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. We also have the last two finding aids completed by the Archival Collections and Museums class that worked on archival processing projects with us here at The Texas Collection last spring. Here’s the scoop for August:
Pamphlet with articles on fundraising for Texas Baptist universities, including Baylor University, Wayland Baptist University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. BU records: Endowment-Enlargement Program #BU/86, box 1, folder 3.
By Julie Holcomb, Assistant Professor & Graduate Program Director of Museum Studies
Harboring Unionist sentiments, Richard N. Goode appears an unlikely candidate to serve as mayor of Waco, Texas, during the Civil War. A lawyer and a judge, Goode served as the fourth mayor of Waco from June 1862 to May 1865. Clearly, Goode’s pro-Union sentiments did not prevent him from serving the people of Waco, and his family’s papers document this aspect as well as other interesting tidbits on his life.
Letter from Mayor Richard N. Goode to his daughter, Mary Virginia, Thompson, describing the family’s embrace of spiritualism, or talking to the dead. Mayor Goode’s deceased daughter Calidonia “comes and converses with us frequently.” Goode-Thompson family papers, box 1, folder 3.
Goode moved to Waco in 1859. He and his wife Elizabeth Mallory Goode were married in Hinds County, Mississippi, in November 1837. The couple had at least eight children: Mary Virginia, Richard, James, Robert, Ivonanna, Olivia, Ursula, and Blanche. A ninth child, Calidonia, likely died in childhood.
The only reference to Calidonia in the historical record comes from Judge Goode’s letters to his daughter, Mary Virginia. During the Civil War, the Goode family participated in spiritualism, or talking to the dead, using various means of communication including séances and rappings. In his letters, Goode describes communications from Calidonia, Mary Virginia’s sister, even telling Mary Virginia at one point that Calidonia wished to send her a letter! Goode also consulted the spirits regarding the outcome of the war. The Goodes were not unusual in seeking guidance from the spirit world. Thousands, if not millions, of Americans participated in spiritualism in the late nineteenth century.
Letter from Mayor Richard N. Goode to his daughter, Mary Virginia Thompson, reporting on the outcome of a recent murder trial and the progress of the Confederate war effort. Goode-Thompson family papers, box 1, folder 3.
Judge Goode’s letters also include references to his court cases, including a murder trial, the progress of the Confederate war effort, and the presence of wartime refugees in Waco. Judge Goode also described the hardships of war, asking his daughter to send goods from her home in Mexico.
In addition to his legal and mayoral careers, Judge Goode owned land just above the mouth of Barron’s Branch on the west bank of the Brazos River. In March 1872, John T. Flint, president of the Waco Bridge Company, tried unsuccessfully to convince Goode to close the ford, which was used to avoid paying the toll on the Waco Suspension Bridge. Finally, in 1877, four years after Judge Goode’s death, the Waco Bridge Company succeeded in purchasing the land from Elizabeth Goode for $350. Soon after, the company began a piling project to close off the ford.
Poetry written by William Carson Stewart Thompson sometime after the death of his father, Dr. — John Thompson. Goode-Thompson family papers, box 1, folder 5.
The Goode and Thompson families merged in July 1859, when Mary Virginia Goode, Judge Goode’s eldest daughter, married William Carson Stewart Thompson, son of Dr. John and Isabella Thompson. In 1864 and 1865, William and Mary Virginia resided in Mexico. There is no evidence that William Thompson served in either the Confederate or Union military during the Civil War. William and Mary Virginia had two sons: Edward Everett Thompson, born in Matamoras, Mexico, in 1865 and Rufus N. Thompson born in Waco, Texas, in 1868. Mary Virginia Thompson died of consumption in 1876.
Three of the Thompson brothers (from left to right): Rufus Andrew Thompson, William Carson Stewart Thompson, and Nathaniel John Thompson. Taken in 1889, the caption on the back of the photograph reads: “Three Brothers after a Separation of 35 years.” Goode-Thompson family papers, box 1, folder 7.
