Texas Archeological Society - Home Page

About the Texas Archeological Society

Society History

History Home

List of Lists Introduction

List of Lists

List of Lists – Introduction
by Carolyn Spock

This introduction to the "List of Lists" is intended to be only that, and is not intended to elaborate the history of the Texas Archeological Society.  For a more expanded narrative, interested readers should refer to the works of E. Mott Davis (1979:159-194) and Jean and Bill Richmond and John Greer (1985:105-184).

The core of this effort began in 1987-1988 when the author was chair of the Nominating Committee and felt the Committee needed some retrospective while deliberating on its choices for officers.  As noted below, the primary sources of data for this compilation were the Bulletin of the Teas Archeological Society and Texas Archeology, the TAS newsletter.  The synopsis soon developed into a mission to track all the offices, past and present, to their beginnings, and then expanded to include information about special honors, Annual Meetings, and Field Schools.  However, even zealousness has its limits; no attempt has been made to ferret out the various committees, their chairmen or members.   Such an expanded listing, while no doubt intriguing (to some) would be far too protracted and involved to include in this already lengthy offering. Nonetheless, some of the trivia unearthed during these literary excavations have been quite enlightening....

"The Society was organized and chartered in pursuit of a literary and scientific undertaking; for the study of the history, prehistory and the major and minor artifacts of man and the fossils representing the past floras and faunas of Texas; for the encouragement of the proper collection and preservation of such artifacts and fossils in museums and their study and classification and the publication of the results of the researches incident thereto." [Original charter excerpt.]

The Texas Archaeological and Paleontological Society was founded in October 1928 by a group of Abilene business and professional men, listed herein as founders, after the 1927-1928 archeological discoveries of Cyrus N. Ray and Edward B. Sayles had begun to generate an interest in the past of the Abilene area.  Membership quickly stretched far beyond the Abilene region, as Society members of 1928-1929 represented not only Abilene and nearby towns, but reached from Amarillo to Corpus Christi and from El Paso to Dallas.  By the end of that year, membership had grown to the point where the dues would support a publication.  Three hundred copies were made of the September 1929 edition of the Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological and Paleontological Society; the $348 raised from the 116 memberships more than covered the $245.21 expense of printing.

During the first year, meetings were held the first Tuesday night each month, where a scientific paper was read and discussed; several of those papers were published in the first Bulletin.  At the Society's first Annual Meeting at the Abilene Hilton Hotel on October 26, 1929, it was decided to hold program meetings only on the first Tuesday in December, February, and April, with an Annual Meeting to be held in October.  The pattern of holding an annual fall meeting has, of course, continued through the years, as has the publication of the Bulletin.

A few notable changes encountered while assembling these lists....  The spelling of "archaeological" in the Society's name became "archeological" in 1931.  At the Annual Meeting in 1952, it was decided to drop "and Paleontological" from the Society's name and become "The Texas Archeological Society."  The makeup of the Board (the executive officers, directors, trustees, regional vice-presidents, editors, etc.) has been altered a number of times in the Society's 75+ years.  For instance, while there have been Regional Vice Presidents (now called Regional Directors) since the beginning, their numbers have varied from four through twelve, and they were not tied to specific, numbered geographic regions until 1966.  One of the more interesting tidbits: through 1946, Annual Meetings were always held in Abilene because it was thought that this was required in the Society's governing regulations.  When a review of the regulations showed that no such locational restrictions existed, recommendations were made to meet elsewhere.  The Society has not held an Annual Meeting in Abilene since that time.

Through 1957, the Bulletin printed the fiscal status of TAS, the names of its officers, and news about the Annual Meetings.  This practice was discontinued with the establishment of a newsletter in 1957, Texas Archeology, which took on the task.  It is primarily from these two sources, as well as references to Lauretta Corkill's lists of January 1977 (cheerfully provided to the author by Mott Davis after her activities were recounted, but not received until this List of Lists was well underway), occasional annual meeting programs, and personal recollections, that the data for this article were gleaned.  Due to the nature of this paper, it was decided not to attempt specific citations throughout.  Also, as the inclusion of the Annual Meeting information was a relatively last-minute decision, it has not been researched in such depth as is possible.  Please do consider this work to be informal, a pulling-together of data in the interest of general expediency.  Indeed, the author must further admit to a dereliction of scholarly duty for not digging through the Society's archives in San Antonio.  Perhaps in a more formal offering....

Following this introduction are lists presenting the founders (Ray 1935:6), and the names of the individuals who have served as elected officers of the Texas Archeological Society or received honorary awards from the Society.  It is the primary year or years served which accompany the names; the initial two months of office immediately following elections at the fall meeting are not taken into consideration.  Also present is a table noting the sites of Annual Meetings, with their sponsors, featured speakers and topics (where known) outlined, as well as a table describing the Society’s Field Schools, with the Field School year, site names and numbers and types of work done, counties in which the work was done, and the archeologist(s) in charge outlined.  The lists of officers and awardees are provided in tabular form and are organized numerically by year; individuals are listed last name first, so those of you who have an electronic copy of this work can sort the material by name.

Browse through these lists at your leisure; be prepared to see many familiar and well-known names in Texas archeology.

References Cited

Davis, E. Mott
     1979 The First Quarter Century of The Texas Archeological Society. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 50:159-194.

Ray, Cyrus N. (editor)
     1935 Foreword. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological and Paleontological Society 7:6.

Ray, Cyrus N. (editor)
     1935 Foreword. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological and Paleontological Society 7:6.


© Texas Archeological Society – All Rights Reserved
® "Texas Archeological Society" and the stylized "A" are registered trademarks of the Texas Archeological Society.  All rights reserved.
Texas Archeological Society, CAR at UTSA, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249-0658
Office hours are 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM Tuesday and Thursday.
Phone: 210.458.4393 – Fax: 210.458.4870
E-mail: tasinquiries@txarch.org

April 20, 2013