Sharing Student Scholarship: Students at Baylor University, 1890-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the the third of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Sarah Madsen, Beth Cooper, Allison Combs, Marcus Franklin, and Hannah Glisson

Students at Baylor University during the turn of the twentieth century were highly passionate about their time at Baylor. Whether involved in creating student publications, participating in athletics, or answering the call to come home, Baylor students began creating traditions that can still be seen in campus culture to this day.

During this period, The Baylor University Annual was created as the first yearbook— a place where students truly began to tell their own story.  Early editors gathered photos, stories, and student experiences that helped document their Baylor experience. The creation of The Annual preceded The Lariat, Baylor’s student newspaper, and ultimately functioned as the foundation for The Round-Ups, Baylor’s official yearbook.

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Sharing Student Scholarship: Religion at Baylor University, 1890-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the the third of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Sean Strehlow, Trenton Holloway, Maddie Whitmore, and Tori Guilford

Rufus C. Burleson: Cultivating the Baptist Way at Baylor

Rufus C. Burleson

President Rufus C. Burleson first served as president of Baylor University at Independence from the years 1851-1861. After Baylor University at Independence merged with Waco University, Burleson again took on the role of president. He served in this role until 1897. Burleson’s dedication to his own Baptist faith helped define and distinguish Baylor University’s Baptist identity. Following his death in 1901, Baylor University erected a monument in Burleson’s honor. Burleson’s students, it is said, “have carried his noble lessons around the globe” (Ritchie, 1901, pp. 4). As teachers, preachers, legislators, physicians, bankers, and lawyers, Burleson’s former students became worldwide leaders. His undeniable faith in God is evidenced by his commitment to Christian education. At the time of this memorial being planted, the Baylor faculty sought to continue his great legacy. The faculty committed themselves to prayer and the perpetuation of Burleson’s vision for Christian education (Ritchie, 1901, pp. 5). Chief among the faculty was B.H. Carroll, First Baptist’s magnanimous preacher, and one of the most influential denominational leaders among Southern Baptists. His sermons never failed to convict the hearts of his congregants (Ray, 1927, pp. 149-150). Burleson was both friend, and mentor to Carroll.

B. H. Carroll

From the very beginning, Baylor has been steeped in Baptist tradition. Baylor’s Baptist ties could be seen most clearly in their Chapel services. These services, held once a day, served as an opportunity for students, faculty and staff alike to come together and sing songs, pray, and hear biblical teaching. In the 1890’s, these services were held at 9:00a.m. on weekdays and at 4:00p.m. on Sundays. Students’ attendance at these services was mandatory and strictly enforced, and absences could earn a student anywhere from two to ten demerits. Chapel speakers were most often University professors who would speak on a topic of their choosing. B.H. Carroll gave his first address to the students in 1886, and quickly became a regular speaker at Chapel services (Carroll, 1923, pp. 409). He was admired by students like Jessie Brown, a student between 1888-1891, who recorded fond reflections of his sermons in letters written to her sister at home (Brown, 1890, pp. 233). Despite the strict attendance policy, many students really enjoyed the Chapel services. These Chapel “exercises,” as Jewell Leggett refers to them in her diary, helped students to grow in their faith by teaching them spiritual discipline.Continue Reading

Collins Hall through the Ages

by Emily Starr, Summer 2018 Intern

My grandmother was one of the first groups of women to live in Collins Hall, my mom lived and met some of her best college friends there, and I visited my sister in her fourth floor Collins room her freshman year. I moved into Room 154 of Collins Hall in August three years ago, and I’ll never forget my time there. All of these Collins connections made me particularly excited when I came across the original blueprints of Collins Hall during my time as an intern at The Texas Collection.

Ruth Collins Hall was completed in 1957 as an all-female residence hall. While not a lot has changed as far as the building itself, ways of life within the halls of Collins have drastically changed. At its completion, Collins was outfitted with multiple living spaces on the first floor that reflect student life at Baylor in the 1950s.

