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Bishop J. Milton Richardson Papers

Identifier: MSS 0449

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the correspondence and business of Dean J. Milton Richardson of the Christ Cathedral Church in Houston, Texas, for the years 1961 to 1963. Included are items related to the administration of the Cathedral, Cathedral groups and services, the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the national Diocese, as well as Dean Richardson’s personal files. The collection consists primarily of correspondence to and from Dean Richardson, regarding various topics.


  • 1959-1965
  • Majority of material found within 1961-1693

Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions


Historical Note

Christ Church Cathedral was founded in 1839 when Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas. It was Houston’s first religious congregation and has been operating continuously since its foundation. This collection deals with the turbulent years of 1961 to 1963. This is reflected in some of the items of the collection, such as programs for the memorial service for President John F. Kennedy and notes from the meetings of the Council of Fourteen, a group concerned with segregation and the early Civil Rights movement. While many items are not dedicated solely to the concerns of the time, mention of the issues in letters gives current researchers a glimpse of how the issues were perceived by contemporaries.

Biographical Note

James Milton Richardson was born on January 8, 1913, to James Milton and Palacia (Stewart) Richardson. He received an A.B. from the University of Georgia in 1934, a B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 1938, and an M.A. from Emory University in 1942. Richardson was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Blue Key. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity where he served as National President from 1952 to 1956 and later as the National Chaplain. He was awarded an honorary LL.D. from John Marshall Law School in 1948, as well as multiple honorary DD.S. degrees from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky in 1960, Sewanee (University of the South) in 1961, Virginia Theological Seminary in 1965, and Seminary of the Southwest in 1976.

Richardson was ordained as a deacon by the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1938 and as priest in 1939. He served as Rector of St. Timothy’s Church in Atlanta from 1938 to 1940, as Assistant Rector at St. Luke’s Church in Atlanta from 1940 to 1943, and as Rector of St. Luke’s from 1943 to 1952 before he came to Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas, to serve as Dean from 1952 to 1965. He was nationally involved with the Episcopal Diocese serving the Church Pension Fund, the Church Insurance Corporation, and the Church Life Corporation as a Trustee, the National Council representing the Seventh Province, and as Trustee of the Episcopal Radio-TV Foundation where he co-founded “The Episcopal Hour” with Bishop Walker of Atlanta. In the Diocese of Atlanta, he was a member of the Standing Committee, the Board of Examining Chaplains, Chairman of the Department of Promotion, President of the Atlanta Branch of the English Speaking Union, and Vice-President of the Christian Council. In the Diocese of Texas, he served as Trustee of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Trustee of the Quin Foundation, member of the Executive Board, a Founding Trustee of the St. James’ Houses, and as Member of the Board of Directors for the following organizations: The Institute of Religion, the U.S.O., the Girl Scouts, the Houston Council of Churches, Traveler’s Aid, and the Boy’s Preparatory Club. He was consecrated as a Bishop of Texas in 1965.

Bishop Richardson married Eugenia Preston Brooks of Atlanta in 1940. Together they had four children: James Milton, Jr., Eugenia Brooks, Joan Stewart, and Preston Brooks. Bishop Richardson died in Houston in 1980.


10 Linear Feet (24 document boxes; approximately 14,744 items)

Language of Materials



Missing Title

  1. Outgoing Correspondence from 1961 to 1963
  2. Cathedral Groups and Organizations
  3. Cathedral Administration
  4. Groups and Organizations
  5. J. Milton Richardson Personal Files
  6. Miscellaneous

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Rev. John A. Logan, Jr., Christ Church Cathedral.

Related Material

RG I 001: Christ Church Cathedral Record

Processing Information

Processed by: Amy Lynn Edwards, April 2003.

Bishop J. Milton Richardson
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002