Corpus Christi History before La Retama

by Jessica Brannon-Wranosky, 2004

 

The municipal history of Corpus Christi began when the village incorporated in 1852 and gained recognition from state legislators.  Citizens elected the town's first city council and immediately became the county seat.  These events marked the slow transformation of the community from an isolated and struggling settlement to a promising city by the middle of the Progressive Era.  A growing entrepreneurial class provided a new financial and social structure for the emerging market

 town by bringing businesses to the area, increasing trade, and networking with other regions. 

            

Prior to 1852, the fledgling seaside settlement had grown slowly. In 1845 after the Republic of Texas accepted the terms of annexation, General Zachary Taylor's troops, numbering almost 4,000

men, occupied the town to defend the area from Native American and foreign attacks.  Later Taylor and his men were reassigned to the Rio Grande River to protect the state and southern national border from Mexico.  Due to this evacuation which left the town almost deserted, the First Legislature of the State of Texas repealed the act which originally had incorporated Corpus Christi on April 25, 1846.

 

By 1854 Corpus Christi's population reached 1,200, up from 698 county residents in 1850, but devastation was only around the corner.  During that summer a ship docked in the small port

carrying tropical fruit.  Within hours, the citizens who boarded the vessel to buy the produce began showing signs of yellow fever. Although it is now known that mosquitoes hiding in the fruit carry

the plague, residents blamed rotted bananas for their symptoms.  A German immigrant, Maria Von Blucher, recorded the effects of the illness in a letter to her parents in Prussia:

    

                 This time you had to wait a while for news from us. 

               Unfortunately, illness has prevented me from writing. 

               For more than two months now I have been ill, some of the

               time in bed, some of the time up.  At first, I ran a high

               temperature, which receded after a week but left me feeling

              extremely weak.  Eight days after that…Mr. Büsse brought me

               the news that Dr. Turner and his eldest daughter had

               suddenly died of the yellow fever during the night.  I was

               on very friendly terms with the family, and Dr. Turner was

               my doctor!  Just as he told me that, I caught the fever….

               Yellow fever appeared in the streets where the water had no

               outlet, thus producing contagious matter….  The least

               exertion revives the fever, I never shiver or feel chilled

               before an attack.  I am already so weakened by this little

                   bit of writing that I must pause. [2]

            

By the following January, Blucher still experienced feverish spells but was among the lucky ones who survived the dreaded disease.  Yet the epidemic had spread, and by the time the yellow fever subsided, it had claimed the lives of over 300 people, a quarter of the  population.  This slowdown in mercantile, social, and population growth took a toll on Corpus Christi financially.  Deaths of

important citizens, like that of Blucher's doctor, left holes in the already weak community structure.  Furthermore, the shortage of fresh water until the end of the decade hindered the good health

and prosperous efforts of local citizens.  Surrounded by saltwater, Corpus Christians found little fresh water for drinking and washing, both preventive measures in disease control.[3]

            

Disease was not the only hardship that the seaside village had to overcome.  In 1862 Union naval forces began blockading its small port from all other Southern states.  One resident wrote about the

difficulties the occupation imposed:  “War now has completely cut us off from all communication with the outer world.  Gold and silver are things known only by names.  We have nothing but paper money that is valid only in the Confederacy.  Times are hard for all families.”  The Battle of Corpus Christi took place in August of 1862, and since there was no obvious defeat, both sides claimed

victory.  The area remained blockaded, and by the time Union troops arrived in the area in 1863, the starving citizens “offered allegiance in exchange for food and protection….The Union blockade, a

severe drought in 1863, and a frigid winter in 1864 brought almost total economic collapse and famine." [4]

            

By 1866 after the war was over, some economic promise returned to Corpus Christi.  A local woman remembered that seven merchants, one banker, and a few others set up new businesses that year. 

Furthermore, she stated, “Money was plentiful in those days.  Bags of silver and golden eagles were the medium of exchange.  Not paper money for the trader in that time.”  However, prosperity was

short-lived, for again in 1867, a banana boat from Mexico docked in Corpus Christi.  With it came the dreaded mosquito and yellow fever.  Before the plague subsided, over 300 lay  dead.  So many died that few were left to take care of the sick or dispose of the dead.  All three doctors caught the fever, including Dr. Eli T. Merriman who died of the disease.  Furthermore, most of the city council and

county officials perished.  Death tolls were so massive that timber, earmarked for construction of the new Presbyterian Church, was commandeered to build coffins.  The government quarantined the town,  which began the next year without a municipal government.[5]

