Nesbitt Memorial Library

Section 1

Books and Pamphlets

Section 1 - Books and Pamphlets

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Albright, Doris Beken. From... Then... Til... Now... A History of What Is Now Known As The New Bielau--Content Community.   Schulenburg: Schulenburg Printing & Office Supplies, 1986. 104 pages. A detailed, rather engaging history of a very small community in far western Colorado County.   
Call # TR 976.43 ALB

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Armstrong, Robert M. "W. T. Eldridge." Chapter (pp. 45-58) in Sugar Land, Texas and The Imperial Sugar Company. Houston: D. Armstrong Co., Inc., 1991. Excellent account of the career of William Thomas Eldridge in Eagle Lake, including the development of the Bonus plantation and the Cane Belt Railroad, and Eldridge's feud with William Dunovant. The author worked for, and was fired by, Eldridge, when Eldridge was the president of the Imperial Sugar Company. After being rehired, the author, who eventually rose to the presidency of the company, attained access to the transcripts of Eldridge’s two murder trials. He made good use of them in this chapter.  
Call # TR 976.49 ARM FORTB


Bailey, T. L. The Geology and Natural Resources of Colorado County. Austin: The University of Texas, 1923. 159 pages. A scholarly and reliable study, well illustrated. The companion map is not often found these days, but is, like the book, well done and worth perusal.
In vault by yearbooks.

Boethel, Paul Carl. "Sally Scull." Chapter (6 pages) in Colonel Amasa Turner The Gentleman from Lavaca and other Captains at San Jacinto. Austin: Von-Boeckmann-Jones, 1963. The second of three published biographical sketches of Sally Scull, and the only one of the three to spell her last name in what is probably the correct way.
Call # VLT Boethel and TR 976.49 BOE LAVAC

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Boswell, Angela. Her Act and Deed: Women’s Lives in a Rural Southern County, 1837-1873. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2001. 190 pages. Thoroughly researched examination of the lives of women who lived in Colorado County in the mid-nineteenth century. An expansion of the author’s dissertation, in March 2002, this book won the Texas State Historical Association's Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women in Texas.
Call # T 305.42 BOS

Brune, Herman Willie. Tales from the Lost Rider of Yaupon Creek. Bismarck, North Dakota: Windfeather Press, 2004. 210 pages. A collection of columns concerning hunting, fishing, and the outdoor life, written by a Colorado County native and with much Colorado County content, and illustrations by Tom Stallman. Engaging and entertaining.
Call # T 817 BRU

Brune, Herman Willie. Christmas Tales from the Lost Rider. Bismarck, North Dakota: Windfeather Press, 2005. 158 pages. Twelve years (1993-2004) worth of Christmas stories, and about four dozen recipes, from the wilderness guide and popular columnist, again with illustrations by Tom Stallman.
Call # T 817 BRU

Causey, Edward Herbert, and Ruth Thomas Seaholm.  The Preacher and his Family: George Washington Causey on the Texas Prairie. N.p.: Libris Press, 2007. 260 pages. Biography of Causey written by his niece, Ruth Seaholm, from information provided by his son, Ed Causey, and brought into print and edited by his great-granddaughter, Sandra C. Thomas.  The book also contains a brief genealogy section and many photographs.
Call # 92 CAU

Civil and Criminal Ordinances of the City of Columbus. Columbus: Colorado Citizen, 1883. 49 pages. No index or table of contents.


Colorado County Citizen. Columbus Texas. Columbus: Colorado County Citizen, 1935. 24 pages. A look at Columbus in 1935 with two unreliable historical articles by Oscar Abraham Zumwalt, one on Columbus and one on the Stafford Opera House, that governed historiography in Colorado County for more than fifty years. Though it contains very little truth, this is an absolutely essential item for anyone interested in the county and how its history has been told. See also the articles listed under Zumwalt’s name in Section 2 of this bibliography. An eleven-year old boy named George Havran worked at the newspaper office and operated the press when this item was printed. He noted on his copy that it was printed on June 17, 1935.
Call # TR S1 976.44

Colorado County Citizen. Colorado County Historic Photo Album. Pediment Publishing, 2002. 128 pages. Photographic history of the county. Most of the photographs came from the collection of the Nesbitt Memorial Library.
Call # TR S1 976.43


