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Oral History Interview with Henry Calyen, July 7, 2016

Description: Mr. Calyen was born and raised in Conroe, Texas. He lived in a segregated neighborhood and attended Booker T. Washington schools until 1966, when he participated in "freedom of choice" and attended Conroe High School. While in high school, he participated in three marches in 1964 and 1965 to protest continued discrimination. He graduated in 1968 and enrolled in the military. He spent a year in Vietnam and then moved to New York City, where he married and spent almost thirty years as a postal carrier. He then returned to Conroe where he has remained active in his community. Mr. Calyen described race relations in Conroe in the 50s and 60s, segregation and integration, the black community, the impact of the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, his experiences in New York as compared to Conroe, and community activism in Conroe since the 1990s.
Date: July 6, 2016
Creator: Calyen, Henry & Howard, Jasmin
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Plow Cleaning Attachment.

Description: Patent for a new and improved plow cleaner. This design consists in "[t]he combination, with the mold-board of a plow, having parallel longitudinal slots . . . of upper and lower rollers, belts passing around the same beneath the mold-board, scrapers connected to said belts in line with the slots and adapted to pass over said mold-board, and means for rotating said belts" (lines 93-99).
Date: May 6, 1890
Creator: Dyer, Charles Valentine.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Motor.

Description: Patent for a new and improved motor. This design consists, "with a stool having its seat-block perforated centrally, a loose seat, and a depending pusher-bar attached by one end to the loose seat, of a rock-shaft journaled in parallel stretcher-bars, which are secured to legs of the stool, a crank-arm, a bell-crank, an adjustable weight, a ratchet-bar, and a ratchet-wheel revolubly supported" (lines 58-65).
Date: June 3, 1890
Creator: Gilbert, Frank L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

White wedding gloves

Description: One pair of white wedding gloves with metal lacings and cloth facing. The gloves have a manufacturer's stamp inside. This pair was worn in the marriage of Bartow Angus Harper to Mary Barroe Hendrix, Montgomery Co., near Conroe, Texas, 1892
Date: unknown
Partner: Star of the Republic Museum

Axle

Description: Patent for an axle. Illustration included.
Date: January 29, 1907
Creator: Price, George T. & Knight, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stove-Damper.

Description: Patent for stove-damper by using “a damper-valve which not only subserves the usuall function of an ordinary cooking-stove damper which works over the smoke-exit flue, but also acts as a draft regulating device to provide for regulating the draft the damper is thrown to a closed position.” (Lines 19-26) Illustration is included.
Date: November 27, 1900
Creator: Witcher, John C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gate-Latch.

Description: Patent for a new and useful gate latch, including instructions and illustrations.
Date: May 16, 1899
Creator: Perkins, Oscar P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cattle-Guard.

Description: Patent for a new improvement in cattle guards, including instructions and illustrations.
Date: July 4, 1899
Creator: Arnold, Eliphalet Lester
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insect-Destroying Machine.

Description: Patent for improvements in insect-destroying machines to remove and destroy the boll-weevil of cotton plants by “gathering the branches of the plant into position to be effectively operated upon by a revolving brush which sweeps the weevils from the plant into a box carried by the machine without injury to the cotton plants.” (Lines 25 -30)
Date: April 22, 1902
Creator: Dyer, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Quilting-Frame

Description: Patent for "a construction which will be cheap and simple in construction and efficient in its operation and which may be adjusted to hold the quilt with the proper degree of tension at all times" (lines 12-16).
Date: March 26, 1901
Creator: Glacken, Hugh
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rotary Engine.

Description: Patent for an improvement in rotary engines, specifically in engines where the piston is operated by direct and expansive force of steam.
Date: December 16, 1902
Creator: Carothers, Samuel Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rail-Joint Fastening.

Description: Patent for a new improvement in railroad rail joint fastenings, including instructions and illustrations.
Date: June 6, 1899
Creator: Arnold, Eliphalet Lester
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insect - Destroying Machine.

