Stevenson, Governor Coke R. and Marguerite King Heap, Papers, 1833-2013 and undated
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).
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University
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:
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.
The subject heainds used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Related Materials in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Libary
Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Oral History Collection
The Texas State Archives
University of North Texas Archives Oral History Program
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
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
- Folder 48, Daybooks, 1982-1983
- Folder 49, Daybooks, 1985-1986
- Folder 50, Daybooks, 1950-1951
- 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
- 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
- Folder 1, Daybooks, 2000-2001
- Folder 2, Daybooks, 2002-2003
- Folder 3, Daybooks, 2004-2005
- Coke Stevenson Portraits and Photographs, 1993
- Family Photographs from "Family Photograph Scrapbook", Undated
- 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