Austin History Center

John E. Shelton, Jr. Family Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Shelton, John E. Jr.
Title: John E. Shelton, Jr. Family Papers
Dates: 1898, 1907, 1914-1919, 1933-1964, 1976, undated
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, certificates, newspaper clippings, diplomas, printed material, notes, artifacts, and oversized material document the activities of the John E Shelton, Jr. Family.
Identification: AR.I.001
Quantity: .35 linear feet (1 document box, 1 oversized box)
Location: Archives Stacks, Oversized Archives, Artifacts
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library 810 Guadalupe PO BOX 2287 Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Thomas Jefferson Johnson (1805-1868) and his wife Catherine Hyde (1810-1883) arrived in Texas in 1844. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Jefferson attended school at Augusta College, Kentucky and then taught in Jefferson City, Missouri where he met Catherine Hyde. After moving to Texas, Jefferson taught in several places before founding the Johnson Institute in 1852 on Bear Creek sixteen miles southwest of Austin in Hays County.

Jefferson and Catherine Hyde had six children, John Hyde Johnson, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Johnson, Emily Catherine (Emma) Johnson, William Johnson, Benjamin Johnson, and Annie Johnson. Some of the Johnson children rose to prominence in their communities. John Hyde Johnson served in the Civil War, rising to the rank of general in the Confederate army. Upon returning he worked as a clerk in the State Legislature. Lizzie Johnson, perhaps the most infamous Johnson, pursued many interests. Besides teaching at the Johnson Institute, Lizzie worked as a bookkeeper for prominent cattlemen. She also wrote occasional magazine and newspaper articles, which she sold to Frank Leslie Magazine. It was in the cattle business that Lizzie made her mark. She registered her mark and brand in the Travis County Record book in 1871. Later she and her husband Hezekiah G. Williams traveled the Chisholm Trail together, although they ran their businesses separately. Throughout her life Lizzie was known to be a shrewd business woman, and at the time of her death in 1924, the total value of her holdings was $188,441.12.

The Shelton family links its lineage to the Johnsons through Emily Catherine (Emma) Johnson (1843-1922) who married William Henry Greer (1845-1935). Greer served in the Confederate Army under Terry's Texas Rangers. The couple had six children, Annie Lucille Greer, Ophelia Kate Greer, Willie Idela Greer, Henry Crawford Greer, Thomas Johnson Greer, Melvin Glen Greer and Charles Hyde Greer.

Willie Idela Greer (1877-1963) married John Elbert Shelton (1871-1928). After passing the Texas Bar exam without formal education, John Elbert Shelton practiced law. He served both as county attorney and district attorney of Travis County. The couple had six sons, John E. Shelton Jr., Polk Shelton, Emmett Shelton, Edgar Shelton, Earl Shelton, and Harold Shelton. Both Polk Shelton and Emmett Shelton practiced law in Austin.

John E. Shelton, Jr. married Kathryn Cavett Shelton on April 27, 1919. Both graduated from Austin High School in 1918. John E. Shelton Jr., served as Travis County Commissioner during the 1930s. Elected in 1934, and reelected in 1936 and 1938, he served with A.P. Chote, Warren Freund, and J.T. Parker. Additionally, John E. Shelton Jr. served in the military during WWII (1939-1945).

Sources: Adapted from Handbook of Texas Online


Scope and Contents

Correspondence, photographs, certificates, newspaper clippings, diplomas, printed material, notes, artifacts, and oversized material document the activities of the John E Shelton Jr. Family. The collection (1898, 1907, 1914-1919, 1933-1964, 1976, undated) is divided into three series, John E. Shelton Jr. (1898, 1907, 1919, 1933-1964, undated), Kathryn Cavett Shelton (1914-1918, 1945, undated), and Oversized Material (1916-1919, 1951). The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence (1918-1919, 1933-1951) within the John E. Shelton series from John E. Shelton Jr. to his wife Kathryn Cavett during World War II (1939-1945). The series also includes 1898 and 1907 ribbons commemorating Terry's Texas Rangers. The Kathryn Cavett Shelton series features a 1918 "school memory" scrapbook from her time as a student at Austin High School. Oversized Material (1916-1919, 1951) consist of a certificate for Willie Idela Greer Shelton from the Daughters of the Confederacy, a Texas National Guard Certificate, a Criminal District Attorney Election certificate for John E. Shelton and an Austin High School Diploma for John E. Shelton, Jr.


Arranged into three series:
I. John E. Shelton Jr.
II. Kathryn Cavett Shelton
III. Oversized Material

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Greer, Emily Catherine Johnson, circa 1840s-1922.
Greer, William Henry, 1845-1935.
Johnson, Catherine Hyde, 1810-1883.
Johnson, Thomas Jefferson, 1805-1868.
Shelton, John Elbert, 1871-1928.
Shelton, Kathryn Cavett.
Shelton, Willie Idela Greer, 1876-1963.
Shelton, Jr., John Elbert.
Williams, Elizabeth, 1843-1924.
Family Names:
Shelton family.
Austin (Tex.).
Hays County (Tex.).
Johnson Institute (Hays County, Tex.).
World War II, 1939-1945.
Document Types:
Newspaper Clippings.

Related Material

AF Biography Files

  • Shelton, Emmett Sr. 1905
  • Shelton, John Elbert, 1871-1928
  • Shelton, Jack C.
  • DeBehnke, Mary Louise
  • Granberry, Howard
  • Limberg, Emilie
  • Williams, Lizzie (Johnson)

AF Subject Files

  • AF-Private Schools - Johnson Institute (also Camp Friday Mountain) P7200 (17)
  • AF-Texas-Rangers (1950-1959) T4400
  • AF-Travis County Commissioners Court T8200

Archives and Manuscripts

  • AR.1992.036 - Emmett Shelton Johnson Family Papers

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material donated by John E. Shelton, Jr.

Preferred Citation

John E. Shelton, Jr. Family Papers (AR.I.001). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1970/023

Donation Date: 3/19/70

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing by Tim Wilder, 1991. Final Processing and Encoding by Wendy Thompson, March, 2013. Revisions by Susan Rittereiser March, 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. John E. Shelton, Jr., 1907, 1919, 1933-1964, undated

Box Folder
1 1 Personal Correspondence from John E. Shelton, Jr., 1942-1946
2 Personal Correspondence to John E. Shelton, Jr., 1919, 1933, 1945-1951
3 Printed Material, 1933, 1952, undated
4 Greeting Cards, 1961-1964, undated
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault Shelf Photographs and postcards, undated
Location BoxItem
Artifacts 020/020 and 020/026 Terry's Texas Rangers Annual Reunion ribbons, 1898, 1907

II. Kathryn Cavett Shelton, 1914-1918, 1945, undated

Box Folder
1 5 Correspondence to Kathryn Cavett Shelton, 1918, 1945, undated
6 School Memory Scrapbook, 1918
7 Austin Public School Diploma, 1914

III. Oversized Material, 1916-1919, 1951

Location BoxItem
qAR 03/19 UDC Certificate for Willie Idela Greer Shelton, 1951
03/20 Texas National Guard Certificate for John E. Shelton, 1919
03/21 Certification of Election of Criminal District Attorney to John E. Shelton, 1916
03/22 Austin High School Diploma for John E. Shelton, Jr., 1918