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Bone Family Letters

Identifier: A-0162

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the collected letters of the descendants of Robert Donnell Bone and Griselda Minerva Burk Bone, who lived in Douglass and later in Mt. Selman, Texas. Most of the letters in the collection are from the children of Robert and Minerva, Winstead Paine Bone, Nevie Lee Bone McKee, James Robert Bone, and John Newton Bone; to their parents and to each other. There are some letters from other family members and from friends, as well as a few business related documents. There are letters from Winstead P. (1861-1942) during his years at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church institution, Trinity University, in Tehuacana, Texas; at Union Seminary in New York, at Chicago University, and as President of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. Nevie Lee (1875-1933) was also a regular correspondent to the family during the time she attended school at Tehuacana. John N. (1880-1957) and James R. (1877-1935) both attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and wrote letters back home during that time. Made up of more than 700 original letters and documents, this collection is further enhanced by typed transcriptions of almost all of the letters which were prepared by the donors, Nancy and Harold Scott. Most of the letters and documents are accompanied by the original envelope in which they were mailed. The entire collection was arranged chronologically and divided into eight notebooks, four of originals and four of transcriptions, by the donors. The original material has been kept in this order and rehoused into folders. (Aiken, Roy L. "Bone Family." Nacogdoches County Families. Dallas: Curtis Media Corp., 1985. p. 252).


  • Creation: 1879-1911, 1941
  • Event: Donated in 1993

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

Robert Donnell Bone (1832-1892) was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, and came to Nacogdoches County in 1841 with his mother and stepfather. He and his brothers and sister moved in with his older sister when she married John Winstead Paine in 1846. After a serious illness of pneumonia, R. D. Bone rode horseback to Tennessee and entered the University at Nashville Medical School (which later became Vanderbilt University) in 1854 and returned to Douglass, Texas, to practice medicine after graduating in 1858. That same year he married Griselda Minerva Burk (1841-1912) who was also from Tennessee and had moved to Nacogdoches County, Texas, with her family in 1848. After resigned his commission as Assistant Surgeon of the 12th Texas Volunteer Infantry on March 7, 1863, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he went back to Douglass, Texas, to practice medicine. Dr. Bone also bought cotton and cattle and took them to New Orleans each fall to be sold. Minerva was Post Mistress in Douglass from 1866-1867. Only six of the Bone's 12 children reached adulthood, and two of their sons graduated from the University at Nashville Medical School exactly 50 years after Dr. Bone did. At least eight of his descendants have followed him in serving the medical profession. (Aiken, Roy L. (Pete). "Bone Family." In Nacogdoches County Families, 172. Dallas, Tx.: Curtis Media Corporation, 1985. p 172)


2.50 Cubic Feet

Related Materials

Bone Family Papers, A-0009

Guide to the Bone Family Letters
Natasha McClanahan and Linda Nicklas, 1993
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository