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 is available. Staff members are available most days to help you locate resources.
The room also contains Preservation Georgetown’s Historic Building Survey Files, which may be used for researching historic buildings in the Old Town area of Georgetown.
Videos about Georgetown’s Historic Architecture
Legacy of Wood and Stone covers historic structures around Georgetown.
On the Square covers a brief history of Georgetown and goes more in-depth on the history of the square.
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.
Each of the people on the panel agreed to be interviewed individually for the oral history project, which are the interview links and transcripts below.
The panelists who spoke in August 2008 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. Listen to the Harvey Miller interview (part 1) or read the interview transcript (part 1) and Harvey Miller interview (part 2) or read the interview transcript (part 2). To see newspaper clippings related to Mr. Miller’s interview, please click here.
- 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. Listen to the Birdie Shanklin interview or read the interview transcript.
- Paulette Taylor, an African-American student who attended Carver and Westside Schools just prior to integration. Listen to the Paulette Taylor interview or read the interview transcript.
- 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. Listen to the Douglas Benold interview or read the interview transcript.
- 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. Listen to the Norman Spellmann interview or read the interview transcript.
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 Eric Lashley at (512) 930-3551 to arrange for an interview.
The interviews found below are with people who came forward as a result of the kickoff event and graciously agreed to participate.
- Nell Benold, the wife of Douglas Benold and a parent who advocated for integration. Listen to the Nell Benold interview or read the interview transcript.
- 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. Listen to the Lee City interview or read the interview transcript.
- Carl Doering, served on the Georgetown School Board during the early 1960s. Listen to the Carl Doering interview or read the interview transcript.
- 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. Listen to the Milton Jordan interview or read the interview transcript. To read the Megaphone articles Mr. Jordan talks about, 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, click here.
- 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. Listen to the Laurie Locke interview or read the interview transcript.
- 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. Listen to the Betty Jo Patterson interview or read the interview transcript.
- 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. Listen to the Nora Miller Rose interview or read the interview transcript.
- Betty Spellmann, the wife of Norman Spellmann and member of the Communities for Better Schools. Listen to the Betty Spellman interview or read the interview transcript..
- J.D. Thomas, a member of the school board during the years when desegregation was being considered and the lawsuits were brought against the school district. Listen to the J.D. Thomas interview or read the interview transcript..
The files above require Flash 9 or higher.