Research Ready: December 2016

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!

December’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

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Nan Allene Anderson’s photo album depicts life as a Baylor student pre-1910, such as this image of students working in the chemistry lab. (Nan Allene Anderson papers, 1906-1923, undated, Accession #2267, The Texas Collection, Baylor University).
  • Nan Allene Anderson papers, 1906-1923, undated (#2267): This collection includes a photo album that documents the Baylor University campus pre-1910, including photographs of sports, Burleson Quadrangle, and other images of campus and student life. Also included are two commencement addresses.
  • Emmanuel Henderson Civil War diary, 1862 (#3964): This collections contains documentation of a Confederate soldier through a small leather bound journal. Henderson served as a private in the 14th Texas Calvary in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.
  • Helton family papers, 1866-1998 (#4004): The Helton family collection contains correspondence, items from World War I, and other materials about the family as they lived near Clifton, Texas and as various family members went off to war.
  • Thomas Mitchell Bartley Jr. photo album, circa 1920s (#3914): This photo album shows the voyage of Thomas Mitchell Bartley Jr., who sailed the western Pacific Ocean in 1929. He was a crew member on a cargo vessel and took pictures in the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal.
  • J.L. Walker papers, 1861-1949 (#4): The J.L. Walker papers provide a glimpse into the life of a Texas Baptist preacher, who was deeply interested in religious and secular history. Walker wrote extensively and the collection contains many of his writings on Texas history, Baptist history, and sermons. The collection is especially useful for researchers looking for background information on R.C. Buckner and the Waco Regional Baptist Association.
  • Emma Louise McDonald Harrison papers, 1947-1990 (#1607): Emma Louise McDonald Harrison was a local Waco woman and the first African American woman to serve on the Waco Independent School District. She was well-known in the community for her contributions to organizations concerned with civic improvement, education, health, medicine, and youth. Her collection includes photographs, clippings, correspondence, and other collected materials.
  • Lawrence Westbrook papers, 1933-1971 (#331): The Lawrence Westbrook papers provide a picture of life as a Works Progress and New Deal administrator during the 1930s and 1940s. His papers hold literary productions, most notably Westbrook’s The Boondogglers, which reflects on his work and the work of other members of the Works Progress Administration.

December’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

westAyer, I. Winslow. Life in the Wilds of America: and Wonders of the West in and beyond the Bounds of Civilization. Grand Rapids: The Central Publishing Company, 1880. Print.

In 1880, the American West was still a largely mysterious place. Ayer believed that Americans, many of whom travel abroad and have extensive knowledge of other countries, should have knowledge about the West. This volume, which also serves as a travel guide, describes many areas of the frontier. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

 

 

Jackson, foundationAndrew Webster. A Sure Foundation. Houston: [1940]. Print.

This expansive 644-page volume contains biographical sketches and photos of African-American Texans. The author’s intent was that the people highlighted would “serve as an inspiration” for readers because he believed that studying the successful lives of others could help build a solid foundation for one’s life. Click here to view in BearCat!

nativeDunn, James Erle. Indian Territory: a Pre Commonwealth. Commonwealth Publishing Company, 1904. Print.

Published three years before Oklahoma became a state, this volume provides a brief history of the Five Civilized Tribes and also provides information about the resources, government, schools, customs, etc. of the Indian Territory. Also included are a number of images of Native Americans, including Quanah Parker, as well as photos of buildings, homes, and farm lands. Click here to view in BearCat!

Research Ready: November 2016

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, American Expeditionary Forces ambulance driver
Clitus Jones stands by his ambulance near the front lines in France. Jones worked as an ambulance driver for the American Expeditionary Forces from 1917 to 1918. (Clitus Jones papers, Box 3, Folder 1, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.)

  • 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.

Triggs, J. H. History and Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. Laramie City: Daily Sentinel Print, 1875. Print.

Triggs, J. H. History and Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. Laramie City: Daily Sentinel Print, 1875. Print. 

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!


Savage, James W. History of the City of Omaha, Nebraska. New York: Munsell & Co., 1894. Print.

 

 

 

Savage, James W. History of the City of Omaha, Nebraska. New York: Munsell & Co., 1894. Print. 

