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.

Research Ready: July 2014

Tarrant County superintendent election certificate for Wade Hill Pool, 1888
Wade Hill Pool earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor in  1887 and very shortly thereafter was elected the Tarrant County  superintendent of public schools. He returned to Baylor to lead its  Academy in 1892. Wade Hill Pool papers #76, box 1, folder 2

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:

Inside pages of “Military Training at Paul Quinn College” pamphlet
This pamphlet shows the military training Paul Quinn College students received during World War II. John H. Talton papers #3082, box 1, folder 7.

 

Research Ready: April 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’s the scoop for April:

D.K. Martin to Guy B. Harrison, on the William Cowper Brann-Baylor University incident, May 17, 1961
Letter from Dock Martin to Guy B. Harrison describing the W.C. Brann-Baylor incident. (For more on Brann, see the Handbook of Texas online.) Martin’s papers document everything from his own experiences as a Baylor student to his work for the state of Texas and for Baylor as a trustee. D.K. “Dock” Martin papers, box 3, folder 10.
  • D.K. “Dock” Martin papers, 1916-1968, undated: Materials relating to D.K. Martin, a Texas public official and Baylor University fundraiser and booster. Martin raised money for various historic Baylor buildings, including Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium, Tidwell Bible Building, Alexander Residence Hall, Morrison Hall, Armstrong Browning Library, and Marrs McLean Science Building.
  • Denson-Baskin family papers, 1898-1956, undated: Correspondence, legal documents, literary productions, and photographs produced by the extended Denson-Baskin Family in early twentieth century Texas, documenting Central Texas life as well as World Wars I and II.
Brooks Memorial Organ solicitation letter, September 21, 1931
Specimen letter soliciting donations to finance the S. P. Brooks Memorial Organ. Waco Hall, a gift from the citizens of Waco to Baylor, was dedicated in 1930, but without a pipe organ (and since the building hosted Chapel, one was very much needed). After the death of Baylor president Samuel Palmer Brooks, the Alumni Association began a fundraising campaign to secure funds to purchase and install a pipe organ in Waco Hall in honor of President Brooks. BU Records: S. P. Brooks Memorial Organ Committee #BU/52, box 1, folder 3.

Research Ready: August 2013

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’s the scoop for August:

Maggie Welch Rose Akin, circa 1945
Born on 1868 June 12, Maggie Welch Rose Akin primarily grew up in Texas. This photo is a part of the Akin-Rose papers, which consists primarily of over three hundred letters written between Maggie and Joseph W. Akin during their courtship from 1887 March to 1889 December. Photo circa 1945, box 14, folder 16.
  • Akin-Rose papers, 1819-1981, undated: Correspondence, diaries, financial and literary manuscripts, and photographs of members of the Akin and Rose families from Virginia and Texas in the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century.
  • Joseph Martin Dawson papers, 1826-1989: Personal papers and published works of Dr. Joseph Martin Dawson, a Baptist preacher who was influential in the public debates concerning religious liberty and the separation of church and state in the early twentieth century.
  • BU Records: Erisophian Literary Society, 1853-1961, undated: Administrative records, literary productions, and correspondence related to this student organization at Baylor that existed between 1853 and 1932 at both the Independence and Waco campuses.
  • Graves-Earle family papers, 1848-1963, undated: These papers chronicle the history of this influential McLennan County family, including the life and work of Major Isham Harrison Earle and his daughter Dr. Hallie Earle, the first female doctor in Waco and the first female graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine.
  • William E. Moore papers, 1901-1979, undated: The bulk of this collection is the Postcards series, consisting of more than 400 postcards. The collection also contains more than 100 letters written to William E. Moore between 1902 and 1918.
Erisophian Literary Society membership certificate, 1859
The Erisophian Literary Society was the second literary society formed at Baylor University in Independence, Texas. This membership certificate (box 3, folder 1) is one of the oldest pieces in the organization’s records.

Research Ready: July 2013

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’s the scoop for July:

