Holden, William Curry

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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.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: William Curry Holden

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: April 30, 1957; November 29, 1967; December 15 and 18, 1967; January 8, 1968; May 3, 6, and 13, 1968; March, 1970; June 23, 1970; October 4, 1976; May 25, 1982

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Speech, Jimmy M. Skaggs, Susie Pearce, Mary C. Brewer, Lolana Thompson

Length: 20 hours, 35 minutes (total)


Tape 1, Side 1: (4/30/1957), Speech on "Spanish Influence on the Southwest".

Tape 1, Side 2: (4/30/1957), "Spanish Influence" (continued).

Tape 2, Side 1: (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 2, Side 2: [Also known as Reel One http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304211 ] (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 3, Side 1: (10/4/1976), Football, Unpaved roads, First football game McMurry College vs. Texas Tech (1925), 1,000 student enrollment first year, Conditions, 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 3, Side 2: (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 4, Side 1: (UNDATED), Describes home in Lubbock (1929), Pueblo influence, Location selection, Adobe construction techniques, Interior, Pueblo and other influences, Pueblo Architecture, Other Lubbock adobe houses, Interior and exterior decorations, Student involvement, Koshari Club.

Tape 4, Side 2: (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 5, Side 1: (5/25/1982), Background, Parents, Education, Audrey Jones, Spur Ranch development, Managing Swenson’s sulphur deposits, Texas Tech, Service on Board, Presidency, Residences, Personality, 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 5, Side 2: (5/25/1982), Texas Tech Museum (continued), Funding, Location, Tech President William Whyburn, Accomplishments, Problems, Handling of academics, Anti-Communist stand, Faculty Advisory Committee, Entertaining of Tech faculty, Anecdote: Playing at a party, Relationship with students, Football, Jones Stadium, Anecdote: Giving St. Christopher’s medal to Bobby Cavazos, Religious affiliation, Episcopal circuit ministers, Texas Tech Museum (again), Funding of expansion (c. 1948).

Tape 6, Side 1: Texas Tech Museum (continued), Funding of expansion (continued), Board passed funding measure, Fishing, Ranching, Division of Spur Ranch (again), S. M. Swenson, Background, Swenson land holdings, Descendants, Jones’ reputation in West Texas.

Tape 6, Side 2: Blank

Tape 7, Side 1: [Also known as Reel Two http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304213 ] (12/15/1967), First Texas Tech archaeological field trip to New Mexico, Texas State Archaeological Society and Bulletin discussed, 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 7, Side 2: (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 Dobie, 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 8, Side 1: [Also known as Reel Three http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304214 ] (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 collection, J. Evetts Haley characterized and Board support examined, Seymour V. Connor and his hiring described.

Tape 8, Side 2: (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 9, Side 1: [also known as Reel Four http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304215 ] (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 9, Side 2: (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 obtained, Gives long account of the Yaqui expedition.

Tape 10, Side 1: [Also known as Reel Five http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304216 ] (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 Mexico, 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 10, Side 2: (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 Indians, Harold Cook highlighted, Tech geology alumnus Schultz and Canadian River bison, 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 11, Side 1: [Also listed as Reel Six, http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304217] (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 problems, Lists old ranch families and notes lack of profit in ranching, 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 explained, Projects an international museum if concept is used.

Tape 11, Side 2: (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 12, Side 1: [Also known as Reel Nine http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304220 ] (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, Rister’s, Gus Ford, Dr. Horn’s role in hiring Ford noted, Clifford Casey mentioned, Comments on Texas cattle brands.

Tape 12, Side 2: Blank

Tape 13, Side 1: [Also known as Reel Seven, http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304218 ] (5/3/1968 & 5/6/1968), J. Evetts Haley characterized, Lists Haley’s Lubbock friends, Notes Haley’s personal magnetism and conservative philosophy, 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 13, Side 2: (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 Collection, 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 promise, Jones’ relationship with Texas Tech University traced.

Tape 14, Side 1: [Also listed as Reel Eight/Nine, http://hdl.handle.net/10605/304219 ] (5/6/1968 & 5/13/1968), Relates hiring of Clifford Jones by Texas Tech, Tom Pollard and L. L. Steele regents opposed his presidency, 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 College.

Tape 14, Side 2: (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 problems, 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 Lubbock, 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 15, Side 1: (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 program, Gives Norris’ Arkansas boyhood, Expresses opinion on evolution and fundamentalist churches.

Tape 15, Side 2: Blank

Tape 16, Side 1: (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 worker", 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.

Tape 16, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1896-1982

Bulk Dates: 1923-1982

Access Information

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