Doyle Willis Collection

Inventory cover

Summary:  This collection consists of the Inventory of County Records, Tarrant County, Volume I, and Inventory of County Records, Tarrant County, Volume II.  In 1974, Douglas Ferrier began creating an inventory of Tarrant County records under the County Records Project. This project was meant to survey county records state-wide. The project was funded through North Texas State University, which received a grant under Title I of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and inventories were published by the Texas State Library.  A similar project, the Work Projects Administration Historical Records Survey, began in 1935, but was stopped due to the onset of World War II. 

The Tarrant County inventory took approximately 1,500 hours, and was completed by workers and volunteers at the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington, the Texas State Library, and Tarrant County officials. The following is a list of Tarrant County officials who participated: Personnel Director Robert C. Popplewell, County Treasurer W. B. Gurley, County Judge Mike Moncrief, County Clerk Madrin Huffman, Purchasing Agent Ed Smith, Tax Assessor-Collector Reed Stewart, Sheriff Lon Evans, County Auditor Jack Benson, Medical Examiner Dr. Felix Gwozdz, County Superintendent of Schools Leta Mae Gaby, County Fire Marshal Robert Looney, District Clerk J. W. Boorman, Precinct 1 Place 1 Justice of the Peace W. W. Matthews, Precint 1 Place 2 Justice of the Peace R. E. Ashmore, District Attorney Tim Curry, former Constable Precinct 1 Bill Hastings, and former Director of Planning and Management Murphy Kleuser.

The Texas State Archives used the data from the state-wide project to create a records management manual for county officials.  With a records retention policy in place, county officials had guidelines to follow, allowing them to transfer or dispose of records accordingly.  These policies helped counties save money by only storing records that needed to be kept.  While initially grant-funded, the project did receive funding from the Texas State Legislature from 1977-1981, before state budget cuts forced the project to end in 1981.


Mary S. Pearson, "TEXAS COUNTY RECORDS INVENTORY PROJECT," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 07, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

North Texas State University, "Texas County Records Inventory Project," Press Release.  July 12, 1978.


  • Inventory of County Records, Tarrant County, Volume I
  • Inventory of County Records, Tarrant County, Volume II