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General John A. Hulen papers

John A. Hulen:

An Inventory of the General John A. Hulen Papers at the Texas State Archives


Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials
Signal Corps Photo. Boy fishing from bridge with troops, Bayell, France

Signal Corps Photo. Boy fishing from bridge with troops, Bayell, France


Creator: Hulen, John A. (John Augustus), 1871-1957.
Title: General John A. Hulen papers
Dates: 1887-1960, undated
Abstract: Papers documenting the military career and life of Brigadier General John A. Hulen, who commanded the 72nd Infantry Brigade (1917-1919) and the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard (1922-1935), consist of correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks, dating 1887-1960, undated. The correspondence mainly relates to recruitment activities in 1917 and includes letters and other documents. Photographs cover most of General Hulen’s life, from his years in military school in the late 1880s to his retirement in the 1950s. Photographs from the 36th Division begin with the First World War and extend to 1960 and document military training, camp life, and early airplanes. Also present are aerial photos and official portraits of military personnel in the interwar period. The scrapbooks contain photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, telegrams, and printed materials that cover the course of General Hulen’s military career, from 1887 to 1948.
Quantity: 9.14 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: The preparation and digitization of this collection for online public access was funded in full or in part with a Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. § 9121) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Other Formats for the Papers

A description of original papers referenced in this finding aid, including those not digitized, is available at

Organization of the Papers

The papers are organized according to record type into three series with 17 subgroups:

Biographical Sketch

Hulen in uniform standing in front of car, Marne, France

Hulen in uniform standing in front of car, Marne, France

General John Augustus Hulen was born in Centralia, Missouri on September 9, 1871, to Harvey and Fanny Morter Hulen. His family moved to Gainesville, Texas when he was two years old, where he attended public school before enrolling in Virginia’s Staunton Military Academy in 1887. He subsequently attended the Marmaduke Military Academy in Missouri, from which he graduated in 1891. During this time, he joined Company G of the Third Texas Volunteer Infantry, known as the “Gainesville Rifles,” as a private in 1887. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in 1889 and promoted to captain in 1893.

After graduation from Marmaduke, Hulen returned to Gainesville to go into business with his father, where he began selling real estate and insurance. On Valentine’s Day 1893 he married a local girl, Frankie L. Race. They would not have any children. He became a railroad executive in 1896 but was frequently called away from his work due to military service. He held many different positions for local railroads, including serving as city passenger agent in Houston, then general freight and passenger agent. He worked his way up to the position of president of the Galveston Terminal Railway, the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway, the Burlington-Rock Island Railroad, and the Houston Belt and Terminal Railroad. He also served as president of the Railway Managers Association of Texas. Hulen was involved in banking and served as a director of both the Fort Worth National Bank and the Second National Bank of Houston.

Although he had a successful career in the rail industry, the majority of Hulen’s adult life was spent in military service. He was the commander of Troop D in the First Texas Volunteer Cavalry until 1898, when he was sent to the Spanish-American War as a brevet lieutenant colonel. He fought Philippine insurrectionists for two years in the jungle of northern Luzon as a captain for the 33rd United States Volunteer Infantry. As a result of his service there, he won the Silver Star. Governor Samuel Lanham promoted him to brigadier general when he returned to Texas in 1901. He retired from the position in 1907 but was recalled to service in 1916. From 1916 to 1917 General Hulen patrolled the Texas-Mexico border as commander of the Sixth Separate Brigade. In 1917, he was sent to Austin to assist in the reorganization of the state militia into the 36th Infantry Division. During World War I, he commanded the division’s 72nd Brigade, winning the Distinguished Service Medal and twice being awarded the Croix de Guerre. He was appointed major general of the Texas National Guard in 1920 and commander of the 36th Infantry Division in 1922. He held this last position until his retirement in 1935, upon which Governor James Allred promoted him to the militia’s highest rank of lieutenant general.

While his military career was winding down, Hulen began to take on other duties, including becoming a director of Texas Tech University (then Texas Technical College) from 1931 to 1937. He was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1932 and was appointed regional salvage manager of the War Production Board by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.

Throughout his life, Hulen considered himself a Democrat and an Episcopalian and was a member of the Masons, Shriners, and Knights of Pythias. He died on September 14, 1957 in Palacios, Texas, near the military camp that had been named in his honor.

(Sources include: Jimmy M. Skaggs, “John Augustus Hulen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2016; and “Gen. John Hulen, 86, Dies at Home,” Houston Post, September 15, 1957.)

