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Miss Denton Pageant Collection

Identifier: DTEX 2019.004

Scope and Content

This collection contains souvenir programs, photographs and negatives, clippings, correspondence and ephemera collected by David Southard in his capacity within the Denton Jaycees organization as sponsors of the Miss Denton Pageant. The Miss Denton Collection is housed in one manuscript box totaling 0.4 linear ft.

The collection has three series: Souvenir Programs, Photographic Materials and Printed Materials. The first series, Souvenir Programs (1953-1981), contains souvenir programs from the Miss Denton, Miss Texas and Miss America Pageants. Series II, Photographic Materials (1953-1979), consists of photographs and negatives of pageant contestants. Some photos appear to be promotional in nature and feature each individual contestant in evening gown and swim suit in various poses. There are also photographs and negatives of contestants during competition and in public in their role as winner of their respective pageants. Series III, Printed Materials (1954-1971), consists of correspondence, clippings and ephemera pertaining to the various Miss Denton Pageants sponsored by the Denton Jaycees as well as other Denton Jaycees events.

Those interested in the Miss Denton Pageant and, to a lesser extent, the Denton Jaycees will find this collection useful.


  • 1953 - 1981
  • Majority of material found within 1954 - 1971


Language of Materials

Collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections Department of the Denton Public Library.

Historical Sketch

The Miss Denton Scholarship Pageant existed as an official preliminary to the Miss America Pageant from the late 1940s until the early 2000s. The pageant was sponsored primarily by the Denton Chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Denton Jaycees) with the exception being 1976 in which the pageant was sponsored by Rudra’s Bakery. The exact dates in which the Denton Jaycees began sponsorship is uncertain. The 1975 program for the Miss Denton Pageant states sponsorship began in 1948, however the 1965, 1966, 1972 and 1974 programs suggest sponsorship began in 1962.

Winners of the Miss Denton Pageant were awarded funds for education and a number of other items that varied from year to year, but included flight lessons in 1954 provided by Denton Piper Sales and a car in 1978 provided by Bill Utter Ford. All awards were provided by members of the Denton community. Also, the winner of the Miss Denton Pageant was guaranteed a spot to compete in the Miss Texas Pageant, the winner of which competed in the Miss America Pageant. There have been two winners of the Miss Denton Pageant who also went on to claim the title of Miss America, Phyllis George (1971) and Shirley Cothran (1975).

Miss Denton Pageant Collection. Denton, Texas Collection, Special Collections, Denton Public Library.
Miss America: A History. Miss America 2.0.
Miss Texas Turns 75. NBC 5 News. June 29, 2010.


0.4 Linear Feet (One manuscript box.)


The Miss Denton Scholarship Pageant was primarily sponsored by the Denton, Texas chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, locally known as the Denton Jaycees, as an official preliminary for the Miss America Pageant. The winner of Miss Denton was afforded a spot in the Miss Texas Pageant, that winner being subsequently awarded an entry into the Miss America Pageant. This collections contains programs, photographs and ephemera pertaining to Miss Denton Pageants from the early 1950s until the early 1980s conducted under the sponsorship of the Denton Jaycees.

Series Description

The Miss Denton Pageant Collection is arranged in three series:

Series I. Souvenir Programs 0.17 linear ft. (six folders), 1953-1981.

Arranged alphabetically by title and thereunder chronologically.

Series II. Photographic Materials 0.19 linear ft. (two folders), 1953-1979.

Arranged alphabetically by title and thereunder chronologically.

Series III. Printed Materials 0.08 linear ft. (four folders), 1954-1971.

Arranged alphabetically by title and thereunder chronologically.

Provenance Statement

The Miss Denton Pageant Collection was donated to the Denton, Texas Collection, Special Collections, Denton Public Library by David and Ruth Southard on 2019-02-15.

Additional Sources

More information regarding the history of the Miss Denton, Miss Texas or Miss America Pageants can be found on The Portal to Texas History (, the Miss America website (, the Miss Texas website ( and in Beauty Pageant Collection. Special Collections, University Libraries, Bowling Green State University.


It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permissions from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection may be identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder and image numbers. If one exists please use this number when ordering reproductions of images for this collection.

Note to the Researcher

The collection arrived in good condition. Some of the programs have what appear to be proofing marks or judge's marks. The large photos from 1954 have some sort of stain on the backs, but do not appear to affect the integrity of the photo. Nevertheless, they have been placed in mylar sleeves to isolate them from each other. Newspaper clippings have been photocopied onto acid-free paper to preserve the integrity of the information. The scrapbook in Folder 12 was bound in a plastic spiral notebook, it was accompanied by small cardboard ovals and gold foil similar to the material used on the cover of the scrapbook. These ovals were not wrapped in the foil, but it is believe that their purpose was to frame the individual images of contestants that had been cut out of programs and found loose between the pages of the scrapbook. The ovals and foil as well as the plastic spiral notebook shell have been discarded.

Material Removed List

0.25 linear ft. of duplicate programs and clippings have been deaccessioned. Clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper.


Guide to the Miss Denton Pageant Collection, 1953-1981
Matthew Davis
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Matthew Davis, 2019-03-27

Revision Statements

  • 2019-03-27: First revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Denton, Texas Collection Repository

Emily Fowler Central Library
502 Oakland St.
Denton TX 76201 USA