            

By June of 1868, district military commander General A. D. McCook had filled municipal offices through appointment, but another obstacle appeared.  Efforts to dredge the  town’s ship channel had been under way when the fever struck.  Setbacks  slowed the work, which dragged on for years.  The lack of a deep-water port forced large ships to dock offshore and load all  cargo into smaller vessels.  This limited access to the town and caused less ship traffic to the coast.  Nevertheless, the citizens

 did not raise the issue again until 1871.  [6]

            

 Another setback, raids by Native Americans, seemed to stop prior to  the Civil War, but area communities, including Corpus Christi, still  endured attacks and robberies by gangs and cattle rustlers.   Citizens begged for government intervention at the state and  national levels, but little help came.  In fact, Texans knew the  area south of the Nueces River, including Corpus Christi, as the

 “dead line of sheriffs.”  Due to disease and almost unlivable  conditions, the town seemed drenched in death.  A contemporary  German immigrant saw the town as an ungovernable land, where

 “[bloodshed was] now so general […that] four or five murders a  week [was] no longer striking.  One grows accustomed to it all and  ceases to get excited about events of this kind."[7]

            

 In spite of the obstacles, though, slow population growth continued and a long awaited economic salvation appeared on the horizon.  By 1870 the local quarantine lifted, and traffic through Corpus  Christi to and from the Rio Grande Valley flourished.  The town’s population reached approximately 2,140, and by 1871 stage lines ran on a weekly basis.  Because of the growing importance of shipping to  the economy, businessmen revived efforts to dredge the ship channel. 

 In 1874 dredging deepened the channel to eight feet permitting large ships to pass through.  Additionally, the state legislature  introduced a bill incorporating the Corpus Christi and Rio Grande

 Railroad, which linked Corpus Christi and Rio Grande City to  San Antonio and Brownsville.  Consequently, Corpus Christi surfaced  as a vital exporter of South Texas cattle and sheep.  By "the 1880s  packing houses, stockyards, and markets for hides, tallow, and other  cattle by-products flourished."  Furthermore, local sheep produced more wool than in all areas between Nueces County and Mexico  combined.[8]

            

 Emigration from other states and immigration from Mexico, Ireland, and Germany continued to feed the town’s population, which  reached about 3,257 in 1880.  More businesses arrived, and the town

 included “three banks, a customhouse, railroad machine shops, an  ice factory, carriage factories, several hotels, Episcopal,  Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, and Baptist churches, and two

 newspapers, the Caller and the Critic.”  The local scene  continuously changed, and the area started to see the signs of  prosperity.[9]

            

 In addition to economic change, these additional business ventures   attracted new families to Corpus Christi.  Several formed a social  circle that proved essential in the success of the developing town.   Like Dallas in the Gilded Age, Corpus Christi developed a social hierarchy.  Beginning in 1853, a few families, including the Kings,  Klebergs, Driscolls, and Kenedys, established themselves through agricultural endeavors.  Corpus Christi resembled historian Patricia Hill’s description of contemporary Dallas:

                 One of the attractions [the city] held as a destination

               was its youth—allowing for the almost immediate incorporation

               into the city’s leadership of new arrivals who possessed

               moderate wealth.  Owning county land or a business in town

               proved to be a ticket to civic involvement.  The city’s early

               commercial elite consisted of downtown merchants and

               prosperous wheat and cotton producers who expanded their

               interests to include agricultural processing, financial

               services, and building construction.[10]

            

In Corpus Christi, residents like T. P. Rivera, a bookstore owner; Perry Doddridge, a merchant and founder of the city’s first bank; Charles Carroll, a builder and architect; S. W. Rankin, a grocer

and merchant; and G. R. Scott, an attorney, were among this group  of rising entrepreneurs.  Many served mayoral terms or as aldermen for the City of Corpus Christi.  Like the business class of

Houston at the time, this connection formed what sociologist Joe R. Feagin defined as “vigorous commitment to a laissez-faire, ‘free enterprise’ philosophy—one characterized by an intense

belief in economic growth, private property, private investment control, private profit, and government action tailored to business needs."[11]

            

 Additionally, this rising class spawned a number of social groups  from the early 1880s to the late 1890s, none of which proved  lasting.  The first recorded social club in Corpus Christi was the

