We Must Carry On!

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

“While our Baylor men are across the sea for the safety of democracy and womanhood, we Baylor women have before us a very definite work, and we must ‘Carry On!’” Thus ended an article on July 11, 1918, one of several Lariat articles aimed directly at Baylor University female students encouraging them to assist in the war effort during the United States’ involvement in World War I. As the male student population at colleges across the country dwindled due to the declaration of war and subsequent draft, women stepped up in a variety of ways to maintain the status quo on campus. Baylor women participated in both traditional and non-traditional methods of supporting the war effort and fostered a relationship with the soldiers stationed at nearby Camp MacArthur and Rich Field.

In April 1917, one week after the United States officially entered WWI, Baylor co-eds petitioned the university to offer a course in first aid skills. Female-only organizations such as the Calliopeans, Rufus C. Burleson Society, and the Young Women’s Christian Association hosted speakers who lectured on the importance of food conservation, the realities of war facing American soldiers “over there,” and the role of women in the war effort. Upon the creation of the Red Cross Auxiliary on campus, 225 co-eds answered the call to join on the first day, eager to volunteer their time and money. The Red Cross set up a workroom in Georgia Burleson Hall where women could sign up for shifts to make triangular bandages, knit sweaters, or assemble comfort kits. In just two months, Baylor co-eds contributed 310 bandages and 120 comfort kits towards the regionally assigned quotas in addition to donating $500 to the war drive. Even more directly, two former Baylor students, Gladys Cavitt and Roxie Henderson, served overseas as nurses in France and Great Britain, respectively. Young women at Baylor clearly lacked little in patriotic spirit and fervor.

Baylor’s female students raise funds for the Red Cross on campus during WWI.

Baylor co-eds also participated in the war effort in less traditional capacities as a result of the absence of a significant portion of the male students. In 1917 and 1918, the Lariat was run by a female editor and mostly female staff. Both the editor and associate editor of the 1918 Round-Up were also women. Female students took positions at the Baylor Press, which was vacated by several of the men and represented the “first women in this vicinity to take the places of men in industrial occupations because of their going to war.” A group of young women organized the “Kampus Police Force” in an effort to keep the campus clean, a job typically reserved for the male students. They carried trash baskets, hauled leaves, swept the grandstands before games, and kept the campus clean of scraps of paper and rubbish for twenty cents an hour, the same wages men would have received. The women used the wages they earned to purchase War Savings Stamps, or donated them to the Red Cross. Although most of these jobs returned to men at the end of war, the demands of the conflict provided unusual opportunities for Baylor co-eds to serve their country.

Pictured here is the staff of the 1918 Round Up. Notice how the majority of the staff, including the editor, are women.

During the war, Baylor’s female students interacted with the soldiers housed at Camp MacArthur and Rich Field. Georgia Burleson Hall hosted soldiers from the camp for dinners and the administration allowed soldiers to attend the university’s social functions. Women from the Red Cross Auxiliary performed in conjunction with the band from Rich Field on May 3, 1918 at a benefit to raise funds for the organization.

From nursing soldiers overseas to rolling bandages and entertaining soldiers, the women of Baylor University demonstrated their patriotism and diligently contributed their “very definite work” to the war effort.

Posted in Camp MacArthur, Red Cross, Rich Field, United States Armed Forces, World War I | 1 Comment

Portrayals of Texans in Western Films

by Ben Leavitt, Graduate Assistant

This call sheet for Three Young Texans indicates resources necessary for a day of filming at California’s famed Iverson Movie Ranch—including three wranglers, eight horses and eighty-five hot lunches.

The Texas Collection maintains more than a half dozen screenplays either written by Texans or set in Texas. Many of these screenplays were used in the production of Western films, and from them we can get a good idea of the archetypal Texan. Generations of Americans were fascinated by the “Wild West”—how did they perceive the inhabitants of the Lone Star State when watching Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s?

Written by Gerald Drayson Adams and set along the Rio Grande in the early 1870s, Three Young Texans (1954) features cowboys with names like Johnny Colt, Tony Ballew, and Jeff Blair. Johnny’s character is “ruggedly handsome” and “intensely devoted to his boyhood pals,” while Tony “goes in for bright colored shirts and neckerchiefs.” Jeff, for his part, is “a big man both physically and mentally,” and “is friendly, easy-going and always ready to help a neighbor.”

