Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tarleton Thursday: Alum Donates Ancestor's 1870s Texas Emigrant Journey Memoir to Library

Above:  Alan Easterling '90 with his ancestor's memoir

It's very appropriate that we get to announce an exciting donation to our archival collections on Texas Independence Day!  Yesterday, Tarleton alumnus Alan Easterling, Class of 1990, donated the original handwritten account of the mid-1870s journey from southern Illinois to northern Texas made by his great-grandfather, Nelson Fleming Rudolph (1861-1937), and his great-great uncle and Nelson's brother, Charles Francis Rudolph (1859-1929).

As can be seen in the photograph, the approximately 139-year-old document has been a little torn and taped on its first (and last) few leaves, but the remaining leaves (there are 100 pages) are in remarkably good condition.  Charles, who later became a newspaper editor, wrote the account of the journey and gave it as a Christmas gift to two of his sisters, Serena Estella "Stella" Rudolph Dort (1855-1932), who also moved to Texas, and Louisa Catherine "Lou" Rudolph Lee (1857-1930).

Easterling also donated three family photographs (two are originals from the late 1880s).  Watch for future posts featuring these images, as well as excerpts from the memoir.

Alan Easterling's nephew, Grayson Easterling, is a student at our Stephenville campus.  We also discovered another family connection here in the Dick Smith Library.  Jennifer Barrera, Assistant Director for User Services, is also a descendant of Nelson Fleming Rudolph.  He is Jennifer's great-great-grandfather, which makes Jennifer and Grayson third cousins, and Alan and Jennifer are second cousins once removed. 

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