Texas Over Time: McLendon Hardware and Higginbotham Hardware Company Building, Waco, Tx

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 Meta Slider’s that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, street scenes, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

Higginbotham Hardware/McLendon Hardware Building, Waco, TXContinue Reading

Texas Over Time: “The Raleigh Building, Waco, TX”

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 Meta Slider’s that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, street scenes, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

The Raleigh Building, Waco, TXContinue Reading

Texas Over Time: “The Roosevelt Tower, Waco, TX”

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 Meta Slider’s that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, street scenes, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

Continue Reading

Texas over Time: Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute, Waco, TX

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 Meta Slider’s that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, street scenes, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute, Waco, TX

*Dr Pepper, America’s oldest major soft drink brand, had its origins in Waco, Texas.

*The Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute is housed in what was originally the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company. It would later become the first facility to produce the soft drink.

*This structure, located on the corner of 5th and Mary Street, Waco, Texas, was built in 1906 and designed by architect Milton Scott. Its brick walls measure 18 inches in thickness and are supported by a solid timber foundation.


1951 and 2018 Photos by Fred Marlar and GH, The Texas Collection, Baylor University

*Throughout the 20th century the building’s location on Mary Street allowed Dr Pepper easy access to shipping on the route of the St. Louis Southwestern “Cotton Belt” Railroad.

*On May 11, 1953, the structure was damaged by a large tornado that destroyed a section of the city’s central business district and caused the deaths of 114 people. The side of the building still bears the repair work done to the massive brick walls.


May 1953 and 2018 Photos by Unknown (General Slide collection) and GH, The Texas Collection, Baylor University

*The building served as the Dr Pepper Bottling Company for many years. When operations ceased at that location they moved to west Waco. In the 1980s businessmen Wilton Lanning and W.W. Clements conceived the idea to make it a museum dedicated to the soft drink, its history, and the idea of the free enterprise system. The museum opened to the public on May 11, 1991, the 38th anniversary of the tornado.

*At the time of its opening, it was viewed as a catalyst to revive that part of the downtown area. Its continued growth and success have helped Waco to become one of the state’s top tourist destinations.

Works Cited:

Ellis, Harry E., Dr Pepper-King of Beverages. Dallas, TX: Dr Pepper Co. 1986. Print.

Text and Meta Sliders by GH

Texas over Time: Waco Mammoth National Monument, Waco, TX

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.

                                Waco Mammoth National Monument

*Two explorers, Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin, were searching for fossils along the Bosque River in the spring of 1978 when they accidentally discovered the large femur bone of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi).

*Barron and Bufkin took their discovery to Baylor University’s Strecker Museum, now the Mayborn Museum, where researchers identified the fossils and organized a search team.

*The Mammuthus columbi species lived over 65,000 years ago during the Ice Age and roamed anywhere from Southern Canada to Costa Rica.

*Between 1978 and 1990, the remains of 24 Columbian mammoths, a saber toothed cat, giant tortoise, Western camel and American alligator were all excavated.

*The group of fossils were categorized as a “nursery herd.”

*Jon Bongino, a Baylor graduate student in Geology first believed that all the animals found at the Waco Mammoth Site died in one single catastrophic event. After further investigation of the soil layers, it was determined that three events took place in a short period of time at the site.

*The animals’ involved were trapped in a steep-sided channel and drowned during a period of rapidly rising flood waters from the Bosque River.

*The excavation process was a tedious process, finished by utilizing trowels, brushes and bamboo scrapers.

*The Columbian mammoths weighed seven to eight tons, they were 12 to 14 feet tall and had tusks as long as 16 feet.

*On July 10, 2015, the site officially became the Waco Mammoth National Monument after the President signed an Executive Order to hand management over to the National Park Service.

See the still images in our Flickr set.

Works Cited:

Hetter, Katia. “Texas Mammoth Herd Site Is a New National Monument.” CNN. Cable News Network, 30 June. Web. 13 July 2016.

“History & Culture.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 13 July 2016.

Barrow, Jill, and Guy Gandy. Mammoths in Waco: Exploring the Mystery. Waco, TX: Mayborn Museum Complex, Baylor U, 2007. Print.

Text and GIF by Haley Rodriguez

Texas over Time: Texarkana, Texas

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.

Texarkana, Texas

•At the junction of Interstate 30 and U.S. highways 59, 67, 71 and 82 lies the town of Texarkana, Texas.

•The name Texarkana is coined for its location on the Texas

•Arkansas border and proximity to Louisiana.

•There is no certainty where the exact name came from but there were a few theories told over time:

The name’s origin belongs to a steamboat that voyaged the Red River in the late 1800s.

That a man named Swindle in Red Land, Bossier Parish, Louisiana who manufactured a drink called “Texarkana Bitters”
inspired the town’s name.

Or that Col. Gus Knobel, an Iron Mountain surveyor, coined the name while building the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and
Southern Railroad.

•The site that Texarkana lies on is the same site the Caddo Indian village was located. The Great Southwest Trail passed by this village for hundreds of years to the Mississippi River country and back.

