Located northwest of Boerne, Kerrville is known for its distinctive karst landscape and prosperous businesses. Originally established as a shinglemakers’ camp, Kerrsville (later Kerrville) was platted in 1856 after Kerr County was organized, and narrowly won the designation of county seat. The community was named after James Kerr (1790-1850), an member of Austin’s Colony who was involved in the establishment of Gonzales and served as the Lavaca delegate at the Conventions of 1832 and 1833.
Kerr County Texas 1856-1956 by Bob Bennet is a celebratory account of Kerrville’s history from from the time that Kentucky settler Joshua D. Brown journeyed up the Guadalupe River in search of giant cypress trees suitable for shingles, to the ideological (and physical) battles between pro-Union and pro-Confederacy residents, to the arrival of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway in 1887, to Kerrville’s mid-century “boom” as summer camp destination: Presbyterian, Methodist, YMCA, Lion’s Club, and various non-religiously-affiliated camps for girls and boys.
Special Collections also holds a publication by an earlier Kerrville booster: an issue of Grinstead’s Magazine, circa 1915. With a writing style that is “folksy” almost to the point of caricature (and at some points offensive to modern readers), his introduction compares Kerrville to the land of Canaan, and encourages readers:
[R]ead this magazine. Then, if you need a change, for any reason except theft and murder, come on up and help us possess some of the good things of the Hill Country of Southwest Texas.
The remainder of this issue consists of detailed descriptions and illustrations of Kerrville’s climate, architecture, industries, and local leaders. One of the town’s leading men highlighted in this section is Captain Charles Schreiner, whose mercantile business established after the Civil War grew into a local business empire continued by several generations of the family.
More detailed information on the Schreiner family and its rise to fortune is found in the biography Charles Schreiner, General Merchandise: The Story of a Country Store. Having come to Texas from France as a child, Schreiner grew up in San Antonio and served for three years in the Texas Rangers before establishing a ranch in Kerr County in 1857. Following a stint in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Schreiner entered the mercantile business in Kerrville, gradually expanding its interests to banking, ranching, and wool.
Glen E. Lich, “KERRVILLE, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hek01), accessed August 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
W. Eugene Hollon, “SCHREINER, CHARLES ARMAND,” Handbook of Texas Online(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsc15), accessed August 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
UTSA Libraries Special Collections is seeking one student clerk to assist with department operations at Main Campus. Interested students may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Job Title: Student Clerk
Job Description: With training from the Rare Books Librarian other department staff, carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include paging, photocopying, and re-shelving materials; scanning and entering basic metadata for digital collections; cleaning, processing, and re-housing incoming materials; assisting with exhibit preparations; and other duties as determined.
Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Some lifting required. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold needed. Familiarity with scanners and image editing software a plus.
Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Mon-Fri.
Hours per Week: 15
How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Special Collections at email@example.com.
If you’re a friend or alumni of UTSA, you’re no doubt aware that the University mascot is a roadrunner, known today as Rowdy. The mascot’s birth and development at UTSA has been an interesting one. Top Shelf readers might be aware of this post, which gave an overview of the intense election process preceding the 1977 announcement of the roadrunner as UTSA’s official mascot.
Below is a look back at images of the mascot, as spotted in the negatives and contact sheets of the Office of University Communications Photograph collection (UA 16.01.01). Photographers captured images of the mascot dancing at pep rallies, stoking the crowd at basketball games, and posing for promotional material for UTSA. Captions for the photos below were provided from details on the negative sleeves or contact sheets from this collection. This pictographic timeline spans the years 1981 to 1999. Click on images to enlarge.
1981: The Roadrunner is revealed. Readers of the Sombrilla might have caught this interview of alumnus Antonio Gonzalez III, in which he describes his “hatching” as UTSA’s first mascot.
1982: Seen here posing for a Fiesta UTSA promotion. This “hitchhiking” title comes from a pose seen on this cover of the Quarterly.
1984: The Roadrunner and friend walk the court at halftime during a game against Lamar University.
1987: This series of shots captures the beginning of a new look for the mascot, which took place during a game against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
1987: Spotted here dancing at a pep rally, with a throwback look to the cartoon element that some say helped the Roadrunner win the election back in 1977 (see page 10 of this Sombrilla edition).
1992: A studio shot of Rowdy during an appointment with Communications photographers, showing off a tough new look.
1999: A colorful Rowdy fuels the crowd during a game against Lamar University.
Each summer many companies hold an outdoor gathering for employees and their families. It is a time for coworkers and managers to mingle in an informal setting as they participate in various activities and share a meal.
