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Ben Procter Papers

Identifier: MS 151

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, photographs, collected research, notes, manuscripts, interviews, book drafts, and lecture notes document the scholarly career of Dr. Ben Procter.  The material dates from 1840 through 2006 and covers Dr. Procter's major areas of scholarly interest, William Randolph Hearst, the Texas Rangers (law enforcement agency), and John H. Reagan, Postmaster General of the Confederate States of America.  Also part of the collection are class notes from Procter's time at Harvard University, lecture notes used during his tenure at TCU, and other research subject files. The collection is divided into four series.  Series I. William Randolph Hearst, 1862-2006 includes mostly (photocopied?) correspondence, news clippings, and some photographs.  Procter used this research material for his books on the subject: William Randolph Hearst: the Early Years, 1863-1910 and William Randolph Hearst: Final Edition, 1911-1951.  Series II. Texas Rangers, 1956-1996 includes correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, and interviews with the Texas Rangers used for his book: Just One Riot: Episodes of Texas Rangers in the 20th Century. After authoring this book, Procter was called as an expert witness in a copyright lawsuit between Lone Wolf McQuade Associates and CBS over the television show Walker, Texas Ranger. Series III. John H. Reagan, 1840-1903; 1856-1985, includes book drafts, correspondence, notes, a manuscript of his thesis on Reagan, and photographs, all research for his book: Not Without Honor; the Life of John H. Reagan. Series IV. Subject Files, 1937; 1951-2006, contains course work from his years at Harvard, from his teaching at Texas Christian University and some assorted research and writings.


  • Creation: 1840-2007


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Ben Procter entered the University of Texas in 1946 and earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and received All Southwest Conference and All American honors in football and obtained his B.A. degree in 1951. Procter was drafted by, and played briefly with, the Los Angeles Rams before an injury led him back into education to prepare for his longtime career in teaching. His degrees included B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Procter joined the faculty at Texas Christian University in 1957 and began a rewarding association that lasted 43 years. He enthusiastically participated in bringing a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta (an honorary history fraternity) and a Ph.D. program in history to a growing TCU student enrollment. It has been estimated that he taught nearly 10,000 students in seminars and classes, which included U.S. history, Texas history and the American West. Procter authored and co-authored many books and the research of those books is contained within these papers such as: William Randolph Hearst: the Early Years, 1863-1910, Just One Riot: Episodes of Texas Rangers in the 20th Century and Not Without Honor: the Life of John H. Reagan. Ben Procter died in April 2012.


18 Linear feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: Series I. William Randolph Hearst, 1862-2007. Series II. Texas Rangers, 1956-1996. Series III. John H. Reagan, 1840-1903; 1956-1985. Series IV. Subject files, 1937; 1950-2006.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Phoebe Procter and Ben Procter, Jr. on June 13, 2014.

Compiled by Lisa Pena
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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)