Opposite Johnny, Tony, and Jeff is only one major female character: Rusty Blair. Played by actress Mitzi Gaynor, Rusty is nearly as much a cowboy as her male counterparts. Her character description notes that, “On the ranch she rides and ropes and gets her face dirty with the rest of the cow hands,” but “when she goes to a dance she’s a knockout and undisputed belle of the Rio Grande Valley.” Continue reading

Posted in archival research, Archives, Screenplays, Texas | Leave a comment

Research Ready: September 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

September’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

  • Santa Fe Railroad Route Map, undated

    Two historical markers now commemorate Long Branch Cemetery: one recounting the history of the cemetery and the other honoring a former slave named Sylvia King who is buried there. Long Branch is one of the oldest cemeteries in central Texas. You’ll find these items in the Long Branch Cemetery collection, 2009-2016, undated (#4020), box 1 OVZ, folder 4, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

     

  • September’s print materials
    By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print MaterialsEllis, Edward Sylvester. Lightning Jo: The Terror of the Santa Fe Trail. New York: Beadle and Adams, [1874]. Print.Ellis, Edward Sylvester. Lightning Jo: The Terror of the Santa Fe Trail. New York: Beadle and Adams, [1874]. Print. 

    Part of the Beadle Pocket Novels series, Lightning Jo is the adventure story of a scout leading a party through treacherous Comanche country. Click here to view in BearCat.

     

    Lafrentz, F. W. Cowboy Stuff: Poems. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1927. Print.

     

     

     

     

    Lafrentz, F. W. Cowboy Stuff: Poems. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1927. Print. 

    Number 98 of 500 copies produced, this special edition volume of Cowboy Stuff, complete with handmade laid paper, is signed by the author, Illustrator, and publisher. Each poem, written by F. W. Lafrentz, who, at 14-years-old immigrated to the U.S. from Germany, has an accompanying etching by Henry Ziegler, noted British artist. Click here to view in BearCat.

Posted in Adventure, American West, Archives, Books, Cowboys, Falls County Texas, frontier and pioneer life, Frontier and pioneer life, letters, Old West, Photographs, Printing, Race relations, rare books, Research Ready, Screenplays, W.R. White, Waco, Waco race relations, West | Leave a comment

Introducing Rachel DeShong and Leanna Barcelona

Rachel DeShong, Special Event Coordinator and Map Curator and Leanna Barcelona, University Archivist

Equally as important as the materials themselves are those responsible for creating access and caring for the materials within the library and archives. The Texas Collection is pleased to welcome two new members to our staff and faculty at Baylor University.

Rachel DeShong is the new Special Event Coordinator and Map Curator. She is originally from California and earned her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from Baylor University. She previously worked at The Texas Collection as a graduate assistant. Rachel was the Collections Manager for Meeteetse Museums in Meeteetse, Wyoming and the Curator of Collections for Historic Waco Foundation in Waco prior to coming back to The Texas Collection. In her new role, Rachel will work with our extensive map collection and coordinate the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair (HOTRHF). “I am excited to work with such an amazing collection and to coordinate an important event like the history fair.”

Leanna Barcelona is the new University Archivist. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs and earned her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Leanna works with materials and records related to Baylor within the University Archives at The Texas Collection. “I enjoy working in academic archives because university campuses are hubs of history and reflect a larger national narrative, and the documents generated as a result of this can help researchers in several capacities.”

Posted in A Day in the (Texas Collection) Life | 1 Comment

From Page to Air: Sharing Baylor Football since 1951

by Sylvia Hernandez, BULAA Project Archivist

Cover of the 1951 Baylor Football Data guide.

Cover of the 1951 Baylor Football Data guide.

As football season gets underway, we find ourselves in the stands of our favorite stadium watching the game, hoping the best for our team. But what about the times you can’t make it? Have you ever listened on the radio or watched the television broadcast? Where do they get those stories? How do they know those stats? How do you say that name?

Media guides have all the answers. Most of them.

While processing a large collection of Baylor Athletics materials, a “Baylor University Football Data” guide from 1951 was found, one of the earliest in the collection. It features several players on the cover, season schedule, coach and player bio’s, school record holders, and yes, even a key for “those hard-to-say names.” These guides were, and still are, made available by the Athletic Department to sports editors, radio/television announcers, and several others who may be covering the game in some capacity.

