University of Texas Arlington

Arista Joyner Papers:

A Guide

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Joyner, Arista.
Title: Arista Joyner Papers
Dates: 1836-1986
Abstract: Arista Joyner was an artist, teacher, poet, historian, and journalist in Arlington, Texas from 1937-1989. The Arista Joyner Papers document her research on the history of Arlington, Texas for her numerous columns and publications.
Identification: GA145-149
Extent: 6 boxes (2.4 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Historical Note

Crystal Arista Arnold Joyner was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1911. She was a graduate of Gulf Park College, Gulfport, Mississippi; the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri; the University of South Dakota; and Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas. She came to Arlington in 1937 from Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, Howard, to teach Art at North Texas Agricultural College (NTAC). Arista Joyner was involved in the rapidly growing community for more than fifty years as artist, teacher, poet, historian, and journalist in addition to her roles as wife and mother.

Joyner taught Art at NTAC from 1937-1941 and 1945-1946, and also served as acting chair of the department from 1940-1941, while her husband was on scholarship leave. Due to a Texas nepotism law passed after World War II, she was forced to leave NTAC. By then the family had grown to include two sons, Sajon, born in 1939, and David, born in 1943. From 1955-1956, she taught at Carter Riverside High School in Fort Worth, Texas. In Fall 1956, she moved to a position at Arlington High School, where she initiated and developed the Art curricula for the secondary level in Arlington public schools. Joyner went on, in 1968, to establish the Art Department and teach at Tarrant County Junior College in Fort Worth. She retired as Professor Emeritus in 1972. Even though Joyner had retired from teaching, she continued to write, paint, and participate in community activities.

During the early 1950s, Joyner began a historical series and other special features as women's editor for the Arlington Journal. While doing feature stories with Arlington pioneers, she became interested in the city's history and wrote a series which appeared in the Arlington Journal from 1952-1955. The expanded historical material was published in 1976 as Arlington: Birthplace of the Metroplex, 1838-1910, in time to celebrate the city's centennial and the nation's bicentennial. She provided several illustrations for the book. That same year she compiled and published a booklet, Tour, Historical Sites in Relation to Arlington. In 1980, Joyner assembled and published a collection of her poetry in two small books which she also illustrated, Arista I and Arista II. She co-authored a second historical book, Arlington, A Pictorial History, in 1982 with Rene Harris.

Howard Joyner founded the Arlington Art Association in 1952 and from its beginning Arista Joyner was an officer and board member. Her art work was actively exhibited in juried, one man, invitational, and faculty exhibitions, primarily from the 1930's through the late 1970's. The Joyners shared a dream come true in 1988 with the establishment of the Arlington Art Museum. On January 17, 1989, the Museum featured more than 100 favorite paintings and drawings completed by the Joyners in the Eclectic Exhibition of Howard and Arista Joyner. Arista Joyner died September 2, 1989.

Scope and Contents

The collection, in six manuscript boxes, is composed primarily of research materials collected by Arista Joyner for use in compiling her Arlington Journal columns as woman's editor, 1951-1954, and for her publications on the history of Arlington and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, Texas. Included are correspondence, newspaper clippings, photocopies of original documents, maps, photographs, oral history interviews, biographies, genealogies, tour guides, booklets, newsletters, brochures, articles, notes, and typescripts of manuscripts dating from 1836-1986. Working notes for her historical works are expressed in the format of a time line of Arlington area history and customs, as she prepared it, affixed to unprinted newsprint. Photocopies and original sketches of illustrations by Joyner which were used in her publications are also included.

The collection is organized in three series, starting with a file of personal biographical data. The first series is the Historical Organizations Files, which consist of Joyner's correspondence files with the Arlington Historical Society, the Bicentennial/Centennial Committee, the Tarrant County Historical Commission, and the Texas Historical Commission. The second series is the Publications Files, which consist of a variety of materials related to the publication of Arlington: Birthplace of the Metroplex, 1838-1910, such as clippings, copyright forms, a bibliography, illustrations, indexes, and page layouts. Only a few items relate to her other publications, Arlington, A Pictorial History, and Tour, Historical Sites in Relation to Arlington. Also included are some clippings of her history column, but no original manuscripts related to her work at the Arlington Journal. The last series is the Research Files, which were arranged in alphabetical order by subjects assigned by Joyner. The titles and organization of these files were revised somewhat during processing. The research files comprise the bulk of the collection and contain the widest variety of materials as noted above. Oral histories include interviews by Joyner with Bess Marney, Loraine Raines, Ella V. Day Vincent, and Tressie Watson, women descended from early Arlington pioneer families. These oral histories have not been transcribed.