In 1889, William Thompson and his younger brothers, Rufus and Nathaniel, were reunited after a 35-year separation. The Thompson brothers were born in Ohio in the 1820s and 1830s. William had moved with his parents to Texas in the 1850s while Rufus and Nathaniel remained in Ohio. At the time of their reunion, William resided in Waco, Rufus in Illinois, and Nathaniel in Colorado. William Carson Stewart Thompson died in Waco in 1895.Richard N. and Elizabeth Goode as well as Mary Virginia and William Thompson and their sons Edward Everett and Rufus N. and their spouses are all buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Waco.
Although a small collection, the Goode-Thompson family papers provide an important glimpse into life on the Texas homefront during the Civil War.
Exhibition Catalog, Henry A. McArdle Exhibition, 2014
Twenty-two paintings by Henry A. McArdle, painter and Baylor professor, are on display at the Martin Museum of Art. McArdle served Baylor at Independence as the director of the school of art. These paintings have never been shown together and include three paintings from the Texas Capitol as well as from private collections.
Opening events include a roundtable discussion with exhibition lenders (including our own John Wilson, representing The Texas Collection) on Saturday, August 30, at 3:00 pm, followed by a reception with light refreshments at 4:30 p.m. These events will be held in Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Building and are open to the public.
Battle of San Jacinto, by Henry A. McArdle. Private collection, Midland, Texas.
Read more in the Waco Tribune-Herald’s great piece on the exhibit.
On August 3, 1914, the British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey remarked, “The lamps are going out all over Europe, and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” Grey was commenting on the seemingly unstoppable slide into a cataclysmic war that was overtaking his country and all of Europe. The lights being extinguished across Europe did not go unnoticed in central Texas. A survey of Waco newspapers from early August 1914 demonstrates that people in Texas had practical economic concerns about the events in Europe as well as deep personal connections to the land and people that would soon be plunged into World War I.
Front page of The Waco Morning News for August 5, 1914, reporting on the declaration of war between Great Britain and Germany.
The events following the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914, were fast moving and complex. Over the course of July and early August, the major European powers found themselves tangled in alliances that resulted in a major war. Even a century later the situation can be hard to fully understand, and this was no different for people all over the globe in 1914. Local newspapers had the difficult job of tracking and reporting each turn in the unfolding events. On August 5, 1914, the popular daily newspaper The Waco Morning News displayed in red ink across the front-page “GERMANY VS. WORLD” to mark the news that Great Britain had declared war on Germany. The Waco Morning News typically focused on national and international news stories from the Associated Press. On the front page of the August 5, 1914, edition, stories were filed from London, Berlin, Paris, New York, Quebec, New Orleans, and Constantinople, giving Waco readers a truly global perspective on the war.
This August 5, 1914, article in The Waco Morning News examines the economic impact of the war on Texas.
However, on the editorial page a voice was given to local uneasiness about the developing conflict. Titled “Cotton and War,” the article points out that nearly 10 million bales of cotton that the United States annually exports were currently being readied for the international market, a market that was in danger of disappearing due to the war. If that were to happen, the cotton prices could plummet, causing an economic crisis for Texas and the entire US south. A proposal was put forth that if the cotton cannot be shipped overseas, then the federal government should buy the surplus. In one action the United States could aid cotton farmers and invest in a soon-to-be high demand commodity. It wouldn’t be long before European armies clamored for cheap fabric for uniforms and war material.
Another perspective on the war, unique to Waco, can be found in the August 8, 1914, edition of The Waco Semi-Weekly Tribune. This newspaper focused more on local events and was able to capture personal reactions to the outbreak of the war. The article, “Thoughts Evoked by the War,” recognized that many Wacoans were German veterans of the Franco-Prussian War of the early 1870s. With the Germans and French again marching to war, these residents were most likely feeling a mix of emotions over the lands of their birth. Ultimately, the editorial called for understanding of people’s regional loyalties.
This political cartoon was printed on the front page of The Waco Semi-Weekly Tribune on August 8, 1914. The cartoon illustrates the political chaos that existed in Europe in 1914 and led to the beginning of World War I.
