Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont Public Library System

Finding Aid for the Margaret A. Chamberlain Papers, 1997-2011

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chamberlain, Margaret A., 1923-2011
Title: Margaret A. Chamberlain Papers
Dates: 1997-2011
Abstract: This collection contains the personal and legal papers, and artifacts of Margaret A. Chamberlain during her life in Beaumont, Texas.
Identification: AC-584
Extent: 2.75 cubic feet and 3 linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont Public Libraries,  695 Pearl St,  Beaumont, TX 77701

Biographical Note

Margaret Ann Payne Thomas DeLashmit Chamberlain was born on December 16, 1923 in Claremore, Oklahoma. She married Jess B. Thomas on January 18, 1940, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had three children, Paul M. Thomas, born December 16, 1944, Sherry Ellen Thomas Wetzbarger, born March 24, 1948, and Deborah Gayle Erin Thomas Williams, born November 24, 1949. She divorced Jess Thomas in 1953. She then married Floyd DeLashmit in Yuma, Arizona and then later divorced in California during the 1950s. They had no children. Lastly she had a common law marriage to Charles E. Chamberlain of Reno, Nevada, and then dissolved the relationship during the 1960s. This marriage also produced no children.

Margaret graduated from high school in Claremore, Oklahoma. Later in life, she went to Sawyers Business College in California, then to Glendale College of Law in Glendale, California, where she received her B.S.L. degree in 1972. Margaret then went to Van Norman/L.A. College of Law in Los Angeles, California where she received her J.D. degree in 1973. She worked for the following firms in California: Robert L. Meyer, Attorney at Law, Los Angeles; Caidin, Kalman, Hartman & Sampson, Beverly Hills; and McKiernan, Blatt & May, A Law Corporation, Los Angeles. Margaret then worked for the next twelve years as an independent legal consultant in Sherman Oaks, California. She also resided for two years in Alexandria, Virginia where she was active with the National Republican Party, the Senate and the White House. Margaret belonged to the following professional organizations: Nu Beta Epsilon, National Paralegal Association, the National Association of Female Executives, and the Southeast Texas Association of Legal Assistants.

After an earthquake destroyed her home in Northridge, California, in 1994, she moved to Beaumont, Texas, to live with her sister, Virginia Sue Reimers. In Beaumont, she retired from the legal profession and pursued her interests in antiques, collectible china, costume jewelry, and cosmetics. However, she still pursued her legal interests; most notable were her suits against International House of Pancakes (IHOP), Social Security, and General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC). The GMAC case went to the Supreme Court of the United States. For a brief time she was Sales Associate for Pre-Paid Legal Insurance. Margaret sang with the Volunteer Voices, which is a group that went to area retirement centers and sang songs from the 1920s through the 1950s. Also, she partnered with David Worsham to have travelling sales for the residents of the area retirement homes. In Beaumont she also lived with Josephine Clark, Ruby Bardsley, Emma Ellis, and then at the Hotel Beaumont. Margaret's last act of litigation was against the Hotel Beaumont for wrongful eviction. The law suit never materialized as the Hotel Beaumont went bankrupt. Her health declined and she was put in care of Harbor Hospice, and subsequently died on November 24, 2011, at Jefferson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Beaumont. Margaret's ashes are interred at Haven of Rest Cemetery, Beaumont, Texas.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains both personal and legal papers of Margaret A. Chamberlain during her life in Beaumont, Texas. Her personal papers contain letters and correspondence, photographs, political certificates and awards, artifacts, journals, address books, vital records and papers on Hurricanes Rita and Ike. The legal papers contain court cases and notes from the Supreme Court of Texas, United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas, United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.


Organization of Collection

The collection is contained in four boxes. In Box 1, the folders are arranged alphabetically. In Box 2, the folders are in chronological order. In Boxes 3 and 4, the items are laid in randomly. The collection also contains a large, oversized certificate and a wooden plaque.


Access Restrictions

Folders containing personal identification, medical and vital records are restricted. See the archivist for more details.


The Tyrrell Historical Library holds copyright for papers created by Margaret A. Chamberlain. Exceptions include published works, for which copyright is retained by the creators and/or publishers. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Chamberlain, Margaret A., 1923-2011
Republican National Committee
National Paralegal Association
National Association of Female Executives
Southeast Texas Association of Legal Assistants
General Motors Acceptance Corporation
International House of Pancakes
Courts--United States
United States. Supreme Court
Hurricane Rita, 2005
Hurricane Ike, 2008
Republican Party (U.S.)
Law schools--California
Lay Ministry--Texas--Beaumont
Photographs--Pictorial works--Margaret A. Chamberlain, family and friends
Hotels and motels--Texas--Beaumont
Beaumont (Jefferson county, Texas : inhabited place)
Birth certificates
Business letters
Greeting cards
Letters (correspondence)
Resumes (personnel records)

Related Material


Separated Material


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], [Folder], [Box], Margaret A. Chamberlain Papers, 1997-2011, AC-584, Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donated by David S. Worsham, 2013 July.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 September.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 September.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Margaret A. Chamberlain Papers, 1997-2011

