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Martha Frances Hill Papers

Identifier: A-0096

Scope and Contents

The collection indicates little about Miss Hill's family. She likely had relatives in Tennessee as implied by a 1913 postcard from Aunt Mar postmarked Memphis, TN; a 1907 graduation invitation to Ward Seminary in Nashville, TN, listing Mary Demoville Hill of Tennessee in its Senior Class; a 1907 obituary of V. M. Fulton, who married Miss Lulu Hill at Nashville, TN on January 5, 1893; and an 1892 handwritten newspaper from Willard, Tennessee, called "The Willard News." The above items are in the colletion along with materials predominately relating to Miss Hill's attending Houston High School and Rice Institute, including tests and mementos. Also contained in Box 1 are some unidentified photographs and some pencil sketches.

Box 2 contains correspondence and advertising materials relating to Miss Hill's business as well as several newspaper clippings about Martha Frances Hill. Box 3 contains feature pages from the 'Houston Post-Dispatch' of Martha Frances Hill's "Mrs. Houston's Model Kitchen," and various issues of 'The Thresher', the Rice student newspaper. The collection consists predominately of handwritten and printed originals.


  • Creation: 1892-1939


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

Miss Martha Frances Hill was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Hill and lived on La Branch St. in Houston, Texas in 1913. Miss Hill attended Houston High School in 1920 and she attended Rice Institute in Houston from 1923-1926. In May of 1924, Miss Hill was in charge of advertising for a three-act comedy presented by the Rice YWCA. She served as associate editor for the annual co-ed issue of the school newspaper, THE THRESHER, in February of 1924, and as the editor-in-chief of the annual issues in 1925 and 1926. Her main fight in these publications was for a girls dormitory on the Rice campus. As a student at Rice Institute, Miss Hill was an active member of the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society and assisted with their annual frolic in 1925.

After graduating from Rice Institute in 1926, she joined the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society Alumnae and served as the Prize Committee Chairman in 1929. This association donated an annual fellowship to either a man or woman student for work toward an advanced degree from Rice. An annual card party furnished them with funds applied strictly to this fellowship. Both the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society and the Alumnae of the same name were the oldest organizations of their kind at Rice.

According to a 1929 'Houston Post' clipping, Miss Hill did reportorial work for Houston newspapers during her school career. She worked as a cub reporter for the old 'Houston Dispatch', as women's editor for the 'Houston Press', and was later in charge of the music and fine-arts page for the 'Houston Post-Dispatch'. Following her graduation, she did printing and secretarial work at the Rice Hotel, in order to gain experience and contacts with the public. Later she joined the display advertising staff of the 'Post-Dispatch', in charge of two feature pages, "Mrs. Houston's Model Kitchen," and "Of Interest to Women." Late in 1929, Miss Hill was appointed chief of production, copy, and layouts of the Premier Advertising Co. in Houston. A 'Post-Dispatch' article of unknown date announces that Miss Hill was in charge of the advertising account offices of Mrs. Douglas Robinson Advertising and Letter Service. In 1931, Miss Hill states in a letter that she had been in the advertising business for about eight years and had handled the women's specialty advertising in the 'Houston Post-Dispatch', which she left to go into agency work. She wrote that she was not associated with anyone (in 1931) and had her office with Dealy-Adey-Elgin Company, the printers. She maintained her advertising business at least through 1939.


2.00 Cubic Feet


This collection consists of 146 items described in 27 folders. These materials are housed with other collections in a banker's box. There is also one oversize box containing old newspapers.

Guide to the Martha Frances Hill Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository