Texas over Time: Crash at Crush

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.

Crash at Crush, TexasImages from the John Oscar Birgen “Swede” Johnson collection

  • On September 13, 1896, William George Crush organized the infamous collision of the Katy Roundhouses on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad.
  • Crush, as the new General Passenger Agent of the MKT System, had the idea to demonstrate a train crash as a publicity stunt and was assured by all but one mechanical engineer that the boilers of the trains would not explode.
  • For the price of $2 a ticket, over 40,000 spectators came out to the pop-up town of Crush, Texas, to see the “famous duel of the iron monsters.”
  • Just after 4 pm, Crush threw a hat up into the air, signaling red No. 1001 and green Old No. 99 to begin racing at 90 miles an hour towards each other. The thundering crash of the locomotives sent flying debris towards the massive crowd, causing three deaths and other injuries.
  • One of the two photographers capturing the event, Jarvis Deane, was among the injured. He lost his eyesight after a missile put out his eye and a metal bolt lodged into his head.
  • The incident inspired Scott Joplin to write “The Great Crush Collision March.”

See all of the images in our Flickr set. GIFs and factoids prepared by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant.

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: February 2015

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 February’s finding aids:

    • BU records: Baylor Literacy Center, 1946-1988 (#BU/32): Contains the files of Baylor’s literacy center, which helped to teach members of the Waco community how to read. The collection contains brochures, subject files, and student work produced by the staff and students of the Literacy Center.
Tom Padgitt, 1870
Photograph of Tom Padgitt, owner and head of the Tom Padgitt Company, a noted Waco-based leatherworking company. Forest Edwin and Edna Lee Sedwick Goodman Family photographic collection, 1870-1918, undated (#3944), box 1, folder 3.
Jessie Brown Letter
Jessie Brown frequently wrote to her sister Lizzie while a student at Baylor, 1888-1891. In this letter, she mentions the local fair and a spat with the president’s wife and disciplinarian of Baylor women, Georgia Burleson, over the oft-discussed topic of fashion. Jesse Breland and Jessie Brown Johnson papers, 1888-1929 (#440), box 1, folder 1.

 

Research Ready: December 2012

"Dialogue on Race Relations," Waco Community Race Relations Coalition flyer
The Community Race Relations Coalition (CRRC) began as a series of grassroots dialogues on race in Waco. The First Anniversary Dialogue was held in 2000.

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 we have a few special entries from the Archival Collections and Museums class that worked on an archival processing project with us here at The Texas Collection. (You’ll learn more about that in a guest post by a student in January.) We’re not quite done proofreading all of the students’ finding aids, so there will be a few more finding aids coming from that group. Here’s the scoop for December:

  • BU Records: Adelphian Theological Society, 1889-1916: The Adelphian Theological Society was formed in 1889 by Baylor ministerial students. The records group contains correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and ledgers that reflect how the Society operated. (Archives class)
  • Roberta Lucille Malone Bailey Papers, 1936, undated: This small collection contains two items: a letter written by Pat Neff to William and Ada May congratulating them on 50 years of marriage and a photocopy of a journal entry citing this letter.
  • Raymond E. Biles Collection, 1954-1973: The Biles Collection consists primarily of newspaper clippings covering the educational desegregation era in Texas from 1956-1973. Also included is correspondence to Mr. Biles and other materials relating to his role as an adviser to the Waco Citizen’s Advisory Committee, which was tasked with reviewing local desegregation policies. (Archives class)
  • [Waco] Calvary Baptist Church Records, 1929-1955, undated: Calvary’s church records consist of literary documents created by church members including church publications and a directory. (Archives class)
  • [Waco] Caritas Records, 1965-1988: The [Waco] Caritas Records represents organizational records from the Caritas Catholic charity located in Waco, Texas. The records follow the meetings, programs, and public image of Caritas from its creation in the 1960s through its continued service in the 1980s. (Archives class)
  • James Milton Carroll Papers, 1898-1929: Centered around Carroll’s writings, these documents include manuscripts, proof sheets, sermons, tracts, and other writings.  (Archives class)
  • [Waco] Community Race Relations Coalition Records, 1998-2011: The Waco Community Race Relations Coalition Records consist of correspondence, legal and financial documents, literary productions, photographs, and media documenting the coalition’s efforts to promote racial awareness in the community of Waco, Texas.
  • [Waco] First Baptist Church Collection, 1892-1978, undated: The First Baptist Church of Waco was established on 1851 May 31 by four charter members along with Noah T. Byars, who became their first pastor on June 1. Their records consist of correspondence, literary documents, and financial records. (Archives class)
  • Historic Waco Foundation Records, 1954-2005: The Historic Waco Foundation is a nonprofit institution that was created in 1967 after the merger of three Waco
    foundations: the Heritage Society of Waco, the Society of Historic Preservation, and the Duncan Foundation. These documents consist of correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, literary papers, and oversized materials. (Archives class)
  • Huston-Tillotson University Records, 1930-1935: The Huston-Tillotson University Records consist of correspondence and financial documents from Tillotson College as University President Mary Elizabeth Branch tried to keep the college open during the Great Depression.
  • BU Records: Philomathesian Literary Society, 1859-1951: Established in 1851 while Baylor University was located in Independence, Texas, the Philomathesian Literary Society was the first literary society to be established in Texas. The records include roll books, minutes books, general business records, library records, their constitution, contest records, and records on their fight with the Erisophian Literary Society from 1912-1913. (Archives class)
  • Quanah, Seymour, Dublin, and Rockport Railroad Records. 1836 (copy)-
    1922, undated: The Quanah, Seymour, Dublin and Rockport Railroad Records consist of correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, field notes and maps
    produced by the railroad company and associated small companies in South
    Texas. (Archives class)
Philomathesian vs. Erisophian debate letter, January 10, 1913
In this letter from J.W. Thomas to R.E. Dudley, Thomas refers to recent “squabbles” between the Philomathesian and Erisophian Literary Societies at Baylor. The question of who should debate first at the 1913 match apparently caused much controversy…and occasional name-calling.