Stevenson, Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King Heap, Papers, 1833-2013 and undated

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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Stevenson, Coke R. and Marguerite King Heap

Title: Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King Heap Stevenson Papers

Dates: 1833-2013 and undated

Abstract: The Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King Heap Stevenson Papers contains printed materials, financial and legal materials, correspondence, photographs, and periodicals such as magazines and newspapers. All pertain to Stevenson's career as a lawyer, businessman, and Texas politician, as well as to his personal life.

Collection#: S 1808.1; 1808.2

Quantity: 64 boxes (64 linear feet), 34 oversized boxes (approx. 40 linear feet), 3 oversized flat items (3 linear feet), 1 box of restricted material (1 linear foot), and 1 box of audio/visual materials (1 linear foot).

Language: English

Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

Coke Robert Stevenson (March 20, 1888-June 28, 1975) was the 35th Governor of Texas, from 1941 to 1947. He was the only 20th century Texas politician to serve as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as Liutenant Governor, and then as governor.

Stevenson was born at his Hurley grandparents' home situated between the towns of Katemcy, Fredonia, and Pontotoc, in Northeast Mason County, Texas. Coke was a cowhand, built windmills and water tanks, drove a mail hack, and owned a freight-line at sixteen. He rose from janitor to bank president, while also apprenticing in the law and passing the bar exam, ultimately practicing law for over sixty years. He also served two terms as Kimble County Attorney and County Judge.

As an entrepreneur he dabbled in a number of businesses, including the first Ford Motor Company dealership in Junction, Texas, The Junction Eagle newspaper, the Hotel Las Lomas, as well as in local electriciy, ginning, irrigation, title, and loan business. He was active in the Chamber of Commerce, the Masons, and Rotary.

Coke Stevenson was elected to the Texas House, where he became its first two-term Speaker. In 1938 he was elected Lieutenant Governor and was reelected in 1940. He became governor in August 1941, when W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel resigned to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the deceased Morris Sheppard. Stevenson served two terms as governor during World War II, supported the war effort and President Roosevelt, and inspired the Good Neighbor Commission.

After the war he ran for O'Daniel's vacated U.S. Senate against Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson. He lost a contested stand-off, when George Parr, the so-called "Duke of Duvall County," allegedly had Voting Box Number 13 stuffed with 202 ballots that tilted the election to Johnson. Stevenson then returned home to his Kimble County law practice, friends, and ranch. He died at 87 years of age on June 28, 1975.

Fay Wright Stevenson, Coke's first wife, was born in 1912, and passed away due to cancer in 1942. Together they had one son, Coke Stevenson, Jr. Marguerite King Heap Stevenson was his second wife, who married Coke in 1954. They had one daughter, Jane Stevenson Murr Chandler, born in 1956.

Scope and Content

The Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King-Heap Stevenson Papers contains printed materials, financial and legal materials, correspondence, photographs, and periodicals such as magazines and newspapers. All pertain to Stevenson's career as a lawyer, businessman, and Texas politician, as well as to his personal life.

The collection bulks with legal briefs, documents related to court cases, and land and title abstracts, along with similar, supporting materials. Several boxes of correspondence are present as well. All of these items cover primarily Stevenson's legal career from the 1920s through the 1930s, but also document more generally his years of practice from the 1940s to 1970s.

Materials such as correspondence, financial records, and other documentation of his time as a Texas legislator, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor, are also present. Also included are similar materials relating to his personal life during those years and afterward. Much of his material is financial in nature.

Marguerite Stevenson's portions of the papers describe the Stevenson's personal life, most notably through correspondence and a series of diaries documenting her daily life from 1950-2009.

Finally, the Papers contain a number of oversized materials such as newspapers, posters - particularly those relating to Coke Stevenson's lieutenant governor and gubernatorial campaigns - and artifacts such as awards, gifts from dignitaries, and personal items. A small amount of audio/visual material is also present, primarily commercial recordings in .45rpm and similar formats.


The Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King-Heap Stevenson Papers are organized by the following series:

  • Bonnie and Clyde Barrow
  • Books
  • Cards
  • Coke Stevenson Real Estate
  • Coke Stevenson School
  • Commercial Trust Co.
  • Correspondence
  • Daughters of the Republic of Texas
  • Directories
  • Emma Phillips v. Don Gray
  • Financial Loan Company
  • Financial Material
  • Fleming Ranch Papers
  • Governor's Mansion
  • Governor Personal
  • Governorship
  • Hamer Papers
  • Hill Country Cowbelles
  • Huffman Ranch Papers
  • Insurance Papers
  • Jane Stevenson
  • Journals
  • Land Abstract
  • Law Practice Papers
  • Ledger
  • Legal Documents
  • Legal Material
  • Maps
  • Mexico Papers
  • Memorabilia
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mrs. E. A. McCoy Papers
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Newspapers
  • Oil Papers
  • Periodicals
  • Photographs
  • Photography
  • Physicians Life Insurance Company
  • Pierce Stevenson
  • Poetry
  • Printed Material
  • R. G. Stevenson Papers
  • Rotary Papers
  • Schreiner Land Abstracts
  • Scrapbooks
  • Scrapbook Material
  • Tax Information
  • Tin Box Papers
  • Trinity Episcopal Papers
  • Williamson Papers
  • Additional Correspondence
  • Additional Financial and Legal Material
  • Additional Photographs
  • Additional Scrapbook
  • Legal Office Files
  • Audio/visual Materials
  • Oversized Boxes
  • Oversized Envelopes
  • Restricted Access
  • Restrictions

    Access Restrictions

    Open for Research. One box of financial, legal, and related materials has been restricted and requires the permission of the Southwest Collection archivist to view. Audio and visual recordings may need to be reformatted prior to use, and require advance notice to the Reference Librarian.

