Euline Williams Brock, historian, civil rights advocate, and community political leader, was born at Jamestown, Smith County, Texas, on June 2, 1932. She was the daughter of Charlie Ansley and Eula (Ivey) Williams. As a young child, she moved with her family to Van, Texas, where she attended public school and developed a life-long interest in education. More than likely she received special inspiration for her love of learning from her mother who had attended college for two years prior to marrying and having a family. After high school in Van, Williams attended Tyler Junior College before transferring to the University of Texas where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1952 and a master’s degree in English literature in 1954.
Williams became a lecturer in English at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) in Denton in 1954. There, she met Horace R. Brock, a faculty member in accounting, and the couple married on May 24, 1955. They had three children—Alan, Mary Ann, and Charles. Brock focused on her family for the next few years, but at the same time she made a lasting commitment to civil rights and the struggle for racial equality. A charter member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Denton, she joined other women from her congregation and members of the local African-American community to form the Denton Women’s Interracial Fellowship. The group worked in numerous ways to lessen discrimination and improve the conditions of life for African Americans in Denton.
While rearing her family and working for civil rights, Brock entered the graduate school at North Texas State University and earned a Ph.D. in history in 1974. Her doctoral dissertation—“Black Political Leadership during Reconstruction”—reflected her continuing interest in civil rights and contributed to a national revision of the traditional interpretation of Reconstruction. She taught as a member of the history faculty at Tarrant County College and as an adjunct professor of history at Texas Woman’s University.
Brock’s first notable involvement in city government came in 1985 when she was appointed to the Denton Planning and Zoning Commission. In 1992 she won a seat on the Denton city council, and after eight years of service there, she was elected mayor of Denton, a position that she held for six years until 2006. Brock contributed greatly to many positive advances in the city of Denton during her years in leadership positions. Probably the best example was her role in creating the Denton County Transportation Authority that provided light-rail transportation from Denton to Dallas. In 2014 in recognition of her work, the system’s terminal in Denton was named the Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center.
Brock served her community in so many ways that only a few of the groups in which she participated can be listed—the Greater Denton Arts Council, the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau, the UNT Foundation, the Rotary Club, and the Denton Humanitarian Association. She and her husband Horace engaged in widespread philanthropy in the Denton community, and their support for University of North Texas was recognized by giving their names to the lobby of the Murchison Performing Arts Center on the UNT campus.
Euline Williams Brock died on July 1, 2018, and according to her wishes, her body was donated to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.