Continue reading

Posted in Baylor athletics, Baylor football, Baylor University | Leave a comment

Texas over Time: Camp MacArthur

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.

• Named after Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, the camp was opened July 18th, 1917, to train men demobilized from service on the Mexican border at the end of World War I. It was in service for less than three years when it was abandoned on May 15, 1919.
• As well as a demobilization facility, Camp MacArthur served as an officer’s training school and an infantry replacement training camp.
• Located in northwest Waco, local businessmen helped to create a 10,700-acre complex from cotton fields and blackland farms.
• The estimated cost was five million dollars and included a base hospital, administration offices, tent housing for troops, and other military personnel buildings.
• The first commander was Major General James Parker who formed the 32nd U.S. Infantry Division later known as “Les Terribles” for their “successful, tenacious attacks” on enemy troops in Langres, France.
• The camp’s capacity could occupy over 45,000 troops but never exceeded 28,000 troops at a time.
• After the establishment of Camp MacArthur, the large influx of soldiers helped stimulate Waco’s economy until the Great Depression. The military presence also heavily influenced Waco’s Cotton Palace Exposition with an exhibit of a “bullet-ridden German biplane.”

Works Cited
• Kelley, Dayton. “Camp MacArthur.” The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas. Waco, TX: Texian, 1972. 47. Print.
• Amanda Sawyer, “Camp MacArthur,” Waco History, accessed July 6, 2016, http://wacohistory.org/items/show/48.
• Stanton, John. “Camp MacArthur.” FortWiki. MediaWiki, 7 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 July 2016.
• Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “Camp MacArthur,” accessed July 07, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qcc27.

See the still images in our Flickr set.

Posted in Camp MacArthur, Fred Gildersleeve, Historic Waco, military history, Photographs, Texas, Texas military hospitals, Waco, World War I | Leave a comment

Looking Back at Baylor: The Origin of the Green and Gold

This piece by former Texas Collection director Kent Keeth originally was published in The Baylor Line in June 1978, then was reprinted in Looking Back at Baylor (1985), a collection of Keeth and Harry Marsh’s historical columns for the Line. Blogging about Texas periodically features selections from Looking Back at Baylor, with hopes of sharing Keeth’s work with a new audience.

Baylor Yell Leaders help cheer the Bears to their 1974 SWC Championship

Baylor Yell Leaders help cheer the Bears to their 1974 SWC Championship, while sporting the Baylor green and gold proudly!

Across campus, across Texas, and even across the country, Baylor fans have sported green and gold for over a century. But did you know, it all started with a dandelion? Kent Keeth, with the help of Baylor alumnae Sara Rose Kendall Irvine, recount how Baylor’s colors came to be:

Generations of Baylorites have pledged their loyalty to the Green and Gold, and some have gone so far as to incorporate the colors into their private lives as a motif for their automobiles, their sportswear or their living rooms. Many have probably speculated idly, at one time or another, about their significance and the reason for their adoption as the university’s official colors.

In a letter written in 1959 to Professor Guy B. Harrison of The Texas Collection, Mrs. Sara Rose Kendall Irvine (’02) of Waco offered a first-hand account of their selection and of the inspiration for the choice. A portion of Mrs. Irvine’s letter, slightly edited, appears below.

Continue reading

Posted in Baylor University, Baylor Yell Leaders, Looking Back at Baylor | Leave a comment

Research Ready: August 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

August’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Santa Fe Railroad Route Map, undated

Covered with handwritten notes (and safety messages), this employee timetable represents the more practical side of railroad operations in Texas. You’ll find this item in the Texas Railroads collection, Accession #2692, box 1, folder 4, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

 

August’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Fourteenth Annual Panhandle-Plains Dairy Show: Premium List. [Plainview, TX]: [publisher not identified], 1941. Print.
Fourteenth Annual Panhandle-Plains Dairy Show: Premium List. [Plainview, TX]: [publisher not identified], 1941. Print.