Myrtle Club, established in 1883.  Before its first anniversary, the  Corpus Christi Caller reported that, “Its membership comprises many of the leading men of the city and county who take evident pride in  its success.”  This solely male club formed to study literature, and soon instituted clubrooms in the Doddridge and Davis Bank Building.  The group started with great enthusiasm, and the club met often.  A  store owner sold Myrtle Club Cigars, and members began to make plans  for a library.  The club roster included influential early citizens  such as bookstore owner and alderman, T. P. Rivera; banker and  alderman, Perry Doddridge; builder, architect, and alderman, Charles Carroll; grocer and alderman, George French; physician and photographer, W. W. McGregor; merchant and grocer, S. W. Rankin; and attorney, G. R. Scott.[12]

            

Early in 1884 the Myrtle Club began to practice “Ladies Day,” which allowed women into their clubrooms for four days out of each month.  Interest declined, and by late 1884, the club that had met “fortnightly,” only gathered semi-annually.  Nevertheless, the addition of women to club activities proved fortuitous because within the next few months, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Club grew

from the Myrtle Club’s members and their wives.[13]

            

The Holmes Club, established in early 1885 as a literary society, flourished through 1887.  This group of men and women met weekly to discuss contemporary and classical literature, poetry, and music.  Eventually, from the members of the Holmes Club, a new organization, the Fortnightly Circle, which held its first meeting on December 14, 1893, arose.  Among its original members were socially prominent citizens:  Mr. and Mrs. G. R. Scott, Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Rankin, Mr. and Mrs. Kenedy, Dr. and Mrs. Redmond, Mrs. I. Westervelt, and Mr. G. W. Westervelt.[14]

            

After some time the members began studying works by such notables as William Shakespeare and Oliver Wendell Holmes.  Unfortunately, the last meeting of the club, a mere six months after the first on May 25,1894, was recorded with no explanation of its disbanding.  The town’s literary activity seemed to wane for a couple of years.  This trend of unstable social clubs changed in 1897, though, with personal invitations sent out to select women by Ella Dickinson Scott for the first meeting of the Woman’s Monday Club.[15]

            

The simultaneous growth of Corpus Christi’s social class by the late 1890s and the increase in literary women’s clubs nationwide combined to provide the ideal environment for the creation of the

Woman’s Monday Club.  During the early years of the town, citizens had to work so hard for individual survival that they could not expend the effort needed for a cohesive and service-minded

community.  Furthermore, before 1870 the small population an “island community” made up of individuals.  Yet as the growth of the 1870s and 1880s continued, Corpus Christi became more like

communities nationwide: “more people clustered into smaller spaces, [and] it became harder to isolate the individual.”  There was a need for a centralized power to act for the best interests

of the whole.  Unfortunately, the municipal government of Corpus Christi was not prepared or willing to make this change.  These events marked the beginnings of the Woman’s Monday Club,

and then that of their daughters' club, La Retama Club of Corpus Christi.  Neither appropriate nor viable before, the leisure literary club of the local social elite soon recognized, often with the help of the Texas and General Federations, the inability of existing public services to meet the need of the

community.[16]

            

The first woman’s social club in Corpus Christi, the Woman’s Monday Club, held its inaugural meeting on February 15, 1897, at the home of Ella Dickinson Scott.  The charter members present that night were socialites:  Mrs. Fannie B. Southgate, Mrs. Alfred Heaney, Miss Henrietta Mallory, Mrs. David Hirsch, Mrs. Henderson, Mrs. G. W. Westervelt, Mrs. Ida Durand Redmond,

Mrs. Ella Dickinson Scott, and Mrs. Christie, a woman visiting Mrs. Henderson.  Like the Texas Federation and its predecessor, the Fortnightly Circle, the club’s original purpose was literary

discussion.[17]

            

The clubwomen studied subject matter that included literary classics, history, contemporary social discussions, science, culture, and social sciences.  Each clubwoman provided a lesson

which she researched thoroughly.  Finally, the clubwomen interacted at the club meetings regarding the research.  They discovered that their daily activities, both study and home-related, helped them become active and responsible members of society as opposed to inactive observers.[18]

            

In 1899 local, state, and national federations reported a trend away from an exclusively literary focus.  Clubs attending Sorosis’ convention that year reported, “Library and school work,

scholarships, and many other programs were [being] initiated at the local level.”  That same year the Texas Federation adopted a new constitution which reflected similar evolution to that of the

Woman’s Monday Club.  In order to reflect the changes that occurred since its first annual meeting a year before, the Texas Federation’s new constitution [struck] out the limiting word ‘literary’ from the name, which thence forth reads ‘The Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs’ [and provided] in addition to public libraries, departments of household economics and sanitary science, reciprocity, education, music, art, history, literature and lecture, village improvement, and club extension,

each with a standing committee.[19]

