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Colby Dixon Hall and Beatrice Tomlinson Hall Papers

Identifier: MS 190

Scope and Contents

Handwritten correspondence documents two years in the courtship of Colby Hall and Beatrice Tomlinson, who married in August of 1909. During that time, Beatrice was an undergraduate at TCU in Waco and Colby served as Educational Secretary at TCU. In this role, Hall traveled throughout Texas to promote TCU among Disciples of Christ congregations. The letters between the couple are affectionate, and describe their daily lives while apart. The collection also includes letters to Colby and Beatrice from friends and family. A small number of glass plate negatives depict life at TCU in the early 20th century. The collection also contains a family guestbook, a theological textbook by Hall, and a diary.


  • Creation: 1892-1960 Inclusive
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1907-1909 Bulk


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical note

Colby D. Hall (1875-1963) was a Disciples of Christ educator, historian, and minister. He was born in Madisonville, Kentucky in 1875. Hall completed his undergraduate theological studies at Add Ran University (now TCU) in Waco. He entered Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky, as a junior, and graduated with a BA in 1902. Hall earned a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Columbia University in New York in 1904. he returned to Texas and began serving as pastor in Hillsboro until 1906, when he became the educational secretary for TCU. In 1909, the new University Christian Church in Waco called on Hall to be their first full-time pastor. After TCU relocated to Fort Worth, Hall became a professor of Bible and social service, while serving as part-time pastor of the new University Christian Church from 1912 to 1917. In 1914, Brite College of the Bible chose Hall as dean, a position he held until 1947. He also served as dean of the university from 1920 to 1943. Hall continued to serve as a professor of religious history until he retired in 1950 at age seventy-five. He died in 1963.

Beatrice Tomlinson was born in Hillsboro, Texas in 1887. Her father, T.E. Tomlinson, served on the TCU Board of Trustees. She was an active student while at TCU in Waco. She was a member of the Shirley Literary Society, the drama club, was vice president and president of the YWCA, an associate editor of the Skiff, secretary of the student body, and a junior scholarship winner. She graduated in 1908 with a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature. Beatrice married Colby Hall in 1909. She later served on the Christian Women's Board of Missions of the Disciples of Christ and the Faculty Women's Club of TCU. She died in 1965.

The Halls had two children, Dr. Colby Hall, Jr. and Dr. Bita May Hall, who taught French at TCU.


1.25 Linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in three series, I. Correspondence, 1892-1909; II. Glass plate negatives, undated; III. Bound items, 1894-1960.


The letters and negatives were discovered in the attic of the former home of Dr. Bita May Hall in 2015.

Guide to the Colby Dixon Hall and Beatrice Tomlinson Hall Papers
Lisa Pena and Mary Saffell
June 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library Repository

TCU Box 298400
2800 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129-0001
Fort Worth Texas 76129
(817) 257-4566
(817) 257-7282 (Fax)