The Joyner Papers reflect the social customs, family histories, and commercial development of Arlington during the formative part of its history. Documentation concerning local Indian settlements and life along Village and Rush Creeks prior to and during the Anglo encroachment is in the files. Information on pioneers, such as James D. Cooper, John B. Denton, James W. Ditto, Middleton Tate Johnson, Patrick A. Watson, and many others, is also included.


Series I. Historical Organizations Files (10 folders)
Series II. Publications Files (12 folders)
Series III. Research Files (101 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.
Joyner, Arista--Archives.
Women journalists--Texas--Arlington--Archives.
Women historians--Texas--Arlington--Archives.
Indians of North America--Texas--Tarrant County--History--Sources.
Indians of North America--Texas--Tarrant County--History--Sources.
Arlington (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Arlington (Tex.)--Centennial celebrations, etc.
Alternate Titles
Fielder Museum Collection

Separated Material

Several oversize maps were removed from the research files and placed in the Cartographic History Library. Joyner's Arlington time line is in Oversize Box 204. A copy of Arlington, Texas…Youngest City-Oldest History by Carol Werdman, 1969, was removed from the collection and cataloged. The Wimberley Mill, v.2, no. 4 (April, 1967), was added to the Garrett Newspaper Collection.

Administrative Information


Arista Joyner Papers, GA145-149, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.


The Arista Joyner Papers were donated to the Special Collections Division of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries by Arista Joyner in November, 1987. They were received and accessioned by Marcelle Hull, Administrative Assistant, and acknowledged by Dr. Gerald Saxon, Assistant Director for Special Collections. Accessioned as number 87-47 .

Processing Information

Newspaper clippings, which include photographs, were retained due to the poor quality of the photocopy. All other clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper and the original clippings were discarded.

Administrative Information

Grant Support

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" project, 2014-2015.

Container List

Series I. Historical Organizations Files (10 folders)

Box Folder
GA145 1 Arista Joyner
Biographical and personal data.
2 Arlington Historical Society 1880, 1966-1976.
Letters, clippings, articles, forms, speech, will. Topics include Treaty of Bird's Fort, the Watson cabin, the Middleton Tate Johnson Cemetery, copy of will of Patrick A. Watson, and the historical society.
3 Bicentennial/Centennial Committee 1974-1976.
Letters, brochure, clippings, project lists, plans. Regarding celebration plans in Arlington.
4 Tarrant County Historical Commission 1969-1984.
Correspondence, newsclippings, application forms. Concerns application for historical marker at Marrow Bone Springs and controversy over specific historical details.
5 Tarrant County Historical Commission 1980-1981.
6 Texas Historical Commission 1939-1981.
Correspondence, nomination form, historical essays, article reprints, member list, catalog, marker application, newsletter. Also concerns application for historical marker at Marrow Bone Springs and controversy over specific historical details.

Publications Files (12 folders)

Box Folder
GA145 7 Arlington, a Pictorial History 1982.
8 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1892-1976.
Bibliography. Letter, form guide, various versions of bibliography, and photocopies of title pages.
9 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1976-1980.
Clippings. Reviews of book.
10 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1968-1976.
Copyright registration. Circulars, forms, certificate, booklets, and clipping.
11-12 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1971-ca.1976.
Correspondence. Correspondence with publishers, notes to editors, draft of manuscript. Early title: Triangle on the Trinity.
13 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1976.
Errata. First edition.
14 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1976.
Financial statement. Letter and financial documents.
15 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1976.
Illustrations. Sketches and dra wings used. See also: Research Files, Pictorial Items.
16 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1976.
Indexes. Name index and headright patents.
17 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex n.d.
Outline and plan. Research outlines and form examples.
18 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1976.
Page layout. Letter, samples, plans for layout.
19 Arlington, Texas: Birthplace of the Metroplex 1843. 1982.
Second edition. Correspondence, typescripts of suggested changes, photocopies of historical treaties and a letter, revised bibliography.
20 History of Arlington 1955.
Newspaper column Clippings. See also: Time Line.
21 History of Arlington 1969-1970.
Newspaper column Plagiarism. Clippings.
22 Tour, Historical Sites in Relation to Arlington 1976-1979.
Letter, drafts second edition, booklets, financial documents.