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.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Research Ready: October 2016

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!

October’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Baseball on Carroll Field, Baylor University
This image shows baseball being played at what was then Baylor University’s main sports venue: Carroll Field. Image taken circa 1903, Waco Texas. Notice Carroll Science Building and Old Main in the background (Carol R. Bates photograph album, Accession #3980, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.).

  • Carol R. Bates photograph album, 1907-1910 (#3980): Provides a glimpse into student life at Baylor in the 1900s. Many of the University’s events such as “Ring Out,” graduation, and sports such as football and baseball are represented in this album.
  • W.R. “Skeet” Eason papers, 1928-1940 (#2983): The W.R. “Skeet” Eason papers give insight into the workings of an airport operator and pilot in the 1920s-1940s through logbooks and photographs. With his friend, Ed Ockander, Eason operated the East Waco Airport from 1929-1933, where they sold airplanes, taught flying, and barnstormed at various small towns in the 1920s and 1930s. This collection includes Eason’s logbooks from East Waco Airport and photographs.
  • Aaron Moses Goldstein papers, 1927-1936 (#1807): Aaron Moses Goldstein was well-known in the Waco area, as president of his father and uncle’s company, Goldstein-Migel Department Store, city commissioner, and president of the Waco Chamber of Commerce. His papers include correspondence to and from Goldstein and several prominent leaders in the Waco community.
  • John Oscar Birgen “Swede” Johnson papers, 1860s-1990s (#2284): The collection of John Oscar Birgen “Swede” Johnson contains articles, photographs, and other materials on the railroad industry in Texas from Johnson’s 41 years working in the Katy Railroad Shop.
  • John R. Rogers Architectural drawings (#3924): The John R. Roger Architectural drawings contain plans for many different kinds of buildings in Central Texas, designed by Waco firm Drennon Associates/The Rogers Company. The majority of the plans are for buildings in Central Texas, including Waco, Rosebud, Itasca, McGregor, Lorena, Belton, Salado, Temple, and more.
  • Champe Carter Eubank Photo Album, circa 1890s (#2790): Compiled over a series of trips to New England and includes images of Waco, Texas, as well as coastal scenes in New England. The album displays some early photographic practices such as cyanotypes, silver gelatin, collodion, and albumen prints.
  • Waco Regional Baptist Association records, 1897-2014 (#230): The Waco Regional Baptist Association records largely document the activities of the Waco Regional Baptist Association in Central Texas from the 1930s through the early 1980s. It is comprised of minutes, correspondence, periodicals, reports, budgets, ledgers, and photographs.

October’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

The Cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Photo-gravure. El Paso: W.G. Walz Co., 1894. Print.

The Cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Photo-gravure. El Paso: W.G. Walz Co., 1894. Print.

With only two pages of text, the majority of this volume is a wonderful collection of nearly 40 images of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. From the Plaza of Ciudad Juarez to the views of Fort Bliss, this volume provides a great look at turn of century Texas and Mexico. Click here to view in BearCat!

Jones, Tom. Miniatures: Gulf Coast, Southern Texas [Cincinnati]: [Tom Jones], 1907. Print.
Jones, Tom. Miniatures: Gulf Coast, Southern Texas [Cincinnati]: [Tom Jones], 1907. Print.

This accordion-style booklet contains 24 images of the Texas coastal region, including photos from Bay City, Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and more. The images range from residential, coastal, and agricultural points of interest. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

Austin, Stephen F. Notice. [San Felipe de Austin]: [G.B. Cotton], 1829. PrintAustin, Stephen F. Notice. [San Felipe de Austin]: [G.B. Cotton], 1829. Print.

This rare broadside, one of only three copies of the original 25 printed known to exist, informs immigrants to Austin’s Colony about the information needed to be accepted. Requested information includes name and age of the head of household and dependents, occupation, and “recommendations, accrediting the Christianity, morality and steady habits of the applicant.” Click here to view in BearCat!

Research Ready: September 2016

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!

September’s finding aids
By Emily Carolin, Graduate Assistant, and Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Brazos Queen in front of The Brazos Landing Restaurant, Waco, TX
The Brazos Queen is seen parking in front of The Brazos Landing Restaurant on the Brazos River, Waco, Texas. While the Brazos Queen is no longer in service, this establishment is now Buzzard Billy’s. Myron Wood’s photography is very artistic and the contrast in this image makes it quite striking. Myron Wood photographic collection, #3873, Box 1, Folder 13.

