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

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.

Documenting the Parker Family Story at The Texas Collection (Part 3)

For the past two weeks, we’ve been writing about the Parker family—see Part 1 and Part 2. Last week’s post was about the preservation of Old Fort Parker. Today we continue the story with the Parker family’s work to preserve its historical documents—what is now the Jack and Gloria Parker Selden collection, housed at The Texas Collection.

The story of preserving Parker family materials through time is impressive in its own right. With many documents in the collection dating back to the 19th century, it is remarkable that so many of these papers survived. Family historians faithfully stored and studied the documents and made sure the materials endured for the next generation of the family. Now, by giving them to The Texas Collection, these documents are preserved and accessible for the public to view and research.

Materials in this collection were assembled, collected, and preserved by three distinct groups in the Parker family: Joseph and Araminta Taulman, Lee Parker Boone, and Jack Selden, though many other Parker family members contributed to the preservation of their family history, including Joe Bailey Parker and Ben J. Parker. Each of the three major preservation groups represents a different generation in the Parker family history, and each contributed different research materials and collecting emphasis to the collection.

Letter from Sam Houston to Daniel Parker, 1836
Letter from Sam Houston in 1836 giving permission for Daniel Parker to construct a fort near Comanche Crossing on the Trinity River. Could be in Freestone or Henderson counties. This is not the fort that was raided in 1836 by the Comanche. Jack and Gloria Parker Selden papers, Accession 3954, box 1, folder 5.

It seems that family members began gathering historical documents relating to family history very early in their time in Texas. By 1854, the materials were stored in a container the family has referred to as the “blue box”  by Dan Parker, grandson of Daniel Parker. This box of documents was added to over time and passed down through the family. It eventually came to Jack Selden and contained most of what is now Series I, the oldest materials in the collection.

Joseph and Araminta Taulman were active in Texas public history in the 1930s. Araminta was the great-great-granddaughter of Daniel Parker, patriarch of the Parker family in the 1830s. While the Taulmans created some materials now in the Jack and Gloria Parker Selden collection, most of the Taulman papers are now in the Joseph E. Taulman Collection at the Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin.

U.S. War Department Letter to Isaac Parker, 1845 (Cynthia Ann Parker)
Letter from the United States War Department to Isaac Parker in 1845. Describes how the United States army was actively looking for Cynthia Ann Parker in all communications with the Comanche. Jack and Gloria Parker Selden papers, Accession 3954, box 1, folder 9.

Lee Parker Boone, born in 1891, focused on collecting and describing Parker genealogy information for much of his life. Boone was a court reporter in Midland, Texas. In the Selden collection, many of the letters inquiring about family trees and giving information about possible family relationships were from or to Boone.

Jack Selden was born in 1929 and graduated from Palestine High School in Texas. After graduating from George Washington University, he served in the United States Air Force as a navigator and speechwriter for 21 years, eventually becoming a lieutenant colonel. Returning to Palestine, he became a civil trial assistant. In 1985, he became mayor of Palestine, serving three terms.

"The Telling of the Tales," Parker Family reunion, Old Fort Parker, TX, 1983
Flier advertising the “Telling of the Tales” dramatic reading. This particular version, performed in 1983, was open to the public and in conjunction with the Parker family reunion. Jack and Gloria Parker Selden papers, Accession 3954, box 19, folder 18.

At some point, Selden became the historian of the Parker family and faithfully preserved an increasingly large collection of documents, photographs, and other materials containing his research on the topic, plus the work of Lee Boone, selections from Joseph Taulman, and others who contributed to preserving the Parker family story. With these resources, Selden wrote and published a book on the Parker family in Texas history. Return: The Parker Story, published in 2006, documents the Parker family’s arrival in Texas, and traces their history through Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah Parker, and others, up to the Parker family reunions today. This past year, Selden donated this collection of materials to The Texas Collection.

Jack Selden also wrote and performed in the “Telling of the Tales,” a dramatic reading of the Cynthia Ann Parker story. Other Parker family members also participated in the production. This drama was performed several times for the public, both at Old Fort Parker in the early 1980s and at Pilgrim Baptist Church near Elkhart, Texas. Programs and scripts from “Telling of the Tales” performances can be found in the Selden collection.

This concludes our series celebrating the Jack and Gloria Parker Selden papers arrival at The Texas Collection. Mark your calendar for Selden’s lecture: Thursday, February 18, at 3:30 pm in the Guy B. Harrison Reading Room of The Texas Collection, located in Carroll Library at Baylor University. If you can’t make the lecture, follow us on Twitter—we’ll be live-tweeting the event at #ParkerFamilyTX.

Sources:

Find a Grave, Inc. “Lee Parker Boone.” Memorial #22788886. Databases. Accessed February 8, 2016.