Research Files (101 folders)

Box Folder
GA146 1 Arlington Time Line (1838-1910) ca.1955-1976
Manuscripts, clippings, photocopied articles, and other text pasted to unprinted newsprint; chronological list of events.
2 Arnold, Ripley A. (Major) 1964-1976.
Letter, clippings, historical notes.
3 Artifacts and Buried Treasure 1958-1967.
Letter, clippings.
4 Banks undated
Clippings, historical notes.
5 Battle of Village Creek 1949-1976.
Clipping, map, essay by Mary Daggett Lake.
6 Beeman, James J. 1971.
Biographical and genealogical information excerpted from a work on the William Thatcher Baker Family by Kathryne Baker Witty and Alma Baker Rea.
7 Behringer, Belle (Mrs. Fred) 1940.
"As I Remember My People," excerpts from the manuscript by "Mom" Behringer, 1873, Brown County, Texas. Carbon copy.
8 Berachah Home (Arlington, Texas) 1927, 1972.
Clippings, historical notes.
9 Bird's Fort 1969-1981.
Clippings, tour booklet.
10 Business Directory of Arlington 1894.
11 Cemeteries (Arlington, Parker, Watson) 1954-1986.
12 Churches 1970-1972, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
13 Civil War and Reconstruction 1960, 1974.
14 Climate, Flora and Fauna, Physical Features 1928-1981, undated
Clippings, historical notes, brochures, map.
15 Commercial Development 1972, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
16 Commercial Development undated
Clippings, historical notes.
17 Cooper, James D. 1917, 1967, undated
Clippings, historical notes, family history.
18 Correspondence, misc., 1965-1983
Letters, clippings. Concerning her books, and historical research on various area subjects.
19 Customs, Recreation, Social Events 1927-1966, undated
Clippings, historical notes, paper by J. L. Hawkins, "Musical Culture in the Three Forks Area,"
20 Darnell, Amelia Wise 1881-1889.
Transcriptions of diary and letters.
21 Denton, John B. 1975.
22 Ditto, James W. 1895, 1953, undated
Copy of deed, clippings.
23 Early History of Tarrant County 1953.
Excerpts from M.A. thesis by George W. Sergeant.
24 Electric Service 1948, undated
Historical notes, clipping.
25 Families (Early) 1927-1965, undated
Letters, biographical information, historical notes, clippings. Includes Euless, Finger, McNatt, McKinley, and Ramsey families.
26 Families (Early) 1948-1973.
27 Fashions (1800-1910) undated
Prints reproductions of 1874-1876, historical notes.
28 Feuds (1892) undated
Historical notes.
29 Fires/Fire Department undated
30 Firsts 1948-1975.
Clippings, maps, historical notes.
31 Foscue, Col. Frederick 1905, 1953, undated
Clipping, copy of probate of will, historical notes. Named Pantego, Tex.
32 Genealogy 1941, 1965-1981.
Letters, clippings, Arlington Genealogical Society members list, genealogy charts, poem, reminiscences Mattie Barnes Fielder and others.
33 Gins undated
Clippings, historical notes.
34 Granbury, Texas 1966, 1969, 1975.
Letter, clippings.
35 Guns, Pistols, and Rifles (1830's-1870's) 1965-1966, undated
Print, clipping, article.
Box Folder
GA147 1 Harris, Abe 1954-1974.
Letters, clippings, historical notes.
2 Headright Patents 1976, undated
Description and index, historical notes, lists.
3 Historic Sites 1975-1980.
Tour guide draft, descriptions, map, clipping.
4 Homes 1886-1975.
Clippings, building plans, historical notes.
5 Houston, Sam 1966.
Clippings, historical notes, sketch, portrait.
6 Indians 1923-1983.
Clippings, articles, historical notes.
7 Indians (Peace Treaties) 1843-44, 1975.
Copies of letters and treaties, maps.
8 Interurban Line 1902, 1968-1972.
Clippings, historical notes.
9 Johnson, Middleton Tate 1850-1981.
Letters, clippings, legal documents photostat copies, historical notes, and manuscripts.
10 Johnson Station 1953-1980.
Clippings, historical notes, and manuscripts.
11 Kase, L. (Journalist) undated
Historical notes.
12 Law and Order 1975, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
13 Library 1972.
14 Maps 1965-1969.
15 Maps (Arlington) 1943-1968, undated
Oversized maps were removed to the Cartographic History Library.
16 Maps (Dallas and Tarrant Counties) 1955-1959, undated
Oversized maps were removed to the Cartographic History Library.
17 Maps (Dallas and Tarrant Counties, Topographical) 1942-1959, undated
