Oral History Collection

MAIN ENTRY: Pearce, William M. (Bill)
DATE OF INTERVIEW: July 24, 1973; November 18, 1974; August 1, 1979; c. 1991
INTERVIEWER: David Murrah, Lindsey P. Esco
LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 7 hours, 30 minutes (total)
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: Tapes 1-6: Dr. William M. Pearce, Texas Tech University professor of history and administrator, recalls his career and reviews the history of Texas Tech. Tape 7: Dr. Pearce discusses the separation of sociology into its own department at Tech. Tape 8: He gives a presentation of his research on Cantonment Burgwin, a mid-19th century Army post near Taos, New Mexico. Tape 9: In addition to Cantonment Burgwin, Pearce discusses his research of the oil business in association with Tech professor C. C. Rister.
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: Pearce family
Will Morton Pearce, father
Annie Eugenia Bates, mother
William M. Pearce
Born: Plainview, Texas (March 11, 1913)
Father (again)
Education career
Preaching career
William M. Pearce (again)
Father (again)
Career (again)
William M. Pearce (again)
Education, Abilene and Amarillo, Texas
Father (again)
Church positions
To Vernon, Texas (1930)
To Lubbock, Texas (1933)
To Pampa, Texas (1937)
To Vernon, Texas (1941)
Parkinson’s disease
Death (1952)
Mother (again)
William M. Pearce (again)
Amarillo High School football
Hugh Butler
Dutchy Smith (1928-1930)
Blair Cherry (1930s)
Oil booms and football
Kemper Military School, Missouri
Great Depression
Size of school
Southern Methodist University
History major
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO William M. Pearce (continued)
SMU (continued)
Trip to New Mexico (1933)
To Lubbock (1933)
Texas Tech (1934)
Description (1928 and 1934)
W. C. Holden—archaeology tour of Mexico
Return to SMU (1934-1935)
Holden trip to Glorieta, New Mexico (1935)
Graduate studies, Texas Tech Anthropology
Teaching college history (1936)
Archaeology jobs
High school teaching, Dalhart, Texas
Completed master’s degree (1937)
TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE: W. C. Holden (again)
First wife’s death (1937)
To Odessa, Texas
Texas Tech history
Dr. Paul W. Horn, President
Early faculty
Dr. Bradford Knapp, President
Clifford B. Jones, President
William M. Pearce (again)
Teaching duties, History Department
Faculty (again)
History faculty
World War II
National unity
Enlisted, summer 1942
Military training
European service
TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO: William M. Pearce (continued)
World War II (continued)
European service (continued)
Return to Texas Tech (1945)
Graduate work
University of Texas (1947)
Matador Ranch research
Matador Land and Cattle Company book
Completed (1963)
Published (1964)
McKenzie family, Matador Ranch
TAPE THREE, SIDE ONE: McKenzie family (continued)
Matador Ranch (again)
Texas Tech history (again)
William Whyburn, President
Old West Texas Museum
Dr. Dossie Wiggins, President
Carl Coke Rister
Doctoral programs established
Geology Department
History Department
TAPE THREE, SIDE TWO: Texas Tech history (continued)
Dr. Wiggins (continued)
Administration (continued)
E. N. Jones, President
Institute of Americanism
J. Evetts Haley
McCarthyism (early 1950s)
Dr. Byron Abernathy firing
TAPE FOUR, SIDE ONE: Texas Tech history (continued)
E. N. Jones (continued)
McCarthyism (continued)
Dr. Abernathy firing (continued)
Faculty censorship
Anecdote: atheism, communism accusations, 1948
Dr. John Granbery removed (1930s)
Dr. Stensland, Adult Education
Pantex acquisition
Southwest Collection creation
Builders of the Southwest
Admission to Southwest Conference
E. N. Jones (again)
Resignation (1959)
Abernathy firing (again)
TAPE FOUR, SIDE TWO: William M. Pearce
Academic Vice President job
Executive Vice President job
Institutional self-evaluation
Texas Tech history (again)
Dr. R. C. Goodwin, President
Health absence (1961)
College integration (1961)
Athletic program
As an administrator
Anecdote: Stoney Wall
Ralph Durham, agricultural researcher
TAPE FIVE, SIDE ONE: Texas Tech history (continued)
Inter-departmental rivalries
Mandatory retirement policy
Grover E. Murray, President
Comparison to Dr. Wiggins
Administrative appointments
Marshall Pennington
Pearce’s job duties (1960s)
TAPE FIVE, SIDE TWO: Texas Tech history (continued)
Grover Murray (continued)
Administrative abilities
Law and medical schools
State and local politics
Removal of AAUP censure
School name change
Preston Smith
Legislative Budget Board
TAPE SIX, SIDE ONE: Texas Tech history (continued)
Relationship with state government
William M. Pearce (again)
Other job opportunities
Texas Wesleyan presidency
Left Texas Tech (1968)
Texas Wesleyan presidency (again)
Future plans
Texas Tech history (again)
Relationship with Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Pete Cawthon
TAPE SIX, SIDE TWO: Texas Tech history (again)
Dell Morgan
DeWitt Weaver
J. T. King
Problems at Texas Tech
TAPE SEVEN, SIDE ONE: William M. Pearce
Involvement with sociology department
Post-World War II development
Attitudes toward sociology
Department affiliations
Growth of department
Separation into a single unit
Comparison to anthropology
Administrative support of sociology department
Dr. Curry Holden’s support and information
Dr. Winfred Steglich, first department chairman
Southwest Conference football
TAPE EIGHT, SIDE ONE: War with Mexico
Rebellion of Native Americans near Taos, New Mexico (1847)
Captain Burgwin, U. S. Army quells revolt
Captain Sumner establishes Cantoment Burgwin (1852)
Displaced from distractions of Taos
Dragoons stationed there
Hard winters
Soldiers’ morale
Indian problems
Major George Blake
Poor disciplinarian
"Taos lightning"
Colonel Philip St. George Cooke retaliates against
Cantonment closed (1860)
Twentieth Century
Locals loot post
Fred Wendorff interested (1954)
Wendorff to Texas Tech (1956)
Investigates Burgwin
Sketches in National Archives
Determines location
Archaeology class from Tech excavates (1957)
Park Service provides for reconstruction
Wendorff to Southern Methodist University
Bill Clements interested
SMU takes over site
Summer programs begin
Research center
Question and answer session
TAPE NINE, SIDE ONE: Dr. Rister’s project on oil history
Oil, Titan of the Southwest
William M. Pearce
Field work for Rister in Rockies
C. T. McLaughlin (Diamond M Foundation)
Suspicion of oil companies
Dr. Rister

