Beulah Shepard Collection
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
- Shepard, Beulah, 1921-2010 (Person)
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
Processed by: Billy R. Glasco, Jr., December 2012; Addition processed by: Sheena Wilson, January 2018.
- African American women -- History -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- African Americans -- Civil rights -- Texas -- Houston Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- African Americans -- Social conditions Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Community activists Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Houston -- Neighborhoods -- Acres Homes Subject Source: Local sources
- Jordan, Barbara, 1936-1996
- Lee, Sheila Jackson
- Leland, Mickey
- Lyons, E.A. "Squatty"
- Political activists -- Texas -- Houston Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Politics -- Texas -- Houston Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Raleigh, Queen
- Shepard, Diane
- Turner, Sylvester, 1954
- Women in politics -- Texas -- Houston -- Societies, etc. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- 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
Part of the Gregory School Repository