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John W. Tunnell, M.D. Texana collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-931
The John W. Tunnell, M.D. Texana collection consists of over three hundred books and other titles dealing with Texas and local history. Many of these items relate to the Nueces County/San Patricio County region. While the Tunnell Collection contains many standard Texana reference works, it also contains 2 document boxes of obscure local pamphlets, periodicals, maps, brochures, and other printed ephemera dealing with Taft, Sinton, Mathis and surrounding areas.


  • 1861 - 1988


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The 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


18 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Raised in Gregory, Texas where his mother served as the postmistress, Dr. John Tunnell attended Texas A&I University in Kingsville as a premed student. He went on to graduate from Baylor Medical School in 1942. While there, he met and married fellow medical student Rosalie Newman. After graduation, Dr. John joined the U.S. Army Airforce and served at Keesler Field in World War II. The Tunnells returned to Taft, Texas after the war and established their medical practices. They were known as “Dr. John,” and “Dr. Rose.” The Tunnells were known for their dedication to their medical service and for their numerous civic contributions. Dr. John was a family physician, his primary interest was obstetrics, he delivered thousands of babies during his practice. Dr. Rose practiced in pediatrics. Dr. John was involved as a youth in Eagle Scouts and continued as a leader for the organization. He was a member of the Services Clubs throughout his life. Dr. John was a Mason and served on the Taft school board for many years, serving as president for several years. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Taft Hospital, serving as chief of staff for many years. He was a member of the county, state, and national medical societies. Dr. John had an avid interest in history and collected coins, stamps, barbed wire, Indian artifacts, and other historical memorabilia. He became the president of Taft’s Blackland Museum that chronicles the development of the San Patricio County area. He began to collect books on Texas in the early 1950’s. After Dr. John was forced to retire from practice because of illness, he contributed his time and energy to the museum. He organized the collections, he built most of the furniture and fixtures in the museum and he supported the museum financially. Additional the Tunnells provided funds for many students who did not have the money to go to college. He was a naturalist and loved the outdoors. Dr. John died on December 14, 1999.

Physical Location

The books in this collection are shelved in 206-F-1-6.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Dr. “Wes” Tunnell who donated his father’s, Dr. John Tunnel’s Texana Collection on September 3, 1998 to TAMUCC Special Collections and Archives.

Separated Materials

In Progress
Description rules
Language of description

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)