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  • Southwestern Collection

The Texas State Historical Association is part of the host committee for the American Association of State and Local History’s (AASLH) 2017 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. TSHA joins the Bullock State History Museum, the Texas Historical Commission, Austin Museum Partnership, City of Austin Museum and Cultural Centers, Harry Ransom Center, Institute of Texan Cultures, LBJ Presidential Library, Neill-Cochran House Museum, Texas Association of Museums, Texas General Land Office, Texas State University, and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in sponsoring the event. The event will be held September 6–9, 2017, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, and this year’s theme is “I AM History.” Registration for the meeting will open in June, and more information can be found at [End Page 492]

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West 6th Street in Austin, Texas, 1940. Courtesy Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

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Annual Meeting

We would like to thank all of you who joined us at the 121st Annual Meeting of the Texas State Historical Association at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston, March 2–4, 2017. A recap of some of the significant events at the meeting, such as the announcement of award and fellowship winners, will appear in the Southwestern Collection of the July 2017 Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

In Memoriam

Paul Gervais Bell Jr., a life member of the Texas State Historical Association and the Association’s president in 1998–99, died on October 31, 2016. “Gervais,” the name he was best known by, was born at Camp Knox, Kentucky, on July 15, 1922, to Paul Gervais Bell Sr. and Mary Shepard Bryan. He moved to Houston, Texas, in 1932.

Bell was educated in the Houston public schools, the New Mexico Military Institute, and the University of Texas. He volunteered to serve in the army in December of 1942 and served three and one half years in the United States and Europe. When released from active duty, he was employed by R. P. Farnsworth Company, later Farnsworth and Chambers Company, and worked for this company in Austin and in Houston after he completed his college work. In 1956 he formed P. G. Bell Company and later Amistad Construction Company. He retired in 1990. A history buff, he collected rare Texas maps and books and fine-press books and was very active in the Book Club of Texas, the Texas State Historical Association, and the San Jacinto Museum of History. He is survived by his wife, Sue Ledbetter Bell, whom he married in 1952, and his children and grandchildren and their families.

Ernest Obadele Starks, professor of history at Texas A&M University, died on November 4, 2016. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on January 1, 1959, Starks earned a master’s degree in history at Texas Southern University and a PhD at the University of Houston upon the successful completion of his dissertation, “The Road to Jericho: Black Workers, the Fair Employment Practice Commission, and the Struggle for Racial Equality on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast, 1941–1947.” Dr. Starks published two books, Black Unionism in the Industrial South (Texas A&M University Press, 2000) and Freebooters and Smugglers: The Foreign Slave Trade in the United States after 1808 (University of Arkansas Press, 2007). Among his article publications were two in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly: “Black Labor, the Black Middle Class, and Organized Protest along the Upper Texas [End Page 494] Gulf Coast, 1883–1945” (July 1999) and “Black Texans and Theater Craft Unionism: The Struggle for Racial Equality” (April 2003).


Throughout 2017, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) in Canyon, Texas, will present three exhibitions focused on “The Great War” to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the United States entry into the global conflict we now refer to as World War I.

Doughboys & Home Folks will use artifacts from the PPHM collections, as well as documents from a variety of sources, to explore life on the front lines and the home front. Doughboys & Home Folks will be on exhibit in the museum’s Textile Gallery through...


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