Pearl Brewing Company, located in San Antonio until 2001, held its annual company picnics in local parks. The Pearl picnic followed the traditional pattern of organized games in the afternoon, followed by dinner and dancing in the evening. Often, a photographer was hired to record the events of the day.
These images are from the Zintgraff Studio Photograph Collection (MS 355). They document some of the Pearl picnics held during the late 1950s to the late 1960s.
During the 1980s, John Shown was an integral part of San Antonio’s art scene. As an artist, Shown specialized in collages and stitchery wall hangings, his creations collected by patrons across the United States and abroad. Shown’s eccletic collages and stitched tapestries graced the homes of playwright Sterling Houston, actors Rex Reed, and Geoffrey Holder as well glamour guru, Vidal Sassoon. Shown was commissioned by many San Antonio residents to create stitchery murals and wall-hangings depicting their residences and gardens. Shown’s collages were displayed in galleries in New York and San Antonio.
Shown not only participated in and contributed to the robust art culture of the River City in the 1980s, he chronicled all aspects of San Antonio’s art scene in Forum magazine, an Artists Forum of Texas publication. The pages of the publication stand as an homage to the fashions, events, and unique creativity of the decade. Models are clad in geometric, shoulder-padded couture and heads are coiffed in over-the-top hairstyles so indicative of the 80s. Interviews with local artists, writers, theater folk, and photographers captured the pulse of artistic energy that flowed through San Antonio’s urban environment.
Prior to offering a publication platform for the city’s artsy crowd, Shown along with Don Davenport opened the Shown-Davenport Gallery, a venue for artists struggling to gain exposure. The gallery offered space to any who could pay the nominal fee and served as a censorship free zone where open expression took flight. A plug for the gallery summed up its purpose:
Unknown, offbeat San Antonio artists don’t have to starve anymore, thanks to the recently opened Austin Street Gallery. Called an “alternative” by its creators, transplanted Manhattanites Don Davenport and John Shown, the Bohemian-flavored gallery, with its white-washed high walls and blue wooden floor, welcomes the absure, the rejected, and the conventional in art with open arms: for $30 a week anybody can show his work. And artists of every ilk are doing just that.
In the two years that the gallery was open, the venue hosted 497 exhibits and 262 artists. The most popular show drew 500 guests to the space-the “Butt” exhibit featured various forms of artistic interpretations of derrieres and was quite a crowd pleaser. Despite the popularity of the space with the local art crowd, Shown and Davenport called it quits in 1982 having exhausted their financial resources trying to keep the gallery afloat.
The John Shown Collection, recently donated by Happy Foundation archivist, Gene Elder, contains slides, photographs, and inventories of Shown’s artwork. Many inventories include snapshots of individual creations with notes about the date the work was created, the patron who commissioned or purchased the work, and the city in which the patron resided. Forum magazine is an important component of the collection, covering happenings in the city’s arts community between 1985-1987. Also included are correspondence, fliers, and photographs related to the publication. A centerpiece of the collection is a journal created by Shown that contains personal daily entries combined with invitations and artwork. While most of the items in the John Shown collection primarily document the artist’s years in San Antonio, some materials provide insight into Shown’s work as a scenic designer, photographer, and film maker while living in New York. The collection is housed on UTSA main campus and can be accessed by submitting a request access to a collection form.
 The Shown-Davenport Gallery originally opened under the name Austin Street Gallery. Due to confusion about the location of the gallery, Shown and Davenport changed the name. Author and source of this mini-ad are unknown.
 John Shown, “Goodbye to an Era in Art,” San Antonio Express-News, August 8, 1982.
Boerne was the third German settlement to be established in the Hill Country north of San Antonio, just a few years after New Braunfels and Fredericksburg. When the community was first formed in 1849, it was called Tusculum, after Cicero’s home in ancient Rome. However, in 1852 the town was re-christened Boerne after Ludwig Boerne, a German author whose work criticized the German hierarchy and advocated reforms to increase religious, political, and economic freedom.
Garland Perry’s Historic Images of Boerne, Texas (1982) and Historic Images of Boerne and Kendall County, Texas (1998) are indispensable resources for studying Boerne’s development. Both books include not only a wealth of photographs from 19th and early 20th centuries, but also extensive text describing the history, architecture, and people of Boerne. The latter publication also includes transcripts of several interviews with long-time residents.