Joseph E. Taulman Collection, 1783-1994, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Selden, Jack. Return: the Parker Story. Palestine: Clacton Press, 2006.

 

Documenting the Parker Family Story at The Texas Collection (Part 1)

The Texas Collection recently acquired a group of historic documents on the Parker family, including Cynthia Ann Parker and her son Quanah Parker. This amazing collection is one of several record groups on the Parker family already at The Texas Collection. In anticipation of Jack Selden’s February 18 lecture, “Return: the Parker Story,” this blog post will be the first in a series of posts that tell the story of the Parker family in Texas.

Cynthia Ann Parker came to Texas with 38 family members from Illinois in 1833, and the family settled near Groesbeck. By the summer of 1835, the Parkers had a rough wooden fort built that was called Parker’s Fort or Fort Parker. The family tended crops on about 12 miles along the Navasota River, returning as needed to the fort.

Old Fort Parker postcard aerial view
Aerial view of replica Parker’s Fort, also known as Old Fort Parker. This historic site, open to the public, is on the same site the original fort was on in 1836.

By 1835-1836, situations in Texas had changed drastically from when the Parkers first came to Texas. Good relations with local American Indian groups had given way to open hostility, as Texans attacked a Kichai village to recover horses thought to have been stolen. For several weeks, this group of Texans used Parker’s Fort as a base to search surrounding areas for Indian groups that they believed had stolen their horses.

Working relationships with the Mexican government had also deteriorated. Military hero Antonio López de Santa Anna overthrew the previous government, put down rebellions that broke out in various Mexican states, and sent military units to Texas to enforce Mexican law. By 1836, Santa Anna himself was in Texas at the head of a Mexican army to put down a brewing rebellion among the colonists, who spoke openly of independence from Mexico. After a string of Mexican victories, Sam Houston led a Texian army to win the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836, and the Texas Revolution was over.

John Parker killed at Navasota, TX, May 1836, bible entry
Notation in Daniel Parker’s Bible that states “John Parker…was killed by the Indians at Navasot on Parker’s Fort in Texas on the 19th day of May 1836.” Jack and Gloria Parker Selden papers, Accession 3954, box 34, folder 1, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Just one month after the Battle of San Jacinto, on May 19, 1836, Parker’s Fort was attacked by an American Indian force of several hundred warriors, long understood by eyewitnesses to be predominantly Comanche. With many of the Parker men out working in the fields, the 30 people in the fort were quickly overwhelmed. Five Parker family members were killed and five others were captured, but the rest escaped. One group of Parker family members, traveling only at night for safety, trekked 90 miles in six nights to the safety of Tinnenville.

#39box20folder10
Photograph of Cynthia Ann Parker and her daughter Prairie Flower (Topsannah) after their return to Anglo Texan society in the 1860s.

One of those captured was Cynthia Ann Parker. Just twelve or thirteen when taken captive, she was adopted into the tribe and became thoroughly Comanche. She became the wife of Peta Nocona, a noted leader in the Naconi band of the Comanche. They had three children, two boys and a girl: Quanah, Pecos, and Topsannah. Peta Nocona was probably killed in the Battle of the Pease River in 1860. Cynthia Ann was captured by Texas Rangers in this battle, and was identified as the Parker’s Cynthia Ann, who had been with the Comanche for almost 25 years. Though she was returned to Texan society, Cynthia Ann never recovered from her capture and made several attempts to escape back to her life on the plains. She died in 1870, and was originally buried in Fosterville Cemetery, Anderson County, but was reinterred in the Post Oak Mission Cemetery near Cache, Oklahoma, in 1910. Cynthia Ann was reburied a final time in 1957 in the Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Lawton, Oklahoma.

Cynthia Ann’s son Quanah Parker became the last major Comanche chief to surrender to United States authorities. A leader in the Quahada subtribe of the Comanche, Quanah for years frustrated the efforts of the United States army to capture his people. After the Comanche defeat in the Battle of Adobe Walls in 1875, Quanah and his people were pursued by the United States army during the Red River War, the last major military campaign in Texas. After their supplies were destroyed, Quanah and his people were forced to surrender, and were taken to the reservation designated for the Comanche and Kiowa in southwestern Oklahoma.

Over time, Quanah adjusted to reservation life and became a very wealthy and influential man. Though increasingly powerful in Indian-government relations, he could not stop the movement to break up the reservations and distribute the land among the individual Indians, who were then forced to sell much of their land by unscrupulous land dealers. Quanah continued his efforts to help his people however he could, including negotiating leases of land to ranchers, which brought in much-needed income for the tribe. After a visit to the Cheyenne Reservation, Quanah became ill and died twelve days later, in 1911. His remains have been moved once, from Post Oak Mission Cemetery in Oklahoma to Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Lawton, Oklahoma.