Upon entering the lobby, there are three living rooms, a study room, and entrance to the dining room. The living rooms were typically formal settings, where women could receive male callers, who first checked into the front desk—and only during visiting hours. The dining room was also a formal space, and dinners were held family style, where one student per week was assigned to serve the others’ plates before she served herself. After dinner, you may find the women of Collins roaming the halls in each other’s rooms, but only until their early curfew, when they were required to have their lights out.Continue Reading

Sharing Student Scholarship: Finances at Baylor University, 1890-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the the third of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Scott Alexander, Andrew Eastwood, Preston Templeman, and Mariah Duncan

Throughout the history of higher education, finances and funding have been necessary to animate and realize the mission of an institution. Finances can make or break an institution; therefore, strong leadership has always been important in making sure that the funds of an institution are being used to support both present function and foundation for the future. Funding comes from both internal and external sources to build endowments, provide student scholarships, pay institutional debts, make capital improvements, and supply for curricular and co-curricular resources. As industrialists built personal wealth during the 1890s and 1900s, the prevailing concept of the “Protestant work ethic” encouraged philanthropic stewardship of that wealth[1]. Higher education institutions capitalized on this ethic through targeted fundraising efforts[2].Continue Reading

Texas Collection Teaching Fellows

The Teaching Fellows Program is offered each year to full-time Baylor faculty members and graduate teaching assistants through the Baylor University Libraries. This program supports research in one of Baylor’s six special libraries/collections, including The Texas Collection! Fellows spend time in these special libraries/collections over the summer with the expectation of implementing special collections in their courses that academic year. If you missed the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) session, “Teaching with Special Collections,” here is a brief overview of The Texas Collection’s Summer 2018 Teaching Fellows.

Dr. T. Laine Scales

Dr. Scales is a Professor of Higher Education as well as Social Work and serves the Baylor Graduate School as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Development. In 2016, she was named as a Baylor University Master Teacher. Dr. Scales spent time this past summer looking through several early collections in the University Archives to be implemented in her Foundations & History of Higher Education Administration graduate level course in the School of Education. Students in this class were assigned to one of five themes: Access, Curriculum, Finance, Students, and Religion. Through these themes, they researched Baylor’s history from 1890-1910 and a particular topic that fit with their assigned theme. Students were able to connect what they were learning in class about the history of higher education on a national level with history on a local level while gaining valuable research skills within the archives. Students were required to complete individual papers using materials from the archives as well as group blog posts, which The Texas Collection has been posting throughout this semester (see our “Sharing Student Scholarship” series).Continue Reading

Sharing Student Scholarship: Access at Baylor University, 1900-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the second of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Rachel Jones, Rachel Ticknor, Rachel Henson, Jillian Haag, and Lela Lam

Following its merger with Waco University in 1886, Baylor University set forth a series of initiatives that were progressive in terms of extending college access to various student groups-specifically to women and transfer students. These initiatives included Baylor’s promotion of coeducation and the university’s establishment of formal articulation agreements with Texas high schools and other Baptist colleges. Because of these efforts, a Baylor education had become more accessible to a wider network of students. However, despite these progressive strides, some students (mainly female students) still faced inequality and a lack of access to certain resources/activities once they actually matriculated on campus.

With the establishment of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT)’s Education Commission in 1897, Baylor focused on leveraging the Commission’s existing partnerships in order to create formal articulation agreements with the other correlated Baptist colleges. Under these agreements, students that completed a standardized two-year curriculum and graduated from the affiliated colleges could transfer to Baylor, without an entrance examination, in order to complete their four-year degree. Baylor utilized a similar model in order to establish formal articulation agreements with a variety of high schools. These two initiatives collectively increased access for, and enrollment of, students who graduated from the affiliated high schools and colleges.

Despite their successes, it is possible that some of Baylor’s most groundbreaking initiatives were inherently exclusionary towards students who did not belong to/identify with the parameters that had been established (e.g. students who did not attend the affiliated high schools or colleges). Moreover, Baylor did not ensure that all students would receive equal levels of access to campus resources and programs once they actually enrolled at Baylor, which resulted in a sense of tension among the university community.

