University of Texas Arlington

Ruby Mixon Papers:

A Guide

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Mixon, Ruby.
Title: Ruby Mixon Papers
Dates: 1822-1970
Abstract: Ruby Mixon researched and authored a biography of William Barret Travis in 1930. Her meticulous and exhaustive research notes concerning Travis and other Texas revolutionaries comprise the bulk of the Ruby Mixon Papers.
Identification: GA76-81
Extent: 6 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Biographical Note

Native Texan, Ruby Mixon, wrote a biography of William Barret Travis for her masters thesis under the tutelage of noted Texas historians, Walter Prescott Webb and Eugene C. Barker. Written in 1930, her work has been heralded as "some of the finest writing on Travis ever to appear." Although she never published her paper, scholars continually turn to her thesis for documentation and interpretation. Mixon set the style for all subsequent writing on Travis with her treatment of the Alamo hero. Her work contained "the greatest contribution in one place of most extant Travis materials" and those records are now housed in the Special Collection Division of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

Meticulous and thorough in her investigations, Ruby Mixon maintained and continually added to her original research for over thirty years. A school teacher from Fort Worth, Mixon was born in Clifton, Texas, January 5, 1894. Graduating from Clifton High School in 1911, she began teaching in rural Bosque county schools. In 1915 she enrolled at the University of Texas [at Austin] and for the next several years intermittently attended the University and taught history at various small schools, including her own high school in Clifton. In 1920 she moved to Fort Worth and taught at several local schools while continuing her studies at the University. She received her B.A. in 1928 and her M.A. in 1930. Mixon taught history at Fort Worth Central High School, currently named Pascal High School, prior to 1930. At that time Mixon moved to Jennings Avenue Junior High School, now called Earnest Parker Middle School, and taught until the fall of 1933. Returning to Pascal High School, she continued to teach history until she retired in 1964.

Historical research was only one of Mixon's varied interests. She pursued her own family genealogy as well as that of William Barret Travis. Since both the Mixon and the Travis families were originally from South Carolina, Mixon searched for her family's documents along with those of the Travis clan. Another interest of the Fort Worth school teacher was collecting antiques and her home was reported to be filled with some excellent pieces from the late 1800's. Mixon, an advocate of the modernization of the state educational program, ran unsuccessfully for State Representative in 1947. Mixon was also active in the American Association of University Women and the Fort Worth Woman's Club and gave many hours of volunteer service to projects of both organizations before her death in December 1974.


  • McDonald, Archie P. "Travis: One Chief Rol'd Among the Best,"The Kathryn Stoner O'Conner Lectures on Texas History (Victoria, Texas: Victoria College Press, 1986), p. 4.

Scope and Content

The Ruby Mixon Papers contain the research notes, papers, and document transcriptions produced by the Fort Worth teacher for her biography of William Barret Travis. The majority of the papers encompass the colonial and revolutionary periods in Texas history, 1822 to 1835.

The collection is divided into six series: Ruby Mixon Correspondence, Ruby Mixon Manuscripts and Publications, William Barret Travis Documents, Ruby Mixon Research Notes from institutions, Photographs, Newspaper Clippings and Music, and finally, Microfilm and Index Cards. The first series, Ruby Mixon Correspondence, contains her correspondence and is arranged chronologically. Most of the letters deal with her attempts to locate information regarding Travis. The third series, William Barret Travis Documents, includes typescript copies of known Travis correspondence, copies of estate and probate documents, and the history and title abstract of the Travis ancestral home in South Carolina together with the family genealogy.

The Ruby Mixon research notes, the third series of the collection, and the fourth series, research from miscellaneous sources, comprise the bulk of the papers. Mixon was meticulous in her investigations and made hand written transcriptions of entire manuscripts and documents. In most instances, she typed the finished notes and marked them with the appropriate source of the data. She segregated her notes by repository and maintained her control of the research in this manner. Consequently, the research records, are arranged alphabetically by repository and collection. Included in the papers are documents written by notable Texas revolutionaries such as Sam Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Stephen F. Austin, and David G. Burnet. Since Travis was an officer in the empresario grant held jointly by Stephen F. Austin and Samuel May Williams, a large number of that colony's documents and correspondence are transcribed.