The next post in this series will focus on the restoration of the Fort Parker historic site, and the final post will examine the various creators of the Selden collection. Mark your calendar for Selden’s lecture: Thursday, February 18, at 3:30 pm in the Guy B. Harrison Reading Room of The Texas Collection, located in Carroll Library at Baylor University.

 

Sources:

Gwynne, S.C. Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches. New York: Scribner, 2010.

“Fort Parker Massacre.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Parker_massacre. Accessed 27 January 2016.

Handbook of Texas Online. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook. Accessed 27 January 2016.

Jack and Gloria Parker Selden papers, Accession #3954, Box #, Folder #, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Selden, Jack. Return: the Parker Story. Palestine: Clacton Press, 2006.

Joseph E. Taulman Collection, 1783-1994, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

“The History.” Old Fort Parker. http://www.oldfortparker.org/The_History_1DLU.html. Accessed 27 January 2016.

Vernon, Cheril. “Selden to be Honored by Library.” Palestine Herald-Press. November 8, 2008. Accessed September 25, 2015.

Research Ready: January 2016

By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

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!

Here are January’s finding aids:

Selsus Tull Sermon
The Selsus E. Tull papers contain hundreds of sermons written and preached by Reverend Tull. Selsus E. Tull papers, 1901-1964, undated (#3977), box 3, folder 1.

  • Selsus E. Tull papers, 1901-1964, undated (#3977): Contains the sermon notes and publications of longtime Baptist preacher Selsus Estol Tull (1878 – 1973). Tull pastored numerous Baptist churches over a six-decade career and was an influential participant in the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meetings for more than four decades. You can read more about the Selsus E. Tull papers here and here, and view them online here.
  • John Cheney Ellis papers, 1890-2000 (#3623): Includes photographs, post cards and correspondence relating primarily to the life and travels of John Cheney Ellis, as well as his mother, Inez Pratt.
  • Frank Elisha Burkhalter papers, 1902-1959 (#109): Writings by and photographs of Frank Elisha Burkhalter from his time in Waco as a volunteer with local youth and as a Baylor University student and professor.
  • Archie Hoppenstein papers, 1967-1999 (#3718): The Archie Hoppenstein papers include subject files from various Waco and McLennan County organizations. Hoppenstein was very involved in community activities, and attended Congregation Agudath Jacob in Waco, Texas.
Selsus Tull Sermon Packet
Reverend Tull stored his many sermons in packets like this one, with notes about where and when he preached that particular sermon. One of the entries is for Temple, Texas, in July 1917. Selsus E. Tull papers, 1901-1964, undated (#3977), box 3, folder 1.

Here are January’s featured print materials:

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World. Chicago: Blakely Print. Co., 1893. Print.
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World. Chicago: Blakely Print. Co., 1893. Print. Featuring a beautiful full color front and back cover, this unique volume contains photographs and illustrations of Buffalo Bill and his contemporaries. Also included is the “programme” for the Wild West show featuring music, horse races, cowboy fun, and Annie Oakley demonstrating her firearm prowess.

Facts and Figures about Mexico and Her Great Railroad: the Mexican Central. City of Mexico: Issued by the Bureau of Information of the Mexican Central Railway Co., 1898. Print.
Facts and Figures about Mexico and Her Great Railroad: the Mexican Central. City of Mexico: Issued by the Bureau of Information of the Mexican Central Railway Co., 1898. Print. Published by Mexico’s Bureau of Information as a handbook for potential investors and settlers, this beautifully preserved volume also highlights the unique beauty of the country. The volume helps to answer questions about taxes, safety, agriculture, and education and features photographs and a map.

Austin Hook & Ladder Fire Co. No. 1. Constitution and By-Laws of Austin Hook & Ladder Fire Co. No. 1. Austin: Eugene von Boeckmann, 1893. Print.
Austin Hook & Ladder Fire Co. No. 1. Constitution and By-Laws of Austin Hook & Ladder Fire Co. No. 1. Austin: Eugene von Boeckmann, 1893. Print. This small volume provides a glimpse into the 1893 Austin Hook and Ladder Fire Company. With the motto, “Always Ready,” the company’s constitution also includes information on membership, officers, and fines while the by-laws cover duties, committees, and amendments.

Research Ready: October 2015

By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

For the past couple of years, “Research Ready” has featured our newly processed archival collections. Starting this month, we also will include a few highlights of items recently added to our print materials. As always, this is just a sampling of the many, many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

Constructing the Panama Canal
Dr. McGlasson served as the chief medical officer for the last year of the building of the Panama Canal. This photo, amid a scrapbook largely comprised of European cityscapes and landscapes, highlights the scale of this massive construction project in which he played a small role. Irvy Lee McGlasson papers 3946, Box 4, Folder 1.