  • Myron Wood photographic collection, 1979-1981 (#3873): Have you ever wondered what Waco looked like decades prior? The Myron Wood photographic collections contains photographs of Waco, mainly downtown, and smaller towns in and around McLennan County.
  • Jewish Federation of Waco and Central Texas, 1927-2006 (#2894): The Jewish Federation of Waco and Central Texas collection documents this organization’s extensive good works, including assistance to Jewish families immigrating to Central Texas, support to the Lone Soldier Center in Jerusalem, emergency relief in Ukraine, and assistance to Israeli soldiers. Materials include minutes, financial ledgers, and administrative files.
  • Esther and Martha Leuschner papers, 1912-1987 (#2593): Documents the lives of two sisters: one a mathematics teacher at Waco High School, and the other sister, an employee in Baylor’s registrar’s office.  The correspondence, photographs, clippings, and collected materials provide insight into the lives of the Leuschner sisters, who were well-remembered for opening their home to Baylor students for recreation and entertainment.
  • Nina B. Glass papers, 1935-1965 (#1322): Materials include correspondence, programs, and notes about the personal and educational activities of a female pioneer in Texas education. Glass is credited with the founding of the first elementary school library in the United States.

September’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

  Weslaco: End of the Rainbow. Weslaco: Weslaco Chamber of Commerce, 1927. Print.

Weslaco: End of the Rainbow. Weslaco: Weslaco Chamber of Commerce, 1927. Print

This beautiful promotional highlights Weslaco, located in the Rio Grande Valley. Filled with photographs showing the richness of agriculture, from citrus fruits to cabbage, Weslaco: End of the Rainbow, also provides information about the dairy industry, water, and sporting opportunities. Click here to view in BearCat!

 

Montgomery, Cora. TexasMontgomery, Cora. Texas and Her Presidents. New York: E. Winchester, New World Press, 1845. Print. and Her Presidents. New York: E. Winchester, New World Press, 1845. Print.

Located at only eight libraries in the world, this exceedingly rare 1845 volume highlights President Mirabeau B. Lamar and President Sam Houston. Also included is an extensive account of several other leaders of the Republic of Texas. Click here to view in BearCat!
Wyatt, Kenneth. The Texicans. Amarillo: Trafton & Autry Printers, 1988. Print.
Wyatt, Kenneth. The Texicans. Amarillo: Trafton & Autry Printers, 1988. Print.

Bound in steerhide and leather, this oversized volume, containing 50 color plates, features Texas-centric artwork by renowned artist Kenneth Wyatt. Click here to view in BearCat!

Texas over Time: Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill, Waco

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.

brazos gif

  • Alabama native J. T. Davis established the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill on January 29, 1910. The Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill purchased thousands of tons of cottonseed and then extracted oil for culinary and industrial purposes. After much success processing cottonseed, Davis acquired another location, the Valley Mills Cotton Oil Company, in 1924.
  • Before the Great Depression, Waco was a hub for growing and distributing cotton and its byproducts worldwide.
  • Even after a fire destroyed the hull house and the mixed feed plant in 1943, production remained steady, and construction of the two silos was completed by 1950.
  • After Central Texas flooding in 1957, the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Company was unable to recover and had to sell the company to David C. Blintliff Interests of Houston.
  • Before Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines purchased the property in 2014, the plant was a storage facility for JPM Feeds and then remained vacant throughout the 1990s. It now is the site of Magnolia Market at the Silos, with some of the buildings featured in these photos re-purposed and revitalized.

Sources

Davison, Candace Braun. “Get A Sneak Peek at Chip and Joanna Gaines’ New Bakery.” Delish. Hearst Communications, Inc., 02 Mar. 2016. Web. 26 May 2016.

Amanda Sawyer, “Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill,” Waco History, accessed May 26, 2016, http://wacohistory.org/items/show/97.

GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant. See the still images in our Flickr set.

Research Ready: June 2016

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!