    Index Terms

    The subject heainds used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.

    Subjects (Persons)

  • Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
  • O'Daniel, W. Lee (Wilbert Lee), 1890-1969.
  • Stevenson, Coke R. (Coke Robert), 1888-1975.
  • Stevenson, Fay Write 1912-1942.
  • Stevenson, Marguerite King-Heap 1954-2010.
  • Subjects (Organizations)

  • Texas. Legislature.
  • Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Office of the Speaker.
  • Texas. Office of the Governor.
  • Texas. Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
  • Subjects (Places)

  • Junction (Tex.)
  • Mason County (Tex.)
  • Ozona (Tex.)
  • Subjects

  • Legal practice--Texas
  • Smithwick letter.
  • Texas. Good Neighbor Commission.
  • Texas--Politics and government.--1865-1950.
  • World War, 1939-1945.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Texas.
  • Related Materials in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Libary

  • H. J. "Doc" Blanchard Papers, 1972-1974
  • William H. Bledsoe Papers, 1851-1967 and undated
  • Waggoner Carr Papers, 1945-1985 and undated
  • Kent Hance Papers, 1953-1984 and undated
  • George H. Mahon Papers, 1887-1986
  • Grainger W. Mcllhany Papers, 1949-1967
  • E. Preston Smith Papers, 1930-1975 and undated
  • Elmer Lois Tarbox Papers, 1863-1978 and undated
  • R. L. Templeton Papers, 1928-1985.
  • Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Oral History Collection

  • Mrs. James Brewer, Mrs. Thomas Lay, and Mrs. Myrtle McKinney [sound recording], June 15, 1976
  • Charles A. Guy [sound recording], May 2, 1969; June 21, 1972; April 25, 1973; October 19, 1979; February 7, 1979; August 4, 1979; April 21, 1982
  • Jerry Lackery, Ernest Baird, and Coke Stevenson [sound recording], March 23, 1974
  • Lucy Hodgest Motley [sound recording], November 19, 1975
  • Coke R. Stevenson, Birthday Part [sound recording], March 23, 1974
  • Emsy Swain [sound recording], Arpil 14, 1980
  • Ralph Yarborough [sound recording], March 1, 1978
  • The Texas State Archives

  • Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson Records, 1941-1948 (part 1)
  • Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson Records, 1941-1948 (part 2)
  • University of North Texas Archives Oral History Program

  • OH 0293, Coke R. Stevenson oral history interviews [sound recordings], March 11, 1987; March 12, 1967; May 13, 1967; May 14, 1967; August 2, 1967; May 10, 1969; May 11, 1969
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

  • Oral history interview transcript with Callan Graham. Graham was a legislator, he worked for Governor Stevenson and was director of the Texas Catholic Conference among other things. A copy of the interview transcript is also available at the Catholic Archives of Texas, Texas Catholic Conference Records.
  • Administrative Information

    Preferred Citation

    Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King Heap Stevenson Papers, 1833-2013 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas


    Collection accession #(s): 2013-0055-A; 2014-0010; 2014-0195

    Processed by: Brooke Downey, Jackson Drawbaugh, Brian Smith, Sarah Stephenson, Robert Weaver, Katie White, 2013-2017

    Collection Inventory

    Governor Personal

    Box 38


    • Folder 48, Daybooks, 1982-1983
    • Folder 49, Daybooks, 1985-1986
    • Folder 50, Daybooks, 1950-1951

    Box 39

    • Folder 1, Daybooks, 2006-2007
    • Folder 2, Daybooks, 1956-1957
    • Folder 3, Daybooks, 2008
    • Folder 4, Daybooks, 1958-1959
    • Folder 5, Daybooks, 1960-1961
    • Folder 6, Daybooks, 1962-1963
    • Folder 7, Daybooks, 1964-1965
    • Folder 8, Daybooks, 1966-1967
    • Folder 9, Daybooks, 1968-1969
    • Folder 10, Daybooks, 1972-1973
    • Folder 11, Daybooks, 1974-1975

    Box 40

    • Folder 1, Daybooks, 1976-1977
    • Folder 2, Daybooks 1978-1979
    • Folder 3, Daybooks, 1979
    • Folder 4, Daybooks, 1970-1971
    • Folder 5, Daybooks, 1970-1971
    • Folder 6, Daybooks, 1980-1981
    • Folder 7, Daybooks, 1988-1989
    • Folder 8, Daybooks, 1984, 1987
    • Folder 9, Daybooks,k 1990-1991
    • Folder 10, Daybooks, 1992-1993
    • Folder 11, Daybooks, 1994-1995
    • Folder 12, Daybooks, 1996-1997
    • Folder 13, Daybooks, 1998-1999

    Box 41

    • Folder 1, Daybooks, 2000-2001
    • Folder 2, Daybooks, 2002-2003
    • Folder 3, Daybooks, 2004-2005

    Box 58

    Additional Photographs

    Box 63

    • Coke Stevenson Portraits and Photographs, 1993
    • Family Photographs from "Family Photograph Scrapbook", Undated

    Additional Scrapbook

    • Correspondence with FDR, Adlai Stevenson, Statements re: Pearl Harbor and FDR's Death and Similar Political Correspondence, 1940s
    • Draft of Inaugural Address, August 8, 1944
    • Governor Inauguration and Election and Family Photos, Clippings, Ephemera, 1940's-1960's
    • KKK Threat Letter, March 21, 1923
    • Photocopy of Smithwick Letter, 1952
    • Stevenson Family Photos, 19th and 20th Century