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Mary Whatley Clarke Papers


Mary Whatley Clarke was a prominent Southwestern author and Fort Worth Civic Leader for more than thirty years. She was born Mary Emma Whatley in 1899 to a pioneer Palo Pinto County family. In 1920, she married James Coltman Dunbar, the publisher of the Norwood Press in Winnipeg, Canada.

After her husband’s death in 1923, Mrs. Dunbar operated the newspaper for several years before selling it and returning to Palo Pinto. From 1933 - 1943, she owned the Palo Pinto County Star, a weekly newspaper in Mineral Wells. In 1946, she married Joe Clarke, a banker, and moved to Fort Worth. Mrs. Clarke was active in historical and social circles and wrote numerous books including The Palo Pinto Story, Chief Bowles and the Texas Cherokees and John Simpson Chisum: Jinglebob King of the Pecos.


The collection was donated by Mrs. Clarke’s daughter in October 1990.

Scope and Contents Note

The collection consists of two boxes comprising the manuscripts for two unpublished books, the galley proofs for the book on John Chisum, research notes, correspondence, and biographical materials.

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Last updated: Sept. 17, 2014