Measles, War, Flu, and a Snowstorm too. 1918 at Sam Houston Normal Institute

We have received a few inquires here in the SHSU University Archives asking what the University was doing in 1918 when the worse flu pandemic recorded in the United States was happening.

1918 was a turbulent year around the world with World War I in full swing. Here at the Sam Houston Normal Institute 1918 brought a measles epidemic, WWI, flu and an unexpected snowstorm.

A quick read through The Houstonian newspaper for January 15, 1918, tells us that the campus was more concerned about an outbreak of measles. (See image) In the 1918, The Alcalde yearbook a calendar of the events that happened in Fall 1917-Spring 1918, this entry from January 6, 1918 reads, “Measles epidemic holds sway in Normal. Even the teachers have it.” the measles hit so many of the students, Lillian Sandel organized a, “That Measles-ly Club,” on February 1, 1918.

The first mention of the flu on campus comes in an article from The Houstonian for November 11, 1918.(See image) The article mentions that there was talk that President Estill was going to suspend the school until the flu subsided. This lead to a stampede of female students asking to go home. As 1919 rolled around the campus and Huntsville experienced more cases of the flu. With no infirmary on the campus, the school and the good people of Huntsville had to deal with the pandemic on their own. All of Huntsville came together and did not lose one of their flu patients.  Note the last three paragraphs of the, “Flu Flew Fluently,” page.

The unexpected snow storm began on January 11, 1918 and snowed through the night. Many students cut classes the next day to play snow balling, fighting and sleighing. It snowed yet again on January 28.

 

HAPPY 140TH SHSU!

The 1st Faculty and Student Body of Sam Houston Normal Institute (later named Sam Houston State University) stand in front of the Austin Hall Building, 1879.

Happy 140th year of providing an education to students, Sam Houston State University! It was on this date, October 10, 1879, that 110 students arrived by train, horse and buggy, or walking, to climb the hill to attend the first State funded public school for teachers in Texas.

The Sam Houston Normal Institute was brought into being by a bill in the Texas Legislature in 1879. This bill read as follows: “An Act to Establish a State Normal School to be Known as the Sam Houston Institute at Huntsville, Texas.” The Act was signed by Governor Oran Roberts on April 21, 1879 and the doors to the new Sam Houston Normal Institute were opened 6 months later.

To learn or see more of 140 years of Sam Houston State history come visit the SHSU University Archives in the Newton Gresham Library, Room 400. We are open Monday-Friday, 8-5.

Time Travel Stamps: one book set’s 120-year journey through four SHSU libraries

Image

It is not often that you find a title in the Sam Houston State University’s Newton Gresham Library that’s in the library collection since 1899.

In the above image of the book’s front, inner cover, you will see library book plates and stamps, like stamps on a passport or destination stickers on luggage, they tell the history of this title and the University libraries where it was used for the last 120 years of its life.

The title of this set is, “Confederate Military History, Vol. 1, A Library of Confederate States History, In Twelve volumes, written by Distinguished Men of the South.” Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Georgia, and published by the Confederate Publishing Company in 1899.

This 12-volume set was first used in the Reference Library of the Sam Houston State Normal School, which was officially known as the Sam Houston Normal Institute. In this time period the library was, “a large and beautiful room,” in the Main Building, which later became known as Old Main. The above top image is of the Old Main Building Peabody Library room where the title was first used in 1899.

In 1901, The Peabody Memorial Library was finished and the book received its next book stamp. From 1902-1928, the book was used as reference material in the Peabody Memorial Library. In 1928 the new and vastly larger, Sam Houston State Teachers College Library. (Which would soon become the Harry F. Estill Library), was opened and the book received it next stamp.

In 1965, the Sam Houston State Teachers College was renamed Sam Houston State College. The book received another new stamp that lasted until 1969 when Sam Houston State College was renamed Sam Houston State University.

In 1969, the four floors, 3 million dollar, University Library (which would become the Newton Gresham Library) was finished and opened for the spring semester.

