Reference

Local History

Clara Scarbrough Texas History Room

The Clara Scarbrough Texas History Room contains printed materials related to state and local history and materials about how to do genealogy. The microform reader-printer and microfilm cabinets are in the reference area on the second floor. Microfilm of the Williamson County Sun and Texas censuses is available. Staff members are available most days to help you locate resources.

Photographs

Georgetown Heritage Society Collection of Historic Photos – The Georgetown Public Library is honored to be the repository of a collection of historical photos belonging to the Georgetown Heritage Society. This is the first of several digital projects to preserve the history of Georgetown and Williamson County. Please see our digital collections terms of use policy.

Videos about Georgetown’s Historic Architecture

The Georgetown Heritage Society produced two videos about Georgetown’s historic architecture. Links to these videos (below) are through the Georgetown page on the Williamson County Historical Commission’s website and are viewable with Windows Media Player.

Legacy of Wood and Stone

On the Square

 

Downtown Georgetown circa 1980s

Click here to see black and white photos of downtown buildings.

 

Georgetown Heritage Society Historic Buildings Survey Files

During the mid-1980s the Georgetown Heritage Society, the City of Georgetown, and the Main Street Program cooperated to complete a survey of the historic buildings in the Old Town area. As a result of the survey, several neighborhoods were declared National Historic Districts and a number of properties received both State and National Historic Property designations.

The information that was gathered about all of the properties surveyed is available in the Clara Scarbrough Texas History Room. There is a file for each street address, and the files are arranged numerically by street name. Many of the files contain additional information that has been discovered and added during the past twenty-five years. The files are available on a self-serve basis and must be used in the library. Information may be photocopied.

 

Oral Histories: Memories of Marshall and Carver Schools and Desegregation in Georgetown

In August 2008, the Georgetown Public Library sponsored a panel discussion about desegregation in Georgetown. The event was the kick-off of an oral history project focused on memories of Marshall and Carver Schools and the events during the 1950s and ’60s that led up to desegregation. The panelists who spoke that day were

  • Harvey Miller, the African-American father who challenged integration by trying to enroll his daughter and some other black students in the Georgetown High School;
  • Birdie Shanklin, an African-American mother who wanted her children to attend the white school and who helped conduct a survey in her neighborhood to determine black citizens’ attitudes toward integration. She is Harvey Miller’s younger sister.
  • Paulette Taylor, an African-American student who attended Carver and Westside Schools just prior to integration.
  • Douglas Benold, a white physician who had been on the school board during the late-’50s when desegregation was becoming a political and economic issue in Georgetown. He left the board during the early 1960s to avoid a possible conflict of interest, but remained active in promoting desegregation. He worked with Birdie Shanklin on the survey of the black neighborhood.
  • Norman Spellmann, now retired, was a professor at Southwestern University who was a member of the Committee for Better Schools, the organization that brought the state and federal lawsuits seeking integration to court.

Each of the people on the panel agreed to be interviewed individually for the oral history project. The other interviews found here are with people who came forward as a result of the kickoff event and graciously agreed to participate.

These interviews reflect very personal memories and experiences. They are not intended to be the final word on the events surrounding desegregation. In fact, the project is will continue indefinitely. Anyone who wishes to be interviewed about their experiences at Marshall and Carver Schools, or about their experiences before and after integration occurred is invited to contact Judy Fabry (512-930-3552 or judy.fabry@georgetown.org) to arrange for an interview.

Douglas Benold — a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above). Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Harvey Miller (part 1)

Mr. Miller, a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above). Click here to see newspaper clippings related to Mr. Miller’s interview. Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Harvey Miller (part 1) — a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above).
Harvey Miller (part 2) — a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above). Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Birdie Shanklin — a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above). Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Norman Spellmann — a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above). Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Paulette Taylor — a participant in the 2008 panel discussion (see above). Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Nell Benold — wife of Douglas Benold and a parent who advocated for integration. Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Lee City — a student at Carver who graduated in the late-1950s. He recalls life on his family’s farm in Jonah and the black school there, where he attended some of the elementary grades, and his years at Carver. He also talks about his years in the military and how they influenced his higher education and subsequent employment. Click here to read a transcript of his interview.

Carl Doering

Carl Doering.
Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Milton Jordan — was a student at Southwestern University during the early 1960s. He worked on the student newspaper, the Megaphone, and recalls an editorial concerning the wages paid to African-American employees of the University that first was censored and then later allowed to run. Click here to see the Megaphone articles Mr. Jordan talks about. Click here to read a transcript of this interview. Click here to read a paper Mr. Jordan presented in April 2014 at the meeting of the Texas Oral History Association about Mark Lett and the Megaphone article.

Laurie Locke — daughter of Nell and Douglas Benold, who attended high school after integration took place. There were technical problems with the recording of this interview, so it is necessary to play it on the highest volume possible. You may read a transcript of this interview by clicking here.

Betty Jo Patterson — started kindergarten in 1964 and was part of the first integrated class at the school that is now known as Carver Elementary School. In 1964 it was called Westside School, and it was the new facility that had been built as a separate school for African-American students to replace the old Marshall/ Carver School that had been located on “the Ridge,” above Blue Hole.

Nora Miller Rose –an African-American who was a student at the time of the desegregation controversy. She is the sister of Harvey Miller and Birdie Shanklin. Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Betty Spellmann

Betty Spellman

To read a transcript of this interview, click here.

J.D. Thomas — member of the school board during the years when desegregation was being considered and the lawsuits were brought against the school district. To read a transcript of this interview, click here.

The files above require Flash 9 or higher.