            

That same year the Woman’s Monday Club simultaneously began federating through the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs and discussing their first civic effort, the construction of a public

library in Corpus Christi.  The Woman’s Monday Club’s historical studies of Thomas Jefferson’s writings about George Washington changed to consideration of current events.  At the May 1, 1899,

meeting, select members delivered lessons on topics of contemporary interest. As a result, the meeting’s minutes state that, Southgate “read a letter relative to public libraries and made a little talk

about the same subject."[20]

            

It is not surprising that the literary clubwomen converted their study into early action concerning public education through schools and libraries.  Literary clubs did not have to look far to

see the lack of public access to books and education.  Often, clubwomen amassed personal collections of texts for their required research.  In turn, these collections became the first public

libraries.  This change from private to public was a culmination of multiple issues from various sources.  First, in April, 1898, at the Texas Federation’s first annual meeting, the clubwomen present focused much of their attention on the subject of public and traveling libraries.  Dallas clubwoman and second president of the state federation, Mrs. J. C. Terrell, presented the resolution that earned her the name, “Mother of Texas Libraries.”  The resolution included, “1.  That the establishment of Public Free Libraries in Texas be adopted as the work of the Federation.  2. That the president appoint a library committee of five as a standing committee….”  In addition, 11 clubs reported their own libraries at the meeting.[21]

            

Another source of fundraising involved financial grants from Andrew Carnegie, earmarked for construction of free public libraries.  On May 29, Southgate advised ...“that each member

should think the matter over and feel that they are a committee of one [and] to act as thus.”  She took her own advice and initiated correspondence with Andrew Carnegie regarding funds for a Carnegie Library in Corpus Christi.  Subsequently, the women planned a lawn party for July 20 to raise funds.[22]

            

At their meeting on July 28, the club reported a total of $40 raised by the lawn party.  Although, there was $14.75 of expenses, the women had $26.25 to start their library fund.  The additional

responsibility of handling money and keeping up with expenses required the addition of the new office.  The members elected Hirsch as treasurer.  By October of that year, The Corpus Christi Times reported that, “The Monday Club will meet with Mrs. J. S. McCampbell next Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.…  The programme for the coming season to be arranged and library work fully discussed.”  By February 27, 1900, though, the minutes report that the club returned collected subscriptions to the parties that donated to the library work, but that the women “would not give up on the cause entirely.”  The minutes give few details about fundraising efforts by the Woman’s Monday Club after the lawn party, but club members and Corpus Christi long remembered their efforts.[23]

            

A short club history, written in 1936 by then Monday Club president Mary Eloise Donnell de Garmo, read in part:

               Mrs. Fannie Butler Southgate, a charter member, launched the

               movement for a Public Carnegie Library in 1899.  It resulted

               in a correspondence with Andrew Carnegie.  Efforts were put

               forth to secure the amount necessary to receive a like

               amount from Carnegie.  Lawn parties were held, members

               solicited subscriptions from public-spirited citizens, but

               after accumulating the vast sum of a couple hundred dollars,

               the women became discouraged, returned the subscriptions to

               donors, and launched their efforts in other directions.

The efforts of the club to form a Carnegie Public Library ended in 1900 without success.  The city never saw the addition of a Carnegie Public Library, but the next year the Woman’s Monday Club began the project of obtaining books for public school children.[24]

            

During its first decade and a half, important civic projects put forth by the Woman’s Monday Club in Corpus Christi included extensive improvements at Artesian Park; purchase of a

piano for the public schools; establishing a ‘story hour’ for young children; promoting summer concerts for evenings at Artesian Park; attempting to build a Carnegie Library, and later co-operating with the La Retama Public Library…  [and building the]  Ladies Pavilion.[25]

            

In February of 1905, the Woman’s Monday Club began a music club.  About 35 women enrolled and convened the first meeting at Ida Redmond’s home on February 17, 1905.  Many Woman’s Monday Club members held dual memberships.  In the fall of that same year, Lorine and Kathleen Jones, daughters of Woman’s Monday Club member, Lou Ella Jones; Lucille Scott, daughter of Woman’s Monday Club president Ella Scott; and their friend, Alice Borden, approached their mother’s club hoping to begin an organization for themselves and their unmarried friends.  Its young members soon named the club La Retama, after a locally indigenous tree that produces yellow flowers.  At their May 14, 1906, meeting, the Woman’s Monday Club voted to form a literary group for their daughters “adjunct to the Monday Club.”  La Retama, then, joined the Texas Federation at their annual meeting on November 21, 1906.  The young ladies met often to discuss literature and other study topics, but soon expanded their concerns to civic reform and municipal support, just like their mothers’ club.  La Retama’s activities included planting trees in honor of Arbor Day in 1908.  La Retama finally fulfilled

the dreams of Corpus Christi clubwomen when they opened the doors to the city’s first public library, La Retama Library, in 1909.[26]