Colorado County Historical Commission. Colorado County Chronicles. 2 volumes. Austin: Nortex Press, 1986. 926 pages. A failed attempt to be thorough. The work of many people, the book is filled with errors and contradictions, the chapters vary widely in content and approach, and the citations are frequently hopelessly muddled. It does contain some valuable information, especially in its appendices, is profusely illustrated, and is indexed. The book apparently had its genesis at the January 30, 1981 meeting of the Colorado County Historical Commission. At that meeting, Patricia Woolery-Price was asked to recommend a plan for a county history to the commission. At the following meeting, on March 19, 1981, Woolery-Price was named chairman of a committee to write, as the commission’s minutes report, "a chronological, documented narrative of the development of the county." Five other people, Rose Ann Harrison, James Hopkins, Leah Wilson King, Lee Quinn Nesbitt, and Frances Seifert, were appointed to the committee. Over time, the committee assigned chapters to various volunteers, who returned uneven results. At least one person to whom a chapter had been assigned died before completing it. In January 1982, Woolery-Price expressed her hope that the research for the book would be completed the following June. Her hope proved unattainable. Two years later, at the May 24, 1984 meeting, she announced a deadline of September 1, 1984 for submissions. By January 1985, though the publication date still seemed unpredictably distant, commission members were selling pre-publication copies. Pressure from such subscribers finally forced publication of the book in December 1986, though many commission members apparently felt it was not ready for print. Two thousand sets were produced.
Call # T 976.4 COL

Colorado County Historical Commission. Colorado County's Courthouses. 1991. 12 pages. A brief, light look at the history of the various courthouses and the courthouse square, based completely on primary sources, with many photographs.
Call # TR S1 976.44

Colorado County Historical Commission. Historic Homes of Colorado County 1832-1915. Columbus: A to Z Printing and Graphic Design, 2006. 231 pages. Stimulated by the successful effort of William H. Harrison to catalog the history of some of the homes in Eagle Lake, Colorado County Historical Commission member Carolyn Youens Hastedt proposed that the commission produce a similar book that covered the entire county. The commission appointed a committee to do so. The committee arbitrarily decided that no home built after 1915 should be included, then attempted to gather information in several ways. They did little or no original research, and seemingly accepted without question statements that were made in previously published sources or by current or recent homeowners. The result was this book without rhyme, reason, or purpose. Contrary to what might be expected, there is little about the houses themselves. The bulk of the information that is included is superficial and irrelevant. One thousand copies were printed. The book was dated 2006, but not actually delivered until early January 2007.
Call # T 728 COL

[Colorado County, Texas]. [c. 1905]. 44+ pages. Brief descriptions of Columbus and Weimar, with engravings, photographs and advertisements from Columbus, Eagle Lake, and Weimar. Only one copy is known to exist, and its cover is missing. Some pages, apparently including those that contained the description of Eagle Lake, also seem to be missing.


Colorado County 1986 Sesquicentennial Committee. Colorado County Sesquicentennial Commemorative Book. 1986. 96 pages. Cursory looks at the genesis of various communities and towns in the county, often with information about early settlers and photographs, created by a committee as a part of their effort to celebrate the state sesquicentennial. Much of the book is actually quite useful. If nothing else, it makes a good beginning gazetteer of the county.
Call # T 976.4 COL


Columbus Sesquicentennial Committee. Columbus, Texas Sesquicentennial 1823-1973. Columbus, 1973. 52 pages. A photographic survey of old homes and other buildings in Columbus, some of which are no longer in existence, with three valuable city maps.
TR S1 976.44

Constitution of the Columbus Cemetery Association Adopted November 27, 1890. Columbus: Colorado Citizen, 1890.
Eight pages.

Cravens, Patsy. Leavin' a Testimony: Portraits from Rural Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. 304 pages. In the 1980s, Cravens, a Houstonian, began photographing and interviewing many of the people who lived in the vicinity of her family's ranch in western Colorado County. Those people introduced her to others, and she began flitting around the county, introducing herself to people she thought looked intriguing. In time, she had amassed a large collection of photographs of and interviews with people from Colorado County. She organized them into a photograph exhibit, "Colorado County Memories," and used them as the basis for her film, Coming Through Hard Times. This book pairs many of her excellent photographs with portions of the interviews, edited and augmented by Cravens. The book contains many statements and assertions which are not supported by evidence; paramount among them that there was a conspiracy of silence surrounding the 1935 double lynching at Columbus. Though people may well have been reluctant to speak to Cravens about the incident, it is frequently discussed among locals, and a lengthy treatment of it appeared in Joe Tom Davis' history of Columbus, published a decade before this book.
Call # T 976.4 CRA


