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Beulah Shepard Collection

Identifier: MSS 0069

Scope and Contents

The Beulah Shepard Collection comprises the personal papers of Beulah Shepard from 1940 to 2012. This collection contains correspondence of congratulatory letters on her election to Secretary of the Harris County Democratic Party in 1976. There is also some political correspondence to Beulah Shepard from Texas and various United States Congressmen discussing issues that impacted the late 1970s such as minimum wage increase and women’s rights. This series also contains greeting cards and invitations.

Personal and legal documents included Texas State Senate proclamations and divorcee decrees. Printed Material series contains programs of events held in Beulah Shepard’s honor and a program related to the Acres Homes Community Texas Historical Marker. This series also includes funeral programs, certificates, campaign materials and newspaper clippings chronicling her community and political involvement in Houston.

Photographic Materials contains 707 photographs documenting Beulah Shepard’s family life and political influence in Houston, Texas, and the United States from 1940 to 2010. Notables people include Sylvester Turner, Sheila Jackson Lee, Mickey Leeland, E.A. Squatty Lyons, Barbara Jordan, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Marvin Zindler, Al Green, Jim West, and Governor Mark White, Jr. This collection is valuable to researchers interested in late twentieth century women's political activities


  • 1940 - 2012


Language of Materials

This collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Beulah Shepard Collection must be obtained from African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

A community activist in Houston’s Acres Home neighborhood, Beulah Ann Shepard was known as "a woman with guts" and more commonly recognized as the Mayor of Acres Homes. She walked with a message, crossing many political barriers while voicing her beliefs for community change. In 1948, the same year she moved from Plain Dealing, Louisiana to Houston, she bought a poll tax costing a dollar and fifty cents and never missed voting in an election. Beulah began working for E.A. "Squatty" Lyons as a community aide and was influential in securing the Acres Homes Swimming Pool and the Acres Homes Community Library (which was posthumously named in her honor). In 1978, she petitioned Mayor Jim McConn and the city council to change the name of Sherman Street to D.S. Bailey Lane. Shepard also petitioned Mayor Kathy Whitmire to pass an ordinance to change the name of Holly Street to Burleson Street. Shepard was instrumental in helping Roy Malonson to create the Acres Homes Chamber of Commerce; the building was also named in her honor.

On the forefront of tackling social issues in her community, politics was Shepard's passion. She worked in many Democratic Party campaigns that include John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, Barbara Jordan, Mark White, Lloyd Bentson, John Whitmire, Mickey Leland, Anthony Hall, Shelia Jackson Lee, and Sylvester Turner. She was also a member of several organizations including the Congressional Black Caucus and the Harris Council of Organizations.

Born Beulah Roley in Plain Dealing, Louisiana on June 14, 1921 to Emmitt and Queen Raleigh, she was named after both of her parents' mothers. The fourth of seven children, Beulah was reared in a rural community. She moved to Texas to assist her sister Oma Lee with her newborn son, Guy Johnson. Shepard remained in Houston and resided in the Acres Homes where she attended Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. Shepard walked with a message, crossing many political barriers expressing her beliefs for change in her community. On the forefront of tackling social issues in her community, politics was Shepard's passion and Beulah cast her last vote during the 2008 presidential election. Beulah Ann Shepard passed away on September 11, 2010. Taken from Collection materials


3.5 Linear Feet (5)


This collecpion is arranged by materials type in five series with the correspondence, printed materials, photographic materials series further arranged in to subseries. Subseries are arranged in chronological order by date except for the newspaper clippings subseries, which is arranged in alphabetical order by the newspaper. All items are arranged in numerical order according to its identifier number (i.e. MSS0069.PH001, MSS0069.PH002, etc.)

Series I: Correspondence (1976-2006)

Subseries I: Letters

Subseries II: Greeting Cards and Invitations

Series II: Legal Documents (2010)

Subseries I: State of Texas

Subseries II: Personal Legal Documents

Series III: Printed Material (1977-2012)

Subseries I: Programs

Subseries II: Award and Certificates

Subseries III: Flyers

Subseries IV: Newspaper Clippings

Subseries V: Reports and Records

Series IV: Photographic Material (circa 1940-2010)

Subseries I: Photographs

Subseries II: Photo Albums

Subseries II: Oversized & Mounted Photographs

Series V: Miscellaneous Material

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by: Diane Shepard, October 2012

Related Materials

MSS 0094 Eulundia Kay Shepard Collection

Processing Information

Processed by: Billy R. Glasco, Jr., December 2012; Addition processed by: Sheena Wilson, January 2018.


MSS 0069 Beulah Shepard Collection
An Inventory of her Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Billy Glasco
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002