This program for the 1941 Panhandle-Plains Dairy Show contains all the information anyone showing cattle or attending the event might need, including exhibitor’s rules, judges’ rules, dairy products judging contest, officers and directors, etc. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

The Story of the S·M·S Ranch. [Stamford, TX?]: [Swenson Bros.?], [1919]. Print.The Story of the S·M·S Ranch. [Stamford, TX?]: [Swenson Bros.?], [1919]. Print. 

Filled with more than 120 photographs documenting cowboy life on the S. M. S. Ranches, this volume also provides info on breeding, show policy, cattle sales, etc. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

San Antonio, Tex. New York: Rotograph Co., [1905]. Print.

San Antonio, Tex. New York: Rotograph Co., [1905]. Print. This accordion-style fold-out postcard, which was mailed in 1907, contains photographs of several prominent places in San Antonio including City Hall, Alamo Plaza, San Pedro Park, and several missions. Click here to view in BearCat.

Posted in Alamo, American West, Archives, authors, Books, Dairy shows and exhibitions, Frontier and pioneer life, Old West, performing arts, postcards, Rail Road, Railroads, Research Ready, San Antonio, Screenplays, Texas historic buildings, Texas railroads, Texas ranches, Trains | Leave a comment

Research Ready: July 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

July’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

    • James Lee Barrett Screenplay collection, 1967 (#4001): Contains one screenplay entitled Bandolero!, written by James Lee Barrett in 1967. The resulting film starred James Stewart and Dean Martin, and centered around a bank robbery in Texas and subsequent chase into Mexican, “bandolero”-held territory.
Autographed title page of play book

Screenplay for the movie “Where the Heart Is,” a film from 2000 starting Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, and Joan Cusack. This screenplay, autographed by director Matt Williams and actress Natalie Portman, was given to Baylor University as a gesture of appreciation for letting portions of the movie be filmed on campus. You’ll find these items in the “Where the Heart Is” Screenplay collection, 1999 (#3384), box 1, folder 1, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

July’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Sullivan, John H., Jr. "Gun-play" by the World's Fastest Revolver Shot "Texas Jack.” [United States]: [publisher not identified], [between 1932 and 1937]. Print.Sullivan, John H., Jr. “Gun-play” by the World’s Fastest Revolver Shot “Texas Jack.” [United States]: [publisher not identified], [between 1932 and 1937]. Print.

“Texas Jack” Sullivan, who claimed to be the world’s fastest revolver shot, analyzes the skills of other accomplished gunmen such as “Broncho John” Sullivan, “Wild Bill” Hickok, and “Bat” Masterson. Sullivan also offers advice on handling weapons and what one should do if involved in a “stick-up.” Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

West-Texas: Das "Land der Gelegenheiten.” [Dallas, Texas?]: [publisher not identified], [1906?]. Print.

West-Texas: Das “Land der Gelegenheiten.” [Dallas, Texas?]: [publisher not identified], [1906?]. Print.

Written in Fraktur, this promotional booklet was produced by the Texas & Pacific Railway to entice Germans to West Texas. Like most promotionals, this one provides information on farming, climate, and opportunities.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Prohibition Songs. Waco, Texas: Published and for sale by B. H. Simpson, [between 1900 and 1935?]. Print.

Texas Prohibition Songs. Waco, Texas: Published and for sale by B. H. Simpson, [between 1900 and 1935?]. Print. 

This two-sided pamphlet contains songs such as “Prohibition Battle Hymn” and “Vote the Whiskey Out,” all with a clear warning about demon liquor. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

Posted in Adventure, Archives, Civil War, Confederate States of America, Cowboys, diaries, frontier and pioneer life, Frontier and pioneer life, German pioneers, letters, Mexico, Old West, Paul Baker, Prohibition, Rail Road, Railroads, Research Ready, Screenplays, Texas navy, Texas railroads | Leave a comment

Demise of the Cursed New Birmingham, Texas

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

Map of New Birmingham, Texas

Map of the proposed layout for the town of New Birmingham. The streets were named after major U.S. cities, Texas towns, and a few of the major investors in the project.