Dewees, William Bluford. Letters From an Early Settler of Texas. Louisville, Kentucky: Morton & Griswold, 1852. Reprint, Louisville, Kentucky: Hull & Brother, 1854. Reprint, Louisville, Kentucky: New Albany Daily Tribune Steam Printing, 1858. Reprint, with an introduction by Dayton Kelley, Waco: Texian Press, 1968. 312 pages. The recollections of the founder of Columbus, put into epistolary form by a collaborator named Emanetta Cara Kimball. Because of certain anachronistic statements, the book was long thought to be a fake, but the discovery of a contract between Dewees and Kimball in the Colorado County courthouse by Andrew Forest Muir revealed its true nature. This book is the single most valuable primary source for the history of Colorado County before 1850, though it must be used with discretion in regard to the dates it contains. The first edition included a large, fold-out map that was not included in any subsequent edition. The title page gives the date of publication as "1852," but, curiously, the copyright page states that the book was "entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853." This is probably the reason that Cadwell Walton Raines, in his 1896 A Bibliography of Texas, reported the book’s publication date as 1853. The book was certainly in print by February 9, 1853, when a review of it appeared in the [La Grange] Texas Monument. The 1854 edition of the book repeats the phrase on the copyright page, and differs from the first edition only in that it omits the map and contains four illustrations, entitled "Battle With the Whacos at the San Saba River," "Battle of Gonzales," "Fall of the Alamo Davie Crockett’s last struggle, but he died like a Martyr! He fell at his post!," and "Battle on the Skull Creek." The 1858 edition omits both the map and the illustrations. The 1968 edition (pictured at left) is a facsimile reprint of the 1852 edition (again without the map), but with an introduction by Dayton Kelley that explains the origin of the book. The title pages of all four editions state that the volume was "Compiled by Cara Cardelle." This name is apparently a pseudonym for Kimball. The name "Cara Cardelle" appeared in print at least one other time, in the June 26, 1858 edition of the Colorado Citizen, appended as a byline to an article entitled "Wild Flowers from a Texan Prairie." The article, if it can be taken as autobiographical, indicates that the author had suffered through an illness, but that she had produced other writings.
Call # TR S1 976.44


Eagle Lake Historical Committee. A History of Eagle Lake, Texas. Austin: Nortex Press, 1987. 590 pages. A haphazard look at the history of Eagle Lake, with much valuable material hidden among the mass of effluvia. This lengthy book's usefulness is greatly diminished by the absence of an index. The book had its genesis in 1968, when the Eagle Lake Study Club decided to write a history of the city. Progress, however, was slow. A few years later, members of the Study Club, the Prairie Edge Museum, and the Eagle Lake Chamber of Commerce formed themselves into the Eagle Lake History Book Committee and began work in earnest. The committee was informally headed by William Henry Harrison, who functioned as the book’s editor. 1000 copies were printed.
Call # T 976.4 EA and TR S1 976.43

Entrance to Highland Park Eagle Lake, Texas.
[Eagle Lake, 1910] 40 pages. Promotional brochure for a recently laid out subdivision in Eagle Lake, with many photographs and a fine map of the subdivision.


Flachmeier, Jeanette Hastedt. A Rose in Texas. Austin, 1986. 31 pages. Biography of Dilue Rose Harris, who lived in Colorado County most of her life.
Call # TR S4 92 HAR


Frelsburg Historical Committee. The History of Frelsburg Kraewinkel [Crow's Nest]. New Ulm, Texas: New Ulm Enterprise, 1986. 44 pages. A brief, confused look at German settlement in the northern part of the county, consisting chiefly of limited, disorderly, family history, valuable as the only attempt at a comprehensive history of the community.
Call # TR S1 976.43


Green, Rowan. Colorado County, Texas: Its Health, Climate, Soil, Advantages and Resources. Columbus: Colorado Citizen, 1877. 34 pages. Reprint. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, volume 4, number 2, May 1994, pages 51-73. High praise for the county on the eve of its heyday, written by a real estate salesman, with, in the reprint, a brief introduction and an appendix. The original pamphlet was produced to encourage persons in Georgia to move to Colorado County. Very few copies of the original pamphlet are known to exist.
Call # TR S1 976.44



