Austin History Center

O.H. And Thelma Elliott Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Elliott, Thelma Mitchell
Creator: Elliott, Ora Herman "O. H."
Title: O.H. and Thelma Elliott Papers
Dates: 1925-2007
Abstract: These papers contain legal documents, clippings, correspondence, printed material, and photographs documenting the Elliott family's professional and political work, as well as their leadership in the Austin African American community.
Identification: AR.2007.017
Quantity: 1 linear foot (2 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks, Artifacts, qAR
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX, 78768

Biographical Note

Ora Herman "O. H." Elliott (1906-1984) and Thelma Mitchell Elliott (1912-1998), both leaders in the African American community, were involved in Texas and national politics as well as community and civic organizations in Austin. They wed in 1939 and had two daughters, Ora Anne (b. 1945), who was active in politics throughout her life, and Thelma Karen (b. 1958).

O. H. Elliott was born in Arkansas and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Business in 1933 before pursuing a career in academia, as Business Manager and Instructor at Samuel Huston College in Austin (1935-1942, 1945-1952), as Business Manager at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia (1942-1945), and also as Chief Accountant and Associate Professor (1952-1956) when Samuel Huston College later become Huston-Tillotson College. O. H. Elliott was active in the Democratic Party, attending national conferences and events and supporting Texas politicians J.J. Pickle and Ben Barnes, as well as Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 Presidential campaign. In Austin, O. H. Elliott was a member of the Parks and Recreation Board, a Chairman of the Harry Lot Division of Boy Scouts of America, Grand Secretary of the Most Worshipful St. Joseph Grand Lodge, and Chairman of the Trustee Board of the Wesley United Methodist Church. He was a founding member of the Capital City Lions Club and the Capital City Argus, a local weekly newspaper serving the African-American community.

Thelma Mitchell Elliott was born in San Antonio Texas and was one of the first African-Americans to complete a Master's degree in Social Work at the University of Texas-Austin (1954). Thelma Elliott held various administrative positions for government and community groups including Travis County Juvenile Court, Project ENABLE, Austin-Travis County Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center, Texas Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Continuing Education division of the Texas Department of Human Services, from which she retired. As the Director of Project ENABLE, Elliott provided assistance to parents' organizations in poverty areas. She was active in the St. James Episcopal Church.

Scope and Contents

The O.H. and Thelma Elliott Papers (1925-2007) contain legal documents, clippings, correspondence, printed material, and photographs documenting the family's professional and political work, as well as their leadership in the Austin African American community. Whereas Thelma Elliott's papers illuminate her career in social work, O. H. Elliott's extensive political involvement and community service is not proportionately revealed in his records. Approximately one-fourth of O.H. Elliott's papers consist of memorials of close friends and memorabilia generated from his attendance to high-profile political events. His correspondence offers insight into relationships with friends and colleagues. Plaques and certificates contained in both O. H. Elliott's and Thelma Elliott's series establish their esteemed status in the community, while numerous photographs demonstrate their political ties and participation in municipal affairs. The series for eldest daughter Ora Anne, while sparse, does offer evidence of her involvement in politics, but very little information is available regarding the activities of Thelma Karen.


The collection is arranged into five series:
I. O.H. Elliott
  • a. Personal
  • b. Education
  • c. Professional
  • d. Organizations
  • e. Political
  • f. Honors
  • g. Photographs
II. Thelma Elliott
  • a. Personal
  • b. Education
  • c. Professional
  • d. Organizations
  • e. Political
  • f. Honors
  • g. Photographs
III. O.H. and Thelma Elliott
IV. Thelma Karen Elliott
V. Ora Anne Elliott


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Elliott, Ora Herman "O.H.", 1906-1984
Elliott, Thelma Mitchell, 1912-1998
State of Texas Democratic Executive Committee
Project ENABLE
Huston-Tillotson College
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
University of Kansas
Austin (Tex.)
Air pilots, Military--United States--History.
Child welfare--Texas--Austin.
World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.
Document Types:
printed material
legal documents

Related Material

Austin Files:

  • AF-Huston-Tillotson College H4800
  • AF-Political Parties - Democratic Party (General and Texas Democratic Party) P5300 (5)
  • AF-Biographical File-Houston, Ora Elliott

Manuscript Collections:

  • AR.2000.019 Ora Elliott Houston School Board Campaign Scrapbook

Separated Material

General Collection:

  • Focus 84: Black Male Excellence. Jack and Jill of America, Inc. - Austin Chapter, 1984
  • "A Century of Service - A Call for Renewal" Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 42nd Annual District Convention bulletin, 2006
  • First Original L.C. Anderson Alumni Association All-School Reunion, L.C. Anderson Alumni Association, 1991

Administrative Information

Custodial History

These records were assembled by O.H. and Thelma Elliott. The materials were donated to the Austin History Center in 2007 by their daughter, Ora Elliott.

