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Harrison Family Collection

Identifier: MSS 0130

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the Harrison Family of Houston, Texas from 1880 to 1980. Most materials relate to the activities of Edwin Harrison, a civic and community leader, from 1939 to 1980. It contains personal materials including biographical materials, vital records, education records, political materials and materials documenting his time as a Scout Executive of the Sam Houston Area Council and as minister at the United Methodist Church.

Materials are largely textual, comprising correspondence, clippings, publications, church sermons and related printed matter. A considerable portion are photographs of local Boy Scout activities and various Harrison family members. Among other formats in the collection are membership cards and a scrapbook of Boy Scout activities.


  • Majority of material found within 1880-1980


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical note

Edwin Stafford Harrison (1912-1979) was a civil leader, Methodist Minister and was the first BlackpPrecint judge and poll tax writer in Harris County. Harrison graduated from Yates High School. At Prairie View A&M University, he lettered in track and tennis, and was voted All-American in football in 1933. He subsequently played semi-professional football in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His sojourn in the Caribbean marked his last absence from Houston. He received his master’s degree from Texas Southern University. He also attended Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and M.L. Schiff National training school of B.SA.

His interests and work in Houston involved him in an impressive range of activities. Mr. Harrison found strength in diversity and was a man who thrived on doing many things at the same time. From 1936 to 1941, he was a labor organizer for the CIO and an officer for its local division at Hughes Tool Company. He founded the Houston Colored Coaches and Officials Association in 1936 and served as its president. He was also a leader of the Third Ward Civic Club and an active member of the Harris County Democratic Party, which named him to its Executive Committee in 1977. Edwin was one of the first two black precinct judges in Harris County in 1946. Participation in these and many other organizations, such as the NAACP, Hester House and the Houston Negro Chamber of Commerce only supplemented Mr. Harrison's primary interests the Boy Scouts of America and United Methodist Church. Edwin was Scout Executive from 1944 until his retirement in 1975. He became a minister with the Texas Methodist Conference in 1951.


6.25 Linear Feet (8 document boxes, 1 over sized box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically topic in to 6 series. Boxes 1 through 6 are documents related to Mr. Harrison's service to the Boy Scouts and the United Methodist Church. Box 9 is business and religious correspondence along with related newspaper clippings. Boxes 7-8 and 10 are contain over 200 photographs. Photograph identification sheets are available for images 1- 102, while most subjects are identified on the photo verso for images 103-210. Some images are duplicates or reproductions because some images were returned to donor. Original folder titles were retained when available and are indicated by brackets in the folder list.


  1. Personal Papers of Edwin Stafford Harrison
  2. Boy Scouts of America, 1940-1980
  3. United Methodist Church (Houston, Texas), 1910-1980
  4. Sermons, 1950-1978
  5. Photographs
  6. Correspondence and News Clippings, 1907-1947

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Mrs. Sylvia Harrison, April 23, 1981.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Sheena Wilson in December 2019.

MSS 0130 Harrison Family Collection
An Inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 12-13-19: Incorporated unprocessed materials and updated to current standards

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