Harrison, William Henry. Alleyton, Texas "Back Door to the Confederacy." Alleyton: Show Me Type & Print, 1993. 250+ pages. One of the many recent community histories, crammed, like most, with useful information and photographs, but severely impaired by the absence of an index. The author, an Alleyton native, transcribes some primary source material and contributes some recollections of his own. Only 143 copies were printed.
Call # TR S1 976.44

Harrison, William Henry. Recollections of My First Quarter Century and More. Eagle Lake, Texas: N. p., 2006. The author's autobiography, with heavy emphasis on his early years. This book was prepared for the author's family. Fewer than fifty copies were produced.
Call # VLT

Harrison, William Henry. Recollections of Rosanne Violet Stephen Harrison. Eagle Lake, Texas: n. p., 2007. The recollections of the author's wife, again prepared in an extremely limited edition. Fewer than fifty copies were produced.
Call # VLT


Heine, Dorothy Jean. Come, Reminisce With Me. A History of Glidden, Texas 1885-1985. 1985. 151 pages. An attractively packaged community history, about half of which is given over to family history, but like so many similar publications, with no index. This book is quite well researched, but the author has difficulty molding the pieces into a cohesive history.
Call # T 976.4 HEI and TR S1 976.43


Hinton, Mary. Weimar, Texas First 100 Years 1873-1973. Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones Company, 1973. 339 pages. This was the first of a number of Colorado County community histories that were published over a twenty year period, and it apparently set the pattern for them. Like the succeeding volumes, this one takes a scattershot approach that lends itself to reference rather than to reading, but is grievously marred by the lack of an index. This volume does contain a good bit of information on many of the city's businesses.
Call # T 976.4 HIN and TR S1 976.43

Holland, Mary Farrar. Stories That Have Been Told. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers, Inc., 1948. 279 pages. A former Columbus schoolteacher's scrapbook of photographs, anecdotes, and information. Virtually worthless.
Call # TR S1 976.43


Hunter, John Warren. Heel-Fly Time in Texas. Bandera, Texas: Frontier Times, c. 1930. 47 pages. The story of the author's trip to and brief stay in Columbus during the Civil War and his flight from the Heel Flies, written before 1915 (when the author died) and published originally in Hunter's Magazine. The story is most intriguing, and provides a good picture of Columbus during the Civil War. The identity of the rancher who plays a central role in the story is shielded by a pseudonym, Cox. One might suppose that his identity could be discerned by matching the information provided by the 1860 or 1870 census and the deed records of Colorado County; however, my own attempts to do so have failed.
Call # TR 973.7 HUN


Kerr, Rita. Texas Rose. Austin: Eakin Press, 1986. 64 pages. Biography of Dilue Rose Harris, written for children.
Call # JF KER


McCormick, Ralph D. A Prairie Kid Grows Up. Bryan: Ralph D. McCormick Publications, 1980. 114 pages. Colorful, cheerful recollections of childhood near Eagle Lake.
Call # TR S1 976.43

McCormick, Ralph D. A Prairie Kid Never Grows Up. Bryan: Ralph D. McCormick Publications, 1989. 118 pages. More of McCormick's recollections of childhood.
Call # T 390 MCC


Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Joseph Jefferson Mansfield Late a Representative from Texas. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1950. 96 pages. Colorado County resident Mansfield’s colleagues take the opportunity to praise him after his death.
Call # TR S4 92 MAN


Original Charter and Civil and Criminal Ordinances of the City of Columbus. Columbus: Colorado Citizen, 1885. 115 pages. Indexed.