June’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Georgia Burleson Hall Dining Room Report, 1930
This document provides a fascinating glimpse into what Baylor students and staff ate in the 1930s. Along with such familiar foods today as macaroni and cheese and baked potatoes, students ate stuffed eggs and steak garnished with crab apple.

June’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Coahuila and Texas (Mexico): Decree of the Standing Deputation of Congress...
Coahuila and Texas (Mexico). [Decree of the Standing Deputation of Congress … Saying that the Present Governor, Vidaurri y Villaseñor, is Removed from Office because of His Infirmities and the Office Entrusted to Juan José Elguezabal … ]. [Monclova, 1834].

One of four copies located in the world, this rare broadside, another Streeter item, provides information on the replacement of a Coahuila and Texas governor in 1834. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

 

 

Treaty Between Her Majesty and the Republic of Texas for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade...

 

Great Britain. Bill for Carrying into Effect the Treaty Between Her Majesty and the Republic of Texas for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade. [London], 1843.

This rare item, found in Streeter’s Bibliography of Texas, 1795-1845, is located in three other institutions and is the only copy located in Texas. The treaty, one of three between Texas and Great Britain signed in November 1840, deals with the suppression of the African slave trade. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

 

Luling Chamber of Commerce. Luling: Come to Luling Where Nature is Exceptionally Generous. [Luling, TX, 193-?]

 

 

Luling Chamber of Commerce. Luling: Come to Luling Where Nature is Exceptionally Generous. [Luling, TX, 193-?]. 

“Texas wants you and Luling is the place to locate.” Highlighting the best 1930s Luling has to offer as a way to entice people to move there, this promotional pamphlet provides an interesting view of this small town. Contained within are photos and information on the oil industry, agriculture, recreational facilities, schools, churches, and more. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Understanding a Derailment: Camp MacArthur Train No. 264

by Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (8)

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.

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (7)

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 of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (9)

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.

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (2)

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 Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (5)

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.”

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264 (6)

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.

E.C. Blomeyer and camera, Cameron Park, Waco, TX.

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:

The Derailment of Camp MacArthur’s Troop Train No. 264

From Belgium to “Rough-and-Tumble Waco”: The Academy of the Sacred Heart and The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946
An exterior view of the Academy of the Sacred Heart at Washington and Eighth Streets in Waco, Texas. The buildings show the magnificent architecture worthy of such an institution. Photo by Fred Marlar on March 15, 1946.

By Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator

On the corner of Eighth and Washington in Waco, Texas, once stood a Catholic school and convent that taught thousands of students during its years of operation from 1874-1946. This institution was the Academy of the Sacred Heart. It was given this name because the property it stood on was purchased June 12, 1874—the day of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946, classroom (7)
Inside one of the classrooms of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX. Photo taken by Fred Marlar on April 4, 1946.

The academy had its origins in Namur, Belgium, through the Institute of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur. The Cistercian Father Nicholas Joseph Minsart was one of the founders, and after his death, he elected Sister Claire (originally Rosalie Niset) to preside over the community in Belgium. In 1863, the now Mother Claire encouraged a group of Sisters of St. Mary of Namur to come to the United States to assist Catholic immigrant communities.

The Sisters of St. Mary set up their first house in Lockport, New York. Then, in 1873, at the request of Bishop Claude-Marie Dubuis of the Diocese of Galveston, a group of the Sisters were sent to Waco from New York, to start a house and establish a school. This would soon become the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946, classroom (8)
Inside one of the classrooms of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX. Photo taken by Fred Marlar on March 15, 1946.

On October 1, 1873, the school opened in a facility at Sixth and Washington Avenue. The first Sisters of St. Mary to begin instructing at the Waco academy were Mother Emelie, Sister Mary Angela, and Sister Stanislaus. Only three students attended that opening day.

Although it had a humble beginning, Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda states in Our Catholic Heritage in Texas that: “The Academy of the Sacred Heart…proved to be a most fruitful mission in Central Texas. Not only did it become a large and flourishing institution, but it led in rapid succession to the establishment of eight more schools in the State…” (The Sisters went on to establish several schools in various cities in north and central Texas.)

