Oral History Collection

MAIN ENTRY: Holden, William Curry
DATE OF INTERVIEW: April 30, 1957; November 29, December 15, 18, 1967; January 8, May 3, 6 and 13, 1968; March and June 23, 1970; October 4, 1976; May 25, 1982
INTERVIEWER: Speech, Jimmy M. Skaggs, Susie Pearce, Mary C. Brewer, Lolana Thompson
LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 20 hours, 35 minutes (total)
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: Tape 1: Speech on Spanish Influence. Tapes 2-16: Dr. Holden reviews his early life, family and career, his years and associations at Texas Tech, his many contributions and activities there, his adobe home in Lubbock, and prominent associates, including Dr. Clifford B. Jones.
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: (4/30/1957) Speech on "Spanish Influence on the Southwest"
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO: (4/30/1957) "Spanish Influence" (continued)
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: (11/29/1967 & 12/15/1967) Characterizes his mother
Presents his maternal genealogy
Summarizes his paternal lineage
Born in Limestone County, Texas (1896)
Describes moved to Colorado City
Recalls early childhood events
Father and mother bought land in Mitchell County
Father’s carpentry and school teaching discussed
Early schooling
Moved to Fisher County (1906)
Railroad built through McCaulley
Remembers Carl Coke Rister at school
Rotan School and son of Don Biggers recalled
Brothers Tom and Harral discussed
Entered the University of Texas (1920)
Obtained teacher’s certificate at Stamford College
First teaching position described
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO: (11/29/1967 & 12/15/1967) Remembers the dawn to dusk activities at first school
First meeting with Rupert N. Richardson
Military service recalled
Ran for state legislature against R. M. Chitwood
Undergraduate years at the University of Texas
Marvin Whyburn was roommate
Offered job at McMurry College
Reasons for majoring in history
Discusses three influential teachers
W. E. Dodd at University of Chicago
Walter P. Webb and genesis of The Great Plains
Dr. Eugene C. Barker directed his dissertation
Summer position at San Marcos
Taught at McMurry College in Abilene
Came to Texas Tech in 1929
First archaeological expedition described
First years at Texas Tech reviewed
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: (10/4/1976) Football
Unpaved roads
First football game, McMurry College vs. Texas Tech (1925)
1,000 student enrollment first year
Playing field
Football equipment
No pre-game show
No bleachers
Rooming with football coach
Interest in students
Running for State Legislature
Proposed idea for West Texas College
Robert Chitwood elected to State Legislature
West Texas College legislation
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO: (10/4/1976) Bill vetoed
Chitwood and Bledsoe reintroduce bill
West Texas towns sought college
Lubbock qualifies for college
Offered professorship at Texas Tech
School colors
Crowd size at game
No mascot
"The Matadors"
"Red Raiders"
Dr. Paul Horn’s interest in Spanish architecture
Key plays in game
Lubbock’s feelings for Texas Tech today
Players today vs. players yesterday
College football becoming more professional
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: (UNDATED) Describes home in Lubbock (1929)
Pueblo influence
Location selection
Adobe construction techniques
Pueblo and other influences
Pueblo Architecture
Other Lubbock adobe houses
Interior and exterior decorations
Student involvement
Koshari Club
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO: (UNDATED) Student involvement (continued)
Art and artists displayed within the house
Crossroads for various disciplines
Foresaw importance of Lubbock Lakesite excavation
History of the excavation
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: (5/25/1982) Background
Audrey Jones
Spur Ranch development
Managing Swenson’s sulphur deposits
Texas Tech
Service on Board
Education (again)
Southwest Collection
Espuela Land and Cattle Company records
Matador Land and Cattle Company records
Post records
Formal organization and funding (1944-1950)
Texas Tech Museum
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO: (5/25/1982) Texas Tech Museum (continued)
Tech President William Whyburn
Handling of academics
Anti-Communist stand
Faculty Advisory Committee
Entertaining of Tech faculty
Anecdote: Playing at a party
Relationship with students
Jones Stadium
Anecdote: Giving St. Christopher’s medal to Bobby
Religious affiliation
Episcopal circuit ministers
Texas Tech Museum (again)
Funding of expansion (c. 1948)
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: Texas Tech Museum (continued)
Funding of expansion (continued)
Board passed funding measure
Division of Spur Ranch (again)

S. M. Swenson
Swenson land holdings
Jones’ reputation in West Texas

TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE: (12/15/1967) First Texas Tech archaeological field trip to New Mexico
Texas State Archaeological Society and Bulletin
Beginnings of the Museum at Texas Tech
Plains Museum Association organized (1929)
Holden elected as curator
Artifacts first stored in the Chemistry Building
Outlines money raising attempts
Visited 67 counties to get the Texas Centennial funds
W. G. McMillan built Museum basement at cost
"Give a brick" campaign noted
Legislative bills passed but unpaid
Completion of the museum financing reviewed
Begins remarks on Peter Hurd mural
TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO: (12/15/1967) Peter Hurd mural in the Museum discussed
Development of the idea
Commission given to Peter Hurd
Follows process of preparing the mural
Manuel Acosta and John Meigs assisted Hurd
Method and amount of payment given
Describes process of choosing subjects for the mural
Details the painting of "The Chroniclers" panel
Relationship between J. Evetts Haley and J. Frank
Anecdote about Sid Richardson
Development of general museum traced
Hall of earth and man emphasized
Fears concerning local reaction to an evolutionary
theme recalled
TAPE THREE, SIDE ONE: (12/15/1967 & 12/18/1967) Origin of the Southwest Collection
Story of Charles A. and Clifford B. Jones
Personal account of Alkali Trails, Rollie Burns and
interest in Spur Ranch
Clifford Jones’ contribution of Spur Ranch papers
Elizabeth Howard West’s zeal noted
Subsequent librarians were not enthusiastic
Tells anecdote about Gaylord and S. S. McKay
Meeting at George Dupree’s house to formulate
J. Evetts Haley characterized and Board support
Seymour V. Connor and his hiring described
TAPE THREE, SIDE TWO: (12/15/1967 & 12/18/1967) Southwest Collection physical facilities noted
Campus in 1929 described
History department traced
Gus Ford, Charles Dudley Eaves, H. Bailey Carroll
were professors
Firing of Dr. John C. Granbery commented upon
Texas Centennial celebration observed
W. L. Stangel’s exhibit and Gus Ford’s Texas Cattle
Brands discussed
Dr. Oscar Kinchen mentioned
Remembers H. Bailey Carroll in some detail
Seth McKay, Ernest Wallace, William M. Pearce and
David M. Vigness mentioned
Reviews Dr. R. C. Goodwin’s succession to Dean of Graduate School following William A. Jackson
TAPE FOUR, SIDE ONE: (12/18/1967) Describes his appointment as the Graduate School Dean (1945)
Names two innovations: doctoral program,
distinguished professors
Describes distinguished professors program
Carl Coke Rister’s stay at college discussed
Jealousy among faculty
Legislation requiring history courses discussed
Holden wrote the bill which J. Evetts Haley give to
Senator Dorsey Hardeman
Questers Club described
Expresses distaste for faculty social functions
Organization of West Texas Historical Association discussed
Rupert Richardson, Carl Rister and W. C. Holden
were founders
Texas Archaeological Society formation described
Alkali Trails, based on dissertation, discussed
Rollie Burns, referred by J. Frank Dobie, described
Process of writing Rollie Burns
TAPE FOUR, SIDE TWO: (12/18/1967) Writing of Rollie Burns (continued)
Organization of book presented
Typifies and gives full description of Burns
Spur Ranch research and publication described
Studies of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Mexico
Lists members of the expedition
Tells the story of Ivan Williams, Border Patrolman
who befriended the Yaqui Indians
Recounts how permission for an expedition was
Gives long account of the Yaqui expedition
TAPE FIVE, SIDE ONE: (12/18/1967 & 1/8/1968) Continues narrative about first expedition to Torin, Sonora
Tells anecdote of truck backfire
Mentions Carl Coleman Seltzer’s anthropological
measurement of the Yaquis
Publication of Studies of Yaqui Indians of Sonora,
Dr. Wagner’s relationship with Yaqui medicine man
Discusses writing The Hill of the Rooster, a novel
Canadian Dam (Lake Meredith) celebration by Museum
Mitch Wilder suggested book on water
Book, Board of Regents, and outcome
La Santa de Cabora and second novel
Children’s wildlife book mentioned
Discusses changes to be made in manuscripts
The Espuela Land and Cattle Company discussed
Joe B. Frantz mentioned
The Matador Land and Cattle Company analyzed
Articles summarized
Tells story of Charles D. Eaves’ C. W. Post history
Cecil A. Hutchinson mentioned
Accounts for William Pearce’s topic selection
Comments on Dick Wilson
TAPE FIVE, SIDE TWO: (12/18/1967 & 1/8/1968) Describes his relationship with his two brothers
Olive Price Holden, meeting, courtship described
Trip to visit New Mexican pueblos
Recounts first two years of marriage
Birth of Jane Holden
Tells long anecdote about a lost Clovis spear point
Recounts anthropological conception of American
Harold Cook highlighted
Tech geology alumnus Schultz and Canadian River
Jane Holden’s career in archaeology
Describes Olive and building of their adobe house
Recalls death of Olive
Tells of remarriage with the present Frances (Mayhugh) Holden
Gives opinion on anthropology at Texas Tech
Speculates on his position and that of Grover Murray
TAPE SIX, SIDE ONE: (1/8/1968 & 5/3/1968) Discusses the Ranching Heritage Center complex and new Museum building
Recalls money raising and compares the professional
fundraisers with his and his wife’s provate efforts
Summarizes the ranch complex advantages and
Lists old ranch families and notes lack of profit in
Frank Chappell mentioned
Earl Green’s abilities reviewed
Criticizes slowness in appointing a director for the
Ranch Headquarters (Ranching Heritage Center)
Discusses ICASALS and notes need for leadership
Accounts for the origin of ICASALS
Describes again his conception of ICASALS out of his book on water
R. C. Goodwin’s arrangement for writing the book
Projects an international museum if concept is used
TAPE SIX, SIDE TWO: (1/8/1968 & 5/3/1968) Notes again lack of leadership in museum building program
Retells story of Dr. Grover Murray’s interest in aridity and inspiration for ICASALS
Characterizes Murray’s personality and disarming manner
Traces the changing facets of ICASALS
Summarizes advantages of using Museum as
ICASALS showcase
Portrays Murray as a museum booster
Gives origins of ICASALS name and symbol
Notes growing university support
Returns to museum financial campaign
Criticizes museum building plans
Outlines ICASALS limitations
Discusses ICASALS budget
Speculates on the future of ICASALS
TAPE SEVEN, SIDE ONE: (5/13/1968) Additional comments on J. Evetts Haley and his conservatism
Dr. Edward Everett Dale
Compares Dale and his sparkling personality
favorably with Dr. Eugene C. Barker
Tells of Dale’s lectures with their homespun poetry
Compares Dale’s personality and work with Carl
Gus Ford
Dr. Horn’s role in hiring Ford noted
Clifford Casey mentioned
Comments on Texas cattle brands
TAPE SEVEN, SIDE TWO: (5/13/1968) Blank
TAPE EIGHT, SIDE ONE: (5/3/1968 & 5/6/1968) J. Evetts Haley characterized
Lists Haley’s Lubbock friends
Notes Haley’s personal magnetism and conservative
Haley’s wife Nita mentioned
1956 gubernatorial race recalled
Influence of Charles Goodnight on Haley
Work with Panhandle-Plains Historical Society
Judge Hamlin and the XIT Ranch records mentioned
Haley and the University of Texas controversy
Discussion of Gov. James E. Ferguson and relations
with Haley
Appraisal of Haley’s mother as a member of the
Texas Tech Board of Directors
Assesses Haley’s abilities as a writer and historian
Haley and the Institute of Americanism at Texas Tech discussed
TAPE EIGHT, SIDE TWO: (5/3/1968 & 5/6/1968) Institute of Americanism’s failure analyzed
Haley’s service on Texas Tech
Board of Directors reviewed
Mentions Haley’s ideological ally, Tom Linebery
Describes aftermath of typical board meeting
Summarizes Haley’s contributions to the Southwest
Seymour V. Connor discussed
Board opinions supported
Board member Harold Hinn mentioned
Gives opinion on firing of three professors
Clifford B. Jones described
Mentions Jones’ skills, culture
Remembers Charles A. and Clifford B. Jones’ work
for Swenson’s Spur Ranch
Spur Ranch records and Swede Swenson’s rash
Jones’ relationship with Texas Tech University traced
TAPE NINE, SIDE ONE: (5/6/1968 & 5/13/1968) Relates hiring of Clifford Jones by Texas Tech
Tom Pollard and L. L. Steele, regents, opposed his
Discusses Jones’ education and intelligence
Classifies Jones’ tenure, problems and weaknesses
Describes his relationship with the Board of Regents
Remembers the informal Jones
Spur Ranch recalled
Anecdote about a party Jones attended
Friendship with Charlie Guy
Lists Jones’ public service jobs
Comments on Jones’ loyalty to his friends
Discusses Jones’ devotion to Texas Tech football
Refers to Jones’ archconservative Democratic politics
H. Bailey Carroll discussed
Carroll’s personality changed I his later years
Holden protected Carroll from the dean at McMurry
TAPE NINE, SIDE TWO: (5/6/1968 & 5/13/1968) Continues describing Carroll’s wild tendencies
Notes Carroll’s penchant for hero worshipping
J. M. Gordon blocked Carroll’s return to Texas Tech
Follows Carroll’s career; Walter P. Webb mentioned
Comments on personality change and psychiatric
Reviews Carroll’s editorship of Southwestern
Historical Quarterly
Mentions the Handbook of Texas
Alkali Trails discussed in relation to Carroll
Paul W. Horn
Recalls Horn’s work in the Methodist Church
Describes the president’s first office in downtown
Summarizes Horn’s personality, approach
Dr. Granbery’s "socialism" protected
"Judge" James D. Hamlin
"Judge" was an honorary title
Praises and describes Hamlin
Visits to Holden’s home recalled
Hamlin was student of Greek and Latin
Problem with alcoholism mentioned
TAPE TEN, SIDE ONE: (6/23/1970) Teaching anthropology and history at Texas Tech discussed
Describes their first "text," a homemade book
Estimates that he and H. Bailey Carroll spent two
weeks on evolution
Talks of R. C. Campbell, pastor of First Baptist
Church, giving a sermon against the "atheists"
Warren P. Clement, William A. Jackson and other
Texas Tech Baptists objected to Campbell
J. Frank Norris, Fort Worth fundamentalist, attacked
the Texas Tech "atheists" on his WBAP radio
Gives Norris’ Arkansas boyhood
Expresses opinion on evolution and fundamentalist churches
TAPE TEN, SIDE TWO: (6/23/1970) Blank
TAPE THIRTEEN, SIDE ONE: (3/1970) Recounts Dr. Carl Coke Rister’s early biography
Born in Coke County
Recalls him as a McCaulley, Texas schoolboy
Describes Rister’s career as a historian
Position at Simmons College in the 1920s
West Texas Historical Association founded (1924)
University of Oklahoma
Calls Rister a "thorough, meticulous, almost plodding
Appointed a Distinguished Professor at Texas Tech
Dossie M. Wiggins’ enthusiastic support of idea to
promote academic excellence (1948)
Jealousy among faculty noted
Conflict with the college’s business manager
Assesses Rister’s contributions to history
RANGE DATES: 1896-1982
BULK DATES: 1923-1982