•The city’s history and beginning development thrived because of its position on the Texas Arkansas border.

•Plots of land were first sold on Dec. 8, 1873 by the builders of the Texas and Pacific Railroad. The first plot was bought by J.W. Davis.

•State line Avenue separates the north and southbound lanes of this arterial road with the Texas side to the west and Arkansas’ side to the east.

•Bowie County, Texas remains a dry county resulting in several liquor stores lining the Arkansas side of midtown State Line Avenue.

•The city is considered one entity but has two municipalities, including two mayors and two sets of councilmen and city officials.

•There are agreements for joint fire departments, respective state inspections and recreational programs.

•In an eerie light, Texarkana is home to the unsolved

Texarkana Moonlight Murders of spring 1946. The town was sent into a state of panic that summer because of the still unidentified “Phantom Slayer.” The Texas Rangers kept watch over the inhabitants of Texarkana until they quietly and slowly left as so did the Phantom.

Works Cited

Handbook of Texas Online, “Texarkana, TX,” accessed July 18, 2016,

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hdt02.

Newton, Michael. The Texarkana Moonlight Murders: The Unsolved Case of the 1946 Phantom Killer. Jefferson: McFarland &, 2013. Print.

See the still images in our Flickr set.

Text and GIF by Haley Rodriguez

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.

Understanding a Derailment: Camp MacArthur Train No. 264

by Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (8)

On June 18, 1918, a troop train carrying soldiers from Camp MacArthur’s 80th Field Artillery left East Waco traveling eastward on the Cotton Belt line on a trip to a southern training camp. After traveling for 15 minutes (about 7 miles), the train derailed just north of Selby (no longer on the map). Two troops, Corporals Laurn Harrell and August Handschumacher, Jr., were killed, and about 30 military personnel and four employees of the railroad were injured.

In these photos taken by Edward Charles (E.C.) Blomeyer, of Waco, Texas, we can see the aftermath of the crash. Blomeyer was not involved with the railroad but rather was president of The Texas Telephone Company—while also pursuing amateur interest in photography. Blomeyer (1883-1964) lived in Waco from about 1912 to 1920. His collection of nearly 1,500 negatives and prints allow us to be an eyewitness to historical events that otherwise might be lost to time.

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (7)

According to the Interstate Commerce Commission’s report on the incident, the train consisted of 14 passenger coaches, 6 freight cars, and a caboose.  Troop train no. 264 left East Waco at 3:25 p.m. and after traveling eastward about 7 miles and approximately 1.1 miles north of the town of Selby (no longer on the map), the train derailed at approximately 3:40 p.m. The locomotive was a Baldwin Consolidation-type, 2-8-0, #510, of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas, also known as the Cotton Belt line.

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (9)

The derailment occurred as the train approached a trestle crossing the Tehuacana Creek. After an investigation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), and upon hearing statements from the train’s engineer, Statham, the agency came to the conclusion that a sun kink was the main factor of the accident. Sun kinks can occur during extreme heat causing rails to bulge or spread. At the time of the accident on this June day, it was reported to be 103 degrees.

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (2)

Statham reported to the agency that the sun kink was “3 to 5 inches in width and about half a rail length long, located about 400 feet south of the trestle; he then set the air [brakes] in emergency and jumped.”

Another factor reported by the ICC describes the poor condition of the track: “this section was not properly supported by a ballast, and should not have been permitted to remain in that condition.” Based on the information, it was determined this resulted in the locomotive to begin its derailment 113 feet south of the trestle, causing the engine to turn over when it began to cross. A Waco News-Tribune account of June 19, 1918, states: “…at the time of the wreck [the train] was passing over a wooden bridge across Tehuacana creek. As the engine went onto the bridge timbers suddenly gave way and the locomotive ploughed through.”

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (5)

The ICC determined that there were no mechanical problems with the Baldwin Locomotive #510. However, the arrangement of the cars made the event more tragic: during the derailment, the engine’s tender cistern became unattached from its frame, and unfortunately, directly behind it was the first passenger coach, which was made of wood. The wooden coach was practically demolished under the tender’s frame and tank, and the two deaths and many of the injuries occurred in this car. The ICC claimed that placing this lighter wooden coach behind the locomotive with the heavier steel cars behind it “undoubtedly increased the danger of injury to the passengers.”

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (6)

After the incident there was much speculation as to the cause of the mishap. The June 19, 1918, Waco News-Tribune reported that: “The favorite opinion of the hundreds of officers, camp and railroad officials, and citizen spectators, was that the bridge or the rails had been tampered with, by persons knowing of the troop movement.” With the U.S. into its second year of involvement in World War I, it is not surprising that such theories of sabotage were being put forth.  Just a few days after the derailment, these theories were debunked by the investigation reports.

E.C. Blomeyer and camera, Cameron Park, Waco, TX.

All of the above photographs were taken by Edward Charles (E.C.) Blomeyer, of Waco, Texas. See more of the photos from this accident in our Flickr album below:

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264