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!Continue Reading
by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student
“While our Baylor men are across the sea for the safety of democracy and womanhood, we Baylor women have before us a very definite work, and we must ‘Carry On!’” Thus ended an article on July 11, 1918, one of several Lariat articles aimed directly at Baylor University female students encouraging them to assist in the war effort during the United States’ involvement in World War I. As the male student population at colleges across the country dwindled due to the declaration of war and subsequent draft, women stepped up in a variety of ways to maintain the status quo on campus. Baylor women participated in both traditional and non-traditional methods of supporting the war effort and fostered a relationship with the soldiers stationed at nearby Camp MacArthur and Rich Field.
In April 1917, one week after the United States officially entered WWI, Baylor co-eds petitioned the university to offer a course in first aid skills. Female-only organizations such as the Calliopeans, Rufus C. Burleson Society, and the Young Women’s Christian Association hosted speakers who lectured on the importance of food conservation, the realities of war facing American soldiers “over there,” and the role of women in the war effort. Upon the creation of the Red Cross Auxiliary on campus, 225 co-eds answered the call to join on the first day, eager to volunteer their time and money. The Red Cross set up a workroom in Georgia Burleson Hall where women could sign up for shifts to make triangular bandages, knit sweaters, or assemble comfort kits. In just two months, Baylor co-eds contributed 310 bandages and 120 comfort kits towards the regionally assigned quotas in addition to donating $500 to the war drive. Even more directly, two former Baylor students, Gladys Cavitt and Roxie Henderson, served overseas as nurses in France and Great Britain, respectively. Young women at Baylor clearly lacked little in patriotic spirit and fervor.
Baylor co-eds also participated in the war effort in less traditional capacities as a result of the absence of a significant portion of the male students. In 1917 and 1918, the Lariat was run by a female editor and mostly female staff. Both the editor and associate editor of the 1918 Round-Up were also women. Female students took positions at the Baylor Press, which was vacated by several of the men and represented the “first women in this vicinity to take the places of men in industrial occupations because of their going to war.” A group of young women organized the “Kampus Police Force” in an effort to keep the campus clean, a job typically reserved for the male students. They carried trash baskets, hauled leaves, swept the grandstands before games, and kept the campus clean of scraps of paper and rubbish for twenty cents an hour, the same wages men would have received. The women used the wages they earned to purchase War Savings Stamps, or donated them to the Red Cross. Although most of these jobs returned to men at the end of war, the demands of the conflict provided unusual opportunities for Baylor co-eds to serve their country.
During the war, Baylor’s female students interacted with the soldiers housed at Camp MacArthur and Rich Field. Georgia Burleson Hall hosted soldiers from the camp for dinners and the administration allowed soldiers to attend the university’s social functions. Women from the Red Cross Auxiliary performed in conjunction with the band from Rich Field on May 3, 1918 at a benefit to raise funds for the organization.
From nursing soldiers overseas to rolling bandages and entertaining soldiers, the women of Baylor University demonstrated their patriotism and diligently contributed their “very definite work” to the war effort.
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.”
• 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.
Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print materials. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!
November’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist
- Clitus Jones papers, 1914-1923 (#1879): The Clitus Jones papers primarily consist of materials related to his experiences in World War I, as an ambulance driver for the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Through correspondence and personal photographs, Jones details his daily life on the front lines and the effects of the war on France and its citizens. If you are interested in learning more about Jones’ life on the front lines during World War I, come visit Moody Memorial Library on the Baylor University campus in mid-January 2017, where selections from Jones’ collection will be featured in an exhibit commemorating the centennial of the United States entering World War I.
- [Waco] Amicable Life Insurance Company records, circa 1900s-1980s, undated (#3196): Includes photographs and clippings that chronicle the construction of this 22-story building, an icon of Waco since its construction.
- Eli Clitus and Lilly Sutton Jones papers, 1879-1893 (#2846): The Eli Clitus and Lilly Sutton Jones papers detail the life of a McLennan County farming couple through correspondence, essays, reports, and a diary.
- William “Bill”Cagle photograph collection, 1950s-1990s, undated (#3857): This collection gives a good look into a U.S. Air Force photographer’s work in the Korean War. The collection also contains images taken by Cagle of the aftermath of the tornado that struck Waco on May 11, 1953.
- General Scrapbook collection, 1861-1960 (#3991): Contains a variety of scrapbooks with photos from the early 1900s at Baylor University, Civil War Carte de Visite albums, and general photo albums showing many Texas cities and towns and some non-Texas images.