Group photo of The R.C.B. Literary Society, 1908. Found in the 1908 edition of The Baylor Round-Up. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

This tension is perhaps most evident in the experiences documented by Baylor’s female students and faculty members between 1900 and 1910. Although Baylor had taken a rather progressive stance on coeducation and allowed men and women to meet in the classroom and in the chapel together, women still faced unfair treatment in terms of housing policies and educational, financial, and extracurricular opportunities. Two examples of this treatment are evident when one takes a closer look at the student literary societies and faculty job opportunities.

Photo of Dr. Lula Pace, 1908. Lula Pace was the first female professor at Baylor to hold a doctoral degree, and served as the chair of the Department of Botany and Geology. Found in the 1908 edition of The Baylor Round-Up. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

As with most topics regarding student access during this time, the issue of women’s participation in literary societies was complex. There was collaboration and partnership between the male and female societies, but this did not always result in equality for their respective members. Though there were a number of benefits that came from women’s membership in literary societies, it is evident that when compared to their male counterparts, female students who chose to participate in such societies faced marginalization. This marginalization is especially evident when one considers the limited opportunity for scholarships.

In a similar vein, female faculty members at Baylor also experienced inequality. Although Baylor had taken a progressive stance on hiring more female faculty members, women comprised less than half of the faculty, were paid less than their male counterparts, and were generally considered lower-level “instructors” rather than full professors. In addition, Baylor rarely hired married female faculty members, notwithstanding that the majority of male faculty were married. All of these examples confirm that Baylor female faculty members faced inequality that was similar to what Baylor female students faced.

As progressive as Baylor was in 1900 to 1910, it was still a far cry from the experience that Baylor women have today. Finally, as Baylor continues to extend access to a variety of students, the university should build intentional partnerships whilst remaining mindful of any possibilities of exclusion.

Young Texans During World War I

Drummond and an unidentified friend enjoy the outdoors during their junior college days. Drummond Webster Bartlett Papers #2877, Box 6, Folder 6.

by Amanda Neel, Graduate Assistant

Before Judge Drummond Webster Bartlett (1895-1963) began his illustrious law career and made national headlines for presiding over the world’s first televised trial in 1952, he was a social young man attending junior college.

This portion of his life is now a part of The Texas Collection through a donation of documents, known as the Drummond Webster Bartlett papers, 1911-1921. A sampling of letters drawn from the collection gives insight into the lives and minds of young adults in the early 20th century, specifically the years between the start of World War I and the United States’ entrance into the war in 1917.

Drummond and Lois Kirby gaze at each other from under the shade of a tree. Drummond Webster Bartlett Papers #2877, Box 6, Folder 7.

The largest portion of letters span the years 1915-1917 and come from Lois Kirby, a sweetheart of Drummond’s. Her letters showcase how the concerns of young Texans evolved through the years of World War I. Even though World War I started in 1914, Lois’ letters concerned parties, social calls, her work as a teacher, and, of course, her love and concern for Drummond. Not until 1917 does Lois address the war; she writes, “Everyone here seems to be getting enthused over the war. A Red Cross auxiliary was organized here last night.”

Nelle Gentry poses for a professional photograph. This image also serves as her photo for the 1918 Decatur Baptist College Yearbook.

A year later, Drummond joined the war effort himself. Another sweetheart, Nelle Gentry, wrote to Drummond in support of his military effort. In a letter addressed to her “Darling Soldier,” Nelle writes, “I have been crazy with joy for you…because you answered your country’s call and have given all ties of home and loved ones to go and do you[r] bit.” Her following letters contain accounts of friends and acquaintances involved in the war effort, as well as lines about her enduring love for Drummond.

Sadly, we do not have Drummond’s responses to the letters from his sweethearts. Though the sentiments expressed through the letters speak of undying love, the relationships did end. Bartlett’s marriage took place outside the scope of this collection. In 1933, Drummond Bartlett married a woman named Bessie Opal Smith. They remained together until Bartlett’s death in 1963.

Along with letters from sweethearts, Drummond’s papers also contain materials from his life as a junior college student, including homework assignments, society publications, and yearbooks. Also in the collection are military records documenting Drummond’s answer to the draft and his discharge in 1919, as well as a plethora of photographs that visually document his early life.