Health problems and death (1955)
University of Oklahoma
Dr. D. M. Wiggins—Simmons College
First Tech Distinguished Professor
Dr. Curry Holden
W. M. Pearce’s relationship
Career at Texas Tech
Heart attack
Pearce relationship (again)
Lure to build up number of graduate students
Early Texas Tech graduate school
Dr. Beddington Reed—first Tech Ph.D.
Influence on establishing graduate school
Offshore oil wells
Bill Clements
George Bush
Dr. Rister (again)
Distinguished professor controversy
Texas Tech growth—post-World War II
Dr. Rister (again)
Work with Leroy Hafen
Project on oil industry history
Robert Leslie Martin work on history of oil industry
Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts
"Big Oil" feared among Texans?

TAPE NINE, SIDE TWO: Introduction incorrect
Big oil companies’ opposition to Dr. Rister’s project
Casper, Wyoming
Oil shale
Dr. Rister’s project (again)
End result
Bill Clements (again)
William M. Pearce (again)
Director of Fort Burgwin project
Fred Wendorff
Mr. Rounds
Fort Burgwin history
Wendorff’s efforts to restore
SMU’s interest
Bill Clements
Interest in Fort Burgwin
Builds house
Offshore drilling business
Oil companies
RANGE DATES: 1846-1991
BULK DATES: 1930-1970