Both articles concluded with the hope that the conflict would be short-lived. Unfortunately the War only grew larger in scale and loss. By 1917 these Waco newspapers would be printing the names of drafted local men as the United States entered World War I.
Spender, J.A. Life, Journalism and Politics, Volume II. New York: Fredrick A. Stokes Company, 1927.
The Waco Morning News, “Cotton and War,” August 5, 1914.
The Waco Semi-Weekly Tribune, “Thoughts Evoked by the War,” August 8, 1914.
“Print Peeks” is a regular feature highlighting select items from our print collection.
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.
Baylor University–Marketing and Communications–Baylor Photography–Ferrell Center construction, 1987-1988
Built because of Baylor’s desire to have a large-capacity multi-use events facility.
Originally slated for construction in the site of the current Baylor Sciences Building, ground breaking on the present location took place in 1987, and was completed in 1988.
Named after Charles Robert Ferrell, a former Baylor student who was killed in a car accident in 1967.
Notable speakers at the Ferrell Center include Bill Cosby, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lady Margaret Thatcher, First Lady Barbara Bush, President Barack Obama, and General Colin Powell.
Currently houses the men’s and women’s basketball teams and hosts commencement exercises every year.
White, Dana. “Fund-raiser featuring Bill Cosby sold out.” The Lariat 3 Sept. 2002: Web. Fiedler, Randy. “Ferrell Center turns 25.” Baylor Magazine Fall 2013: Web.
Check out our Flickr set to see the individual images (with better color quality) that comprise this GIF.
GIF and factoids by Braxton Ray, archives student assistant
Grace Noll Crowell reading with her sons, Dean, Reid, and Norton, Sioux City, Iowa, 1914 or 1915. Grace Noll Crowell papers #3359, box 4, folder 14.
Grace Noll Crowell, a beloved American poet of the early twentieth century, created a loyal following for herself among homemakers, Christians, mothers, poets, and fellow Texans by writing about anything from gardening to religious holidays. Her legacy continues through the Grace Noll Crowell papers at The Texas Collection, which may be useful for anyone interested in twentieth century religious poetry, women poets, and the religious home in this era.
Born in Inland, Iowa in 1877, Crowell earned a BA from German-English College in 1901. She married Norman Crowell the same year and they had three children, Dean, Reid, and Norton. The Crowell family moved to Wichita Falls in 1917 and again to Dallas in 1919, where she spent the rest of her life.
Crowell often wrote poems illustrating various points of life, including homemaking, motherhood, family, and religious holidays and themes. She was well received by contemporaries, and often published poems in newspapers and magazines.
Crowell won many awards for her poetry during her reign as a popular Texas poet. She was named Poet Laureate of Texas in 1935 and won the Golden Scroll Medal of Honor in 1938 as National Honor Poet. Baylor University also awarded Crowell with an honorary doctorate in 1940. Overall, she published more than thirty-five books of poems and stories, including her first poetry book in 1925, White Fire, as well as Songs for Courage (1935) and Songs of Hope (1938). Eighteen of her publications are available in BearCat.
Crowell’s scrapbooks form the largest series in the collection and include her poetry and news releases about her work, as well as others’ poems and even an open letter to Joseph Stalin from 1948! The collection also contains a number of folders of photographs of her family and her colleagues at German-English College. A series of personal papers is also included within the collection, containing a manuscript of “The Glowing Word,” legal documents, invitations and booklets, and a Storm Lake, Iowa, newspaper with a publication by Crowell’s husband. In total, the Grace Noll Crowell papers span four boxes and cover her writing career and life from 1904-1958.
Crowell spent her life mothering her children and writing about her life’s experiences, joyful and painful alike. Motherhood led her to be chosen for yet another award, American Mother of the Year, by the Golden Rule Foundation in 1938. And indeed, at least one of her children followed in artistic pursuits—her son, Reid, became a painter, and his portrait of his mother is located at The Texas Collection.
Grace with her husband, Norman H. Crowell, undated. Grace Noll Crowell papers #3359, box 4, folder 14.
