The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Texas

The History Of The Society Of Mayflower Descendants In The State Of Texas

History of the Texas Society of Mayflower Descendants

This slide show presentation was created for the Texas Society 75th Anniversary Celebration in 2006
Created by Pat Taylor, and presented by Mary Eck

The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Texas was chartered December 24, 1931. Prior to and including the time the State Society was formed, Mr. Wilber Leslie Evans was a member of the Illinois Society of Mayflower Descendants. If he had originated the idea of founding a Society in Texas, it would have been a natural result of his parents’ long interest in various patriotic and historical organizations. His father, Ira H. Evans, had demonstrated a talent and ability for getting things started by founding the Texas Society of the American Revolution, was one of the founders of the Austin National Bank, and the nucleus for the founding of the Texas Historical Society took place at a meeting in his home in Austin in 1888 or 1889.

Within the membership of the Texas Pioneer Association, Mr. Evans met Mrs. Charlotte (Norton) Sarratt and his sister Miss Mary Frances Norton, both of whom were eligible to membership in the Mayflower Society through descent from John Howland. Other eligible members from families and members of the Pioneer Association were located. Thus, with one bone-fide member and eleven others eligible by reason of descent the first step toward the realization of a Texas Society was partially achieved.

The need for a capable genealogist was ably met by Mr. Whitmore Morris, who was a descendant of Richard Warren. Efforts continued through friends in various parts of Texas to find additional members of the Mayflower Society.

Late in the fall of 1931, an organizational meeting was held in the home of Mrs. Edwin Oliver Sarratt, Sr. with 14 of the 20 descendants in attendance, according to a newspaper article, which appeared in a San Antonio paper at the time. Other cities where members had been located were Luling, Austin, Houston, and Dallas.

On December 24, 1931, a group of San Antonio citizens were proxies from people of other cities who were all proven members of the Mayflower Society petitioned the General Society of Mayflower Descendants for a State Charter. There are no minutes or other records available to indicate what transpired at the organizational meeting, but a fair assumption might be that it was held for the purpose of assembling the final data, applicant’s papers, etc.

Sometime later, possibly in late 1931 or early 1932, word was received that a Charter had been granted, dated December 24, 1931, and thus the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Texas was born. Subsequently, the Charter itself was received, and the first official meeting of the Society was held on Friday, February 5, 1932, in the Rose Room of the Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas. With Mr. Wilber Leslie Evans serving as Acting Governor, the members present officially accepted the Charter and the first slate of officers was elected.

Seven members were present, six from San Antonio: Mrs. Charles G. Starr, Mrs. Charlotte (Norton) Sarratt, Miss Alice Washburn Lathrop, Miss Mary Frances Norton, Mr. Wilber Leslie Evans, and Mr. Hobart Leslie Evans. The seventh member was Miss Ann E. Wilkerson of Austin. The following sent proxies: Mr. Arthur H. W. Norton, San Antonio; Judge A. E. Wilkinson, Austin; Mr. Robert Ring, Houston; Mr. Wilber E. Young, Austin; Mrs. Amanda (Williams) Carter, Lockhart; and Mrs. George E. Dilley, Palestine.

Cline, D.A. (Ed.) (1999) Centennial History: General Society of Mayflower Descendants 1897---1997. Plymouth: General Society of Mayflower Descendants. {Information for Texas History was taken from Founding of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Texas by Hobart Leslie Evans and additional materials provided by Mr. Donald Pray and Mrs. LeRoy (Mary Ester Deviney) Eck} pages 744-745.

Founders Of The Society Of Mayflower Descendants In The State Of Texas

	           Mr. Wilbur L. Evans                  Mrs. Robert J. Boyle
	           Miss Mary F. Norton                  Miss Ann E. Wilkerson
	           Mr Robert Ring                       Mr. Milford P. Norton, II
	           Miss Evelyn B. Sterling              Mrs. Arthur E. Carter
	           Mrs. Gustine C. Weaver               Mrs. George E. Dilly
	           Miss Alice W. Lathrop                Mrs. J. Murray Ramsey
	           Mr Arthur W. Norton                  Mrs. Charles G. Starr
	           Mr. Alfred E. Wilkinson              Mrs. E. R. Westmorland
	           Mrs. Edwin 0. Sarratt                Mr. Wilbur H. Young
	           Mr. H. Leslie Evans                  Mr. Hobart Y. Evans