Oral Histories

Transcriptions of the oral histories are available in PDF format by following the link. The audio version of the oral history is available at the Harris County Archives.


Thomas D. Anderson

Former lawyer and nephew of Will Clayton talks about the 1910 Harris County Courthouse (1930s and 1940s), the Anderson Clayton Building, and his uncle, Will Clayton. 22 pp.


J. E. "Mac" McCain

Long time Harris County employee (1954 - 2006) discusses growing up in Anniston, Alabama, serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II in the European and Pacific Theaters, working on the railroad, moving to Houston, working for Harris County as a janitor and eventually Building Superintendent, and Harris County politics and politicians. 161 pp.


William B. Hatten

At 93 years of age, Judge Bill Hatten discusses growing up in Houston’s First Ward, attending parochial and law schools, practicing law, the significance of fraternal organizations, joining the Marine Corps in World War II, Harris County politics, the 1946 election for Harris County Judge, the Port Commission and the Juvenile Protection Board. 44 pp. including 3 photographs.


Vera Dial Harris

A retired employee of the Home Demonstration Service reminisces about growing up in a rural community near Palestine, Texas, attending Prairie View College, conducting home demonstrations for Southern Newspapers (1935 - 1937), working for the Negro Extension Service in Austin County (1937 - 1941) and Harris County (1941 - 1973), leading 4-H groups, integration of the extension service and 4-H. 69 pp. including 4 photographs.


Ernest K. Shaw

A retired employee of the Agricultural Extension Service, Shaw talks about growing up in Terrell, Texas, his service in the United States Army during the Korean War, attending Tuskegee Institute, working for Firestone Rubber in Liberia, and his years as an extension agent in Milam, Angelina, Freestone, and Harris Counties in Texas. Abridged. 69 pp. including Subject Index to the recorded interview.


Raymond Hill

A native Houstonian, Hill discusses the influence of his parents, George A. and Mary Hill; growing up in Houston; education at the Hotchkiss School, Texas A & M; Naval service during World War II including the V-12 program at Rice University, service on LSM 92, the Battle of Iwo Jima; extensive travels in South America and Europe; the University of Houston Law School; early law practice with Hill, Lowry, Mulvihill, Cannon, and Lee; running Robert Lowry’s initial campaign for District Judge; Harris County politics; the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department; the Harris County Child Welfare Unit. 145 pp. including 6 photographs.


Sarah McLemore

A 31 year employee of the Harris County Tax Office as of August, 2010, McLemore discusses pre-computer systems and routines, working under Carl Smith and Paul Bettencourt, and training and certification of tax office employees. Born in Alice, Texas, she discusses growing up in South Texas and perceptions of segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. 36 pp.


Susan Averre

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David W. Proctor

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James L. DeVore II

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C. R. (Renny) Glover

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Nancy Leonard

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Thelma Mueller

Born in 1919 in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, Thelma Mueller worked for Harris County for 32 years from 1938 until 1970. Mueller discusses growing up in Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas; the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department; the office of the District Clerk; the county culture; restrictions on women; World War II; district courts; Harris County 1910 Courthouse; segregation; jury selection; Ray Hardy; J. W. Mills. 51 pp. Photographs.


Virginia Ramirez Herrera

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Charles Henley

Retiring in 2014 after 23 years with Harris County’s Ryan White Program, Charles Henley discusses growing up in San Antonio, working with child welfare and later with adolescents in psychiatric hospitals, supervising case management programs for MHMRA, and finally, the chaotic beginnings and growth of the Ryan White Program. 86 pp.


Robert King Hillier

Employed by the Harris County Hospital District in January 1984, King Hillier found himself in the epicenter of the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Houston and Harris County. Hillier discusses Harris County’s response to the epidemic including city-county partnerships, community response, the establishment of the Thomas Street Clinic, and the Ryan White Program. 48 pp.


Ruth SoRelle

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