Neuendorff, Tamalyn Novak. Bernardo Baseball History 1957-2001. n. p., 2002. [136 pages]. History of the semipro baseball teams based in Bernardo from 1957-1961, Columbus from 1973-1976, and in Bernardo again from 1977-2001. Contains rosters of each team and many photographs.
Call # T 796.357 NEU

Paine, Albert Bigelow. "Quieting a Texas Feud." Chapter (pp. 243-249) in Captain Bill McDonald Texas Ranger. New York: J. J. Little & Ives, 1909. Reprint, Austin: State House Press, 1986. 454 pages. A fanciful account of how Captain Bill McDonald disarmed members of the Reese and Townsend families in Columbus in March 1899 and thereby prevented a gunfight. The account seems to be based primarily on a single paragraph in the state adjutant general’s annual report, and is, in its details (the sheriff’s initials, the assertion that a boy had been killed), wrong. The fact that the book was written with McDonald’s cooperation, and apparently at his urging, lends some credence to the crux of the story. It should be noted, however, that the book was written at a time when Western heroes were regularly glorified, and their exploits exaggerated.
Call # T 92 MCD


Pickens, Mary Anne. Forty Years on the Trail A History of the Texas Trail Riders Association 1955-1994. Columbus, 1994. 82 pages. Part history, part nostalgia, an always engaging and very well illustrated account of a series of trail rides from Colorado County to San Antonio.
Call # TR S1 976.44


Reese, John Walter and Lillian Estelle Reese. Flaming Feuds of Colorado County. Salado, Texas: The Anson Jones Press, 1962. 171 pages. Heavily biased and disorganized account of the turn-of-the-century feuding at Columbus. The authors play fast and loose with facts while unrepentantly venting their spleens. The book purports to be a transcription of a scrapbook, and it may well be. Certainly, many of the items are copied from various editions of the Columbus newspaper, the Colorado Citizen. Unfortunately, no citations are given. Had they been, readers would be able to see how the items are misarranged chronologically, so much so that they convey an erroneous impression. Apparently published at the urging of Charles Leland Sonnichsen, we can thank him for this clearest picture of the attitude of the Reese family toward their supposed enemies, the attitude which led to the continuation of the feud and all its disagreeable consequences.
Call # T 976.4 REE

Revised Civil and Criminal Ordinances of the City of Weimar, Texas. Weimar: The Weimar Mercury, 1899. 123 pages. The title indicates that an earlier similar publication was issued, but no copy of it has been located.

Scherer, John Jacob. "The Diary of Rev. J. J. Scherer, D. D." Appendix 1 (pp. 41-51) in Goodridge Wilson, A Brief History of Marion College. Bristol, Tennessee: The King Printing Co., 1948. Recollections (rather than a diary) of a pre-Civil War Columbus minister and school teacher.

Seaholm, Ruth Thomas. A Prairie Girl Remembers: Growing Up in Texas. Edited by Sandra C. Thomas. Raleigh, North Carolina: N. p., 2006. 181 pages, with 10 pages of photographs. The author's reminiscences of her early life in and around Eagle Lake in the 1920s and 1930s, written in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
Call # TR S1 976.45


Statuten und Nebengetze der Content-Neu Bielau Gegenseitigen Unterstützungs-Gesellschaft. Bellville: Bellville Wochenblatt, 1897. 12 pages. Statutes and bylaws of the Content-New Bielau Mutual Support Society, which was organized on September 26, 1897 to insure its members against fire and lightning. In German.

Thomas, Sandra C. From the Plains to the Prairie: A Century in Texas: The G. E. Thomas Family A History. Raleigh, North Carolina: N. p., 2006. 145 pages, plus 13 pages of photographs. The author's foreword states, "This book has been written for the G. E. Thomas family and friends, and for the families of Armit and Annie Thomas. Its purpose is to capture the essence of the story of two young Welsh brothers and their lives..." The Thomas family lived on a farm near Lissie, and then in Eagle Lake. This book was prepared for and originally distributed at a family reunion.
Call # TR S1 976.45

Wade, Houston. David Wade A Texas Pioneer. La Grange: La Grange Journal, 1943. 33 pages. Wade family history with much on David Wade, one time sheriff of Colorado County.
Call # TR S4 976.49 FAYET

[Willrodt, Arthur James]. The Story of The Stafford Opera House. [1973]. 12 pages. Revised and reprinted under the title The Stafford Opera House A Prospectus for Heritage '76 "Meeting House" for the State of Texas, [1975]. A brief history of and restoration plans for the Stafford Opera House, with illustrations by Jean Du Bose.
Call # TR S1 976.44


Willrodt, Arthur James, Jean Du Bose, Ellis Glueck, Jr., and Lee Quinn Nesbitt. The Colorado County Courthouse An Historic Structure Report. [1979]. 116 pages. A well illustrated, architectural report on the history of the courthouse and the proposed renovation of it.
Call #: TR S1 976.43