Selections from the Ewing Family Papers

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    Luncheon for Prospective Brides; Order of Dances.

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    Photograph of the 11/16/1911 Flower Parade -- horse drawn float shown.

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    Gift remnants – James Rillasterron.

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    Newspaper photograph of Miss Gladys Ewing at the Coronation Ball in full evening dress with tiara and train; Dinner-Dance; Luncheon at Country Club; With Miss Lovejoy for the afternoon.

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    Beautiful invitation with colorful nymph to Mrs. W. G. Smiley's Luncheon; The Stylus = a printed poem by Gladys Ewing entitled A New Year Revelation; Mr. and Mrs. Bassett Blakely's engraved invitation card to Thalian Club dance; Order of Dances card with pencil on string.

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    Very colorful illustrated Honors for Houston Girl; Houston Daily Post, Houston Girl in New Orleans; Rex "King of the Carnival" invitation and dance program, Carnival Palace; Comus, Reception, Order of Dances.

Get into the swing of high society with Houston debutante Gladys Ewing in 1911. This digital collection represents Miss Ewing’s own scrapbook, commemorating social events and personal engagements through ornate invitations, gift cards, handwritten diary entries, and news clippings from the society pages. Created when she was 18 years old, her scrapbook contains 95 pages of material dated mostly from November 1911 to February 1912.

The daughter of Judge Presley Kittredge Ewing and philanthropist/activist Mary Ellen Ewing, Gladys Ewing served as Maid of Honor to the Queen of the No-Tsu-Oh Carnival, an annual festival in Houston that featured formal balls and parades. (The word No-Tsu-Oh is Houston spelled backwards.) The scrapbook includes telegrams congratulating her on this crowning appointment, as well as newspaper photos, beautifully graphic notecards with ribbons and pressed flowers still intact, and Miss Ewing’s explanatory notes written on the pages.

Some of the brief diary entries recall trips out of town, swim parties, automobile rides, dinners, and other social events – almost always including the names of other guests. One such entry comprises a list of Miss Ewing’s many gentleman callers on Christmas Eve. The scrapbook also contains a four-page “gift registry” of sorts, in which Miss Ewing wrote little poetic rhymes about gifts received and the people who sent them.

The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections in The Ewing Family Papers.

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