Once Upon a Time . . .

the literary societies were actually literary societies. I found this completely–completely!–by accident. Every single thing about it is interesting:

Literary societies 1916 1 045

Literary societies 1916 2 046

Literary societies 1916 3 047

More to come . . .

Bonus: Speaking of interesting. Zoom in for a good look at the signs.

DSC00407

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5 Responses to Once Upon a Time . . .

  1. Richard Schafer says:

    I’ve never heard of the Riceonian Debating Society before. Know anything more about them? Interesting debate topic. I assume the J Newton Rayzor on the Owl side is the person after whom Rayzor Hall is named.

  2. marmer01 says:

    Wow, the Rice Onion! But seriously, yes, every single little thing about that is fascinating. Yes, it is _that_ J. Newton Rayzor. That subject was no doubt on everyone’s mind, with the Houston Ship Channel having just opened in 1914. There is a _lot_ to delve into here, not least the ongoing controversy about state vs. federal initiatives and the prominent members of Houston’s cultural life of the day.

  3. marmer01 says:

    And June 9? Wow, that’s late (and warm) Bet those windows in the Faculty Chamber were wide open. Nice to see Rice Art (I assume) carrying the tattered banner of Rice quirkiness.

  4. Carlos Garcia says:

    I agree this is quite interesting.
    I always figured Julia Ideson was a donor to the Houston Library, as the old building downtown now bears her name. But she must have been a revered librarian, which makes a much nicer story.
    I found Eugene Russell Millis interesting, not only for the distinctive sounding name but because he participated in both debate events. I ran a quick Google search, expecting that there wouldn’t be many name duplications and learned that he received his BA in 1917 and entered the infantry on May 27, 1918 (less than two years after this debate occurred), and was stationed in San Antonio and worked in the Intelligence Department. He was later stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor in Kentucky prior to being discharged just before the holidays in December 1918. He must have returned to Houston (at least for a time) because his daughter’s birth (Charlotte Louise Millis) is listed in the April 22, 1931 Harris County birth records (about the same time my mom was born, incidentally). He also must have loved Texas because on Oct. 21, 1934 he copyrighted a song, entitled “Song of Texas.” It appears he died on Nov. 14, 1967 and was laid to rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Texarkana.
    Amazing what one can find in five minutes of sleuthing. What a nice distraction.

  5. Barney L. McCoy says:

    After the 1900 Storm, the Galveston Wharves Board raised fees to rebuild the Port of Galveston. Many Houston businessmen, including Jesse Jones, thought the increase excessive and started a campaign to dredge the channel. The City of Houston raised over $1 million dollars, which was matched by the Feds, and the channel was dredged to a depth of 25 feet. When it opened in 1914, it was already not deep enough for the largest ships of the day. It looks as though the Rice debate was part of a larger public question– who was going to pay for it? As a future maritime lawyer, Rayzor would be a natural choice to represent the position of having the Feds pay for the Project. That turned out to be the winning side in real life, as the US Corps of Engineers dredged it to 30 feet in 1922.

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