Nesbitt Memorial Library
July 17, 2013
Compilation and commentary by Bill Stein through 2008. No other titles have been added to this list since then but a more complete list of Colorado County related items can be generated by using our catalog, or by searching our online collections.
Call numbers or other locators for several entries were added to this bibliography in 2013. "Call #" indicates an item on the main library catalog system. "GA" refers to the General Archives collection, and "Bill Stein" the Bill Stein Collection in the vault, followed by the box label and file number. The locations of starred entries are being researched. Several entries need no other locator; they refer to titles in the Bill Stein Texas Room, including: Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Texana, Stirpes, Colorado County newspapers and several Texas magazine titles.
Section 1 - Books and Pamphlets
Section 2 - Articles
Section 3 - Dissertations and Theses
Section 4 - Privately Circulated Manuscripts Held in Public Collections
Section 5 - Business History Books and Pamphlets
Section 6 - Church History Books and Pamphlets
Section 7 - Speeches, Poetry, and Fiction
Section 8 - Genealogy Books and Articles
Section 1 - Books and Pamphlets
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
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.
|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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
[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.
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.
Constitution of the Columbus Cemetery
Association Adopted November 27, 1890. Columbus: Colorado Citizen, 1890.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Kerr, Rita. Texas Rose. Austin: Eakin
Press, 1986. 64 pages. Biography of Dilue Rose Harris, written for children.
McCormick, Ralph D. A Prairie Kid Grows
Up. Bryan: Ralph D. McCormick Publications, 1980. 114 pages. Colorful,
cheerful recollections of childhood near Eagle Lake.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
[Willrodt, Arthur James]. The Story of The Stafford Opera
House. . 12 pages. Revised and reprinted under the title The
Stafford Opera House A Prospectus for Heritage '76 "Meeting House" for the
State of Texas, . A brief history of and restoration plans for the
Stafford Opera House, with illustrations by Jean Du Bose.
Willrodt, Arthur James, Jean Du Bose, Ellis
Glueck, Jr., and Lee Quinn Nesbitt. The Colorado County Courthouse An
Historic Structure Report. . 116 pages. A well illustrated,
architectural report on the history of the courthouse and the proposed
renovation of it.
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