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 August:
Cego German Evangelical Church Records: These records contain the minutes of Cego German Evangelical Church (located in Falls County, Texas), produced by secretary A.A. Miller during the Great Depression.
Matthew Ellenberger Papers: The Matthew Ellenberger Papers contain Ellenberger’s research notes and correspondence as well as literary publications concerning Texas Revolutionary Albert C. Horton and American Revolution figures Thomas Walker and Jack Jouett.
Texas Cotton Palace Records: This collection contains correspondence, legal and financial documents, literary productions, photographs, and an artifact pertaining to the Texas Cotton Palace and its festivities in Waco, Texas.
Benajah Harvey Carroll Papers: The Benajah Harvey “B.H.” Carroll Papers consist of correspondence, financial records, and literary productions regarding the various positions Carroll held throughout his life, including pastor of First Baptist Church in Waco, professor and chairman of the board of trustees of Baylor University, secretary of the Texas Baptist Education Commission, and founder and president of Baylor Theological Seminary/Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Texas Collection’s holdings include many weighty academic tomes and important archival records. Even the paintings that hang in our reading room tend to the serious side—neither Samuel Palmer Brooks nor Pat Neff look amused in their portraits. But we have many fun items too, like the Baylor Bear Facts.
A trivia game centered on Baylor, the game was produced in the 1980s and includes trivia tidbits in the categories of sports, clubs, history, personalities, and potpourri. Below are just a few of the many questions available in the game. Try your hand at some Baylor trivia and find out how well you know Baylor! You might be surprised by some of the “bear facts.” (The photos are clues for a few of the questions—and answers are below the photos.)
What was Baylor’s first women’s social club?
Were there any dancing classes taught at Baylor in 1922?
What did S.P. Brooks abolish in 1906?
On April 7, 1969, what could Baylor coeds wear for the first time anywhere on campus?
Baylor played a cross-town rival in its first-ever Homecoming football game. Who did Baylor beat in that historic game?
What year did the senior class gifts become a Baylor tradition–1907, 1931, or 1945?
Who was Baylor’s first clean shaven president?
He is a Baylor grad, [was] director of the Student Center, and was elected mayor of Waco in 1984. Name him.
This famous folk group performed in Marrs McLean Gym in a three hour show in 1969. The show was referred to as the P, P, and M show. What was the name of the group?
This former Baylor student of 1856 rescued Cynthia Ann Parker from the Indians. Who was he?
Alpha Omega (now Pi Beta Phi)
Yes, in the Physical Education department, folk dancing was taught. (The first official dance at Baylor wouldn’t be till 1996, however.)
Football (due to the brutality of the game—but the sport was reinstated in 1907, due to popular opinion and modifications to the game to make it safer)
Shorts and slacks (Before, even if a woman had a physical education class, she had to wear a long coat over her gym attire while walking to class.)
Texas Christian University (before its move to Fort Worth)
1907 (The gift was a circular bench to sit outside Carroll Library–and it is still there in Burleson Quadrangle.)
Sul Ross (He rescued Parker in his role as a Texas Ranger. He went on to serve as a Confederate general, President of Texas A&M University, and Governor of Texas. The Texas Collection holds the Ross Family papers in its archives.)
The Texas Collection has archival records on many of these historical figures and events. Come visit us to learn more!
An old photo allows us to take a dip into the past…and in no image is that comparison more apt than these views of Waco’s Crystal Palace pool! Such an image almost allows you to see, hear, and feel the environment that people experienced many decades ago. By taking one photo (above, by Fred Gildersleeve, circa 1910s) and breaking it down into pieces, we can “read” so much about the former landscape of downtown Waco, Texas, and the city’s history…including one of Waco’s most cherished but now mostly vanished natural resources: artesian well water.
The Crystal Palace pool had its source of water from one of the city’s many natural artesian wells. A pipe can be seen where this natural resource freely flowed (above, left). Maybe a little too freely, as the people of Waco would learn.
The first artesian well in Waco was drilled by J.D. Bell in 1886. Bell later established the Bell Water Company and in 1904 it was sold to the city of Waco. Many more wells were drilled and consequently, Waco became known as “Geyser City.” This name was well deserved as it was recorded in 1890 that one of this city’s wells was 1,800 feet deep and had an output of 1.5 million gallons of water per day!
This natural resource supplied business needs such as the water supply for the Amicable (Alico) Building. Additionally, it supplied the nearby Artesian Bottling Co. that later became the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. The Natatorium Hotel boasted Waco’s first indoor pool being supplied by this same artesian water. These warm natural waters were even purported to have medicinal effects when consumed or used for bathing.
But in the 1920s the artesian wells below downtown Waco began to run dry and could no longer sustain a constant supply for water-based establishments such as the Crystal Palace pool. Factors for their demise included more demand from changes in population, the arrival of Camp MacArthur in 1918, and the constant strain from various businesses.
Gildersleeve took his picture with a large format view camera that used 8×10 film to capture the image. The digital version seen here was scanned from Gildersleeve’s original 8×10 inch cellulose nitrate negative now held in The Texas Collection. (We’ve digitized many of our Gildersleeve prints if you’re interested in seeing more views of Waco in the first half of the 1900s. We now are working on processing the many negatives we also house.)
The remarkable detail of the photo is due to the size of the negative that Gildersleeve’s large format camera used; a high-resolution digital scan makes it even more amazing! Indeed, even today’s digital cameras would be hard-pressed to match the kind of detail seen in this nearly 100 year-old image. The artesian waters dissipated, but we still have wonderful photos like this one to preserve Waco’s history as the Geyser City.