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Caroline Stras collection of Fall family papers

Identifier: Ms-0464

Scope and Content Note

The Caroline Stras collection of Fall family papers consist of items belonging to the Jouett Fall Elliott family and the Albert Bacon Fall family dating from the 1808 into the 1950s, with the bulk dating from 1915-1924. The collection has been divided into three series: Jouett Fall Elliott papers, Albert B. Fall papers and Images. The sole items relating to Caroline Stras are the photographs of her in the Photographs series. A large part of the collection is the personal correspondence of Jouett Elliot Fall. Also included are some papers and correspondence relating to Albert B. Fall and his business interests. The materials are in English, except for a few items in Spanish.

There are a few items relating to the Teapot Dome scandal, including some trail documents and letters from supporters. The materials provide a personal look at the scandal through the family letters from the Falls in Washington, D.C. and Jouett in New Mexico and elsewhere from the time of the trail.


  • 1808-1984

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open. All materials in this collection are available for research under supervised conditions in the Research Room.

Copy Restrictions

Copyrights associated with materials in this collection have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Biographical Sketch

Caroline Stras was the daughter of Jouett Adair Fall Elliott and Brant Elliott and granddaughter of Albert B. and Emma Fall. Jouett Fall and Brant were married November 20, 1919. Caroline was born January 25, 1922 in Fredericksburg, Virginia and was named after her Aunt Caroline Fall Everhart who died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. She spent her childhood in El Paso, Texas, living with her mother and grandparents after the death of her father in 1933. Caroline graduated from business school in North Carolina and worked for many years in banking in El Paso. She was the first female bank officer in El Paso and when she retired in 1978, she was senior vice-president of operations at the Bank of El Paso. She was married to Beverly W. Stras III, from Tazewell, Virginia, an auditor. The two never had any children, due partly to a birth defect of Caroline’s which affected her hand and which she feared to pass on to any children. Beverly Stras died in 2002. Caroline died April 8, 2004 in El Paso.

Albert Bacon Fall was born November 26, 1861, in Frankfort, Kentucky, to William R. and Edmonia Taylor Fall. Health concerns led him westward as a young man and he settled in the Territory of New Mexico. He studied law was admitted to the bar in 1889 and started a practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

On May 7, 1883, Fall married Emma Garland Morgan in Clarksville, Texas. The couple had four children: a son, John (Jack) Morgan Fall; and three daughters: Alexina Chase, Caroline Everhart, and Jouett Elliott born March 31, 1894. The family owned and operated the Three Rivers Ranch in the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico, until the property was foreclosed by E. L. Doheny in 1929. The Falls also maintained a home in El Paso, Texas. In 1918, both Jack and Caroline died in the influenza epidemic.

In the 1890s, Fall was elected to the New Mexico Territorial House of Representatives. He served as an associate justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court and for two terms as attorney-general. Fall also took part in the 1911 convention which framed the constitution for the state of New Mexico.

In 1912, Fall was elected one of the first United States senators for the state of New Mexico. He served as senator until 1921 when President Harding appointed him Secretary of the Interior. While in this capacity, Fall was instrumental in leasing government oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming, and Elk Hills, California, activities that led to conspiracy and bribery investigations and trials from 1924-1929. Fall was convicted and served nine months at the State Prison in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for accepting a $100, 000 bribe from Edward L. Doheny, though his family always maintained his innocence. Doheny was acquitted of the bribery charges brought against him.

Emma Fall died in 1943. Fall died November 30, 1944, in El Paso, Texas, after a long illness.

Biographical information on Albert Bacon Fall taken from the finding guide for the Albert B. Fall family papers. Ms 0008. Archives and Special Collections, New Mexico State University Library.


4.5 Linear Feet (9 Boxes)


Letters and papers of Albert B. Fall, his wife Emma Fall, his daughter Jouett Fall Elliott and her husband Brant Elliott and their daughter Caroline Elliott Stras.


  1. RG2005-010

Processing Information

Dennis Daily and Maura Kenny, 2005.
Guide to the Caroline Stras collection of Fall family papers, 1808-1984
Dennis Daily and Maura Kenny
© 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA