her editing or publishing business.
Box Folder
1 10 “Snowbird.”
11 Short Story
12 Northwest Neighbor, notes & correspondence, 1985-1988
13 Review of Divine Lunacy, Hyde Park Theater, 1994
Box Folder
9 5 Austin Area (Neighborhood) Analyses, 1988
6 Kay Sutherland – Interviews with Tom Sutherland, 1992