Clanton, Cleora (unknown–1968)

By: Debbie Mauldin Cottrell

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Cleora Clanton, librarian, was born in Dallas to Susie E. Clanton. In 1915 she accepted a job with the Dallas Public Library and after a brief apprenticeship decided to make her career in library work. Over the next several years she served as a branch librarian, assistant librarian, and acting librarian before becoming head of the Dallas Public Library in 1927. She remained in this position for twenty-seven years. In it she worked for improved conditions and funding and oversaw the opening of the first branch library for the black community in Dallas. In the 1950s when librarians across the country were advised to remove all books on Communism from library shelves, she refused, noting that knowledge of Communism was not harmful. She led the campaign for construction of a new library building in downtown Dallas, which opened shortly after she retired. She began the use of bookmobiles in Dallas and implemented adult education in the library's film department. Cleora Clanton served as president of the Texas Library Association from 1931 to 1933. She was a member of the Oak Cliff Christian Church and, later, the First Community Church. She retired from the Dallas Public Library in 1955 and died in Dallas on September 16, 1968, survived by one brother and one sister. She was buried in Five Mile Cemetery.

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Dallas Times Herald, February 28, December 26, 1954, September 17, 1968. Larry Grove, Dallas Public Library: The First 75 Years (Dallas Public Library, 1977).
  • Women
  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Archivists
  • Librarians
Time Periods:
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, “Clanton, Cleora,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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