Along with manuscript sources, Mixon transcribed numerous excerpts regarding revolutionary activities from the leading newspapers of the time, which constitute the fifth series. These items constitute a large portion of the fourth series of the collection. The Telegraph and Texas Register,The New Orleans Picayune and The Clarksville Northern Standard are several of the newspapers represented. Also in this fifth series are photographs, newspaper clippings, and song sheets. The sixth series includes 35mm microfilm, thesis index cards and a list of titles in the Ruby Mixon Library.

The collection is located in six manuscript boxes and occupies approximately two and a half shelf feet. In addition, the Special Collections Division of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries also owns a printed copy of Mixon's thesis, William Barret Travis: His Life and Letters.


Materials are organized in 33 folders by document type and divided into 7 series.
Series I. Ruby Mixon Correspondence (1 folder)
Series II. Ruby Mixon Manuscripts (8 folders)
Series III. William Barret Travis Documents (4 folders)
Series IV. Ruby Mixon Research Notes (11 folders)
Series V. Photographs, Newspapers, Maps and Music (7 folders)
Series VI. Microfilm and Index Cards (2 folders)



Open for research.

Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Mixon, Ruby, 1894-1974--Archives.
Travis, William Barret, 1809-1836--Archives.
Travis family--Archives.
Alamo (San Antonio, Tex.)--Seige, 1836--History--Sources.
Texas--History--To 1846--Sources.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection

Administrative Information


Ruby Mixon Papers, GA76-81, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.


This collection was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins Garrett of Fort Worth, Texas in 1975.

Administrative Information


The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" projects, 2014-2015.

Container List

Ruby Mixon Correspondence (1 folder)

Box Folder
GA76 1 Correspondence, 1939-1970
25 pages
Correspondence from friends and associates, including Samuel E. Asberry, Mary L. Atkins, Julia Moore, Duncan Wilder, Samuel Taylor, "Charleis," as well as Travis heirs Mary Travis, Robert J. Travis and William L. Travis.

Ruby Mixon Manuscripts and Publications (8 folders)

Box Folder
GA76 2 Masters thesis
1 item
Typescript of thesis.
3 Monograph - Travis Biography
1 item
Preliminary typescript with notes on genealogy of Travis/Travers family from England, South Carolina and Alabama together with a brief description of the "family tree" and Travis ancestors.
4-7 Monographs
12 items
Monographs include "Robert W. Williamson,""Texas History Outline,""Three-Legged Willie," and several miscellaneous monographs by other authors as well as fragments of Mixon's works in progress.
8 Preliminary Research Bibliography
20 pages
Typescript copy of Mixon's beginning bibliography.
9 Ruby Mixon Publications
1 pamphlet
Article "William Barret Travis" from unknown journal.

William Barret Travis Records (4 folders)

Box Folder
GA77 1 Correspondence, 1829-1835
42 pages
Typescript copies of letters to David G. Burnet, Stephen F. Austin as well as his famous "To The People of Texas and All Americans in the world." Included are copies of documents signed by Travis while he was the land grant agent for the Austin-Williams colony. Multiple copies.
2 Estate Papers
48 pages
Typescript copies of records concerning the probate of the Travis Last Will and Testament and law suits involving land disputes of the heirs.
3 "Travis House"
13 pages
Title search and historical notes on the 1782 ancestral home in Williamsburg, Virginia including a sketch of the lot and house.
4 Genealogy
1 item
Typescript copy of Mixon research on Travis/Travers family.

Ruby Mixon Research Notes (11 folders)