Wellington children, circa 1888
A few years after Anna Wellington Stoner and her husband, Clinton Stoner, moved to Bullshead, Edwards County in Texas, Clinton died in 1884. In October of the same year, Anna moved her three small children (pictured) back to the Nueces River Canyon and bought 320 acres of land there. This was the beginning of the Stoner Ranch, which has grown to 2,000 acres today.
  • [Waco] Branch Davidians: Bill Pitts papers, 1963-2001, undated: This collection contains materials produced and collected by Bill Pitts, a professor in the Religion Department at Baylor University. The materials primarily cover the Branch Davidians siege of 1993.
  • Benjamin Edwards Green papers, 1840-1865: Green’s papers consist of a postcard, pamphlets, written notes, an unpublished manuscript and other chapter fragments. Among other roles, Green was a lawyer, served as an American diplomat at the Mexican capitol in the early 1840s, and was a secret agent in the West Indies.
  • James Weldon Jones papers, 1917-1919, circa 2010: This collection contains a series of letters sent from Alexander “Tip” Jones to his son, James Weldon Jones, while the latter was serving in the United States Army during World War I.
  • Vivienne Malone-Mayes papers. Inclusive: 1966-1977, undated: Malone-Mayes’ papers consists of correspondence, minutes, reports and other records related to her terms as a member and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for the Heart of Texas Region Mental Health Mental Retardation Center in Waco, Texas. The collection also contains personal materials and coursework Dr. Malone-Mayes assigned in her mathematics courses at Baylor University. She was Baylor’s first black faculty member.
Women and Mathematics / Mathematical Association of America publication, 1976
Vivienne Malone-Mayes was a trailblazer for women, particularly African Americans, in the mathematics profession. In 1966, she became only the fifth African American woman to earn her PhD in that field. After gaining employment at Baylor University, Vivienne did her part in encouraging women to pursue careers in mathematics, including editorial and consultation work with the Mathematical Association of America.
  • Irwin Green and Lillie Worley McGee papers, 1893-1899, undated: The McGee papers consist of notes, assignments, and exams produced by Irwin Green and Lillie Worley while attending Baylor in the 1890s, providing insight into Baylor’s curriculum during this period.
  • Walter Hale McKenzie papers, 1926-1952: The McKenzie papers contain correspondence and board and committee minutes illustrating McKenzie’s relations to prominent Baptists J.G. Hardin, George W. Truett, Pat Neff, and others, and his service to Baylor University, Baylor College for Women, and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
  • Wellington-Stoner-McLean family collection, 1833-2007, undated: This collection consists of family documents collected by Margaret Stoner McLean. The collection includes correspondence and postcards, photographs, financial documents, books, personal ledgers, and publications about the family and the Stoner ranch.

Research Ready: June 2013

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’s the scoop for June:

Sul Ross as a young man, undated daguerreotype
The Barnard-Lane Papers contain materials from many of Waco’s oldest and most influential families, including this daguerreotype of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, a former governor of Texas and brother-in-law of Barnard Lane (found in box 28, folder 7).
  • Gladys Allen papers, 1882-1893, 1913-1952, undated: Gladys Allen was a teacher, served on the Baylor University Board of Trustees, and was a member of Seventh and James Baptist Church. Includes correspondence, personal notes, genealogical research, newspaper clippings, and photographs.
  • Lyrics to “America” manuscript, 1895: This manuscript contains a handwritten copy of the song “America” or, alternatively, “My Country Tis of Thee,” by the composer Samuel Francis Smith.
  • Barnard-Lane papers, 1800-1983, undated: George Barnard was one of the early Waco pioneers. The collection contains personal materials as well as those related to his trading post.
  • Ava Storey and Dixie Anderson Butcher collection, 1903-1998, undated: Contains documents and photographs from the Storey and Butcher family, as well as photographs of the affluent Waco drug store chain, Pipkin Drug Store.
  • Newel Berryman Crain papers, 1858-1948, undated: The Crain papers chronicle the experiences of a young man from Texas during the beginning of the twentieth century, from his time at Baylor through his various jobs and military service. It also includes correspondence from Crain’s grandfather, Newton M. Berryman, about his studies at Baylor University at Independence in 1858.
  • BU Records: Dean of the Union Building (Lily Russell), 1936-1966: Administrative
    records related to Baylor’s Union Building, as well as some of Russell’s personal
    records and materials from when she was Director of Public Relations at Baylor.
  • [Edcouch] First Baptist Church records, 1941-1974, undated: [Edcouch] First Baptist Church, originally named Los Indios Baptist Church, was organized during the summer of 1924 in Los Indios, Texas. It has undergone a few name and location changes since then. Records consist of manuscripts pertaining to administrative operations of the church.
Telegram from Mary Jane Hannah to her husband, Robert Lee Hannah, following the loss of their son, Bob, 1927
Telegram from Mary Jane Hannah to her husband, Robert Lee Hannah, following the loss of their son, Bob. Bob Hannah was one of what Baylor calls the Immortal Ten who died in a train/bus collision en route to a basketball game in Austin. Hannah-Wiley papers, box 1, folder 5.
  • Hannah-Wiley Family papers, 1909-1930, undated: The Hannah-Wiley Family papers contain correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, and literary production relating to the family of Baylor student Robert “Bob” Lee Hannah Jr., who was one of the “Immortal Ten” who died in a tragic bus/train collision.
  • Independence Baptist Church records, 1873-1918: Independence Baptist Church was one of the first Baptist churches in Texas. Contains one bound minute book that describes church activities, finances, and disciplinary issues from 1873-1918 and also includes a condensed history of the church from 1839-1873.
  • Colonel Chris H.W. Rueter collection, 1927-2004, undated: Consists of correspondence, certificates, postcards, artworks, photographs, and biographical information collected by Baylor alum and WWII veteran Colonel Chris H.W. Rueter and his family.
  • BU Records: Rufus C. Burleson Society, 1900-1919: Documents the operations and activities of one of Baylor’s women’s literary societies that was most active in the early 1900s.
  • James Anderson Slover papers, circa 1907-1913, undated: Copies of a manuscript written by Slover, Minister to the Cherokees: A Civil War Autobiography, describing early family history on the frontier in the United States and Texas.
  • Thurmond-Tramwell Slave papers, 1857: These papers include a document originating from Gonzales, Texas, which gives an account of a legal dispute between Thurmond and Tramwell over an enslaved woman.
  • Frank L. Wilcox Papers, 1923-1966, undated: Contains the personal and professional materials of Frank Wilcox, a former mayor of Waco and the son-in-law of former Texas governor and Baylor University President Pat Neff.

