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 »


Randolph B. Campbell
Marilyn McAdams Sibley (1921–2006).
Marilyn McAdams Sibley served as the president of the Texas State Historical Association from 1981 to 1982 and had a distinguished career as a professor of history at Houston Baptist University. Courtesy Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

SIBLEY, MARILYN ALICE MCADAMS (1921–2006). Marilyn Alice McAdams Sibley, Texas historian and academic leader, daughter of Horace and Nevada (Stuart) McAdams, was born in rural Walker County, Texas, on September 30, 1921. She grew up in East Texas and on June 24, 1944, married J. Dale Sibley at the First Baptist Church in Huntsville, near her family’s Walker County farmstead. The Sibleys had three sons—Stuart and Mark, who became dentists, and David, an attorney who served in the Texas State Senate from 1991 to 2002.   

Sibley began her academic career by earning a bachelor’s degree in English at Sam Houston State University. Then in 1961 she completed her master’s degree in history at the University of Houston and in 1965 earned a Ph.D. in history at Rice University. Upon receiving her doctorate, Sibley joined the faculty at Houston Baptist University and quickly built a reputation as a distinguished publisher of Texas history. Beginning with Travelers in Texas, 1761–1860 (1967) and The Port of Houston: A History (1968), and continuing with Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (1983, 2000) as well as The Methodist Hospital of Houston: Serving the World (1990), she published eight books that, together with her articles in scholarly journals such as the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, made invaluable contributions to the historiography of the state.  

Sibley’s success as a scholar brought recognition from many groups.  The Texas State Historical Association honored her as a “Fellow” in 1974 and elected her as its president for 1981–82. The Sons of the Republic of Texas recognized her with the Summerfield G. Roberts Award in 1967 and again in 1983. She received the Minnie Stevens Piper Award for excellence in teaching in 1976. At Houston Baptist, she chaired the Department of History and also won numerous awards for outstanding teaching. Sibley was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She also belonged to the First Baptist Church in Huntsville.

Marilyn McAdams Sibley died in Conroe, Texas, on January 19, 2006.  She was survived by her husband of sixty-one years, three sons, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.  She was buried at the McAdams Cemetery in Walker County.


“Clippings,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 85 (July 1981). Huntsville Item, January 20, 2006.

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, Randolph B. Campbell, "SIBLEY, MARILYN ALICE MCADAMS," accessed July 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsibl.

Uploaded on October 3, 2017. 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...