Description: Patent for a machine developed for the removal of insects from cotton plants by means of rotary brushes on each side and crushing rolls below the brushes to kill the insects dislodged.
Date: September 8, 1903
Creator: Dyer, Charles V. & Willette, Willie S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oral History Interview with Mary Tolbert, July 22, 2016

Description: Mrs. Tolbert was born in 1943 in Cleveland. Tolbert grew up in Houston until she moved to Conroe in the 4th grade. Tolbert attended school in Bordersville while living in Houston. In Bordersville the neighborhood was integrated with a Mexican American and African American population. Tolbert graduated from Booker T. Washington in Conroe. She began working for law enforcement in 1984 after a few years of attempting. Tolbert experienced and witnessed explicit discrimination, racism, and sexism while working as a Deputy Sheriff in Montgomery County. Tolbert currently mentors young girls.
Date: July 22, 2016
Creator: Howard, Jasmine & Tolbert, Mary
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with James Yates, July 19, 2016

Description: Yates grew up in segregated Conroe and attended both segregated and integrated schools. Yates was a member of the Conroe High football teams that sought to increase the amount of Black women representation on the cheerleading team and during homecoming pageantry in the early 1970s. Yates also became one of first Black football players on the University of Texas-Austin football team in the mid-1970s. Yates also discussed working in various jobs including law enforcement and the oil industry.
Date: July 19, 2016
Creator: Howard, Jasmin; May, Meredith & Yates, James
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with Charles Lee and Toddrick Proctor, July 21, 2016

Description: Mr. Lee grew up in Conroe. He attended and graduated from Booker T. Washington. In the mid-1960s, he was part of a protest of Walgreen's drug store, demanding integration. He and two others were arrested for their actions and only released when the FBI intervened. Mr. Lee then worked several jobs before becoming a minister. In his interview, he describes segregation in Conroe, police brutality, the Walgreen's march, discrimination at work, Conroe Bible College, interracial relationships, and the continued struggles of the African-American community in Conroe. Mr. Proctor also grew up in Conroe. He attended Conroe's schools, graduated from high school, worked in the timber industry, and became a truck driver. In his interview, Mr. Proctor describes his experience growing up in Conroe in the 1980s and 1990s, the continued prevalence of racial discrimination, Ku Klux Klan recruiting efforts in the 1990s, a riot over Klan activity at the high school in the 1990s, the economic and systemic decline of the historically African-American parts of Conroe, and the many ways Conroe has re-segregated.
Date: July 21, 2016
Creator: Lee, Charles; Proctor, Toddrick; May, Meredith & Howard, Jasmin
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Ox-Yoke.

Description: Patent for a new ox yoke design to reduce wear of the yoke, including illustrations.
Date: January 3, 1888
Creator: Herren, William Willison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oral History Interview with Calvin Vinson, July 26, 2016

Description: Mr. Vinson was born in Montgomery, Texas and raised in Conroe. He attended Booker T. Washington school and Conroe High, participating in football at both schools. After graduation, he went to work in Houston for a utility company. He returned to Conroe and became very active in political campaigns and community organizations. In his interview, Mr. Vinson described segregation in Conroe, a march in 1968, integration of schools, experiences playing football, discrimination at work, political activism in the African-American community, African-American community organizations, and how Conroe has changed over time.
Date: July 26, 2016
Creator: May, Meredith & Vinson, Calvin
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with Jimmie Shaw on July 22, 2016.

Description: Ms. Shaw was born and raised in Willis, Texas. Shaw described her experiences with racism and Jim Crow discrimination. Shaw discussed one surprising impact of racism in Willis, she was fearful of Halloween. During Halloween in Willis, white youth would throw things at Ms. Shaw's house. A great aunt of Shaw was able to live in the white part of Willis while a uncle of Shaw became the first Black person to vote in the Willis/Conroe area. The first time he was able to vote was when he was elderly in the mid-twentieth century. Shaw also discussed difficulties in the workplace in Conroe.
Date: July 22, 2016
Creator: Howard, Jasmine & Shaw , Jimmie
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with Dorothy Reece, July 18, 2016

Description: Mrs. Reece was born in 1929 in what is now Montgomery. Reece grew up in the outskirts of Conroe. Her most memorable childhood racist moment occurred when she was told that she could no longer check out books from a book store because of her race. Because of that incident, Reece vowed to become a librarian and allow every child to have access to books. Reece graduated high school in Oklahoma after the death of her sister. Reece heard about the lynching that occurred at the court house in the 1940s. Reece had difficulties finding schools in Texas that would allow her to get a degree in Library Science. She had to go to school in Denver. Reece received another degree in Atlanta during the 1950s. During that time, she met Martin Luther King, Jr. at his father's church. Reece spoke of the importance of education and the lack of resources at the library of Booker T. Washington. Reece discussed some resistance that she and other Black teachers carried out following integration. One notable act of resistance occurred when she refused to move to another school following integration.
Date: July 18, 2016
Creator: Howard, Jasmin; May, Meredith & Reece, Dorothy
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library