Boerne pioneers produced cotton, tobacco, sheep, and cattle. Cypress shingles were also an important source of income for many families and both wagon freighting and longhorn cattle drives played important roles in the local economy. By the end of the century, Boerne also became a vacation destination and health resort. An 1894 San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway timetable includes a one-page description of Boerne that highlights it’s healthful climate:
The reason the air is so conducive to the cure of diseased lungs is described as being caused by the trade winds, which, for a period of perhaps eight months in the year blow from the coast passing over a wide stretch of country, mostly dry, but covered with the mesquite, a species of the mimosa, the odors from which, as from the pine, the trees or bushes being resinous, have a curative effect in all diseases of the lungs, which with the bracing mountain air found on reaching Kendall County, restores the wasted tissues and brings new life to the wasted form and red blood to the cheeks.
Boerne’s cotton and tourism sectors suffered badly during the Great Depression – so much so that the population dropped from 2,000 in 1928 to 1,117 in 1931 and still hovered just under 1,300 in the 1940s. However, the town’s 1949 centennial publication Boerne: Key to the Hills makes no mention of depopulation or economic ills. Instead, it focuses on Boerne’s idyllic landscape:
Boerne nestles among the hills that are covered by friendly oak and cedar trees. There are many small streams, and clear creeks for pleasant living and hiking. All the while your ears are filled with the musical songs of many birds.
Advertisements in this publication highlight Boerne’s pastoral economy: Deer Springs Ranch’s Quarter Horses, Circle K Ranch Sufolk Sheep and Hereford Cattle, and Prospect Ranch Orchids. Tourism is represented through ads from the Hi Hill Ranch Resort (with a “luxuriously inviting swimming pool filled with pure artesian water”) and Lucian’s Bar-K Ranch Hotel “The Health Resort of America.”
Following WWII, Boerne became a popular bedroom community for people working in San Antonio and its population grew steadily, reaching 6,178 in 2000.  However, many residents continued to value Boerne’s rural past – a past colorfully described in Frankie Davis Glenn’s Reminiscences: Stories of a Country Girl (1994). Glenn recalls the tasks and amusements of her childhood: tending the gas-powered irrigation system on her family’s small farm, washing clothes by hand, celebrating Christmas with a Cedar tree, and attending community dances. She also recounts the history of her German immigrant forefathers and their early days on the frontier, providing a rambling, but informative family memoir that nicely complements Garland Perry’s more general historical studies.
 Garland A. Perry, Historic Images of Boerne and Kendall County, Texas: A Sesquincentennial Project 1849-1999 (Boerne, TX: Perry Publications), 1998: 3.
 Ibid.: 5-9.
 Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “BOERNE, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgb09), accessed July 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
This summer Special Collections was able to benefit from the help of Dawn Shedd, a graduate student intern who worked with a collection from University Archives. Below she shares her comments on what the experience was like. We’re grateful for Dawn’s hard work this summer!
As a graduate student in history, I decided to pursue a career as an archivist and my internship this summer gave me hands-on experience of what the life of an archivist is like. I thought the career would be fitting to me, since I am a fairly organized and detail-oriented person, but the job ended up being a lot of fun also. I never realized how much work goes into processing a collection. I always thought that archivists just looked into the box, summed up what was in it, and put it away on a shelf until someone came looking for information from it. Instead, I learned that it takes a lot of effort and time to organize a collection and arrange it in a way that will benefit researchers. At all points of the process, I had to keep in mind how researchers would utilize this collection in the future and do my best to include information in the finding aid that would ensure I did not cause important information to be left out. Putting together a collection was challenging and rewarding.
I worked on the collection of Dean Dwight F. Henderson’s papers, which included four boxes of papers and photographs detailing an impressive academic career that spanned over 40 years. As I looked through the materials and developed the finding aid for the collection, I learned a lot about Dr. Henderson’s career and his life. I realized that there is so much to be learned from Dr. Henderson, as well as from other individuals who donate their papers to University Archives. It was interesting to see how UTSA had progressed and changed since 1980 when Dr. Henderson became Dean, and how college life has changed. It was also interesting to see what has stayed the same. I found myself talking to family and friends about the information that Dr. Henderson chose to share with the University, and I have gained a new respect for University Archives. It is important to remember the people who made a difference, and continue to make a difference, at our college.
For more information on this collection, check out the Guide to the Dwight F. Henderson Papers. This collection includes correspondence, newspaper articles concerning his career, personal cards and letters, photographs, academic research, certificates of accomplishment, information on organizations he worked with, information on attended conferences and seminars, book reviews, course evaluations, annual reports, faculty evaluations, and published works. This collection is open for research.