University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the J.J. Jake Pickle Papers, [ca. 1910s]-2010

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Pickle, J.J. "Jake".
Title: Pickle, J.J. "Jake," papers
Dates: [ca. 1910s]-2010
Abstract: The J.J. "Jake" Pickle Papers, [ca. 1910s]-2010, documents his congressional career and retirement in Austin. James Jarrell Pickle, better known as "Jake," (1913-2005) served as the US House Representative for the 10th district of Texas from 1963 to 1995.
Accession No.: 95-074; 95-112; 96-149; 96-258; 96-358; 2002-119; 2010-016; 2011-051; 2011-059; 2013-181
Extent: ca. 818 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

James Jarrell "Jake," Pickle (1913-2005) represented the Texas 10th District for 30 years in the House of Representatives from 1963 to 1993. Pickle was born in Roscoe, Texas on October 11, 1913 to Joseph Binford Pickle and Mary Theresa Duke, and had five siblings. He grew up in Big Spring, Texas, and was an active Boy Scout, achieving the distinction of Eagle Scout. In 1932 Pickle moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas (UT). While at UT, he befriended future Texas Governor, John B. Connally. He was elected Student Body President as a senior in 1937, and began to consider politics as a career path. After graduation, he went to work for the National Youth Administration, where he met Lyndon B. Johnson, who would become his political mentor. Pickle married Ella Nora "Sugar"Critz in 1942. Shortly after their marriage, he received a commission as an officer in the United States Navy. Pickle served on gunboats in the Pacific theatre for the next four years and was discharged as a senior lieutenant.

Upon his return to Austin in 1945, Pickle co-founded a local radio station, KVET, along with seven other World War II veterans. Sugar and Pickle’s daughter, Peggy, was born in 1946. In 1949, Pickle left KVET to co-establish the public relations and advertising firm of Syers-Pickle & Winn. Through his work conducting smear campaigns at Syers-Pickle & Winn, Pickle became embroiled in the Texas political scene.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, Pickle participated in or managed the political campaigns of several state and national officials, including Meade Griffin, Lyndon Johnson, Price Daniel, Allen Shivers, and John Connally. Throughout the 1950s, Pickle served on the State Democratic Executive Committee. In 1960, Texas Governor Price Daniel appointed Pickle to serve on the Texas Employment Commission. That same year, eight years after he lost his first wife to breast cancer, Pickle married Beryl Bolton McCarroll, a widow with two teenage sons.

With the support of Lyndon Johnson, Pickle won a special election in December 1963 to fill the 10th District Congressional seat vacated by Congressman Homer Thornberry. Pickle represented the Texas 10th District for the next 30 years until his retirement in 1995. A Democrat, Pickle voted for many of the major legislative and social reforms put forward by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Proving his loyalty to Johnson, Pickle was one of only five Southern Congressmen to vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, and recalled it as the vote of which he was most proud. Other significant legislation that he supported includes the Social Security Reform Bill of 1983 and the Pension Reform Act of 1994. Pickle worked hard to protect The University of Texas at Austin by making sure "his university" received favorable tax legislation. While in Congress, Pickle served on the Social Security Subcommittee and the powerful Ways and Means Committee. During his tenure Pickle formed close working relationships with Presidents (Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton) and other Congressmen and politicians, and was a respected veteran legislator.

In January 1995, at age 80, Pickle retired from Congress but continued to exercise his political spirit. Back in Austin, Pickle served on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Bergstrom and dozens of other projects. Pickle and his daughter Peggy co-authored an autobiography titled Jake (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997).Pickle’s philanthropy can be seen in many Texas and Austin institutions and buildings that bear his name. In 1991, Pickle was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and in 2001 he developed lymphoma and began chemotherapy treatment. In 2002, Pickle and his wife Beryl moved into a Central Austin assisted living home called Westminster Manor, where he and his daughter Peggy hosted his 90th birthday party in 2003. Pickle died in 2005 at age 92.

Source: Cox, Patrick. "Pickle, James Jarrell [Jake] (1913-2055)."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 3, 2010

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, case files, constituent mail, legislation, campaign materials, photographs, newspaper clippings, financial documents, scrapbooks, artifacts, and awards and honors compose the J.J."Jake" Pickle Papers,depicting Pickle’s activities from his early years in Big Spring, Texas, through his service as a Congressman and his eventual retirement and death. The bulk of the collection dates between 1963 and 1995, documenting Pickle’s more than three decades in Congress. The papers are primarily organized chronologically by congressional session. Each congressional session is subdivided by topic and arranged alphabetically. Of particular interest are materials relating to Pickle’s tenure on the House Ways and Means Committee and chairmanship of the sub-committee on Oversight.

