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:
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.
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 seances 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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)