Jessica Brannon-Wranosky

 

Notes


[1] “Mayors and Council Members” in Miscellaneous Information Notebook at the reference desk, Local History and Genealogy Room, Corpus Christi Central Public Library, Corpus Christi, Texas; Briscoe, A Narrative History, 215-237; Maria von Blucher, Maria von Blucher’s Corpus Christi: Letters from the South Texas Frontier, 1849-1879, ed. Bruce Cheeseman (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2002), 38-39; “Corpus Christi, Texas.”  The Handbook of Texas Online; available from http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/CC/hdc3.html; Internet; accessed 23 Mar 2004.

[2] U. S. Seventh Census, 1850, Texas, Nueces County, vol. 2 (Bureau of Census, Washington, D. C., Microfilm copy); Briscoe, City by the Sea, 154; Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide 1956-57 (Galveston, Texas:  A. H. Belo & Company, 1957), 137; Blucher, 38, 88-89; “Corpus Christi, Texas.” The Handbook of Texas Online.

Maria and Felix von Blucher were among the first pioneers to settle in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Highly regarded and moderately financially successful, the couple came to the area in 1849 and lived there until their deaths in 1893 and 1879, respectfully.  During this period, Maria maintained consistent correspondence with her parents in Prussia.  These letters are in the archives at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and are a very rare glimpse into the early years of Corpus Christi.  Maria von Blucher continues to be regarded as an important part of the area’s history.

[3] Blucher, 90; Briscoe, City by the Sea, 154.

[4] Blucher, 120-121, 129.

[5] Vivienne Heines, Historic Corpus Christi:  A Sesquicentennial History (San Antonio, Texas: Historical Publishing Network, 2002) 13-14; Mrs. Mary A. Sutherland, The Story of Corpus Christ, ed. Frank B. Harrison (Houston: Rein and Sons Company, 1916), 32, 137; Briscoe, City by the Sea, 257, 265.

[6] Briscoe, City by the Sea, 258, 269; “Corpus Christi, Texas.” The Handbook of Texas Online.

[7] Blucher, 167; Briscoe, City by the Sea, 267, 269; Briscoe, A Narrative History, 472.

The Nueces County News (Corpus Christi, Texas) 14 July 1939.

[8] “Corpus Christi, Texas.”  The Handbook of Texas Online; Briscoe, City by the Sea, 268; Texas Almanac, 137.

[9] Texas Almanac, 137; “Corpus Christi, Texas.”  The Handbook of Texas Online; Briscoe, 267-269, 281; Alan Lessoff, “Corpus Christi:  A Regional City for South Texas,” Tombstone  15 (1996): 61-63.

[10] Patricia Everidge Hill, Dallas: The Making of an a Modern City (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), 1.

[11] Minutes, Vol. C, City of Corpus Christi: City Secretary’s Office, Corpus Christi City Hall, Corpus Christi, Texas; Minutes, Vol. D, City of Corpus Christi.  The Corpus Christi Caller (Corpus Christi, Texas) 30 September 1883, 14 October 1883, 4 November 1883, 17 February 1884, 18 May 1884, 30 May 1884, 19 October 1884, 23 November 1884, 15 November 1885, 16 February 1887; Joe R. Feagin, Free Enterprise City:  Houston in Political and Economic Perspective (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988), 108; WMC Minutes item 1.01, 1.

[12] A social club is defined as one in which discussion was fed by a social atmosphere.  This is in lieu of many of the clubs that developed in Corpus Christi during and before this time for religious or sports related reasons. The Corpus Christi Caller (Corpus Christi, Texas) 30 September 1883, 14 October 1883, 4 November 1883, 18 May 1884.

The Myrtle Club membership is a significant list on those men that Corpus Christians consider very important to local history.  In addition, the list includes many of the husbands of the members of the Woman’s Monday Club.

[13] Corpus Christi Caller (Corpus Christi, Texas) 17 February 1884, 18 May 1884, 30 May 1884, 19 October 1884, 23 November 1884, 15 November 1885.

