While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Melanie A. Roberts

Annie Lee Warren Roberts
Annie Lee Warren Roberts. Courtesy of the Summerlee Foundation. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

ROBERTS, ANNIE LEE WARREN (1895–1990). Annie Lee Warren Roberts, philanthropist and historical preservationist, was born in Terrell, Texas, in 1895, the only child of Annie (Cartwright) and state Senator Robert Lee Warren. Following graduation from high school in Terrell, Annie Lee attended Gunston Hall Women's College in Washington, D.C., and Monticello College in Geoffrey, Illinois. On May 15, 1920, she married Terrell native Summerfield G. Roberts, a fifth-generation Texan who was just beginning a business career in Dallas. As the couple prospered financially through his banking, oil, and real estate dealings, they jointly pursued interests that improved the cultural, social, and literary life of Dallas and Texas. Mrs. Roberts worked diligently to improve the plight of homeless pets and captive wildlife as well as to protect the animals in the wild. In 1984 she was a recipient of the Founders medal for extraordinary service to animals. In 1988, in association with the Animal Protection Institute and United Animal Nations-USA, she founded the Annie Lee Roberts Emergency Animal Rescue Service fund. She received the award for excellence for extraordinary achievement in animal rescue in 1988 and was the recipient of the animal philanthropist of the year award from the Animal Protection Institute in 1989. Her civic memberships included Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Dallas Garden Club. Preserving Texas history was an ardent interest she shared with her husband; in 1948 they established, through the Sons of the Republic of Texas, the Summerfield G. Roberts Award for the best work of history on early Texas. For her role in the creation of this monetary award, Mrs. Roberts subsequently was elected an honorary member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. She and her husband also were responsible for numerous artistic and literary gifts to the Hall of State in Dallas and the State Library and Archives Building in Austin. Later in her life, following the death of her husband in 1970, she established the Summerlee Foundation to provide funding for the protection of animals and the study and preservation of Texas history. In its efforts to preserve the state's history, the foundation underwrote the work of the Summerlee Commission, which in 1991 completed a comprehensive study of the status of teaching, studying and preserving Texas history. Annie Lee Warren Roberts died at her Dallas home on April 22, 1990, at the age of ninety-four, and was buried in Hillcrest Mausoleum in Dallas. She and her husband had no children.


Dallas Morning News, April 24, 1990. Dallas Times Herald, April 24, 1990. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Southwestern Collection, January 1991.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Melanie A. Roberts, "ROBERTS, ANNIE LEE WARREN," accessed August 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/frora.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on June 18, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...