- [Waco] Daughters of the Republic of Texas: Sterling C. Robertson Chapter records, 1931-1981 (#1961): Documents the activities of the Daughters of the Revolution Sterling C. Robinson chapter records in Waco, Texas. It contains scrapbooks filled with clippings, photographs, and program booklets that detail the activities of the Robinson chapter.
- George H. Williams papers, 1917-1993 (#3297): The George H. Williams collection contains newspaper and journal articles relating to aeronautics during World War I. Most significantly, however, the collection holds both ground-level and aerial photographs of Waco, Camp MacArthur, Love Field, Rich Field, and Baylor from 1917-1918.
November’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials
Though The Texas Collection is strong in Texas-related holdings, the print collection contains a great number of volumes about other states, particularly the American West. Many of these volumes came to us as part of the Adams-Blakley gift. Enjoy these selections from Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado.
Researchers looking for the names, occupations, and addresses of those who lived in Laramie City in 1875 can find a wealth of information in this volume. Also contained are advertisements for local businesses and information about goods, services, and governance of this newly formed town. Click here to view in BearCat!
This expansive, 700-page volume provides information about Omaha, Nebraska prior to 1894, and includes military history, medicine, hotels, pioneers, churches, etc. Beautiful engravings of the city’s prominent citizens and leaders are included. Click here to view in BearCat!
Watrous, Ansel. History of Larimer County, Colorado. Fort Collins, CO: Courier Print. & Pub. Co., 1911. Print.
More than half of this volume contains biographical sketches of Larimer County pioneers. The rest is filled with historical, political, agricultural, religious information and more. Many photographs and engravings enhance this volume. Click here to view in BearCat!
by Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator
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.
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 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.
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 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.”
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.
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:
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 October:
- Bolt Family Homestead and Legion Valley Indian Massacre Collection, 1985: This collection is a modern scrapbook about an 1868 Indian raid on several families in Llano County, Texas.
- Georgia Jenkins Burleson Collection, 1850-1934: Georgia Burleson was the wife of Baylor president Rufus C. Burleson and served Baylor and Waco in various ways. This collection includes a keepsake album, a diary transcript, a speech transcript, a music book, and The Evergreen.
- Camp MacArthur Collection, 1916-1982: Literary productions, maps, photographic materials, and scrapbooks created at Camp MacArthur in Waco, Texas.
- William Carley Family Collection, 1834-1936, undated: Documenting the Carley family from 1836-1936, this collection includes records about William Carley’s experiences moving to Texas in 1836, his service in the United States-Mexican War, and other events in the life of the family.
- Oscar “Doc” Norbert and Mary “Kitty” Jacques Du Congé Papers, 1908-1987: This archives consists of manuscripts pertaining to the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Du Congé. Oscar was the first African-American Mayor of Waco, and his wife, Mary, was a schoolteacher and secretary who was a leader in the community, a socialite, and a volunteer member of many Catholic religious organizations.
- Wilhelm Esch Collection, 1870-1943: This collection contains certificates of appointment and of honorable discharge for German-American soldier Wilhelm Esch, photographs and books concerning military life in World War I, items related to the Order of the Elks and miscellaneous WWII items including ration books.
- Guyler (Lydia Ann English) [Mrs. William] Papers, 1860: A correspondence between
Mrs. Lydia A. Guyler (Mrs. William) from General Sam Houston, in response to Mrs. Guyler’s request for Houston to name her daughter.
- Adolf Hitler Papers, 1938-1943: Our Hitler Papers contain two documents signed by the Chancellor of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler.
- Benjamin Judson Johnson Papers, 1942-1960: These papers include correspondence, legal documents, literary productions, and artifacts relating to Benjamin’s experience in the U.S. Naval Air Force during World War II.
- Jones Family Papers, 1857-1867, 1920, undated: The Jones family records consist of correspondence, legal, and financial documents, including fourteen Civil War letters from family members in the 10th Texas Infantry.
- Luper Family Papers, 1909-1990: The Luper Family Papers are comprised of correspondence, literary productions, and other materials pertaining to a Baptist missionary family and their experiences during the mid-1900s in Portugal, Brazil, and central Texas. (This finding aid is updated with additional materials that came to The Texas Collection after we initially announced the finding aid in June 2012.)
- Harry Hall Womack, Jr. Papers, 1940-1948: Womack’s papers consist of correspondence and literary productions relating to his experiences in the 1940s. These include medical school, a tour as a doctor in the Army during World War II, and the beginnings of his marriage and family.