Just as Grace Noll Crowell brought inspiration, courage, and hope to contemporary Americans in the early twentieth century, her collection and poetry are now preserved to inspire a new generation.
Amanda Mylin processed the Crowell papers as a student in Dr. Julie Holcomb’s 2014 Archival Collections and Museums class. Mylin has a B.A. in History from Messiah College in Pennsylvania and will begin her second year in the History masters program at Baylor in Fall 2014. This summer she was the Sue Margaret Hughes Intern in the Central Libraries at Baylor. Amanda will begin working as a Graduate Assistant at The Texas Collection in the fall.
Wade Hill Pool earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor in 1887 and very shortly thereafter was elected the Tarrant County superintendent of public schools. He returned to Baylor to lead its Academy in 1892. Wade Hill Pool papers #76, box 1, folder 2
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. This month’s finding aids include several produced by the Archival Collections and Museum class from spring 2014. Topics include the papers of a Paul Quinn College professor, a Texas lawyer involved with the Nazi war trials right after World War II, and a committee that considered moving Baylor University from Waco to Dallas, Texas. Here are July’s finding aids:
John Thomas Harrington papers, 1884-1947 (#728): The John Thomas Harrington Papers consists of correspondence, financial papers, medical practice materials, and other literary documents from Harrington’s life in Waco, Texas. (Archives class)
By Becca Reynolds, Museum Studies master’s student
Dr. Harrington’s papers documenting his early twentieth-century medical practice include paperwork tracking his orders of morphine and other painkillers–we imagine this would look familiar to modern doctors! John T. Harrington papers #728, box 1, folder 9.
If you lived in Waco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, chances are you would have known Dr. Harrington. A well-known figure in the area, John Thomas Harrington, Jr. was not only a dedicated physician but also lived a very accomplished life. He dabbled in a variety of vocations, including oil, gold, and dairy. He also took part in founding colleges and serving on trustee boards (including the Baylor University board, on which he was one of the longest serving members).
His dedication to his medical career is quite evident in his papers, more than any of his other interests. The majority of the John Thomas Harrington papers are made up of medical practice materials that span his many years in the field.
Born in Mississippi in 1858, Harrington began his medical career with an education at Louisville Medical College. However, one medical school was not enough and he went on to both the Medical School of St. Louis and the New York Polyclinic Medical College.
Dr. Harrington’s suggestions for a healthy (though not terribly exciting) diet. John T. Harrington papers #728, box 1, folder 9.
After he moved to Texas he began building a reputation for himself as a doctor, serving as president of the board of health at El Paso and the director of the epileptic colony at Abilene. In 1897 he moved to Waco, where his list of achievements continued to grow. Here, he worked on staff at both hospitals in town, organized the McLennan County Medical Association, co-founded Baylor Medical College, and served as the city physician.
As a physician, Dr. Harrington worked out of a home office where he saw patients regularly. Some of these patients even included Baylor presidents. And if you head down Eighth Street today, you can still see his home (currently owned by Baylor University).
But medicine wasn’t everything to Dr. Harrington; he was also a family man. Harrington married his wife, Genoa Cole, in 1884, and together they had two daughters, Genoa and Jessie. Through journals, academic notebooks, correspondence and notes, we are able to get a small glimpse into the life of the Harrington family.
Even the good doctor incurred a few tickets in his day–here, we have a parking infraction downtown in 1930. John T. Harrington papers #728, box 1, folder 6.
More of Dr. Harrington’s family and friends may also be seen in the numerous photographs included in this collection. Some of the photos have identifications or captions giving some insight into the individuals in the picture. Others are blank, leaving many unknowns. Despite the blanks left by these unidentified photos, they are still quite fascinating and could be of great research value. (We welcome assistance from researchers who might be able to help identify people in these early Waco/Texas photos!)
These documents and photographs that make up the Harrington papers are a testimony to the impact he made in Waco throughout his lifetime. Through his position as city physician, he made a great contribution to the public, and the greeting cards, invitations, and programs included in his papers illustrate his high level of involvement with the community.