Oversized maps were removed to the Cartographic History Library.
18 Maps (Texas) 1836-1932, 1964, undated
Articles and maps.
19 Maps (Trails, Traces, and Explorers, 1523-1899) 1921-1945.
Articles, historical notes, and maps.
20 Marrow Bone Spring 1976-1984.
Correspondence, clippings, application.
21 Marrow Bone Spring 1975-1976, undated
Application and documentation including articles, maps, and historical notes.
22 Masonic Lodge undated
23 Matlock, T.B.
Transcription of letters of 1856.
24 Mayors 1927-1982.
Clippings, historical notes, lists, program.
25 Medicines 1963, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
26 Melear Family and Cabin 1970-1975.
Clippings, sketches.
Box Folder
GA148 1 Mid-Cities Area ca.1976-1986.
Clippings, historical notes, time line manuscript.
2 Mineral Well 1927-1976.
Letters, clippings, historical notes.
3 Miscellaneous 1894-1983.
Clippings, printed materials, transcript of legal record, poem, tax receipt of "Emett Rankin,"
4 Newspapers 1954-1972.
Clippings, historical notes.
5 Notes ca. 1950's-1980's.
Memo booklets and sections on miscellaneous topics from Arlington history to art.
6 Oral History Interview (Bess Marney), undated
Cassette tape.
7 Oral History Interview (Loraine Raines, June 8, 1978)
Cassette tape and notes.
8 Oral History Interviews (Ella V. Day Vincent and Tressie Watson, June 27, 1974)
Two cassette tapes, notes, clipping.
9 Ordinances undated
Clippings, historical notes, photocopy of ordinances of 1884.
9 Pantego, Texas
(See Frederick Foscue and misc. files).
10 Parker, Cynthia Ann undated
11 Parks 1968.
Letters, map, historical notes.
12 Peters Colony undated
Clippings, historical notes.
13 Photographs (12), 1932-1976, undated
Arlington sites, people.
14 Pictorial Items, 1966, 1984, undated
Calendar, post cards.
15 Pictorial Items, 1894-1958.
Clippings, photocopies from journals.
16 Pictorial Items, 1878-1975.
Photocopies of photographs from albums and newspapers.
17 Pictorial Items, 1876-1976.
Sketches for publications, ballad with music, map, original and photocopy.
18 Pioneers 1927-1972.
Clippings, historical notes on various people and families.
19 Post Offices and Postmasters 1927-1972.
Clippings and historical notes.
20 Preachers undated
Clippings, historical notes.
21 Prices 1889, undated
Clippings, historical notes, ledger photocopy.
22 Professionals undated
Clippings, historical notes.
23 Prohibition ca.1927, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
Box Folder
GA149 1 Railroads 1948-1949, 1975.
Clippings, historical notes, calendar.
2 Randol Mill undated
3 Recipes and Household Tips undated
Clippings, historical notes.
4 Roads (Including military and stage) 1983, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
5 Rogers, Carrie (Mrs. A. J.) 1916, 1965, undated
Clippings, historical notes, paper by Larry Gardner, "History of Carrie Rogers,"
6 Schools 1948-1949, undated
Letters, clippings, historical notes.
7 Sources 1906-1966, undated
Historical data photocopied from books and journals. Early exploration, Indians.
8 Sources 1856-1960, undated
Historical data photocopied from books and journals. County histories, Indian policy, Texas Rangers, and general Texas history.
9 Stores 1948-1965, undated
Letter, clippings, historical notes.
10 Telegraph System 1927, undated
Clipping, historical note.
11 Telephones 1975.
Clippings, transcription of letter.
12 Texas & Pacific Railway Locomotives (Nos. 20 and 610) 1956-1974, undated
Clippings, historical notes.
13 Texas State Seal 1949, undated
14 Trading Center undated
Clippings, historical notes.
15 University of Texas at Arlington 1900, 1903, 1948, 1976, undated
Letters, clippings, photocopy of stock in Arlington College, historical notes.
16 Watson, Patrick A. Family 1927, 1953, 1975.
Letter, clippings.
17 Water System undated
Clipping, historical note.
Box Folder
OS204 1 Arlington Time Line (1838-1910)
43 sections, various paging, folded to 66 × 35 cm.
2 Mid-Cities Area Time Line (1870-1910)
Time line of events by date and subject, manuscript outline, 94 × 67 cm.
3 Bibliography: History of Area, UMA Tropolis
Titles pasted to unprinted newsprint.
4 Map - Texas. General Land Office. Tarrant County, Austin, 1942.