The mission initially was devoted to the education of girls, but the Waco academy made exceptions. It was a day school with grades one through twelve. Boys were allowed to attend until the eighth, and ninth through twelfth were reserved for young women. Only girls were allowed boarding privileges.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX, 1946, classroom (1)
Inside one of the classrooms of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Waco, TX. Photo taken by Fred Marlar on April 12, 1946.

Students from non-Catholic denominations were welcome, too. The 1876 Waco city directory describes it as follows: “…Its course of study is complete and comprehensive, and among its patrons and pupils are the representatives of the various denominations of the city and county. Its conduct and discipline are free from sectarianism…”

But by 1946, student enrolled had dwindled. Only six boarded that year, and this would be the last year of operation for the academy. On May 24 of that year, The Waco News-Tribune reported that “With the singing of the class song by 11 graduating seniors, Sacred Heart Academy…ended… an existence which began in 1873.” After more than 70 years, so ended a chapter in the ministry of a group of Sisters who came from New York “to open a school for young ladies in a rough-and-tumble Waco celebrated for its gun fights.” The photos that accompany this blog post were taken by Waco photographer Fred Marlar in 1946, so they likely knew these would be the final photos of the school in action.

After the academy’s closing, the building and site were sold and slated for demolition. This didn’t happen until July 1951, “when the last brick was carried away.” Consequently, the area at Eighth and Washington, where the academy once stood for decades, was brought down to be turned into a parking lot.

However, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur are still strong to this day. The order has spread throughout the U.S. and other countries during the 20th century, and still remains strong in the 21st. A recent quote from the Sisters states that: “Our early calling to Christian formation continues at the heart of our ministry.”

This “early calling” that brought them here to Waco in 1873, with their roots in Belgium, led to their passion to influence many in their mission work in faraway lands—even in a “rough-and-tumble Waco” of the 1870s.

Click the image below to see more photos in our Academy of the Sacred Heart album on Flickr:

The Academy of the Sacred Heart Catholic School, Waco, TX

Sources:

Begnaud, Sister St. John, A Little Good: The Sisters of St. Mary in Texas (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, 2011).

“Being Razed” The Waco News-Tribune, May 26, 1951.

Castañeda, Carlos E., Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1836-1936, The Modern Period, Vol. VII (Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., Austin, TX, 1958).

Kelley, Dayton, editor, The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Texian Press, Waco, TX, 1972).

“Sacred Heart Is Closed Up after 73 Years in City” The Waco News-Tribune, May 24, 1946.

“Sisters of St. Mary of Namur,” https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ixs05/, Accessed 27 April 2016.

Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Eastern Province, USA, http://www.ssmn.us/ourstory.html, Accessed 28 April 2016.

Waco, & McLennan County, Texas, 1876, Reprint-First City Directory of Waco (Waco, Texas: Texian Press, 1966).

Research Ready: April 2016

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!

April’s finding aids
Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

April’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Waco, Magnet of Commerce and the Air Mail: the Center of Texas Population. circa 1929.Waco, Magnet of Commerce and the Air Mail: the Center of Texas Population. circa 1929.
This beautiful promotional highlights many of the buildings, educational institutions, railroads, industry, production, jobs, etc. that 1929 Waco has to offer. Contained within are many photographs, some of which may not exist anywhere else. The purpose of these promotionals were to sell a city, and this promotional does an excellent job of selling Waco. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

Souvenir Program: Fort Worth Police Band Fourth Annual Concert. Fort Worth, TX, 1927.
Souvenir Program: Fort Worth Police Band Fourth Annual Concert. Fort Worth, TX, 1927.
According to this unique program, the Fort Worth Police Band was founded in 1921 by W. H. Lee, Chief of Police. Band members were recruited from within the police department and were conducted by Captain A. Bouton. Filled with photos, advertisements, and additional information about the department, this program offers a fascinating look at Fort Worth’s finest. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

F. Lotto. Der Deutsch-Texaner. 2.8 (1906).
F. Lotto. Der Deutsch-Texaner. 2.8 (1906).
Published in La Grange and written in Fraktur, this periodical was geared toward German Americans in Texas. Not much is known about the origins of this volume, but our copy is one of only three known to exist. Click here to view the Bearcat record for this resource!