The Pérez Gálvez Letters: A Glimpse of Colonial Mexico

by Eloisa Haynes, Assistant Director of Advancement Services

At the end of the 18th century, when the grip of the Spanish empire on the New World began to weaken, and the dawn of Mexico as a sovereign, independent nation was in sight, lived the Count Antonio Pérez Gálvez.

The Texas Collection at Baylor University houses the John N. Rowe III papers, which include a series of documents written in Spanish dating from the mid-1600s through the late 1800s. Within those documents we find the Pérez Gálvez collection, which contains dozens of business and personal letters written to or by Pérez Gálvez. These letters are written in elegant script and a few of them still have traces of the original red wax seal that their authors melted and pressed on them more than 200 years ago.Continue Reading

Sharing Student Scholarship: Curricular Change and Reform at Baylor University, 1890-1910

Our Sharing Student Scholarship blog posts showcase original scholarship written by Baylor students who conducted research using primary source materials in The Texas Collection. This post is the first of five in a series of blog posts written by graduate and PhD students from the Fall 2018 Foundations & History of Higher Education Leadership course. 

by Beth Benschoter, Delacy Carpenter, Liya Scott, and Zach Mills

The transition from the 19th Century and into the 20th Century was a time in American higher education of innovation and reform. Although within a matter of decades a uniquely American identity of higher education would emerge, at the turn of the century institutions were still experimenting, specifically with curriculum (Thelin, 2011). This was certainly true of Baylor University and from ~1890-1910, Baylor was exploring many curricular innovations, some lasting and others not. Four specific curricular changes that emerged during this time were: the construction of a new science building; a military science department; a growing religious curriculum; and a school of oratory.Continue Reading

The Ellington Field Photographic Collection

Example of a moving carpet, used for bombardier training.

by Benna Vaughan, Manuscripts Archivist

The Ellington Field Photographic collection is one of two new photographic collections obtained by The Texas Collection that focus on World War I. Though currently divided and used for both civil and military purposes, Ellington Field bears a long history of being at the front lines of training for United States aviation services.

This first image is called a “moving carpet” and was used to train bombardiers for combat. Representing the landscape they would see from their sighting mechanism; these men were trained to recognize geographic features and potential targets. Some images in this collection also show WW1 military bi-planes and parts of their structure such as elevator controls and bomb releases. Photographs of soldiers recording bomb shots and the tools used to take bombing measurements are also included.

Planes flying in formation.

Other images of military bi-planes consist of planes on the ground and flying in formation. This time, 1917-1920, coincides with the infancy of aerial photography and there are some great photos of formation flying in this collection. A few images focus on the ground and areas around Houston, Texas, but the clear majority are of planes. The bi-plane in this photograph is a De Havilland 4 Bomber taken on January 4, 1919.

De Havilland 4 Bomber.

Images of plane crashes are also prominent in this collection. The back of this photograph reads:

Tail-spin from 5,000 feet – unhurt. Lt. Platt, pilot. Got up, smoked a cigarette, and wanted to walk away. Taken to hospital and discharged in 24 hours. Accident due to inexperience.

Another crash image tells us:

2nd Lt. W.C. Stalker, Pilot. August 30, 1918. Total Wreck. Ship came down in a spin from about 1,000 feet, and hit nose first, driving engine back into the gas tank, and tank back into front seat. Pilot probably was climbing too steep and slipped off into a spin. Seems unable to remember what happened, due probably to blow received when he crashed.

Tailspin from 1,000 feet.

One supposes that the images were studied and used as documentation for pilot and plane review.

The images from the Ellington Field Photograph collection depict a time of growth and change in the way America approached aerial maneuvers and combat. Photos displaying planes, flying formations, pilots, plane crashes and even images of workshops and hangers, come together in this collection and give a representation of what it was like to be a pilot in training during World War I.

This collection is open for research and those interested in viewing it are encouraged to contact us at txcoll@baylor.edu. All images in the post can be found in the Ellington Field Photographic collection, Accession #3937, Box 1, Folder 5, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.