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William Edward McCarron Collection

Identifier: 2008.006

Scope and Contents

Divided into five series, this collection includes McCarron's correspondence, writings, student materials, papers relating to legal matters, and miscellaneous papers.

The first series, Correspondence, contains correspondence from 1990-1998,

Series II, Writings, consist mostly of autobiographical manuscript material beginning in 1930s and ending in 1998. The order of the materials was largely determined by McCarron’s own organization of his works into ten large, numbered, three-ring binders although there is a small binder from the 1930s and 1940s entitled "Prologue 30s-40s", which contains first-hand accounts of early World War II from the home front. Also included is one binder of his early poetry entitled "Ancient Ramblings" and twelve yearly planner/organizers from 1980-1995, which McCarron used as diaries.

Series III, Student Materials, includes McCarron’s 1927 high school graduation bulletin, two of his original Harvard class notebooks and Harvard class syllabus, class notes and the pencil manuscript. of a long poem from that period.

Series IV, Legal Matters, includes the sale of a house in Massachusetts, “New Hampshire Legal Problems,” a file related to McCarron’s wife at the time of his death and a file of matters related to the settlement of his estate after his death in 1999.

Series V, Miscellaneous, includes files dealing with organizational and financial matters, Ambassador Joseph C. Grew who was also a Harvard graduate and U.S. Ambassador to Japan prior to World War II, medical matters, and McCarron family genealogy.


  • 1927-1998, inclusive
  • Majority of material found within 1991-1998,


Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Edward McCarron (b. June 10, 1910, d. February 26, 1999), father of Dr. William "Bill" Edwards McCarron was born and raised in eastern Massachusetts. He graduated from Lexington (MA) High School in 1927 and received his BA in English from Harvard in 1932. He was the son of first generation parents (Michael and Margaret) whose families immigrated from Ireland and Italy, respectively. He had two sisters, Helen and Frances.

After college he worked at various jobs, finally settling on casualty insurance where he worked for the next 45 years (ca. 1935-1980). He worked for General Accident in New Haven from 1942-1946 and in Springfield, MA from 1947-1957. He then worked for Lynford Shmisskiss Insurance Agency in Lynn, MA, until he retired.

He married Frances Emma Edwards, of Winthrop, MA, December 1, 1939, and had three children: William, Thomas and Elizabeth. The family lived in West Springfield, MA ('46-'57) then in Marblehead, MA, ('57-'80). After retirement, they moved to Englewood, FL, for four years until his wife developed stomach cancer in 1984. After his wife's death, McCarron married Margaret Dreis (Nov 2, 1990) and they lived in Pensacola, FL, until McCarron's death.

Note that William Edward McCarron is not actually a “Senior”, nor is his son, Dr. William "Bill" Edwards McCarron technically a “Junior” because Professor Bill McCarron’s middle name comes from his mother’s maiden name and ends with an “s” while his father’s middle name uses the traditional given name spelling of Edward, without the “s”. This is noted here to help the researcher avoid confusion since, as of this writing, the collections of both Dr. William "Bill" Edwards McCarron and his father, William Edward McCarron, are housed in the Special Collections Department at Texas A&M Univesity-Commerce.


2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The materials in this collection are kept in essentially the same order as they were donated. Exact dating of some of the materials is difficult since many of them do not indicate when they were written. This is especially true of the "Adventures in Mediocrity" series, McCarron’s autobiographical, holograph mss. which form the bulk of the collection. In his biography of his father, Professor Bill McCarron indicates that these autobiographical materials were started in the 1970s and continued for some years. There are many newspaper and magazine clippings and some letters that were almost certainly inserted in the mss. some time after they were written. These probably are not useful tools for dating the mss., but they have been left where they were when the materials were donated since they were almost certainly placed there by the author.

The "Adventures in Mediocrity" notebooks were made of plastic. Since plastic tends to decay quickly in storage, the materials in these notebooks have been removed and placed in archival folders. In a few cases, when the material in a notebook was too thick to place in one folder, the material has been divided and placed in two or more folders. The folders are labeled “Part I”, “Part II”, etc., followed by the title of the materials. These divisions of the materials do not necessarily reflect any division in the mind of the author.

Related Materials

William Edward McCarron's son, Dr. William "Bill" Edwards McCarron's collection is also available in the Special Collections Department, collection 2008.02.

William Edward McCarron Collection
Stephen Murray; Andrea Weddle (revisions)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository