A Guide to the E. J. Mathews Papers, 1908-1912, 1951, 1959-1961
Edward Jackson Mathews was born on October 21, 1878, in Clopton, Alabama. He and his parents moved to Waller County, Texas early in his life and he graduated from Hempstead High School in 1896. He taught in public schools, served as superintendent of the Salado schools, and worked as a bookkeeper in Waco before entering the University of Texas in 1907. He earned his BA degree in 1910 and MA in 1918. As a student, Mathews served as assistant to the registrar, 1907-1908, and as secretary to the president, 1909-1911.
In 1911, Mathews became registrar of the University of Texas as well as secretary of the UT Board of Regents. He additionally served as assistant dean of the UT College of Arts until 1935 when he became Dean of Admissions. He remained Dean and Registrar until 1949 when he became Dean of Admissions, emeritus, and continued in modified service until his retirement in 1959.
A pivotal figure in UT's acceptance of black and foreign students, Mathews devised a plan for Japanese students in intern camps to go to college at UT and other non-West Coast schools, and additionally served on the E. D. Farmer International Fellowship Committee, which allowed for an exchange of students between Mexico and UT. Every summer he would go to Mexico City and confer with Rosie Stephenson, registrar of the summer school of the National University of Mexico to make sure the courses they set up could be transferred to UT. He also served as consultant and advisor to the Monterrey Institute of Technology, who presented to the University of Texas an oil portrait in 1956 in recognition of Mathews' work. A member of the UT Building Committee, Mathews had a longstanding interest in the construction and operation of the physical plant and power house at the University.
Outside of UT, Mathews served twice as president of the Association of Texas Colleges (later the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities), twice as president of the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, and as president of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars (1914) and of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (1926).
E. J. Mathews married Ravenna Wakefield on July 29, 1922 and they had three children. He died on May 31, 1964, and is buried in Austin Memorial Park.
"Straw hats and green ink: Remembering E. J. Mathews" by Frances Grimes Yeargin, The Alcalde, Mar-Apr 1996
"Mathews, Edward Jackson," Herschel T. Manuel, Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 6, 2016.
The E. J. Mathews Papers, 1908-1912, 1951, 1959-1961, include letters, reports, resolutions, and a blueprint, and relate to activities of the UT Board of Regents, construction of buildings and the power house for the University, leases and use of University lands, the resettlement of West Coast Nisei students, planning for the Texas Land Exposition of 1911, and the E. D. Farmer International Scholarship.
This collection is open for research use.
E. J. Mathews Papers, 1908-1912, 1951, 1959-1961, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Chester Kielman, September 1963.
Subsequent revisions were made by archives staff, September 1988, and Jessi Fishman, December 2016.
Detailed Description of the Papers