A 2011 addition to the papers consists of materials used by Congressman Pickle and his daughter Peggy in the course of writing Pickle’s biography. Peggy Pickle attached written descriptions to a number of materials and also included items collected after Pickle’s death. Consisting of seven and a half linear feet, this addition is arranged into four distinct series: Personal, Professional, Photographs, and Scrapbooks. The Personal series illuminates Pickle’s familial relationships, including those with his first and second wives and daughter Peggy. The Professional series encompasses Pickle’s career in both the private and public sectors, primarily his tenure in Congress and campaigns. Notable correspondents include John Connally, Hubert Humphrey, Bill Clinton, and Pickle’s mentor Lyndon B. Johnson, including a long letter celebrating the success of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Photography and Scrapbooks series pertain to Pickle’s professional and personal life, particularly Pickle’s relationship with the family of Lyndon B. Johnson through photos and letters.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Use of reel-to-reel materials by appointment only; plese contact the sound archivist for more information

The majority of these papers is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Pickle, J. J. -- Archives.
Pickle, Peggy, 1946-.
Pickle, Joe, 1910-.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007.
Subjects (Organizations)
United States. Congress. House -- History -- 20th century.
Democratic Party (Tex.) -- History -- 20th century.
United States. Navy.
University of Texas Press.
University of Texas at Austin. School of Law.
United States. National Youth Administration in Texas.
Legislators -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Legislators -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Lawyers -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Politicians -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Politics, Practical -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
Texas -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
Big Spring (Tex.)
Roscoe (Tex.)
Stonewall County (Tex.)

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Artifact Collection as well as the Library Unit.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

J.J. "Jake" Pickle Papers, [ca. 1910s]-2010, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Revised by Laurel Rozema, January 2010 and March 2011; Jessica Gauthier, Emily Perkins, Eliot Scott, and Melissa Wopschall, October-November 2011; Mark Firmin, October 2012; Keelee James, January 2014.

Detailed Description of the Papers


Contact the repository for the full inventory of the J.J. "Jake" Pickle Papers.


Inventory of [2013-181]

3X221 Victory message and photographs of JJP campaigning, 1963
J.J. Pickle for Congress Committee, 1963
Assorted correspondence, memos, printed material, 1963
Miscellaneous lists, 1963
Proclamation of Special Election for 10th Congressional District, Nov. 9, 1963
Photographs - Special Election, 1963
Bills paid, 1963-1964
Annotated Map of Austin, 1963
Campaign Account Book, 1963
Travis County Precincts, 1963
JJP Itinerary, 1963
Campaign Material (samples of Brochures, etc.), 1963
Inter-office Memos, 1963
JJP Speeches, 1963
Speech Material (on issues, farms, etc.), 1963
Contributions, 1963
Absentee voting material, 1963
Signs - Locations, 1963
Republicans (Dobbs' publicity), 1963
Mimeographed Material, 1963
State Democratic Executive Committee (Johnson-Kennedy Welcome Dinner), 1963
Form letters, 1963
Telephone canvas, 1963
Questionnaire on the strength of the three candidates, 1963
Frank Driskill Reports, 1963
Candidate's Statement of Expenditures to Clerk of House, Secretary of State, 1963
Correspondence and Form Letters, 1963
Guest Book Lists, 1963
Election Returns - Nov. 9, 1963 Congressional Race - 10th District (Precinct and County), 1963
Election Returns, December 16-18, 1963
Cities and Towns in Texas with Counties, 1963
County Work Sheet Form, undated
County Leaders - Correspondence, 1963
Bastrop -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Bastrop -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Bastrop County General
Ceder Creek
Blanco -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Blanco -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Blanco County General
Johnson City
Burleson -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Burleson -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Burleson County General
Burnet -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Burnet -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Burnet County General
3X222 Burnet
Marbel Falls
Caldwell -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Caldwell -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Caldwell County General
Lytton Springs
Prairie Lee
Hays -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Hays -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Hays County General
Dripping Springs
San Marcos
Lee -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Lee -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Lee County General
Dime Box
Washington -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Washington -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Washington County General
Chapel Hill
Williamson -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Williamson -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Williamson County General
Liberty Hill
Round Rock
East Texas
San Gabriel
Travis -- County Info Sheets, 1963
Travis -- Nov. 9 and Dec. 17, 1963 Election Results, 1963
Travis County General
General Election Correspondence
September 1963
October 1963
November 1963
3X223 November 1963
December 1963
January 1964
February 1964
Correspondence - Congratulations
A-K, 1963
L-Z, 1963
Correspondence - Out of District
A-E, 1963
F-J, 1963
K-Q, 1963
R-Z, 1963
General Correspondence, 1963
Clippings - 10th Congressional District Race
June-September 1963
October 1-10, 1963
October 11-15, 1963
3X224 October 16-20, 1963
October 21-25, 1963
October 26-31, 1963
November 1-10, 1963
November 11-30, 1963
December 1-11, 1963
December 12-31, 1963
JJP Campaign - Suggested Editorials, 1963
Newspaper ad layout for endorsement, December 9, 1963
Newspaper clippings, ads, assorted, 1963
Libelous Literature, 1963
TV script, 1963
Newspapers, editorial endorsements, other ads, 1963
JJP Campaign - Suggested Editorials, 1963
JJP Campaign news releases, 1963
Second endorsement ad, 1963
Radio spots, 1963
Endorsements, 1963
Personal Pickle clippings, 1963
Ballot Battalion, December 17, 1963
Newspapers - Adverse to JJP, 1963
4A462 Books, pamphlets, and memorabilia related to military history and WWII museums and events attended by J.J. Pickle during his trip to England and France as a part of the U.S. Congressional Delegation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy, 1994
JJP’s personal notes on his trip observing the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, May 31-June 6, 1994
50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings Fifty Pence Commemorative Coin (two copies), 1994
Simpkins, Peter. Cabinet War Rooms. Presented by the Imperial War Museum, 1984
The Cabinet War Rooms. Presented by the Imperial War Museum, 1994
Souvenir Heinz plastic pickle campaign pins (use CAUTION when handling, slight risk of touching sharp pin points!), 1963