Box Folder
GA78 1-3 Rosenberg Library Typescript Notes
59 itmes
Transcriptions and excerpts from the James Kerr Papers, James Morgan Papers and extensive copies from the Samuel May Williams Collection. In addition there are book notes from authors R. L. Biesel, Frank Brown, William Ranson Hogan, John J. Linn and Noah Smithwick.
4-6 University of Texas Archives [Austin]
47 items
Transcriptions and excerpts from Alcalde Papers 1833-1837, Stephen F. Austin Papers 1765-1899, Don Carlos Barrett Papers 1827-1838, Dr. J. A. Bernerdis Journal, Bexar Archives 1717-1836, Asa Brigham Papers 1832-1837, John Sowers Brooks Letters 1834-1856, M. H. Bowers Papers 1853-1895, Moses Austin Bryan Papers 1820-1895, David G. Burnet Papers 1798-1899, [George C.] Carttar Scrap Books, No. 33 1860-1900, David Crockett Papers 1828-1836, James Dellet Papers 1825-1863, Alexander Dienst Papers 1826-1900, Christian Duerr Diary 1839-1844, John S. Ford Papers 1836-1892, Benjamin C. Franklin Papers 1836, William G. Hall Papers [no dates], Edward Hanrick Papers 1831-1870, Sam Houston Correspondence 1836-1861, Sam Houston unpublished correspondence [no dates], James H. Kuykendall Papers 1822-1897, M. B. Lamar Papers 1825-1846, Ira R. Lewis Papers 1813-1850, Gideon Lincecum Case Book & Diary 1829-1918, Adele Lubbock Briscoe Looscan Papers 1828-1924, Jose Antonio Menchacha Reminiscences [no dates], James Nicholson Family Papers 1825-1874, and the James F. Perry Papers [no dates], Henry Smith Papers 1822-46, Franklin J. Starr Papers 1830-1850, Prince Solms-Braunfels [no dates], and Amasa Turner Papers [no dates].
Box Folder
GA79 1 University of Texas Archives [Austin]
2 items
Research notes from books in the Archives by authors, H.P.N. Gammel, Duncan Robinson and Homer S. Thrall.
2 State of Texas Archives - Austin
1 item
Typescript copies of Army Papers for the Republic of Texas.
3 Private Collections
5 items
Typescript copies of Sam Houston unpublished letters, typescript copy of "Sketches of Early Texians," by J. H. Kuykendall and bound typescript copy of "Diary of a Soldier from Albany, New York, January 1, - April 6, 1863."
4 Southeastern United States Miscellaneous Collections
257 pages
Research notes taken from the Dellet Papers and unorganized handwritten notes taken on a trip to Alabama, South Carolina, Williamsburg and Washington. Notes are from the Alabama Historical Society, Alabama and South Carolina local history associations, county records and a large number of items from the Library of Congress.
5 Reprints and Pamphlets
14 items
Various journal articles and some pamphlets published by institutions regarding their collections and activities.

Photographs, Newspapers, Maps and Music (7 folders)

Box Folder
GA80 1 Photographs, negatives, prints and photostatic copies
60 items
Negatives and prints of the pictures contained in the thesis. There are several photographs and negatives of Travis and two of Ben Milam.
2 Prints of Houses
4 prints
12″ × 14″ prints of a meeting house and the home in Alabama believed to belong to the Travis family.
3 Maps
3 maps
Three copies of Map of Texas circa 1840.
4 Newspaper Clippings
14 items
Articles from The Saluda Standard dated August 14, 1941 that included a picture and mention of the Travis family homestead. Multiple copies.
5-6 Newspaper excerpts
9 items
Typescript copies dated 1822-1836 of excerpts and complete articles from the Arkansas Advocate, Arkansas Gazette, The Clarksville Northern Standard, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans), National Intelligencer, New Orleans Bee, Santa Anna News (Coleman), Telegraph and Texas Register (both San Felipe de Austin and Houston editions), Texas Gazette, and Texas Republican.
7 Sheet Music
6 items
Sheet music with unknown dates, probably ca. 1850's and a photostatic copy of sheet from Mexican buglers "call book" that includes the "Duello," the battle call that signaled "no quarter" would be given the enemy.

Microfilm and Index Cards (2 folders)

Box Folder
GA81 1 Microfilm
4 rolls
Four rolls of 35mm microfilm containing selected newspaper reproductions from the Library of Congress dated 1822-1839. Articles report the struggle for independence in Texas. Also included are copies of rare books and song sheets.
2 Index Cards
2 items
One box 3-1/4″ × 5-1/4″ × 9″ of 3″×5″ file cards with index of thesis. Includes alphabetical index plus index for businesses and women. Also a pack of 4″ × 6″ cards containing miscellaneous notes by Mixon.