Research Ready: March 2013

"Ask the American boy why he prefers Kellogg's"
A patriotic advertisement for Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes during WWI. The Thomas L. and Pit Dodson Collection has hundreds of similar early- to mid-twentieth-century art prints and clippings, providing a colorful window into American culture.

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’s the scoop for March:

Correspondence from the Adina De Zavala papers
A letter of recommendation written by the Mexican Consul in San Antonio, Dr. Plutarco Ornelas, for Adina De Zavala on her historical research trip to Mexico in 1902.
  • Thomas L. and Pit Dodson collection, 1710-1991, undated: The Thomas L. and Pit Dodson collection contains a wide variety of collected materials, including literary productions, books, photographic materials, and scrapbooks. While spanning three centuries, this collection consists primarily of early- to mid-twentieth-century art prints and periodical clippings.
  • Marvin C. Griffin papers, 1940-2010, undated: The Griffin papers contain literary productions, photographic materials, audio recordings, and other materials pertaining to Reverend Marvin Griffin, an African American pastor who fought for the spiritual and political freedoms of his congregations at New Hope Baptist Church (Waco) and Ebenezer Baptist Church (Austin).
  • Roxie Henderson collection, 1852-1919: This collection contains personal items and collected materials of Roxie Henderson, a Baylor graduate who served during World War I as an American Red Cross nurse. Learn more.
  • Isabella M. Henry papers, 1931-1981, undated: Henry’s papers features manuscripts detailing her career in the Women’s Army Corps and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II. Learn more.
  • Lula Pace collection, 1895-1969, undated: This collection contains student notebooks, topographical maps, and scholarly publications by Lula Pace, a PhD graduate of the University of Chicago who served as a science professor at Baylor University in the early 1900s. Learn more.

Women on the War Front: Central Texas Women in World War I and World War II

Major Henry does paperwork at her desk in this undated photo
Major Isabella Henry does paperwork at her desk in this undated photo

Throughout World War I and World War II, in addition to the men who were deemed heroes for their military service, women also served pivotal roles in war efforts and support. Last week, in celebration of Women’s History Month, we looked at Lula Pace, a Central Texas woman who pioneered the way for female scientists and professors at Baylor. This week, we highlight two more interesting Central Texas women, Roxie Henderson and Isabella M. Henry, who served overseas during World War I and World War II.

World War I postcard: American Red Cross
World War I postcard: American Red Cross; from the Roxie Henderson collection

Roxie Henderson was born in West, Texas, and attended Baylor University from 1917-1920, earning her bachelor’s degree in education. While at Baylor, Henderson was an active member of the Baylor student community, serving as the secretary for the Overseas Club. Henderson then filled those travel aspirations by serving overseas, mostly in France, as a member of the American Red Cross during World War I.

While abroad, Henderson maintained contact with Baylor University through the university’s student newspaper, the Lariat. She wrote about her observations of the war and about her experiences while serving in the American Red Cross. In World War I, the American Red Cross played a critical role in the war by helping staff hospitals and serving ambulance companies while also providing national and international relief. Throughout World War I, more than eighteen thousand Red Cross nurses served throughout Europe.