Scope and Content of the Papers

National Guard Mobilization Camp, San Antonio, Texas, taken from aeroplane flown by Miss Marjorie Stinson (aerial view of camp)

National Guard Mobilization Camp, San Antonio, Texas, taken from aeroplane flown by Miss Marjorie Stinson (aerial view of camp)

Brigadier General John A. Hulen began his military career in the Spanish-American War and later commanded the 72nd Infantry Brigade (1917-1919) and the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard (1922-1935), providing military leadership for the state and nation. The General John A. Hulen papers consist of correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks, spanning the years 1887-1960 and offering a detailed view into military life in the first half of the 20th century, along with glimpses of civilian life. Events featured are the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, military training and military weapons in the early 20th century, aviation, and railroads.

Correspondence is comprised of incoming and outgoing letters, telegrams, and recruiting cards, dating from June 13 to July 30, 1917 and relating to the recruitment of soldiers for the Texas National Guard during the First World War. In addition to correspondence from General John A. Hulen, other officials mentioned include Texas Adjutant General Henry Hutchings and Governor James E. Ferguson. Also appearing are letters of recommendation in support of individuals who were interested in joining the Texas National Guard, completed application forms from soldier candidates, and letters of instruction to local officials regarding recruitment and registration.

Approximately 1063 photographs collected by Hulen detail military and civilian life from 1889 to 1960. They document Hulen’s time as a cadet, his early military service in the Spanish-American War, military training leading up to World War I, the front lines in France in World War I, military training and camp life in the interwar period, early military planes and aerial photos, official portraits of military personnel, military weapons and equipment from the years immediately following World War II, events from the 36th Division, the front lines in Japan in World War II, European and American postcards from 1919, railroad exhibitions, banquets for the 36th Division and the railroad industry, Hulen’s vacations, and greeting cards.

Nine scrapbooks, dating 1887-1948, contain photographs and newspaper clippings that chronicle Hulen’s civilian life and his military career and achievements, from his years as a cadet until his retirement in 1935. One scrapbook includes portraits of General Hulen and approximately forty-five portrait photographs of gentlemen who were Hulen’s business associates and other acquaintances. A few are identified: U.S. Senators Tom Connally and Charles A. Culberson, Vice President John N. Garner, and President Woodrow Wilson. The second scrapbook contains a photograph from 1899, which depicts the officers from the 33rd Infantry in camp at the Presidio, San Francisco, California. Later photographs were taken at Camp Scurry in Corpus Christi, Texas, and show tents and artillery reviews. One photograph, dated March 4, 1917, shows General John Joseph Pershing inspecting the troops. The third scrapbook consists of photographs and newspaper clippings that span General Hulen’s military career, including activities in the Spanish-American War and daily life at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. Some clippings trace the brigade’s movement through France. There are photographs of General Hulen’s staff, in addition to clippings that describe his homecoming and citations that he received for bravery and gallantry.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Use
Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished manuscripts are protected at a minimum through December 31, 2002 or 70 years after the author’s death. Researchers are responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements
Researchers are required to wear gloves provided by the Archives when reviewing photographic materials.

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Clarence Lincoln and Nellie Donnan Test papers, 1776-1961, bulk 1894-1961, 2.36 cubic ft.
Frank S. Tillman collection, 1915-1939 and undated, 0.94 cubic ft.
Frank Tillman photograph collection, about 1914-1940s, 17.5 cubic ft. (about 3200 photographs) [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 1/142.]
Robert Wagner collection of 36th Division materials, [1922?], 1936-1938, 1940-1971, [1975?], bulk 1942-1945, 7.75 cubic ft., 2 audio tapes, 90 maps in the Historical Map Archive, and 80 photographs and 26 negatives in the Prints and Photographs Collection
Texas Adjutant General’s Department, Texas National Guard military rolls, 1902-1913, 1915, 1917, 1935, undated, 9.21 cubic ft.
Texas Adjutant General’s Department, Texas Volunteers (Spanish-American War) records, 1898-1904, bulk 1898-1901, 3.97 cubic ft.
Thirty-Sixth Division Association papers, 1857-1964 and [19–], 13 ft., 2 in. [There is no finding aid for these papers. Call numbers are 2-22/803 thru 836, 2-7/1336 thru 1343, 1349, 2-22L/14.]
Texas Tech University, Southwest Collection
John A. Hulen Papers, 1908-1971 and undated, 0.07 cubic ft.
Texas National Guard Records, 1900-1964, 7 cubic ft.
National Archives and Records Administration
American Unofficial Collection of World War I Photographs, 1917-1918, 260 linear feet, 6 linear inches
United States. War Department. General Staff. Catalogue of Official A.E.F. Photographs. Washington: Govt. print. off, 1919.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the series), General John A. Hulen papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession number: 1972/115
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Thirty-Sixth Division Association on March 15, 1972.

Processing Information
Collection initially processed by staff archivists in the 1970s
DACS-compliant finding aid and XML markup by Kristin Law and Kristen Marx, students from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Information, spring 2012
Additions to scrapbook series, relocation of oversized prints and photographs, and edits to description by Rebecca Romanchuk, May 2016
Item level photograph titles added by Halley Grogan, February 2017

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