Here are October’s finding aids:

  • Jack and Gloria Parker Selden collection, 1755-2007, undated (#3954): These papers include materials about the Parker family throughout Texas history, including the stories of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker. Much of the collection is Jack Selden’s extensive research on the Parker family to write his book Return: The Parker Story in 2006.
  • E.S. James papers, 1938-1969 (#3965): Sermons, correspondence, and other collected materials about James, his colleagues, and subscribers to the Baptist Standard. E.S. James was editor of the Baptist Standard for twelve years.
  • Irvy Lee McGlasson papers, 1904-1931 (#3946): Materials include artifacts, photographs, and other materials about McGlasson, a doctor from Waco that served as the chief medical officer for the workforce building the Panama Canal.

Here are October’s featured print materials:

Le Champ-d Ásile, au Texas. Paris: Chez Tiger, 1820. Print.Le Champ-d’Asile, au Texas. Paris: Chez Tiger, 1820.

This volume, listed in Thomas W. Streeter’s renowned Bibliography of Texas, 1795-1845, provides a rare account of the failed Champ-d’Asile colony of Napoleonic loyalists who settled on Texas’ Trinity River in 1818.

Annual Catalogue Hill's Business College, 1905-1906Annual Catalogue Hill’s Business College, 1905-1906. Waco: Hill’s Business College, 1905. Print.

In 1881, Robert Howard Hill founded Hill’s Business College, which operated in Waco for more than 40 years. This volume offers a glimpse into the faculty, curriculum, and student body of the 1905-1906 academic year.

 

 

 

The City of Fort Worth and the State of Texas. St. Louis: Geo. W. Engelhardt & Co., 1890. Print.

The City of Fort Worth and the State of Texas. St. Louis: Geo. W. Engelhardt & Co., 1890. Print.

Part of the Engelhardt Series of American Cities, this volume examines business opportunities in 1890 Fort Worth and includes information on the railroad, real estate, manufacturing, and finances.

Research Ready: April 2015

Photograph of the Conners, 1923-1939
Photograph of the Conners, 1923-1939

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 are April’s finding aids:

  • George Sherman and Jeffie Obrea Allen Conner papers, 1866-1980 (#372):                                                                 Contains correspondence, speeches, notes, and other materials about African American life in Waco, education, home economics, and New Hope Baptist Church.
  • Duer-Harn family papers. 1832-1928, undated (#26):                                                                    Diaries, letters, legal and financial papers from the Republic of Texas and American Civil War. Notable documents include several diaries from the 1830s and 1840s written by German immigrant Johann Christian Friedrich Duer.

 

 

  • Gertrude Wallace Davis papers, 1896-1959 (#2166):                                                  Includes correspondence, notebooks, newspaper clippings, and other materials about the life of Gertrude Wallace Davis. Several items are from the Catholic-affiliated Academy of the Sacred Heart, in Waco, Texas, where Davis attended school.
German-language diary of Johann Christian Friedrich Duer, 1832
German-language diary of Johann Christian Friedrich Duer, 1832

 

Research Ready: October 2014

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 are October’s finding aids:

Female Building at Baylor University, Independence, Texas, circa 1925
One of the earliest known photographs of the Baylor campus at Independence after the school moved to Belton and Waco. This structure, with four iconic columns, was built in 1857. Frank O. Martin Independence papers #3927, box 2 OVZ, folder 1.

 

Map of San Felipe, Texas, 1876
This map shows John Borden’s property in San Felipe, Texas. He and his brothers purchased several hundred acres in the Austin County region during this time. Borden Family Collection #724, box 1, folder 1.

Research Ready: August 2014

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:

“Concerning Our Investments” Texas Baptist fundraising pamphlet, circa 1926
Pamphlet with articles on fundraising for Texas Baptist universities, including Baylor University, Wayland Baptist University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. BU records: Endowment-Enlargement Program #BU/86, box 1, folder 3.
Murray, Greta, and Milicent Watson photograph, 1969
Murray and Greta Watson with daughter Milicent at the festivities for Watson’s prestigious Governor for a Day ceremony in July 1969. Murray and Greta Watson, Jr. papers #3785, box 279, folder 10.

Print Peeks: Waco Newspapers Report on the Beginning of World War I

By Sean Todd, Library Assistant

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.

Waco Morning News Aug. 5, 1914
Front page of The Waco Morning News for August 5, 1914, reporting on the declaration of war between Great Britain and Germany.

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.

Waco Morning News Aug. 5, 1914, Cotton and War
This August 5, 1914, article in The Waco Morning News examines the economic impact of the war on Texas.

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.

Waco Semi-Weekly Tribune Aug. 8, 1914
This political cartoon was printed on the front page of The Waco Semi-Weekly Tribune on August 8, 1914. The cartoon illustrates the political chaos that existed in Europe in 1914 and led to the beginning of World War I.

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.

 Bibliography

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.