The 12-volume set was now 70 years old and had traveled through four libraries. The new University Library featured a brand new Special Collections Department that was perfect for all 12 volumes of this title.  The set was placed in the Special Collection’s Thomason Room of the new University Library without a new, “Sam Houston State University,” stamp. Special Collection items are not stamped owing to the fact they are rare and can be damaged by the stamping.

Once again used as a primary reference source the set will be celebrating its 120th anniversary along with the Newton Gresham Library, which is celebrating its own 50th anniversary.

Sam Houston State University Special Collections in the Thomason Room, is open from 8-5, Monday-Friday.

1897 Sam Houston Normal Institute Class Pin

Image

The Sam Houston State University Archives has many interesting small items in the collection. Pictured here is an example of a 1897 class pin. This class pin is example of various class pins in the University Archives collection.

In 1940, Dr.J.L. Clark, Professor History and Chairman of the Museum Committee, and the Sam Houston Museum put out a call to alumni of the Sam Houston Normal Institute and Sam Houston State Teachers College to donate their class pins to the college. “The Museum Committee is desirous of securing a class pin of every graduating class of the college,” said J.L. Clark in the December 1940 issue of the Ex-Students’ News Letter.

In December of 1940, three pins arrived at the museum including the pictured pin above. Mr. Robert Ernst, Sr. of the Ernst Jewelry Company of Huntsville presented this 1897 pin. According to Mr. Ernst, the pin was designed by SHNI’s fourth President H. Carr Pritchett and ordered for the students of Sam Houston Normal Institute by the jewelry firm of Randolph and Ernst. Made by McRae and Keele in Attleboro, Massachusetts, this pin was the last of the store’s stock.

The pin, which is only 1/2 x 3/4” inches, is in the form of a shield with a purple bar bearing the letters S.H.N.I. over a maroon bar with figures “97”. The shield is partially surrounded by a gold wreath.

Ernst Jewelers is still open here in Huntsville and is celebrating the stores’ 125th Anniversary this year.

To see this pin any many other class pins come visit the Sam Houston State University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

Belvin Dorm, October 1935

Belvin Hall, built 1935, was the first dorm built on the Sam Houston State University Campus. Built as the girls’ dorm, it was financed by a $150,000 loan and grant by the Depression Era New Deal program called the PWA, Public Works Administration. Click on the photograph at right to see the construction and vehicles of the early 1930’s.

Belvin Hall was named for Caroline Belvin who was an alumnus of Sam Houston Normal Institute (the original name of SHSU), class of 1882, and SHNI professor of primary and interpretative reading from 1903-1916, and Dean of Women on the Sam Houston State Teachers campus from 1917 until her retirement in 1929.

Sam Houston Normal Institute and WWI

Image

“Throughout the history of Sam Houston Normal she has been an institution of service-never has she failed to take part in any worthy movement or fallen down in any great undertaking.” From the The Alcalde, 1918. World War I was no different from 1917-1919 Sam Houston sent 200 of the finest young men “over there”; to Europe to fight for the great struggle of Democracy.

At home, the Sam Houston Normal Institute established a unit of the SATC, Students Army Training Course, where students could enlist as privates and continue their education. These soldiers/students bunked in the Austin Hall Building; sleep on mattresses bought from the Texas Penitentiary, and did drills and exercises as if they were in boot camp.

The above photographs shows the SATC on campus. Note the bottom right photograph of the campus. In front on the left is the Manual Training/Agriculture Building. In the middle with three floors is Austin Hall. In the back photograph, there are the spires of the Old Main Building. The top middle photograph shows the back of Austin Hall before the new columns and extra door, were added later as the college grew to the south.

To see more WWI materials in the archives come visit us in the Newton Gresham Library, room 400.

It is World Photography Day!

Sam Houston Normal Insititute rooftop

This photograph of the Sam Houston Normal Institute with Huntsville, Texas, in the back ground was shot in the early 1920s. Judging by the view this image must have been shot from the top of the Old Men’s Gym.

The Old Men’s Gym was a wooden building that was built by the students. Because the building was made out of wood the students had to rebuild the old gym more than once due to fires.

