Heritage, Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 1993 Page: 7
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' he Daughters of the Republic
of Texas membership was organized in
1891 to preserve the legacy left them by
their pioneer ancestors. The story of the
DRT really began, however, in May of
1873 when a group of Texas veterans met
in Houston for a reunion commemorating
the early days of the Republic of
Texas. The gentlemen present agreed to
form a society named the "Texas Veterans
Association." An organizational
constitution and bylaws were adopted
and the objectives of the association were
set forth. One of the first resolutions
adopted by the Association recognized
the contributions of women during Texas'
struggle for independence. The Resolution
read in part:
"RESOLVED - that the survivingpioneer
women of the period we commemorate who
were joint sharers in the trials and privations
of that period, and whose patriotism was
equal to the occasion, we tender our kindest
regards and remembrances."
This resolution was a precursor to the
founding of the Daughters of the Republic
of Texas 18 years later during the long, hot
Galveston summer of 1891.
Two young ladies began reading Henderson
Yoakum's "History of Texas" that
summer. Betty Ballinger and Hally Bryan,
who were first cousins, undertook the task
without hesitation, despite the fact that
the combined weight of the ponderous
two-volume set was nearly 20 pounds.
The books weave an inspiring tale of the
Texas pioneers who conquered the frontier
and carved out an empire of vast
proportions, in spite of hostile Indian attacks
and a tyrannical foreign government.
Yoakum goes on to chronicle the 10 years
of the Republic of Texas. The two young
ladies became convinced after reading the
work, that no other state in the Union had
a more unique or glorious history than
that of Texas.
Betty Ballinger was born February 3,
1854, daughter of Harriet Patrick Jack and
William Pitt Ballinger. The Ballinger
home, The Oaks in Galveston, typified
the grace, elegance, and culture of generations
of gently bred forebears. Betty's father
was an outstanding lawyer of his day and
gathered a library of unusual size and caliber.
The younger of the two women, Hally
Ballinger Bryan, was the daughter of Mrs.
Ballinger's sister Laura and her husband
Guy Morrison Bryan. She was born in
HERITAGE * FALL 1993 7
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 1993, periodical, Autumn 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45417/m1/7/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.