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Mildred "Hausy" Hausinger and Marguerite "Margy" Austin Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0477

Scope and Contents

Mildred Hausinger and Marguerite Austin were born and raised in the Houston and Gulf Coast area and worked for the Spring Branch Independent School District. Their photo collection offers a view into their public and private lives as a lesbian couple living in Houston throughout the 20th century.

This collection consists of papers, photographs, audiovisual material, and objects. Material comes from Margy’s family, Mildred’s family, and the time they shared together.

Papers – This portion of the collection consists of material on the families such as birth, death, wills, and marriage certificates; in addition to property documentation; property records, employment records and documents; address books; diaries; education materials and records including yearbooks; mementos; newspapers clippings and scrapbooks; travel brochures, programs, notebooks and records; and correspondence in the forms of letters, invitations, announcements, and cards.

Photographs – This portion of the collection consists of photographs that represent the families of Mildred and Margy before they were born; in addition to photographs of their childhood; school; pets; life at their home on Shadowcrest, their Bastrop Bayou house, and their home in Somerville; various trips throughout the decades; LGBT house parties, potlucks, anniversary, and birthday gatherings. The images are in the forms of photographs, negatives, slides, and are were either loose or together as albums.

Audiovisual (Sound Recording and Moving Image) – This portion of the collection has a variety of formats such as reel, VHSC, and VHS. Most of this material is not available at this time due to the inability to play formats.

Objects and Framed Material – This portion of the collection has a variety of items collected over time including bronzed baby shoes, name tags and pins, a Memorial High School stadium blanket, and fraternal lodge items.

This collection is very genealogical in nature. A decent portion of the photographs and papers come from their families that preceded them. The older photographs also offer a good depiction of live in Houston, Orange, and the Gulf Coast region of Texas in the early to mid-20th century. There are many names and faces to this collection. Below is a brief composite of individuals that are represented.

Marguerite Austin’s Family:

Ann Reneau Compton Williamson – Austin’s mother Robert “Bob” C. Williamson – Austin’s step-father Alton “Doc” and Betty Compton – Austin’s uncle and aunt who lived in Houston/Galveston. They were very close to Austin and her mother. Joe and Alice Compton – Austin’s uncle and aunt who at one time lived in San Marcos Raymond Nelson and Margaret Compton – Austin’s uncle and aunt who lived in Chicago. They were very close to Austin’s mother. Raymond had a daughter from a previous marriage. Margaret Ann Lilek – Daughter of Raymond and Margaret Compton. Corresponded often with Austin. Pasty – Raymond and Margaret Compton, who passed away at the age of 14. Joe Compton – Son of Raymond and Margaret Compton Jim Compton – Son of Raymond and Margaret Compton Judi Prangley – Daughter of Raymond and Margaret Compton Elmo Austin – Austin’s father Eleanor Austin – Austin’s step-mother

Mildred Hausinger’s Family:

Howard Hausinger – Hausinger’s father R.C. Hausinger – Hausinger’s uncle, brother of Howard. Ruth Davies Hausinger – Hausinger’s mother Kathleen “Vanny” Mifanwy Hausinger Edmondson – Sister to Hausinger. They had a very close relationship. Howard Edmondson – Kathleen Edmondson’s son, who passed away at the age of 12. Nell (Davies) and Eddie Underhill – Hausinger’s aunt and uncle on her mother’s side.



Friends:

Bob Akers and Jim Goff – Very early friends of the couple. They are seen in photographs and trip starting in the late 1940s. Bob kept in touch until his passing in 2007 Fran and Billie – Fran and Kathleen dated off and on through the 1950s-1960s. Billie was Fran’s later partner and eventual wife. Bobby – Kathleen’s partner through the late 1960’s-1980s. Mike Jackson and Tom Spellman – Close friends since the late 1980s. Met through the LGBT potlucks. The couple was very involved in their lives and later helped with Kathleen Edmondson’s caregiving of Mildred and Margy. Marty and Janna – Friends in the late 1980s -1990s. Met through the LGBT potlucks. Glenda and Earl Smith – Glenda had been friends with the couple since the 1980s. She and her late husband Earl went on many vacations with Margy and Mildred in the 1990s-2000s

Dates

  • Inclusive Date Range: 1900-2012
  • Majority of material found within Bulk Dates: 1950s-1990s

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Hausinger and Austin Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Mildred Hausinger and Marguerite Austin were born and raised in the Houston and Gulf Coast area and worked for the Spring Branch Independent School District. Their photo collection offers a view into their public and private lives as a lesbian couple living in Houston throughout the 20th century.

