Austin History Center

Sledge Family Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Sledge family
Title: Sledge Family Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1927-1988
Abstract: Woodrow Sledge was a central Texas native and long time employee of the Austin school system. The collection highlights the concerns and issues he addressed as a teacher, a parent and as an advocate for the older Americans.
Identification: AR.2007.002
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 box)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Woodrow William Sledge (he changed his name from William Woodrow Sledge in 1966) was born in Kyle, Texas on September 24, 1912 to Cinncinatus Norfleet and Mary Alice Brown Sledge. He graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marco in 1934 and moved to Austin with the intention of attending graduate school at the University of Texas but instead accepted a teaching job when one came available. He worked for the Austin Independent School District (AISD) for 33 years in various capacities including social studies teacher, tennis coach, and real estate services director before retiring in 1977. He took time off from teaching while serving in the United States Marines during World War II and in the 1950s to work as a realtor. While employed as a teacher he led the movement to win Social Security benefits for Austin teachers.

Woodrow was married to Marguerite Woodul Sledge for 46 years before she died in 1991. In his personal life he was tennis enthusiast and won the Austin senior men's singles tennis championship on his 55th birthday. He was also an outspoken champion of the rights of the older Americans and a member of the Gray Panther organization. Woodrow was very involved in the campaign for extending the mandatory retirement age of Austin and AISD employees. He expressed his opinions of ageism and other topics in his column "Candid Commentary" in The Austin Citizen.

Woodrow and Marguerite had a daughter Diana Kate Sledge who was born on October 13, 1948. Diana followed in her parents' footsteps and was also an educator in central Texas.

Woodrow William died on January 13, 1996 after a long battle with cancer.

Scope and Contents

The majority of the collection documents Woodrow Sledge's professional and personal activities dating from 1937 to 1988. Insight into his personal life and history is provided by biographical materials, including an extensive genealogical chart tracing the family back to the 1700s, and the subject files on tennis and the Gray Panthers. His long career with the Austin public school system (and its successor the Austin Independent School District) is highlighted with materials relating to his employment as both a full time employee and as a contractor. In addition, there are documents that are related to his involvement in the movement to win Social Security benefits for teachers and his belief in the right for teachers to exercise their right to free speech on public issues. Materials relating to his vocal disappointment with the Austin Independent School District for not hiring his daughter Diana for a teaching position in the mid-1970s are also included.

The Diana Sledge series includes a limited amount of biographical materials dating from the mid-1970s including photographs, school transcripts, and a resume.


Collection is arranged into 2 series:
I. Woodrow William Sledge
II. Diana K. Sledge


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Sledge, Diana K.
Sledge, Marguerite Woodul.
Sledge, Woodrow William.
Austin Independent School District
Gray Panthers of Austin.
Austin (Tex.)
Austin Independent School District.
Old age--Texas--Austin.
Social studies--Study and teaching--Texas--Austin.

Separated Material

Texas Tennis Association Yearbooks dated 1979, 1980, and 1988 were deaccessioned.

A variety of books, including yearbooks were transferred to the General Collection upon registration. Full list available in the donor file.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by Woodrow Sledge's grandson.

Preferred Citation

Sledge Family Papers (AR.2007.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2007/011

Donation Date: 2007

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Woodrow William Sledge, 1937-1988

Personal, 1964-1980, undated
Box Folder
1 1 Biographical, 1966, 1980, undated
Location Rolled
qAR 01/006 Genealogical chart, 1987
Box Folder
1 2 Memberships, 1964-1978
Austin Independent School District, 1937-1984, undated
Box Folder
1 3 Austin High School graduates and teachers, 1937-1967, undated
4 Diana's employment, 1974-1976
5 Woodrow's employment, 1945, 1962-1981
6 Job rights - Davidson v. Sledge, 1971-1972
7 Real estate, 1964-1985, undated
8 Staffing, 1964-1970
Subject files, 1948-1988, undated
Box Folder
1 9 Aging, 1974-1988
10 Plat maps, 1951, undated
11 Tennis, 1948, 1972, 1988, undated

II. Diana K. Sledge, 1971-1976

Box Folder
1 12 Biographical, 1971-1976