Research Ready: October 2015

By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

For the past couple of years, “Research Ready” has featured our newly processed archival collections. Starting this month, we also will include a few highlights of items recently added to our print materials. As always, this is just a sampling of the many, many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

Constructing the Panama Canal
Dr. McGlasson served as the chief medical officer for the last year of the building of the Panama Canal. This photo, amid a scrapbook largely comprised of European cityscapes and landscapes, highlights the scale of this massive construction project in which he played a small role. Irvy Lee McGlasson papers 3946, Box 4, Folder 1.

Here are October’s finding aids:

  • Jack and Gloria Parker Selden collection, 1755-2007, undated (#3954): These papers include materials about the Parker family throughout Texas history, including the stories of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker. Much of the collection is Jack Selden’s extensive research on the Parker family to write his book Return: The Parker Story in 2006.
  • E.S. James papers, 1938-1969 (#3965): Sermons, correspondence, and other collected materials about James, his colleagues, and subscribers to the Baptist Standard. E.S. James was editor of the Baptist Standard for twelve years.
  • Irvy Lee McGlasson papers, 1904-1931 (#3946): Materials include artifacts, photographs, and other materials about McGlasson, a doctor from Waco that served as the chief medical officer for the workforce building the Panama Canal.

Here are October’s featured print materials:

Le Champ-d Ásile, au Texas. Paris: Chez Tiger, 1820. Print.Le Champ-d’Asile, au Texas. Paris: Chez Tiger, 1820.

This volume, listed in Thomas W. Streeter’s renowned Bibliography of Texas, 1795-1845, provides a rare account of the failed Champ-d’Asile colony of Napoleonic loyalists who settled on Texas’ Trinity River in 1818.

Annual Catalogue Hill's Business College, 1905-1906Annual Catalogue Hill’s Business College, 1905-1906. Waco: Hill’s Business College, 1905. Print.

In 1881, Robert Howard Hill founded Hill’s Business College, which operated in Waco for more than 40 years. This volume offers a glimpse into the faculty, curriculum, and student body of the 1905-1906 academic year.




The City of Fort Worth and the State of Texas. St. Louis: Geo. W. Engelhardt & Co., 1890. Print.

The City of Fort Worth and the State of Texas. St. Louis: Geo. W. Engelhardt & Co., 1890. Print.

Part of the Engelhardt Series of American Cities, this volume examines business opportunities in 1890 Fort Worth and includes information on the railroad, real estate, manufacturing, and finances.

Texas over Time: Baylor Homecoming parade, 1953

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. 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.

Something a little different this month–attend the 1953 Baylor Homecoming parade!

Baylor Homecoming paradeViews from the 700 block of Austin Avenue of the October 31, 1953 parade. A devastating F5 tornado hit just a few blocks from this site on May 11 of the same year.

  • In 2012, Baylor Homecoming was declared by the Smithsonian to be the first collegiate Homecoming celebration. On November 24, 1909, about 60 decorated carriages and cars and about 70 walking groups made their way down Washington Avenue towards Eighth and Austin, then made their way to campus for the football game at Carroll Field. As the Baylor band led the way, organizations from across campus, sports teams, and societies participated in the parade.
  • Although the first Homecoming was a success, it was held sporadically and did not become an annual tradition until the late 1940s.
  • In the second Homecoming in 1915, we start to see a few floats in the parade. In 1960 floats  began to carry themes of Baylor defeating (and otherwise destroying) their opponent for the big football game.
  • The route for the parade has gradually evolved and in recent years has started on Austin Avenue and ended on Fifth Street, in the heart of campus.
  • In addition to the parade, Homecoming features many other activities and traditions, including alumni dinners and reunions, a bonfire in Fountain Mall, the Freshman Mass Meeting, Pigskin Revue, and Friday Night Flashback.
  • For Homecoming 2015, Baylor will dedicate the Rosenbalm Fountain on the new Fifth Street promenade. Students, alumni and faculty will get to experience an over 100-year tradition while making a brand new one in the process.


“Homecoming Parade.” Baylor University. Baylor University, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.

Morris, Conner. “The Great School of Which I Have Dreamed: Homecoming 2014.” Our Daily Bears. SB Nation, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.

See all of the images in our Flickr set–and there are several more Homecoming albums on our Flickr page, too! GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant.

Unruly Waters, Dam Dreams and the House that Art Built: A (Brief) History of Development along the Brazos River

KLAposter420x286By Kenna Lang Archer, instructor at Angelo State University

“Why haven’t we developed the Brazos into something like San Antonio’s River Walk?”

“Sure, we have sail-gating, but when are we going to develop this river properly?”

“Why haven’t people realized the value of the Brazos and put some real money into developing it?”

“Lock and Dam No 8 Brazos River. Placing Concrete in Lock Floor. Lower End Lock- (March 5, 1913)” is in folder 419a, box 7, E.FW18 —“Records of the Dallas Engineer Office”, Record Group 77—Records of the Army Corps of Engineers (Southwest Division), National Archives and Records Administration (Southwest Division)

Questions like these resonate along the length of the Brazos but are regularly volleyed around Waco lunch tables. If anything, the revitalization of Waco’s city center and the construction of McLane Stadium have only made these questions more pressing. Many Wacoans simply don’t understand why one of this state’s most iconic rivers has seemingly escaped the reach of developers. They cannot fathom the lack of attention. Coach Art Briles even raised this question over the summer, insisting that the lack of development is “unbelievable” and something that “blows [his] mind.” I understand that sense of shock and awe. When I began my work on the Brazos River nearly a decade ago, I approached it with the exact same question. Why, I asked, has the Brazos avoided the attention of developers? How could any businessman allow that to happen? As I began looking into the river’s history, however, I realized that I was asking the wrong question.