The Texas Collection has the privilege of preserving Dr. Harrington’s documented life, and for all those interested in studying a noteworthy physician of Waco, this collection would be an excellent resource.
Guest blogger Becca Reynolds processed the Harrington papers as a student in Dr. Julie Holcomb’s spring 2014 Archival Collections and Museums class. Reynolds, who holds a B.A. in History from Azusa Pacific University in California, will begin her second year in Baylor’s Museum Studies master’s program in fall 2014. She is currently working as a summer intern for the education department of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott and will continue working as a Graduate Assistant in Education at the Mayborn Museum Complex throughout the fall semester.
Title page, George Wilkins Kendall’s Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, 1844
Texas has always attracted the adventurous, but few had the opportunity, combined with the skill, to write at any length about their experiences. That’s what makes George Wilkins Kendall’s 1844 Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition so special. As an experienced newsman, Kendall’s words bring to life an exciting narrative against the backdrop of the Republic of Texas.
Before Kendall came to Texas, he had already achieved success in the highly competitive newspaper business. After extensive travel throughout the United States as a young man and writing for newspapers in Boston and Washington, D.C., Kendall landed in New Orleans, where he co-founded the New Orleans Picayune in 1837. Kendall was not slowed by his success, and his interest began to turn to the Republic of Texas.
He learned that the President of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, was planning an expedition to Santa Fe in 1841. For years Santa Fe was a trading hub for all of western North America, making it a center of wealth. Lamar and many in Texas argued that Santa Fe was on the Texas side of the Rio Grande and therefore a part of Texas. The main goal of the Santa Fe Expedition was to open trade. However, if the military company found residents of Santa Fe wishing to be part of Texas, the expedition was to secure the region for the Republic.
“Texas and Part of Mexico and the United States Showing the Route of the First Santa Fe Expedition,” by William Kemble, printed in Kendall’s Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, 1844
Kendall jumped at the chance to join the expedition, first traveling to Texas, then leaving for Santa Fe with the large party in June 1841. After becoming lost, the expedition was soon captured in New Mexico by the Mexican Army. The prisoners were marched to Mexico City, and Kendall chronicles severe treatment during the journey southward. Following months of imprisonment and illness, Kendall secured his release in April 1842.
Upon his return to the United States, Kendall wrote about Texas and his experiences in Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, which became a popular book throughout the United States and Europe. After further adventures covering the Mexican-American War and the 1848 revolutions in Europe, Kendall returned to Texas. In 1856 he moved with his family to land he purchased near New Braunfels. He raised sheep and continued to write—achieving further successes in both fields. Kendall lived the rest of his life in Texas.
This plate, “A Scamper Among the Buffalo,” by J. G. Chapman, appears in the front of the 1844 edition of the Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition; it was chosen to highlight Kendall’s experiences during the expedition, when hunting in the open spaces of Texas was a common sight.
The popularity of Kendall’s Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition is both a testament to Kendall’s writing and to the growing interest in Texas in the 1840s. As the annexation of Texas to the United States became a major political topic and settlers continued to come to Texas, Kendall’s book was widely read. Demand for the text remained consistent through the decades after the first copy was printed in 1844. Other editions were printed in 1845, 1856, and well into the 20th century, with new editions coming out in 1929 and 1935. The 1844 editions found at The Texas Collection are small and worn, but remarkable artifacts that can directly connect any reader to the days of the Republic of Texas.
Kendall, George Wilkins. Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition. New York: Harper Brothers, 1844.
Kendall, George Wilkins. Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition. Edited by Gerald D. Saxon and William B. Taylor. Dallas, TX: William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, 2004.
“Print Peeks” is a regular feature highlighting select items from our print collection.
View of wreckage of the Liberty Building Explosion on Austin Avenue, Waco, Texas. Acree family papers, box 2G13, folder 6.
