Skip to content.

Welcome to The Archives. Feel free to browse. However, to participate fully in our site, you must be registered and logged in. You may register now or log in below.


Discuss, share and learn in the Aikin Archives Forums.


The Paris Junior College History Department, in a continuing project, collects oral histories from Lamar County veterans of World War II. In recordings and transcripts, the veterans bring to life what it meant to serve 60 years ago.

Listed below are links to historical and genealogical societies and related groups and institutions within the Paris Junior College service area.


» Lamar County
» Red River County


» Lamar County
» Hopkins County
» Fannin County
» Red River County

Early 20th Century Handbags

By Editor | April 14, 2006

The legacy of John Morgan Crook - who served as Paris’ mayor for 16 years at various times beginning in 1918 - extends farther than simply his civic duty. Thanks to Crook’s fashion-conscious wife and daughters, and donations to the A.M. and Welma Aikin Jr. Regional Archives, a bit of early 20th century Paris, Texas, style has been preserved in the form of seven ladies’ handbags.

The small handbags, apparently meant for use with evening wear, were used by Crook’s daughters Mattie Belle and Thelma, or his wife Lula. Two of the handbags, in the form of metal cases, bear the initials “TRC,” perhaps indicating they belonged to Crook’s daughter Thelma. The others bags are either colorfully beaded or made of metal links.

But the power of their design still draws admiring smiles of early 21st century Paris women, proving that elegance speaks through the generations.

Reader comments

Diann Mason | April 18, 2006 @ 01:53 PM

What a treasure…I can’t wait to see these handbags in person.  It seems the most everyday objects take on new meaning many years after they are in vogue…a small glimpse into the lives of earlier Parisians.  How elegant the dresses must have been to accompany such accessories!

Want to comment on this article?

You must be registered and logged in order to leave comments on this site. Please register or log in at the top left of this screen. Once logged in, return to this page, and you will have access to the commenting form.

Copyright © 2006 Paris Junior College
2400 Clarksville St., Paris, Texas 75460
All rights reserved.
Phone: 903.785.7661 ... E-mail

Read our terms & conditions.

Site designed and maintained by the PJC Office of Information Services.