Baylor Bookstore flood, 1989
“[Baylor Bookstore in Flood], 1989, “Waco—Events—Floods—1989,” Photograph Collection, Texas Collection

This belief that the Brazos River should be more heavily developed is actually very old. Stephen F. Austin introduced American immigrants into Mexican Texas in 1821, and in the nearly two hundred years since then, developers and boosters and politicians have worked almost unceasingly to improve this powerful and temperamental waterway. Even before Austin’s arrival, however, Spanish settlers and Indian populations manipulated the river, developing it for their own purposes. The Spanish, for example, built irrigation canals and small embankment dams in Texas. No, the conviction that this river should be developed is not new.   The end result of development has changed, but the idea of improving this river has not. A better question, then, is this: given the long history of attention to the Brazos, why has it not been developed more fully? Why must men like Art Briles shake their heads in wonder today, mind reeling at the untapped potential of this river? Why must politicians and business leaders and the inestimable public do likewise?

Brazos River flood in Waco, 1913
“[Brazos in Flood], 1913,” “Waco—Events—Floods—1913,” Photograph Collection, Texas Collection
The short answer–and the topic of discussion in my lecture–is that any lack of development is not due to a lack of effort. There has actually been a concentrated, long-standing effort to improve this waterway. The problem is that most of the proposed development projects along the Brazos have been, at best, a temporary success.

Take, for example, the lock and dam project (early 1900s). To expand navigation along the Brazos River, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a series of eight structures that would use a small-scale dam and a lock to raise water levels in areas plagued by shoals, falls, and bars. This project was applauded energetically, but construction of the locks and dams proved to be problematic, to say the least. In 1912, for example, engineers at the lock and dam near Waco reported that an untimely drought had dried up the river, leaving a scant 8 inches of water in the lock. One year later, employees at the same lock noted that a recent flood had done more than $20,000 worth of damage (the equivalent of $481,000 today).

“Why haven’t we tried to develop the Brazos River?”

As I said, that isn’t the right question.

“Why haven’t we been able to develop the Brazos more fully?”

That question may not have an easy answer, but it does guide us down a productive path of research and discussion.

Eager to hear more about this discussion? Join us in Bennett Auditorium at 3:30 pm on Thursday, October 22, to hear her thoughts on development along the Brazos River. Dr. Archer, an instructor at Angelo State University and Baylor alumna, is promoting her book, Unruly Waters: A Social and Environmental History of the Brazos River. The book will be available for purchase at a reception following at The Texas Collection and at the Baylor Bookstore during Homecoming.

Baylor by Decade: 1915, 1935

Homecoming football game, Baylor vs. TCU, 1915
Photos from Baylor’s second Homecoming football game. Baylor beat TCU, 51-0. 1915 Baylor Bulletin, p. 65.

“With every loyal student it is God, home, country, Baylor”—so sayeth the 1915 Baylor Bulletin. In its early years, the Bulletin was the imprint under which all university catalogues were published, along with the faculty/staff/student directory, annual reports, and even selected faculty publications and speeches. Eventually, it became primarily the university catalogue, but the Bulletin always gives us great insight into the many changes that have occurred down the years at our university. Join us as we explore “Baylor by Decade,” a periodic series in which we look at the changing campus community.   


  • Not only were all students expected to attend Chapel at 10 am every morning, they were also expected to attend a Waco church (as selected by their parents) every Sunday.
  • The library system housed 28,570 volumes. (In comparison, the University Libraries added more than 24,000 volumes in the last fiscal year.)
  • The Chemistry Lab in Carroll Science Building accommodated 68 students. (We have certainly added space with the development of the Baylor Sciences Building!)
  • All the girls living in the University Girls’ Home were expected to do one hour of housekeeping every day.
  • Students paid $75 in tuition for the entire school year, and the total cost of attendance was approximately $250.00.
  • For the Homecoming Football game, Baylor beat TCU 51-0.


            Rufus C. Burleson statue, Baylor University's Burleson Quadrangle, 1935


  • The library system housed 68,015 volumes in Carroll Library, which was newly rebuilt after a fire in 1922 and considered to be a modern fireproof library facility.
  • Students paid $75 per year in tuition, and room and board cost between $28 and $35 per month.
  • A 50-cent fee was charged for each change of class after completion of registration
  • There was a total of 2,458 students enrolled in Baylor, representing 30 states and 9 different countries
  • The Baylor University Press was equipped with modern machinery, including Linotype machines, a No. 4 Miehle press, a Babcock pony press, and a Chandler & Price cutter, which were all operated by electric motors! (This was clearly a big deal. Imagine hand-cranking all of this heavy machinery, and you’ll understand why.)

Facts compiled by archives student assistant Amanda Means

Research Ready: September 2015

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 are September’s finding aids:

Cotton Palace Pageant dress design
Dr. James W. Swain designed numerous dresses for the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant between the 1970s and the 1990s. Each of the dresses made, such as the one featured here, were custom designed for each participant and took into account their height, weight, hair color, and complexion. Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Incorporated records #2579, box 52, folder 4.

            • Diana R. Garland papers, 1911-2013, (#3955): These papers include personal records, letters, and curriculum from Garland’s positions at the Carver School of Church Social Work and the Baylor School of Social Work.
              • Luther-Dienst family papers, 1887-1931, (#3243): The collection includes personal and printed items sent primarily to Alex Dienst from John Hill Luther. A scrapbook from Annie Lou Pollard, a Baylor college student in 1925, is also included.
Diana Garland letter of support
Diana Garland received many letters of support like this one when news broke of the Carver School’s dissolution at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. Garland’s forced resignation. Diana R. Garland papers #3955, box 5, folder 4.