The Waco Cotton Palace Pageant: A 46 Year Tradition

The Queen's train, Waco Cotton Palace, 1984
This photograph of the Queen’s train in 1984 features the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Incorporated’s emblem. This emblem features the Cotton Palace on the shield, cotton, and the Latin phrase sursum corda, which means “lift up your hearts.” Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 58, folder 2.

By Amanda Gesiorski, Texas Collection graduate assistant and museum studies graduate student

The Waco Cotton Palace is celebrating its 46th anniversary on April 22, 2016 in Waco Hall at Baylor University. Although the historical production is celebrating 46 years, its roots go back more than 120 years. In 1893, Waco was one of, if not the leading cotton market center in Texas, with 120,000 bales of cotton marketed in the city that year. And so, Waco was the place where Governor James Stephen Hogg opened the first Texas Cotton Palace a year later, which hosted exhibitions on cotton and crowned a “King Cotton” and “Queen Texas.” Even when the original structure burned down in 1895, the popularity of the event led to the establishment (about a decade later) of an even larger Texas Cotton Palace that showcased livestock and agriculture, art exhibits, parades, dairy shows, canning, horse and car racing, concerts, needlework and baking competitions, and the city’s largest social event—the Queen’s Ball. (See images of and about the Texas Cotton Palace here, here, and here.)

Waco Cotton Palace Queen's Ball, 1972
The annual Queen’s Ball follows the Cotton Palace Pageant and serves as a large gala for the participants, allowing the young women to show off their ornate dresses. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 1, folder 11.

Although The Cotton Palace closed its doors in 1930, the memory of the Palace and what it celebrated remained strong among the Waco community. This memory was kept alive through the annual Brazos River Festival and Pilgrimage hosted by Historic Waco Foundation in honor of the Texas Cotton Palace. The Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Incorporated, formed in 1970 and partnered with Historic Waco Foundation to host a pageant at the Festival. Even when the Brazos River Festival and Pilgrimage ended, the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant remained an annual event.

Scene from Waco Scene from the Cotton Palace pageant, 1985
The Waco Cotton Palace Pageant tells the story of Waco’s cotton growing past. This is the cotton and railroad scene from the 1985 Pageant in Waco Hall. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 58, folder 2.

Continuing through today, the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Inc., hosts a number of social events and fundraisers throughout the year in support of their annual pageant and Queen’s Ball. During this pageant, young women and their escorts from all over Texas perform a script that honors Waco’s cotton past. While the pageant traditionally focused on Waco’s founding history and cotton farming days, in 2010, the pageant took a new direction that celebrated Waco’s past and present.

A Waco Cotton Palace dress in design and execution, 1982
Pageant dresses are custom designed for participants, who have some say in the color and details of their dress. This can be seen by looking at the woman’s dress request, the original dress design, and then the final product. This image features Jennifer Nelson and her dress from the 1982 Pageant. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 54, folder 2, and box 56, folder 1.

The Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records contain a large number of Pageant committee reports, event and dinner invitations, pageant scripts, advertising agreement, and detailed information sheets on participants that give insight into how the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant, Inc. operates. One of the most notable aspects of the collection is the extensive number of costume and dress designs for the Princesses, Duchesses, Queen, and Royal Escorts. Each of the young ladies participating in the Pageant wears a custom dress for the pageant and Queen’s Ball. These dresses are some of the most iconic features of the Pageant, and their sketches are found in this collection. Also of note in the collection are photographs of the pageants, VHS recordings of pageants from the 1980s through the 1990s, and scrapbooks from 1971 through 2010 that detail pageant events throughout the course of the year.

Confederate Ball scene dress design for 1972 Waco Cotton Palace Pageant
In addition to the dress designs found in this collection, there are also costume designs for the various Pageant scenes. The dress seen here was designed in 1972 for the Confederate Ball scene. Note the swatch of material still attached. Waco Cotton Palace, Incorporated records #2579, box 55, folder 7.

Sources:

Riddle, Jonathan. “Texas Cotton Palace Records. Inclusive: 1894-1931, undated; Bulk: 1910-1930.”  The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

“Waco Cotton Palace.” Waco Cotton Palace Pageant Inc. http://wacocottonpalace.org/. Accessed April 19, 2016.