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Harold and Lucille Pape papers

Identifier: Coll-193
The Harold and Lucile Pape Papers consists of personal and biographical papers of the Pape family, administrative records of the office of the justice of the peace and postmaster, Harold’s scrapbooks and postal posters, maps and publications.


  • Majority of material found within 1910-1963


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 3 framed certificates)


Harold and Lucile Pape papers document the lives of two citizens of Gregory, Texas who served their town, he as the Justice of the Peace and she as the Postmaster in the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s. The records reflect the town’s civil controversies, minor criminal cases, correspondence and administrative documents of each office including oil and gas leases and justice court documents. Some biographical information of the Pape family, starting with Carl Wilhelm Pape, Harold Pape’s father is included.

Biographical / Historical

Harold Frederick Pape was born in McLeansboro, Illinois on March 26, 1890, he was raised in a Christian home by his mother, aunt, and brother, all scholars and teachers. His father, Carl Wilhelm Pape immigrated to America from Germany in 1869. He worked as a blacksmith and locksmith and married Irene Ann Gates, the daughter of Dr. Samuel Gates in 1876. Even though Carl’s businesses were successful he liked to try new endeavors and traveled to Arkansas to form a sawmill business. Eventually he would have six sawmills operating in the southern states. Irene and the children stayed in Illinois and eventually Carl returned. A third child was born, a girl, Gladys in 1892 and the oldest boy, Reggie went to Wabash College and then Yale. Harold became interested in the natural sciences and worked at one of the family sawmills in Arkansas manufacturing wooden barrel staves.

Harold Pape moved to Gregory, Texas in 1927 where he met and married Lucile H. Tunnell, who had three young sons. He became engaged in the insurance and bond business, was a partner to A.H. Barnett, who was married to Lucile’s sister. He bought the business from Barnett in 1940. In the late 1930s he became justice of the peace for Precinct 4 of San Patricio County. He had a colorful reputation due to his perfectionistic nature and his strictness with speed violators. His interests were many and varied but his passion was studying and collecting Indian artifacts. Harold’s penchant for perfection served him well in his archaeological studies. With the help of his stepson John W. Tunnell, Pape amassed one of the largest cataloged surface Indian artifact collections from the Texas Coastal Bend. Harold passed away in 1952.

Lucile Howard Tunnell Pape came to Gregory from Dallas to visit her sister, Mrs. A.H. Barnett in 1910. She met Newell Summers Tunnell who served as a cashier at the Farmer’s State Bank of Gregory, they married in 1912 and had three sons. He died early in 1924. She was appointed Gregory Postmaster October 1, 1926 and served for thirty years. She also served as Gregory correspondent of the Corpus Christi Caller Times for many years. A year after she became postmaster she and Harold Pape married. Lucile passed away in 1963. John Wesley Tunnell, the oldest of Lucile’s three boys developed an interest in regional archaeology, this became a strong bond between John and his stepfather, Harold Pape. John and Harold’s writings and maps became known to “Wes” Tunnell, John’s son in the 1990s and he and his son, Jace, organized and documented the collection. A book was published by Texas A&M University Press, Pioneering Archaeology in the Texas Coastal Bend, The Pape-Tunnell Collection by John W. Tunnell Jr. and Jace W. Tunnell in 2015.

John Tunnell Sr. had a strong interest in stamp collecting as well. His collection of fourteen U.S. and foreign stamp albums were gifted to Special Collections and Archives at TAMU-CC in 2019 by Colleen Johnson and Brian Miller.


The collection is organized into three series and eleven sub-series.

Series I: Pape Family History Sub-Series A: Carl Wilhelm Pape Papers (father of Harold Pape) Sub-Series B: Harold F. Pape Papers, Justice of the Peace of Gregory, Texas, San Patricio County Sub-Series C: Lucile Pape Papers, Postmaster of Gregory, Texas, San Patricio County, wife of Harold F. Pape Sub-Series D: Reggie Pape Papers (Brother of Harold F. Pape)

Series II: Harold F. Pape papers as Justice of the Peace and Insurance Agent in Gregory, Texas, San Patricio County Sub-Series A: Correspondence as Justice of the Peace Sub-Series B: Administrative Papers Sub-Series C: Pape and Barnett Insurance papers Sub-Series D: Harold Pape’s Scrapbook and Personal Notes

Series III: Lucile Pape Papers as Postmaster of Gregory, Texas in San Patricio County Sub-Series A: Correspondence and documents Pertaining to Postal Service Administration Sub-Series B: Registry Delivery Books Sub-Series C: Postal posters, maps and publications

Related Materials

John W. Tunnell, M.D. Texana collection Dr. John “Wes” Tunnell Papers Stamp Collection of John Tunnell MD and Mary Stubbs donated by Colleen Johnson and Brian Miller

Harold and Lucile Pape Papers
Lori Atkins
2020 March
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-5973 (Fax)