Box Folder
1 1 Animal Welfare Societies
2 Beaumont Area Business Cards
3 MAC Business Cards
4 Capitol One
5 Car Papers
6 Certificates of Appreciation
7 Credit Reports
8 Funeral Arrangements
9 Greeting Cards A
10 Greeting Cards B
11 Address for Greeting Cards
12 Harbor Hospice
13 Hurricane Rita, 2005
14 Hurricane Gustav/Ike, 2008-2009
15 Letters and Correspondence
16 Library Cards and Papers
17 Margaret's Attic Papers
18 The Monogram Shop Papers
19 National Republican Committee
20 MAC Notes and Miscellaneous, 2000-2008
21 PAFCO Life Insurance and Burial
22 Papers of Jess B. Thomas
23 Photographs of Margaret Chamberlain
24 Photographs of Family and Friends
25 Pre-Paid Legal Service
26 Residence, 5960 Woodway Drive, 2004
27 Residence, 5735 Fleetwood Lane, 2004-2007
28 Residence, 4974 Highland Avenue, 2007-2008
29 Residence, Hotel Beaumont, 625 Orleans Street, Room 732, A, 2008-2011
30 Residence, Hotel Beaumont, 625 Orleans Street, Room 732, B, 2008-2011
31 Resumes
32 Sales, 2000-2001
33 St. Stephens Church
34 MAC Tax Returns, 1998-2007
35 Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit
36 Volunteer Voices
37 Wills and Property Dispositions
38 Wills of Virginia Sue Reimers
39 Death Certificate of Jess B. Thomas (Restricted)
40 Death Certificate of Rose Elva Yates (Restricted)
41 Health Identification Cards (Restricted)
42 Identification Cards (Restricted)
43 Medical Papers (Restricted)
44 Vital Records of Margaret Chamberlain (Restricted)
45 Voting Records (Restricted)
Box Folder
2 1 MAC Social Security/Packard Attorney Grievance, A, 1997-2009
2 MAC Social Security/Packard Attorney Grievance, B, 1997-2009
3 Margaret Chamberlain versus Juanita Alexander, Sandra Lewis and Erin Ward, 2000
4 MAC Bankruptcy, 2000-2001, 2006
5 Supreme Court of Texas, MAC versus General Motors Acceptance Corporation, 2002
6 Supreme Court of Texas, Petition for Writ of Mandamus, 2003
7 United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, MAC versus Court of Appeals, 2003
8 United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Brief of Appellant, 2004
9 Supreme Court of the United States, Appendix of Petitioner, 2004
10 United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Petition for Panel Rehearing, 2004
11 Supreme Court of the United States, Petition for Writ of Certiorari, 2004-2005
12 City of Beaumont Parking Violation, Dismissed, 2004
13 MAC, IHOP/Food Poisoning, A, 2004-2009
14 MAC, IHOP/Food Poisoning, B, 2004-2009
15 MAC, IHOP/Food Poisoning, C, 2004-2009
16 Public Storage, 2004-2009
17 City of Beaumont Mediation Hearing of Ambulance Service, 2006
18 Blue Cross Appeals, 2007-2009
19 Hotel Beaumont Hurricane Gustav/Ike, A, 2008-2009
20 Hotel Beaumont Hurricane Gustav/Ike, B, 2008-2009
21 MAC, Class Action suit for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Benefits, 2009
22 Humana Insurance Company Appeals, 2009
23 Humana Appeals for Ambulance, 2010-2011
Box Item
3 1 Holiday Portfolio from the Humane Society
2 Appointment Book, 2004
3 Appointment Book, 2003
4 Appointment Book, 2001
5 Diary from the Humane Society, 2008
6 Daily Planner, 2011-2012
7 Avon Address Book, 2008
8 Avon Diary, 2008
9 Hallmark Journal, 2009
10 Spiral bound, Butterfly and Flower Journal, 2005-2006
11 Pink Rose Address Book, 2008
12 Red Flower Album with Photographs and Cards from the Hotel Beaumont
13 Brown Weekly record, 1998
Box Item
4 1 Hotel Beaumont Lunch Passes
2 Plastic, Corded Identification Tag
3 Pre-Paid Legal Pin
4 NRCC Election Year 2006 Pin
5 Sunglasses
6 1996 Republican National Convention, Senatorial Inner Circle Pin
7 Ronald Wilson Reagan Eternal Flame of Freedom Medallion
8 Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom, Millennium Edition
9 1996 Republican Senatorial Inner Circle Pin with Blue Pouch
10 Mailing Label from E. Yates to V.S. Reimers with Cocktail Umbrella
11 Inner Circle Pin with Red Pouch, 1998
12 Round Leather Coaster, Legal Assistants Division, State Bar of Texas, 1998
13 Margaret Chamberlain Lay Chaplain Badge
14 Margaret Chamberlain Hotel Beaumont Resident Badge
15 Blue Avon Box containing a Key, "81" Pin, and a Pre-Paid Legal Pin
16 Small Desk Top Picture Frame with Chamberlain Crest
17 Republican Presidential Task Force 25th Anniversary Pin
18 Legal Assistants Day, October 23, Southeast Texas Association of Legal Assistants Pin
19 50th Anniversary of the Humane Society of the United States
20 RSVP Volunteers Six Inch Ruler
21 Two Personalized, Metal Business Card Holders