Rhone Family Papers

By: Teresa Palomo Acosta

Type: General Entry

Published: May 1, 1995

Updated: September 28, 2020

The Rhone Family Papers, papers of Calvin Lindley and Lucia J. (Knotts) Rhone, Black Americans who owned and operated a farm of 203 acres three miles northeast of Round Top in Fayette County, are housed at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The collection provides insights into the family and farm, which was located on land originally part of the A. Baker land grant. The papers span the years between 1886 and 1971. While uneven in relating the details of the family's life, the collection documents individual and group enterprise of Blacks in the state following Reconstruction. Calvin (1867–1921) and Lucia (1866–1941) probably lived most of their lives in the area surrounding Round Top. Calvin was a teacher and farmer in Fayette County for many years and also served on the La Grange District Association of the Baptist Church. He and Lucia Knotts were married on December 27, 1897, at Round Top. They had twelve children, eight of whom lived to adulthood.

Many of the Rhone Family papers provide information on the teaching career of Urissa E. Rhone Brown, one of the Rhone daughters, who was also a principal in the local Black public school system. Other materials reveal that most of Urissa's siblings were, like her, educated at Prairie View A&M University and also taught school. Personal letters, legal documents, certificates, and some 105 photographs provide other insights into aspects of the lives of the Rhones, including affiliations with the Knights of Pythias and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten. Various records provide information on rural schools for Blacks. For instance, a brochure on the Texas Interscholastic League for Colored Schools (also known as the Prairie View Interscholastic League), which was founded in 1920–21 as a separate organization modeled on the University Interscholastic League, supplies information on the organization's role in improving Black schools. Its establishment by the Colored Teachers State Association of Texas (later known as (the Teachers State Association of Texas) and the Negro School Division of the State Department of Education was an attempt to provide opportunities for Black students to excel in mathematics, public speaking, writing, and other subjects.

Rhone Family Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin, Texas. 


  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Education

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

Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Rhone Family Papers,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/rhone-family-papers.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995
September 28, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: