William Deming Hornaday photograph collection
William Deming Hornaday:
An Inventory of the William Deming Hornaday Photograph Collection at the Texas State Archives
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Creator: Hornaday, W. D., 1868-1942
Title: William Deming Hornaday photograph collection
Dates: about 1890-about 1940, undated
Abstract: This collection consists of photographs, photographic postcards, photoengravings and negatives amassed by William Deming Hornaday (1868-1942) to accompany the various articles written in his capacity as a journalist and Director of Publicity for the University of Texas. The images were created by a variety of photographers, the names of whom are mostly unknown. Dates covered are about 1890-about 1940, undated. The photographs depict notable people, places, and events across Texas. The collection also portrays a variety of locations outside the contiguous United States, most notably Mexico, Australia, China, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and Hawaii. Subjects covered include agriculture, bridges, cattle, cityscapes, dwellings, factories, harbors, hunting, hydraulic structures, irrigation farming, landscape, military bases and personnel, mineral industries, the petroleum industry, physical geography, politicians, public buildings, railroads, ranches, and the wool industry.
Quantity: 15.8 cubic ft. (about 5,818 items)
Language: These materials are written predominately in English and Spanish throughout.
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.
Other Formats for the Collection
A description of non-electronic records described in this finding aid are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/60011/tsl-60011.html.
Organization of the Collection
The images are arranged as received, under approximately 283 headings determined by subject matter, location, or format. These headings are ordered alphabetically. The supplementary images are separately arranged under the same system of alphabetical headings as the main collection.
William Deming Hornaday was born near Plainfield, Indiana, on February 4, 1868. He demonstrated an early interest in journalism and contributed anonymous items to local county newspapers from a young age. As a teenager, Hornaday began selling articles to a series of newspapers across the Midwest and West, including the Fowler (Indiana) New Era, the Columbus (Ohio) Republican, the Denver Times, the San Antonio Times, and the Memphis (Tennessee) Commercial Appeal. Hornaday moved to Texas in 1889 and found a position as city editor for the San Antonio Express from 1891 to 1895. He would later rejoin the staff of the Express as the paper’s Austin correspondent for political and legislative matters from 1899 to 1917. In 1891, Hornaday married Marjorie Rochow, with whom he would have four children.
In 1895, Hornaday began an extended connection with Mexico, initially by editing and publishing the Industrial Journal, a trade newspaper printed in English and Spanish and distributed from Mexico City. He also served as the publicity director for the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (National Railways of Mexico), an important government-run railroad running from Mexico City to the cities of Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juárez on the U.S. border. These associations established Hornaday’s reputation among publishers as an expert on Mexican business and politics, and he wrote hundreds of articles on the subject for a number of newspapers and trade journals. At the onset of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, he served as a war correspondent for a syndicate of U.S. newspapers. In this capacity, Hornaday interviewed several of the conflict’s seminal figures, including Francisco “Pancho” Villa, Porfirio Diaz, and Emiliano Zapata.
By 1917, Hornaday secured a position with the University of Texas as the director of public lectures and publicity (changed in 1921 to director of publicity). Much of this job entailed publicizing university programs, projects, and employees through the state and national press, usually via press releases and news articles furnished by Hornaday’s office. During 1938, for example, the publicity office distributed approximately 80,000 column inches to a variety of newspaper publications in Texas alone. Hornaday’s most famous article was a 1923 piece adapted from a scientific bulletin from the University of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology, which publicized potential oil deposits under university-owned lands in West Texas and ultimately resulted in the development of the highly profitable Big Lake oilfield. He would serve the university in this position for 21 years. In addition, Hornaday was a lecturer for the Department of Journalism from 1917 to 1935. Hornaday also founded and managed the Student’s Clipping Bureau, a newspaper article aggregation service that employed female students.
Throughout his career with the University, Hornaday continued to publish articles with newspaper outlets across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He also published more technical pieces with specialized journals such as Technical World, Moody’s Magazine, and the Tractor and Gas Engine Review. The articles spanned a variety of subjects but most often concerned themes of agriculture, scientific or technological innovation, commerce, and international conditions. A number of articles resulted from his extensive international travels to Europe, East Asia, and the Pacific Islands, which included two world tours in 1913 and 1921-1922.
After retiring from the University of Texas in 1938, Hornaday continued to publish articles and travel. In December 1942, he suffered a stroke and died in his Austin home.
(Sources: Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth. “Hornaday, William Deming,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 11, 2017; Steussy, Nella Mae. “W.D. Hornaday first told the world about the U.T.’s oil.” Daily Texan, October 8, 1939.)
Scope and Content of the Collection
The William Deming Hornaday photograph collection consists of about 5,818 photographs, photographic postcards, photoengravings and negatives amassed by William Deming Hornaday to accompany the various articles written in his capacity as a journalist and Director of Publicity for the University of Texas. The images were created by a variety of photographers, the names of whom are mostly unknown. Dates covered are about 1890-about 1940, undated.
The photographs depict notable people, places, and events from sites across Texas, particularly Brownsville, El Paso, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley. Political, commercial, and military conditions prevalent in Mexico are also a particular focus, especially under the regime of Porfirio Diaz (1884-1911) and during the early years of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). The collection portrays a variety of other locations outside the contiguous United States, most notably Australia, China, New Zealand, Fiji, Sri Lanka, and Hawaii. Subjects covered include aboriginal Australians, agriculture, bridges, cattle, cityscapes, dwellings, factories, harbors, hunting, hydraulic structures, irrigation farming, landscape, military bases and personnel, mineral industries, the petroleum industry, physical geography, pineapples, politicians, public buildings, railroads, ranches, Mexican revolutionaries, wheat, and the wool industry. Photographs of notable people are also present, including William Jennings Bryan, Charles Goodnight, Henrietta King, and Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker (Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker). A number of supporting letters, newspaper clippings, and other supporting documents are included in the folders with corresponding photographs. The collection also contains 251 camera original glass plate negatives, 192 of which depicted images not found elsewhere in the collection. These negatives were developed and accessioned separately in 1976. The majority of the image captions were provided with the prints.
Restrictions and Requirements
Restrictions on Access
Paper materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Restrictions on Use
Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished works are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. The term of copyright for published material varies. Researchers are responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
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.
(Identify the item), William Deming Hornaday photograph collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1975/070, 1976/031
The entire William Deming Hornaday collection of typescript World War I letters and personal accounts along with photographic materials was donated to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Joe Hornaday on February 19, 1975. The negatives attached to the accession were developed, and the resulting photographic prints were accessioned as 1976/031 in October 14, 1975.
Initial inventory created by Jean Young and Eddie Williams, about 1975
DACS-compliant EAD finding aid prepared by Jonathan King, July 2013
Item level description and Texas Digital Archive link added by Halley Grogan, April 2017