The fall of 1936 proved to be a devastating season for the city of Waco. In September, one of the city’s worst recorded floods devastated the town. The Brazos River submerged Elm Street, and water rushed approximately two feet below the suspension, Washington Avenue, and railroad bridges near downtown. The end results of this natural disaster were estimated at $1.5 million in damage to McLennan County.
The F.W. Woolworth Co. fire, 605-607 Austin Avenue, Waco Texas. Acree family papers, box 2G13, folder 6.
A disaster of a different type was soon to follow just weeks later on October 4. The Liberty Building on Austin Avenue and Sixth Street exploded, fatally wounding 65-year-old janitor Warren Moore and causing an estimated $290,000 in damages to the structure, as well as those adjoining and nearby. Fortunately it happened on an early Sunday morning without the usual hustle and bustle of the busy Waco downtown area, or else casualties could have been much higher. Businesses affected by the incident included the F.W. Woolworth Co., Law Offices of Sleeper, Boynton, and Kendall, Walgreens Drug Store, Pipkin Drug Store, and Goldstein-Migel department store. Other businesses suffered minor damage, and isolated injuries to people were reported.
The Law Offices of Sleeper, Boynton, and Kendall. The firm’s law library was its major loss in the Liberty Building explosion. Acree family papers, box 2G13, folder 6.
The Liberty Building’s damages are detailed in a Waco News-Tribune article from October 5, 1936: “With its first three office floors converted into single rooms by force of the explosion Sunday morning, Liberty building showed destruction from its basement to its roof.” The structure next door, F.W. Woolworth Co., suffered an estimated $75,000 in losses due to fire. The law office was located on the fourth floor of the Liberty Building and sustained serious damage. Its law library, including several thousand volumes of books, was its greatest loss. Located on the first floor of the Liberty, Pipkin Drug Store was completely destroyed, and the nearby Walgreens Drug Store suffered heavy damage to its storefront and interior. The images in this post and the slide show below (from the Acree family papers) illustrate the devastation of the blast.
Walgreens Drug Store, located at 601-603 Austin Avenue, suffered major damages from the explosion, even though it was not located in the Liberty Building. Acree family papers, box 2G13, folder 6.
In the aftermath of the explosion, investigators wasted little time searching for the cause of such a devastating accident. One initial theory was that the recent Brazos flood a few weeks before had caused a massive buildup of water that overburdened the city’s sewage system. But it was found that the Liberty Building’s location on Sixth and Austin proved to be too much of a distance from the most affected areas closer to the river and across on the east side.
After almost two years of thorough investigation, it was determined by engineers that the explosion was caused by a gas leak from a loose coupling device on a two-inch pipe in the Liberty Building’s basement. Records from gas companies show a surge in pressure around the time of the explosion. Based on some of Warren Moore’s statements before his death, it is believed that a spark from a light switch ignited the gas leak as the janitor turned out lights before seeking assistance with the sudden gaseous odor. Unfortunately, that well-intentioned move cost him his life. (If you smell gas, don’t use or touch anything electrical, and leave windows and doors open or closed as they were—just get out, then get help.)
The building ultimately was renovated, and its neighbors relocated or made the necessary repairs, but these images remain as a reminder of Waco’s disastrous fall 1936.
Click the “play” arrow in our Flickr set below to see more images of the aftermath of the Liberty Building explosion. (Use the crosshairs that will appear in the bottom right corner to enlarge the slideshow.)
“Explosion Fire Loss Estimated at $290,000.” The Waco News-Tribune (Waco, TX), Oct. 5, 1936.
“Janitor Dies of Injuries.” Waco Times-Herald (Waco, TX), Oct. 5, 1936.
“Coupling of Gas Lines in Liberty Taken From Vault.” Waco News-Tribune (Waco, TX), Jan. 14, 1938.
“Explosion Legal Fight is Hardly Started in Week.” Waco Sunday Tribune-Herald (Waco, TX), Jan. 16, 1938.
“Bartlett to Hear Motion in Recent Explosion Action.” Waco News-Tribune (Waco, TX), Mar. 2, 1938.
Acree family papers, Accession 2986, box 2G13, folder 6, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.