Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here’s the scoop for April:
D.K. “Dock” Martin papers, 1916-1968, undated: Materials relating to D.K. Martin, a Texas public official and Baylor University fundraiser and booster. Martin raised money for various historic Baylor buildings, including Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium, Tidwell Bible Building, Alexander Residence Hall, Morrison Hall, Armstrong Browning Library, and Marrs McLean Science Building.
Denson-Baskin family papers, 1898-1956, undated: Correspondence, legal documents, literary productions, and photographs produced by the extended Denson-Baskin Family in early twentieth century Texas, documenting Central Texas life as well as World Wars I and II.
This month, we’re introducing “Print Peeks,” a regular feature examining select items from our print collection. Did you know that The Texas Collection has more than 167,000 books and more than 3,000 active serials titles? And that does not even get into our vertical files and other material types. Our first entry looks at one of our Texas newspapers. Enjoy!
By Sean Todd, Library Assistant
From 1892 to 1901, the Artesia was a popular Waco newspaper with a circulation of over 2,500 at its height. As a society paper, the Artesiafocused its coverage on social events and comings and goings of Wacoans. A typical issue included columns titled “Happenings of the Week—Movements of People You Know,” with items on the Shakespeare Club, the ladies of Waco organizing the parade for “Street Fair Week,” and reports of the local dinner parties with a list of interesting visitors from Houston and San Antonio.
The paper was founded by a prominent member of the Waco Jewish community, Isaac Goldstein, and thus featured more activities of Jewish organizations of the time than did other papers. Goldstein, along with Louey Migel, owned a successful department store in Waco. Not surprisingly, Artesia’s pages were full of advertisements proclaiming the latest fashions and their availability at Goldstein-Migel. Vital to the Artesia’s publication was Kate Friend, who served as editor. Along with her duties at the paper, Friend was an authority on Shakespeare and an advocate for animal rights, even speaking on the subject in Washington, D.C., in 1935.
The 1900 Easter Artesia was one of the few instances that the Artesia featured a color front and back page. Color printing was a much costlier process and reserved for special occasions. Major holidays such as Christmas and Easter were more likely to be celebrated with full color pages because of the positive feelings associated with the event. (Occasionally, Sunday comic pages might get some red ink, and major news headlines would sometimes be printed in red.)
This Easter edition of the Artesia was published on April 15, 1900, and the content is typical of the publication. Notes from recent club meetings and social gatherings fill all four pages. However, the front and back covers are far from standard. The front cover (see above) features a powerful image of an angel, standing with purpose and eyes fixed upward. The mix of soft Easter pastels with a vibrant red and yellow background is striking.
The back cover (to the left) includes festive scenes of children holding flowers and coloring Easter eggs. At the top is an advertisement for the Auditorium as a summer venue for people to come and enjoy the warmer weather. This seems to be a reference to the Auditorium Theater which, according to the 1900 Waco City Directory, was built at the corner of 6th and Columbus and had a seating capacity of 7,000. At the bottom of the page is an advertisement for the self-assured dress maker Miss Poyntz, who proudly claims that “I can not do poor work; I don’t know how.” Both advertisements seem to be well timed as Waco began to anticipate the summer and upcoming social events.
The artwork featured in this edition of the Artesia is not only beautiful but provides the modern reader with a window in which to view holiday traditions that are more than a century old.
Interested in learning more about the Artesia? We believe we have the full run of the paper, which you can come and peruse in our reading room…among many other newspapers, Texas and otherwise!
It is every young Little League pitcher’s dream: to lead a college baseball team to a conference championship, try out for a major league team, and pitch in the majors in the very same month. But for Baylor star pitcher Ted Lyons, this scenario was not just a dream, but a happy reality. The Theodore “Ted” Amar Lyons papers, held at The Texas Collection, tell the story of Lyons’ mercurial rise to fame as a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, the only Baylor baseball player to have such great success at the professional level.
Admitted to Baylor on a baseball scholarship in 1919, Ted Lyons was also the starting center for the Baylor basketball team. After his coach convinced him to try pitching, Lyons’ career took off. His Baylor baseball years culminated in a victory over the Texas Longhorns in 1923, where Lyons pitched a 6-2 game to claim the Southwest Conference Championship. On July 2 of that same year, Lyons signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox and pitched in his first major league game the very same day.
According to Chicago newspapers, Ted Lyons quickly became the most popular player on the White Sox team. His career would span 21 years, winning 260 games with a not-so-successful team that never finished higher than third in their division. His career included three 20-win seasons, and he led the league in wins twice. Amazingly, Lyons pitched an entire 21-inning game on May 4, 1929. Lyons was so reliable and popular that from 1939-1942 he pitched almost exclusively on Sundays, the day of highest park attendance. Thus Ted Lyons became known in baseball as “The Sunday Pitcher.”
In 1942, after a season where he posted an exceptional 2.10 ERA, Lyons left baseball to join the war effort. As a Marine, Lyons served primarily in the South Pacific, notably organizing a baseball camp in the Marshall Islands to spread goodwill with America’s national pastime. After returning to the White Sox in 1946, Lyons pitched one more season before becoming the Sox manager for three years. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
Ted Lyons never married and spent the rest of his life back home in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Even as late as 1981, he was receiving hundreds of autograph requests each year. He died on July 25, 1986. His legacy and career as a Baylor Bear and White Sox pitcher are an indelible part of Baylor’s history. His small collection of papers at The Texas Collection, consisting of letters, clippings, and photos, will preserve his memory and fuel baseball dreams for generations of Little Leaguers to come.
Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph collection. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of gifs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.
Brooks Hall, Baylor University
The fifth floor of Brooks Hall was rumored to be haunted by “violin music, a phantom in a top hat and cloak, and inexplicable candlelight moving around.”
The original cost to build Brooks Hall was $365,530 (or roughly $4,690,000) in today’s dollars.
Up until 1987, Brooks Hall had no interior hallways. Each suite opened into a stairwell. This was intended to make the building more fireproof, more efficient with ventilation, and reduce noise. It was redesigned in 1987 for fire safety and practicality.
When it became implausible to renovate and restore Brooks Hall, Baylor decided to construct Brooks Village. Architects took trips to Oxford and Cambridge in search of the new residential community’s architectural inspiration. The architects also used elements from buildings at Harvard and Yale.
Baylor-Buildings-Brooks Hall. General photo files, The Texas Collection.
Buildings: Brooks Hall. Baylor University Subject File. The Texas Collection.
Gif and factoids prepared by Timothy Brestowski, student library assistant
Here’s a Flickr set that includes the images used to compiled this animation (plus a few more of Baylor students and the campus over time), should you want to examine each photo individually.