Baylor Lariat, May 29, 1919
This issue of the Lariat student newspaper includes excerpts from a letter by Roxie Henderson, who served in the American Red Cross during WWI. She wrote, “My work in the hospitals was rich in experience. The spirit of the men and their appreciation of small services was wonderful. I truly hope these men will not be disappointed in the American girls.”

After the completion of her service, Henderson returned to the Waco area and resided in Hill County. The Roxie Henderson collection includes a variety of collected items, including the bible Henderson used during her service, an autograph book, historical signatures, letters, postcards, and periodicals produced during World War I.

Certificate appointing Isabella Henry First Lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps, 1948
Certificate appointing Isabella Henry First Lieutenant in the Women’s Army Corps, 1948

During World War II, Isabella Martin Henry, like Henderson, served overseas. Henry was born in Waco, Texas on September 27, 1910, and went on to an extremely successful career in the United States Armed forces throughout and after World War II. Since Henry had no dependents, she was able to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps in 1942. She was later appointed to the rank of Third Officer in January 1943. In December 1948, Henry was eventually promoted to First Lieutenant in the Women’s Army Corps. She also received honors including the Army Commendation ribbon and a Certificate of Achievement from the United States Continental Army Command.

Henry served in the armed forces for 19 years. After the completion of her military service, Henry returned to Waco. Upon her death, her sister, Mary Catherine Henry, donated her papers to The Texas Collection. The manuscripts include correspondence concerning her time in the military, her military personal records, certificates, news clippings, and portraits of Isabella.

These two collections shed light on the roles a few women from Central Texas played in the war effort. The Isabella M. Henry papers and the Roxie Henderson collection both are open for research at The Texas Collection.

By Mary Ellen Stanley, graduate assistant at The Texas Collection and museum studies master’s candidate

Research Ready: February 2013

Paul Quinn College art class, circa 1916
Paul Quinn College art class, circa 1916. This photo taken by Waco photographer Fred Gildersleeve documents a historically black college formerly housed in Waco. The school was coed, but this class appears to be all men.

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’s the scoop for February:

  • [Waco] Evangelia Settlement Records, 1912-1975: Evangelia Settlement was the first day care program for underprivileged children in Waco. The organization’s records consist of correspondence, legal, financial, and literary manuscripts generated by the  settlement or written about the settlement, along with scrapbooks that contain newspaper clippings and photographs.
  • Gildersleeve-Du Congé Collection, 1910-1918: Former Waco Mayor, Roger Conger, received the extensive collection of Waco photographer Fred A. Gildersleeve
    some time after his death. The subject matter of the photo negatives contained in this collection were either requested by Oscar DuCongé, Waco’s first African-American mayor, or selected by Conger to present as a gift.
  • Francis Gevrier Guittard papers, 1811-1960: This collection contains the personal papers of Dr. Francis Gevrier Guittard, a prominent history professor who served Baylor University for much of the early twentieth century.
Francis Guittard's diploma documenting his PhD from Stanford University, 1931
Francis Guittard’s passion for history and teaching was evidenced by his personal, lifelong devotion to learning. On April 3, 1931, at the age of 64, Guittard received this Ph.D. diploma from Leland Stanford Junior University. His dissertation, also found here at The Texas Collection, examined Theodore Roosevelt’s commitment to conservation.

Research Ready: November 2012

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’s the scoop for November:

Gene Autrey entertaining veterans at a military hospital, 1945
Gene Autrey entertains veterans at a military hospital in 1945. Hannibal “Joe” Jaworski’s photo album includes photos of several notable figures who visited soldiers during World War II.
  • Baylor-Carrington Family Papers, 1715-2007, undated: These family papers consist of correspondence, financial and legal documents, literary productions, books, photographs, artifacts, and scrapbooks pertaining to the Baylor and Carrington families. The bulk of the collection spans from 1840-1930.
  • Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Collection, 1944-1946: This collection consists of a scrapbook relating to Eleanor’s service in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.
  • Hannibal “Joe” Lucas Jaworski Papers, 1895-1987: The Hannibal “Joe” Lucas Jaworski Papers include correspondence, literary productions, books, and photographic materials related to his service in World War II and his response to the Waco Tornado of 1953.
  • BU Records: Student Volunteer Band, 1900-1957: This archives consists of organizational records, missionary correspondence, and a history of the origin of the band. The group originated to inspire students to missionary action and involvement by educating them about world missionary movements.
Baylor University Student Volunteer Band Minutes Book, 1940s-1950s
The Student Volunteer Band, or Foreign Missionary Band, kept meticulous minutes of the organization’s meetings, from its earliest days in 1900 through the 1950s. Note Dick Baker’s name on the right side of the book–Baker would go on to be a leader in Baylor’s Youth Revival Movement and began the Baylor Religious Hour Choir.