Papers (1852-1950) of the Dawson family, including patriarch John Barkley Dawson (1830-1918), a trailblazer, Texas Ranger
and cattle rancher in New Mexico and Colorado, and several generations of his descendants. J. B. Dawson purchased part of
the Maxwell Land Grant in New Mexico. The bulk of the collection relates to research about J.B. Dawson and other family members
complied by Delphine Dawson Wilson, family historian. Materials include correspondence between family members, diaries and
scrapbooks, photographs and photograph albums, ephemera, and research materials.
The collection occupies 5.6 linear feet and is arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) DIARIES AND SCRAPBOOKS, 3) PHOTOGRAPHS,
4) EPHEMERA, and 5) WRITINGS.
John Barkley Dawson, patriarch of the Dawson family, drove cattle across the American frontier from Arkansas to the mining
towns of California in 1855. In 1857 he homesteaded land in Fort Belknap, Texas, and began a business that sold cattle to
government forts, Indian agents and the distant mining towns of Colorado. Dawson blazed the trail that later became known
as the Dawson Trail. For a brief period, 1864-1865, he served as a Texas Ranger.