The last real mention of The Myrtle Club is in a memoriam article in the Corpus Christi Caller in January of 1887 on behalf of the death of member John S. Givens and is signed by “committee” comprised of P. Doddridge, G. R. Scott, G. W. Westervelt, D. McNeill Turner and Thomas Hickey.

[14] Issues of the Corpus Christi Caller from 1886-1887.  The assumption that The Fortnightly Circle arose from The Holmes Club is due to the two clubs shared multiple members in common,  at the time of the inception of The Fortnightly Circle, there is no mention of The Holmes Club and the first president of The Fortnightly Circle was a former president of The Holmes Club, Mr. S. W. Rankin.  Corpus Christi Caller (Corpus Christi, Texas), 16 February 1887.

WMC Minutes item 1.01, 1.  Unfortunately, it may be impossible to ever gain a complete list of members.  Because this book was used as the first minutes book of the Woman's Monday Club, newspaper articles about both organizations were glued over half of the members list.

[15] Hill, 1; Minutes, vol. C, City of Corpus Christi: City Secretary’s Office, Corpus Christi City Hall, Corpus Christi, Texas; Minutes, vol. D, City of Corpus Christi.  The Corpus Christi Caller (Corpus Christi, Texas) 30 September 1883, 14 October 1883, 4 November 1883, 17 February 1884, 18 May 1884, 30 May 1884, 19 October 1884, 23 November 1884, 15 November 1885, 16 February 1887; Joe R. Feagin, Free Enterprise City:  Houston in Political and Economic Perspective (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988), 108; Woman’s Clubs Collection:  Collection 1 Woman’s Monday Club, Special Collection and Archives, Corpus Christi Public Library, Corpus Christi, Texas.  Hereinafter referred to as WMC.  WMC Minutes item 1.01, 1, 24.

Before the discussion of the Woman’s Monday Club in this thesis, I used the married names of women only because their husbands usually defined their public presence, and references to them were by Mrs. so and so.  Furthermore, I will, from this point on when possible, refer to club members by their given names.  When their first names can not be found, I will use Mrs. so and so.  This change in name usage stems from the idea that by inaugurating and joining the Woman’s Monday Club, the women took a step for themselves and their community, not just as extensions of their husbands.  

[16] For discussion of this centralizing trend, see Samuel P. Hays, “Preface to the Atheneum Edition,” Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Movement 1890-1920 (New York: Atheneum Press, 1979); for more information regarding “island communities,” see Robert H. Wiebe, A Search for Order:  1877-1920 (New York:  Hill and Wang, 1967), 133, 44-75.

[17] There is a three-year gap in the minutes book, the first minutes book of the Woman’s Monday Club is one in the same with the only minutes book from the Fortnightly Circle, from the last recorded minutes of the Fortnightly Circle in 1894 and the first meeting of the Woman’s Monday Club in 1897.  WMC item 1.01, 24; WMC Scrapbook #1 (1897-1949): 37. 

[18] Ibid.

[19] Blair, 98; Dallas News (Dallas, Texas) 22 November 1903.

[20] Individual/Family Papers Collection: Collection 10 Mary Eloise Donnell (Mrs. Frank) De Garmo, Special Collection and Archives, Corpus Christi Public Library, Corpus Christi, Texas.  Hereinafter referred to as de Garmo Papers. De Garmo Papers, Box 2: Woman’s Monday Club History; WMC item 1.01, 31-33.

[21] McArthur, 76; Christian 25, 28-30.

[22] WMC, item 1.01, 34, 33, 36-37; For descriptions on Carnegie Library Grants see Robert Sidney Martin, Carnegie Denied: Communities Rejecting Carnegie Library Construction Grants, 1898-1925, Beta Phi Mu Monograph Series (Westport, Conn.:  Greenwood Press, 1993).

[23] WMC, item 1.01, 38; The Corpus Christi Times 15 October 1899; WMC, item 1.01, 43.

[24] De Garmo Papers, Box 2: Woman’s Monday Club History; WMC Scrapbook #1 (1897-1949), 37. 

[25] The Corpus Christi Caller (3 March 1944).

[26] WMC item 1.02, 24-25, 86; Christian, 158; for further information regarding La Retama see Richard Charles Gillespie, “La Retama Public Library:  Its Origin and Development, 1909-1952” (MLS thesis, The University of Texas, 1953); La Retama Club Papers, Collection and Archives, Corpus Christi Public Library, Corpus Christi, Texas.


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