A Guide to the Thomas O'Connor Papers, 1926, [ca. 1950s-1970s]
Born in 1819 in County Wexford, Ireland, Thomas O’Connor along with his uncle, James Power emigrated from Ireland and settled in the Power and Hewetson Colony, which was a settlement for Irish Catholic immigrants located in Texas. O’Connor’s craft was originally in saddle trees, which allowed him to save enough money to buy a few horses by the time he married Mary Fagan in 1838. For her part, she brought with her a dowry of livestock, which O’Connor used to establish a successful career in ranching in Refugio County. Along with his wealth and power, O’Connor was at the forefront of the business issues surrounding ranching matters, such as cattle tax. O’Connor had three sons, and married his second wife Helen Shelly many years after Mary died. O’Connor died in Refugio County on October 16, 1887.
O’Connor’s grandson, Thomas O’Connor III (son of Dennis O’Connor) married Kathryn Stoner, and Mrs. O’Connor became a renowned member of Texas society in her own right. The daughter of George Overton and Zilpa (Rose) Stoner, Mrs. O’Connor was born in Victoria County in 1883, married Thomas III in 1905 and had three children. Educated privately, she had a zest for history and wrote The Presidio La Bahia del Espiritu Santo De Zuniga, 1721-1846 (1966), which was the first major text concerning La Bahia. Aside from her writing, Mrs. O’Connor is best known for her work on restoring and preserving the Nuestra Senora de Loreto Presidio (Presidio La Bahia), and forming the Kathryn O’Connor Foundation. A devout Catholic, Kathryn’s philanthropy was awarded with two papal decorations and several other awards. Mrs. O’Connor died in Victoria in 1979.
Kathryn Stoner O'Connor, "O’Connor Thomas," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/foc13), accessed March 03, 2015.
Louis S. O’Connor, “O’Connor, Kathryn Carlisle Stoner,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/foc11), accessed March 03, 2015.
“Power and Hewetson Colony,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/uep03), accessed March 03, 2015.
The Thomas O’Connor Papers are comprised of newspaper clippings, typescripts recounting the history of San Jacinto Day, a brief historical overview of the beginnings of La Bahia, religious materials including a program for a Knights of Columbus event, photographs of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas, which are accompanied by typescripts describing each image, as well as correspondence detailing an intended sale of presumably stolen historical documents.
This collection is open for research use.
Thomas O'Connor Papers, 1926, [ca. 1950s-1970s], Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Amanda Reyes, March 2015.
Detailed Description of the Papers