Name and location of repository
Level of description
Armstrong Family Correspondence
- 1857-1897, n.d. (Creation)
Name of creator
The Armstrong Family is one of South Texas's oldest families. In 1852, James H. Durst purchased 92,000 acres out of the La Baretta Spanish land grant from the descendants of the Balli Family. Durst fought in the Texas Revolution, was a Texas Ranger, served as a State Senator and prospered in his mercantile business in Rio Grande City. He died young and his widow, Mary Durst, was forced to sell the ranch. Two attorneys arranged the sale but Mary Durst never received payment. Her daughter Mary Helena ("Mollie") married John B. Armstrong III in 1878. Armstrong pursued the case, eventually taking legal action and gained clear title of the land for the Durst Family in 1904. John B. Armstrong was born in Tennessee; he arrived in Texas in 1872 and purchased large tracts of land in South Texas to raise cattle in Jim Hogg, Kleberg, and Cameron Counties. Armstrong was a member of the Texas Rangers and is best known for arresting John Wesley Hardin, a notorious bandit. By 1882 the Armstrong ranch was 50,000 acres. Mollie died of rabies in 1897. Following generations managing the ranch included Charles Armstrong, Tom Armstrong, and then Charles' son, Tobin Armstrong.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection consists of correspondence written or received by members of the Armstrong family and their associates. Some of the manuscripts are incomplete, with pages missing. Included are letters from Mary J. Durst, Mary Helena "Mollie" Durst Armstrong, and D.W.C. Baker. One letter's author is unidentified.
System of arrangement
Letters are arranged chronologically.
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. The materials are non-circulating.
Conditions governing reproduction
The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.
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Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Donated to Trinity University by Miss Lucie Carr Armstrong in 1970.
Immediate source of acquisition
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Texas A&M Kingsville: https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tamuk/00038/tk-00038.html
- Citation: Armstrong Family Correspondence. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Processed by Colleen Hoelscher, October 2021.