Preferred Citation

O.H. and Thelma Elliott Papers (1925-2007). AR.2007.017. Austin, TX: Austin History Center.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1999/068

Donation Date: August 29, 2007

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By/Date: Chandler Christoffel and Callie Holmes/November 2007

Final Processing and Finding Aid By/Date: Catherine Causier and Susan Rittereiser/November 2008

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Ora Herman(O. H.) Elliott, 1925-2007

Personal, 1926-2006
Box Folder
1 1 Biographical Sketch, 1971
2 State of Arkansas Birth Certificate, 1942
4 Clipping, 1975
5 Memorials, Karl Downs, 1968
6 Memorials, O.H. Elliott, 1984
7 Memorials, Everett Humbles Givens, 1962, 1977
8 Memorials, Kenneth R. Lamkin, 1967
9 Memorials, Virgil C. Lott, 1968
10 Memorials, Milton C. Tears, 1968
Professional, 1949-1966
Box Folder
1 11 Huston-Tillotson College, Correspondence, 1950, 1966
11 Huston-Tillotson College, Appointment Contract, 1951
11 Huston-Tillotson College, Clipping, 1963, 1965
11 Huston-Tillotson College, Newsletter, 1952,
11 Huston-Tillotson College, Homecoming Souvenir Program, 1949,
12 Capital City Argus, Clipping, 1962
12 Capital City Argus Press Card, 1968
Civic and Political Activities, 1928-2006
Box Folder
1 13 Alpha Pi Alpha, Inc. , 1928, 1943-1950, 2006
14 City of Austin Parks and Recreations Board, Clippings, 1962-1963
15 Coordinating Board of Texas College and University System, Clipping, 1972
16 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, The Crisis, 1971
17 University of Kansas Alumni Association Newsletters, 1963, 1968
18 Lyndon B. Johnson, Campaign Dinner Ticket, 1960
18 Lyndon B. Johnson, Barbeque at L.B.J. Ranch Invitation, 1964
18 Lyndon B. Johnson, Presidential Inauguration Memorabilia, 1965
18 Lyndon B. Johnson, State of the Union Address, 1960
19 John F. Kennedy, Inauguration Invitation, 1961
19 John F. Kennedy, Memorial Packet, 1964
20 J.J. Pickle, 1967-1968
21 Jimmy Carter, Presidential Inauguration Invitation, 1977
22 White House Conference - "To Fulfill These Rights", 1966
23 Correspondence, 1968
24 Texas Gubernatorial Inauguration, 1965
25 State of Texas Democratic Executive Committee, Texas Welcome Dinner, 1965
25 State of Texas Democratic Executive Committee, Democratic Victory Dinner, 1965
26 Texas Political Involvement, Correspondence, 1972
27 Precinct Chairman 128 Campaign Material (O.H. Elliott), undated
Awards and Degrees, 1925-1977
Box Folder
2 1 Huston-Tillotson College Honorary Degree, 1979
2 Housing Authority Commissioner, 1969-1971
2 Austin City Council Distinguished Service, undated
2 Austin Community College, 1976
2 Lions Club International, Capital City Lions, Secretary, 1967-1968
2 Blackshear School and Community Service Award, 1966
2 Wesley United Methodist Church, 1977
3 Boy Scouts of America, Top Hand Membership, 1957
3 Boy Scouts of America, Certification of Appreciation, 1958
3 Boy Scouts of America, Guardian of Scouting, 1968
3 Boy Scouts of America, Century Member, Capital Area Council, 1976-1977
4 Alpha Pi Alpha - 25 Years Membership, 1960
Box Folder
qAR 013/088 Oklahoma Manual Training High School diploma, 1926
013/093 Oklahoma High School Honor Society certificate, 1926
013/085 University of Kansas, Bachelor of Science, Business Degree, 1933
013/086 Coordinating Board of Texas College and University System Service Resolution, 1977
Box Folder
2 5 Freemasons, Clipping, 1963
6 Photographs, 1960-1968, undated

II. Thelma Mitchell Elliott, 1929-1988

Personal, 1929-1988
Box Folder
2 7 Birth Certificates, 1943, 1975
8 Correspondence, 1951
9 Memorials, Joyce Yerwood Carwin, M.D., 1987
9 Memorials, Thelma Elliott, 1998
10 Clippings, 1981, undated
11 Event Programs, 1988, 1990
Education, 1929-1955
Box Folder
2 12 University of Texas, Correspondence, 1954
12 University of Texas, Grade Reports and Transcripts, 1952-1954
13 Texas State Teacher Certification, 1955
Box Folder
qAR 013/087 High School diploma, 1929
013/094 University of Texas, Masters in Social Work diploma, 1954
013/092 Project ENABLE Training certificate, undated
013/091 Academy of Certified Social Workers Certificate, undated
Professional, 1966-1967, undated
Box Folder
2 14 Project ENABLE, Handwritten Notes, 1967, undated
14 Project ENABLE, Clippings, 1966-1967, undated
15 Office of Economic Opportunity, 1966
16 Austin-Travis Co. Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center, undated
17 Texas Department of Welfare, Drawing, undated
30 Project ENABLE Photographs, 1966-1967, undated
31 Project ENABLE Photocopies, 1966-1967, undated
32 Project ENABLE Clippings, 1966-1967, undated
Organizations, 1980
Box Folder
2 18 Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Program, 1980
Honors and Awards, 1959-1977, undated
Box Folder
2 19 The Links, Inc., undated
19 Z Phi Beta Award Community, 1959
Photographs, 1964, 1974
Box Folder
2 20 Photographs, 1964, 1974

III. O.H. and Thelma Elliott, 1939-1972

Box Folder
2 21 Personal, Correspondence, 1951
22 Presidential Election Trip Tickets, 1964
22 Political Involvement, Programs, 1971-1972
Location BoxItem
Artifacts 108/001 "Johnson for President" oversized political button, undated
Box Folder
2 23 Photographs, 1963, undated
Box Folder
qAR 012/090 Marriage License, 1939

IV. Ora Anne Elliott, 1959-2007

Box Folder
2 24 Clippings, 1959-1971
25 L.C. Anderson Alumni Association, Program, 1991
26 Honors, Plaques, 2007, undated
27 Stephen Houston, Clipping, 1984
27 Stephen Houston, Program, 1984
28 Photographs, 1968, 2004

V. Thelma Karen Elliott, 1967

Box Folder
2 29 Clippings, 1967