In the foreground is what they called at the time the Demonstration School (later the Wood Buildings) roof. In front of the Demonstration School is the Science Building (now Bobby K. Marks Administration Building), then the Women’s Gym, (where the Dan Rather Communications is now) across from that was the Agriculture Building, Austin Hall, with the 3rd floor still attached, and finally in the back, the Old Main Building.

To the far left you see the smoke stack and building of the West Plant which fronts a dirt road now known as Sam Houston Avenue. The current West Plant is built on the foundation of the original West Plant.

The gates in the back of the Administration Building and Women’s Gym are placed on what it now Ave J. This gateway was considered the entrance to the Normal before the entrance we have now on 20th and Sam Houston Ave.

To see more photographs come visit the SHSU University Archives in the Newton Gresham Library, Room 400. We are open from 8-5, M-F.

#WBW – Are you smarter than a 1884 SHNI student?

Questions 1884jpg Questions 1884 p4 Questions 1884 p3

#WBW goes really way back to 1884 to see if you are you smarter than a student of the Sam Houston Normal Institute from 132 years ago.

This is a competitive examination from 1884 for the Sam Houston Normal Institute which is now Sam Houston State University. These exam were used to judge which 2 students from each legislative district in Texas would be sent, all fees paid, to SHNI by their respective senators.

So if you haven’t been totally drained from your final exams you might take a whack at some of the questions the students were asked 132 years ago.

P.S. I would love to know the answers myself.

Come and visit some other way back exams in the SHSU University Archives, room 400, of the Newton Gresham Library, M-F, 8-5.

Football Fun Fridays! The lighter side of 100 years of BearKat football.

Alcalde 2003 20041978 00011949 Alumnus 1912 football1965 alcaldeAlcalde 1971 aalcalde 1937


Ricky Beck 1983138_2014a001_slide_undated_fl

 
Here in the University Archives we have looked at or scanned what seems like thousands of football related newspaper articles, photographs, and yearbooks during the 100th season of BearKats football.

So in this post the University Archives decided to pull out some favorites of the images and put them in one posting. See below for details about the images.

Top Row 1 – Left – Showing team spirit in 2003
Right – A mockup of Sports Illustrated magazine from The Alcalde, 1978

Row 2 – Members of the Sam Houston Normal Institute first football team in 1912 line up to reenact their formations. Among them is Len Baldwin who is said to have made the first touchdown in University history.

Row 3 – Left – Frank “Foxie” Fox jumps for joy as the Kats score against Concordia in the NAIA National Playoffs in 1964. Also showing excitement are cheerleaders Janet Miller and Rick Stowers. The game was a tie at 7-7.
Right – Go Sam Houston! The BearKats run for a touchdown in 1969.

Row 4 – Left – In 1983 Senior Ricky Beck gives his opinion of the BearKats chances in the game.
Right – In 1937 BearKat football was a welcome reprieve from the end of the Depression. In this picture from the 1937 Alcalde, the athletics photographer gets creative with the image. Note the Old Main Building spires in the background. This game was played at Pritchett Field.

Row 5 – In the 1980’s the BearKats played many games in the Astrodome in Houston. The Astrodome is now a shell but the BearKats will not forget playing in what was called the, “8th Wonder of the World.”

To see more football related materials come visit the SHSU University Archives, room 400 of the NGL, open 8-5, M-F.

Daisy Smith Writings on Sam Houston, 1922

daisysmith

Daisy Lauretta Smith was born in Kansas in 1893.  She was a student of Sam Houston Normal Institute, class of 1919.  She earned her B.S. degree from SHNI in 1922 and the M.A. from Peabody in 1934.  Daisy L. Smith went on to teach for over 43 years for Houston Independent School District.  She died in Houston, Texas in June 1979.

The Daisy Smith writings on Sam Houston (1922; one file folder) contain reminisces of General Sam Houston gathered from the citizens of Huntsville, Texas in February 1922.  The writings consist of 34 handwritten pages by Daisy Smith.

View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.

Daisy Smith Writings on Sam Houston, 1922