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Texas Division
United Daughters of the Confederacy®

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The History of the Texas Confederate Museum Collection

The Texas Confederate Museum Collection of the Texas Division United Daughters of the Confederacy® organization, was established to conserve and display artifacts from the War Between the States period. The Collection was originally located in the Texas State Capitol, Austin, from 1903-1913.

In 1917, the museum collection was moved to the Old General Land Office building on the Capitol grounds, where it remained for seventy years. Following a Legislative action directing a renovation of the Land Office building in 1988, a move was necessitated and the Collection went into temporary storage. When the Land Office renovation was completed, the State requested the UDC to find a different depository for the Collection.

Recognizing that the Collection must remain before the public, a special showing was held at the Helen Marie Taylor Museum in Waco, Texas, from 1990-1992. During this time, many of the artifacts were on display and special preview events, such as living histories, were held.

In 1992, the temporary display ended and the Collection returned to storage again. During the next 2 years, with the assistance of the Texas Association of Museums and the Summerlee Foundation, the UDC conducted a feasibility study to determine a permanent direction for the Collection.

In 1994, an agreement was reached with Hill College, Hillsboro, Texas to house the Collection, with the exception of the flags, in the History Complex. During this time, many of the artifacts were on display in the museum.

In 2000, Hill College and the UDC terminated their agreement and the Collection went into storage in Dallas, Texas. During the next few years, various items of the collection were on loan for display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Southern History, Houston; the Bob Bullock State History Museum, Austin; the Great Hall of the Capitol, Washington, DC; the El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso; the George Bush Presidential Library, College Station; and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth.

In 2002, a North Texas businessman, Mr. Ray Richey, approached the UDC with a proposal to house the remaining portion of the Texas Confederate Museum Collection, along with his and his wife’s private collections, in a planned museum for the Fort Worth area. The UDC membership gratefully voted approval of Mr. Richey’s offer. A contract was signed on August 31, 2002 and construction was begun on a state of the art facility.

At the same time, a long-term loan agreement was begun with the Haley Library and History Center, Midland, TX, to house the portion of the Collection referred to as the TCMC Paper Collection, which are basically research materials.

On October 22, 2005, a private Donor and Volunteer Appreciation Day was held in the completed Texas Civil War Museum, White Settlement, TX. Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Jefferson Davis was the featured speaker. The museum was officially opened to the public on January 24, 2006.

Prior to and following the museum opening, the TCMC Board of Trustees and volunteers devoted hours to the unpacking, filing, cataloguing, sleeving documents, labeling and researching of the artifacts; establishing a work center; preparing a computer data base; writing letters; pursuing grants and donated collections; training and learning about the history of the Collection.

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