In the early 1880s, Alabama native and sewing machine salesman Alexander B. Blevins envisioned a town in East Texas that would rival the iron production of Birmingham in his home state. While traveling through the eastern part of Texas, he encountered significant iron ore deposits and identified a potential town site two miles east of Rusk, between Palestine and Nacogdoches. Blevins secured financial backing for “The Iron Queen of the Southwest” from his brother-in-law Gen. W. H. Hammon, a prominent Calvert lawyer, and several other wealthy investors from New York. The town, called New Birmingham, sold its first lot in 1888 and by 1891 it boasted around 2,000 residents, two working furnaces, a train depot, electric light station, carriage shop, ice manufacturer, pipe and bottling works, brick yard, and the largest hotel outside of Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston. Most of these buildings were built with brick, demonstrating the founders’ intention for the town’s permanence.

The Texas Collection recently discovered two pieces of promotional material associated with New Birmingham: a map of the proposed layout of the town along with existing homes and buildings as of August 1891 and a promotional booklet with details about the town’s benefits and business opportunities, which can be accessed here: here and here. Yet, by 1893, New Birmingham was deserted and the Cherokee County Banner, a local newspaper, declared that the “Iron Queen was dead.” All the town’s residents left except for a single caretaker and his wife who lived in the Southern Hotel, but even that structure burned to the ground in 1926. Most scholars point to a lack of initial capital for the venture compounded by the Panic of 1893, an explosion that ruined one of the furnaces, and the unfavorable Alien Land Act passed by Texas governor James Hogg as likely causes of the city’s quick demise. A legend survives, however, that tells a significantly different and more dramatic reason for the total destruction of New Birmingham, Texas.

The Southern Hotel

The most impressive structure in New Birmingham was the Southern Hotel. It housed such distinguished guests as Texas Governor James Hogg, railroad magnate Jay Gould, and former President Grover Cleveland.

According to the legend, Gen. W. H. Hammon and his wife Ella lived in the Southern Hotel. Ella had bright red hair and was considered the most beautiful woman in the town. In 1890, grocer S. T. Cooney and his wife, who was also very beautiful, moved to the town. Mrs. Hammon supposedly became incredibly jealous and she and her husband began spreading rumors around the town about Mrs. Cooney’s conduct. S. T. Cooney filed a slander suit against Gen. Hammon, but instead of waiting for the court to handle the conflict, he took matters into his own hands and shot Hammon to death in the middle of the street on July 14, 1890. Mrs. Hammon witnessed her husband’s death and called on the townspeople to lynch Cooney, but public sentiment about the incident was divided. After unsuccessfully attempting to convince the defense attorney to drop Cooney as a client, she ran through the streets of New Birmingham with her red hair flowing and cursed the town, calling on God to “leave no stick or stone standing in this mushroom town.”

Ruins of the Town

This photo shows a single brick wall from the high school, the only structure remaining from the town of New Birmingham. The rest of the site has been overgrown by the surrounding East Texas forest.

Although the dramatic details of the legend cannot be proven, the slander suit and murder were reported in several Texas newspapers. The Galveston Daily News closely followed the trial and Cooney was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in the state penitentiary on July 11, 1891. When the furnace exploded and the financial crisis hit New Birmingham in 1893, many townspeople recalled the curse of Mrs. Hammon and believed it to be a bad omen. Unlike other ghost towns in Texas, nothing remains to mark the place where this magnificent boomtown once stood. Most of the bricks from the businesses and homes were carted away during World War I or used to erect structures in the nearby town of Rusk. In a sense, Mrs. Hammon’s curse came true after all.

Bibliography

“Gen. Hammon Killed.” Dallas Morning News. July 15, 1890. America’s Historical Newspapers, Readex. accessed June 14, 2017.

Long, Christopher. “New Birmingham, Texas” A New Handbook of Texas. Vol. 4. Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.

“Made It Manslaughter.” The Galveston Daily. July 11, 1891. Newspapers.com accessed June 14, 2017.

“New Birmingham.” Cherokee County History. John Allen Templeton, ed.  Jacksonville, TX: Cherokee County Historical Commission, 1986.

New Birmingham Iron and Improvement Co. of Texas. New Birmingham, Cherokee County, Texas. Chicago: Rand, McNally, and Co., 1891.

New Birmingham, Texas. Chicago: Rand, McNally, and Co., 1891.

New Birmingham, Texas [Vertical File] The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Roach, Hattie Joplin. A History of Cherokee County. Dallas, TX: Southwest Press, 1934.

Posted in Cherokee County, Ghost Towns, Iron Rush, Maps, New Birmingham, W.H. Hammon | Leave a comment