Marguerite Elenore Austin was born March 17, 1924 to Ann Reneau Compton and Elmo Austin in Houston, Texas. She was known as “Margy” to her friends and family. She was involved in theater as a young girl and attended Fannin Electuary School. Later she attended Lamar High School and then graduated from the Memorial Hermann Nursing School in 1946. During World War II she had an active social life by attending many dances and engagements with soldiers and friends. Soon after graduating nursing school, she moved to Mission, TX where she worked as a nurse in a local doctor’s office. When she moved back to Houston a few years later, she worked for Gulf Oil as the employee nurse. In 1956 became a school nurse for the Spring Branch Independent School District working mainly at Spring Woods Junior High School.

Mildred Lucille Hausinger was born January 31, 1923 to Ruth Davies and Howard Hausinger in Orange, Texas. Her nicknames were “Meme” to her family and “Hausy” to her friends and co-workers. Her sister Kathleen Mifanwy Hausinger Edmondson, also known as “Vanny,” was born May 30, 1926. Her parents owned hardware stores in Orange and Mission. She attended the Anderson middle school and Orange High School. She was part of the nationally recognized Orange High School Bengal Guards Drum and Bugle Corps. She graduated in 1940 and attended the Sam Houston State Teachers College where she majored in physical education and graduated in 1944. She worked briefly in Houston and then in Mission, Texas. By 1956 she was back in Houston and began teaching tennis for the Spring Branch Independent School District at Memorial High School. She received her Master’s in Education from the University of Houston in 1957. Mildred and Margy met and had been together since the summer of 1948. Mildred recalled their meeting to their good friends on the eve of their 64th anniversary in 2012.



“I remember being with friends and saw the most beautiful lady in a pair of nurse whites working the sidewalk towards our group. Luckily my friend did her job and made sure to invite you [Margy] to a birthday party that night. So, you went home and changed clothes and made your way to the party in Bay City. While we visited and danced the night away, our friend came over and remarked 'Mildred, you didn't waste time did you" and I replied ' I didn't intend to,' and the rest is a 64-year history.”



They first lived together in Mission, Texas. After living back in Houston for a few years, they moved into a newly build house on Shadowcrest Lane in 1958. Mildred and Margy loved to spend their free time at their bayou house on Bastrop Bayou they called the “Hausyenda”. Mildred was an avid fisherman and hunter. Austin enjoyed gardening and photography. They retired in 1979, sold their home on Shadowcrest and moved to their land in Somerville near Brenham, Texas in 1980.

Throughout their lives, they took several vacations; alone, and with friends and family. They devoted their retirement to traveling across the United States in their RV during the 1980s. In the 1990s they travelled less, but did more targeted trips and cruises.

Mildred and Margy were never “out” to their family, though it was more than likely an understanding that was never mentioned. The support of their families is shown through correspondence and photographs. They had an active social life by hosting parties at their home, inviting friends and family to Bastrop Bayou or Somerville, and participating in local LGBT potlucks and reunions.

Mildred passed away in 2013 and Margy in 2017.

Extent

22 Linear Feet (11 records storage boxes, 2 doc boxes, 2 media boxes, 5 medium flat boxes, 2 large flat boxes, 10 framed material items)

Arrangement

Arrangement is divided into sub-fonds, derived by the individual and then their relationship, with series and sub-series derived by material and format in each subfonds.

Sub-fonds 1 Austin

Series 1 Papers

Sub-series 1.1 Personal Sub-series 1.2 Family Documents

Series 2 Photographs

Sub-series 2.1 Family

Sub-series 2.1 Loose Photographs Sub-series 2.2 Slides and Negatives Sub-series 2.3 Albums

Sub-series 2.2 Personal

Sub-series 2.1 Loose Photographs Sub-series 2.2 Slides and Negatives Sub-series 2.3 Albums

Series 3 Objects and Framed Materials

Sub-fonds 2 Hausinger

Series 1 Papers

Sub-series 1.1 Personal Sub-series 1.2 Family Documents

Series 2 Photographs and Slides

Sub-series 2.1 Family Sub-series 2.2 Slides and Negatives Sub-series 2.3 Albums

Sub-series 2.2 Personal Sub-series 2.1 Loose Photographs Sub-series 2.2 Slides and Negatives Sub-series 2.3 Albums

Series 3 Objects and Framed Materials

Sub-fonds 3 Hausinger and Austin Series 1 Papers

Sub-series 1.1 Records, Correspondence, and Daily Life Sub-series 1.2 Travel and Entertainment Series 2 Photographs

Sub-series 2.1 Loose Photographs Sub-series 2.2 Slides and Negatives Sub-series 2.3 Albums Series 3 Sound Recording and Moving Image

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Michael Jackson and Kathleen Edmondson in 2013.

General

Photograph slides in Box 10, Folders 1-7 have been digitized.

Processing Information

Processed by Abra Schnur April 2018
Title
MSS 0477 Hausinger and Austin Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Abra Schnur
Date
April 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository

Contact:

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662