Colonel Bates: enemy of the Klan

By Philip Montgomery
Head of McGovern Historical Center

Yesterday, Colonel William B. Bates and his role in moving Baylor College of Medicine from Dallas to Houston came up in a conversation with Bryant Boutwell, the John P. McGovern Professor of Oslerian Medicine, at the UT Health Science Center-Houston.

Bates-1920

William “Bill” Bates in 1920 walks with Virgie [Dorsey], the cousin of Mary Dorsey. Mary and Bill married shortly after this picture was taken at West End Lake on a Sunday afternoon near Nacogdoches, Texas. Photo from MS 11, Colonel William Bates papers; series A, box “Family and Home,” folder “Family Photos,” circa 1920-1921.

Boutwell, an historian and author, described how Baylor came to the Texas Medical Center. Baylor’s move at the time was an off-the-charts seismic event full of drama, and Bates was in the middle of it.

Listening to Boutwell explain the deal making piqued my curiosity about Bates, so I started digging through his papers and photographs. I also scanned N. Don Macon’s interview of Bates that was published as “South from Flower Mountain: a conversation with William B. Bates.”

Macon captured the Bates interview on video tape. Macon interviewed many of the leading figures responsible for the creation of the Texas Medical Center. The McGovern Historical Center has a collection of his video interviews, some of which have been digitized. In Macon’s interview, Bates speaks with an economy of words in an East Texas accent.

Bates had an enormous impact on the growth of Houston from the moment he arrived in the city in 1923. By 1925, he was a board member of the Houston Independent School District.  He was chairman of the board when the University of Houston was established. He served on the advisory board of the Bank of the Southwest, now known as Amegy Bank of Texas. In 1939, he became chair of the board of trustees of the M.D. Anderson  Foundation. In that role, he contributed to and assumed a position of leadership for the creation of the Texas Medical Center.

Most of the images I see of Colonel William B. Bates show a portly, elderly, tight lipped man who never smiles. This photo shows a different and rare side of Bates. He has a rakish smile and walks with a bit of swagger. I like to think that his future wife Mary took this picture, which is why he has that smile on his face. She wrote on the back of the photo to describe the scene and signed her name, so there is a good chance she was present even if she was not the photographer. Her cousin Virgie probably had the role of chaperone.

Bates served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919 during World War I. He was wounded three times, served in the front lines and briefly describes his first horrendous combat experience to Macon. Eventually, he was promoted to Captain and served in the Army of Occupation after the war. Dan Moody slapped the title of “colonel” on Bates when Moody ran for governor of Texas.

After the war and around the time this photo was taken, Bates was elected district attorney for the old Second Judicial District  of Texas, which included Angelina, Cherokee, and Nacogdoches counties during the early years of Prohibition. The Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its power at that time. According to Bates in his interview with Macon, the Klan came to Nacogdoches to organize.

“The Ku Klux Klan was a quite a force then,” Bates told Macon. “They almost ran Houston in those days. They were strong in several counties up here in East Texas, including Nacogdoches County. I was against them, fought them.”

“They were always mysterious,” Bates said, “never let you know who they were.” A Klan leader met with Bates and the mayor of Nacogdoches Judge Middlebrook to offer the services of the Klan to clean up the “undesirables.”

Bates quoted the Klansman as saying “… if somebody ought to be tended to, this Center [Texas] group will come and take care of him, take him out and ride him on a rail.”

Bates and the Mayor told the Klansman they did not approve and would “resist it with everything we had.” After that Bates became a marked enemy of the Ku Klux Klan. He ran for re-election as District Attorney, but this time the Klan opposed him and he was defeated by about 125 votes in every country in the district where he ran for office. After that defeat, Bates moved on and joined the law firm of Fulbright and Crooker in Houston in 1923.

A lot happened to Bates in the few years from 1919 to 1923. The photo would have been taken in the middle of this compressed time frame. He probably was still feeling his war wounds, he fell in love, married, ran for election as district attorney, enforced prohibition, faced off against the Ku Klux Klan, lost an election and moved to Houston.

His career was just getting started, and his involvement with Baylor College of Medicine’s move from Dallas to Houston is another story.

 

 

 

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Posted in Medical Archives

Dr. Cooley’s Eisenhower jacket

By Philip Montgomery
Head of McGovern Historical Center

Today, Dena Houchin, RN, dropped off several of Dr. Denton Cooley’s old military uniforms, including pants, shirts and an Eisenhower jacket,  along with his Johns Hopkins University academic regalia robe, hood and hat. The Johns Hopkins regalia is pretty snazzy, but it was the Eisenhower jacket that caught my attention today.

Denton-Cooley's-jacket

Dr. Denton Cooley’s U.S. Army Eisenhower jacket.

Ms. Houchin is the former administrative director of cardiovascular surgery for the Texas Heart Institute where she worked for more than 30 years with Dr. Cooley. She is a close friend of the Cooley family, who gave her the garments to donate to the McGovern Historical Center.

Dr. Cooley probably wore the Eisenhower jacket when he served in the U.S. Army in Linz, Austria with the 124th Station Hospital between 1946 and 1948.

The Eisenhower jacket is a waist-length jacket with pleated back, adjustable waist band, fly-front buttons, bellows chest pockets, slash side pockets and shoulder straps. The jacket is made of 18-ounce wool serge, and it is heavy. This jacket still looks sharp and is in excellent condition for a 69-year-old article of military clothing.

Soon I will tell you about the academic regalia. You will need eclipse-type sunglasses to look at the Johns Hopkins University robes.

Posted in Medical Archives

Railway Surgery

By Philip Montgomery
Head of McGovern Historical Center

The McGovern Rare Book Collection just added a book on treating railway injuries published in 1899. Dr. Clinton B. Herrick’s “Railway Surgery: a handbook on the management of injuries” is quite an interesting book. The library’s resource management assistant Mireille Clark discovered the book in the stacks and passed it on to a rare book librarian.

railway-surgeryHerrick wrote at a time when railroad hospitals could be found in cities, such as Houston. He notes that railroad injuries had some commonalities, including steam burns, crushing injuries and limb injuries caused by the nature of the business. He also describes the railroad hospital car, car sanitation and disinfection.

Posted in Medical Archives

Cross species applicability of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment (1969)

Alethea Drexler, archives assistant

I found this recently on the back of an article saved in MS159, the Dr. Herbert Fred papers (it’s crossed out because it wasn’t the item of interest).

Cross Species applicability - cat

British Medical Journal, volume 299, 23-30 December 1969, page 1569.

Scientists will note that one subject is not a valid sample size, but cat owners will note that of course cats are happier with toys, snuggles, and playmates.

It’s also good to know that the British Medical Journal values patient anonymity, even when you’re a cat.

Note: Please don’t give your cats milk.  Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and, as noted in the article, milk can cause gastric upset and diarrhea[1].

[1] PetMD, “Top Five Cat Myths Debunked“.

Posted in Medical Archives

The goat-gland doctor of Del Rio

By Philip Montgomery

Head of McGovern Historical Center

John Richard Brinkley (1885-1942) was best known as the notorious goat-gland doctor. He made his reputation and his millions of dollars by performing xenotransplants. He inserted goat testicles into the scrotum of human males to increase their virility. He also inserted goat glands into women to cure a variety of disease including cancer.

J.R. Brinkley

J.R. Brinkley submitted this photo in 1918 to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners to receive a license to practice medicine in Texas. The license was granted. IC 58 Texas State Board of Medical Examiner records.

Brinkley earned his medical degree from Eclectic Medical University in Arkansas in 1915.  At the time, Brinkley received his Texas license, Arkansas evidently had a reciprocal agreement with Texas. Throughout the years of controversy in the 1920s and 1930s, when Brinkley was being investigated, he never lost his license to practice medicine in Texas.

The state of Kansas did revoke his license and the federal government shut down his radio station in Kansas. He found a more receptive home in Del Rio, Texas where he established a thriving practice and the first blaster-radio station across the Rio Grande in Mexico. XER-AM broadcast at 50,000 watts and could be heard in Kansas. Brinkley introduced popular music groups, such as the Carter Family, to widespread audiences as he touted his services and the Brinkley brand of pharmaceutical remedies.

Brinkley’s success came to a slow grinding halt as the lawsuits mounted, and the FDA turned its scientific scrutiny upon his methods.

Apparently, the State of Texas never revoked his license. In 1942, the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners sent Brinkley a notice to renew his license. The notice was returned with a note that Brinkley had died that year.

brinkley+

Brinkley’s 1918 application for a license to practice medicine in Texas. IC 58 Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.

Posted in Medical Archives

Houston Archives Bazaar!

The McGovern Historical Center will be at the Houston Archives Bazaar at the White Oak Music Hall on Sunday, September 10th from 2pm – 6pm. We’ll have some collection materials, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with the community.

For more details you can go to https://houstonarchivists.org/bazaar/. Hope to see you there!

Posted in Archives, Outreach

McGovern Historical Center Reopens Sept. 5th

The McGovern Historical Center will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, September 5th.

MHC Hours
Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Posted in Closures

McGovern Historical Center Closed

Due to the flooding in the area the McGovern Historical Center will be closed until further notice.

Philip Montgomery, Head of the McGovern Historical Center, visited the facility at 8272 El Rio this morning, August 29, 2017. He reports that there was no rain or wind damage and no noticeable power interruptions. All collection materials were unharmed and as they were on Friday afternoon.

The McGovern Historical Research Center location of the Texas Medical Center Library at 8272 El RIo, August 29, 2017. The facility is in good condition, no power outages, and all coll

The McGovern Historical Research Center location of the Texas Medical Center Library at 8272 El RIo, August 29, 2017. The facility is in good condition, no power outages, and all collection materials are unharmed.

Be safe, Houston! We’ll keep you posted when we’ll be open again.

Posted in Closures

Tribute to Dr. Schull

Jack Schull in the Special Projects Building mid 1960s [MS 170 Schull Photo Collection, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

McGovern Historical Center Staff

The McGovern Historical Center has lost a dear friend and staunchest advocate this week, Dr. William “Jack” Schull. He died Tuesday morning at his home.

Dr. William "Jack" Schull in archive of the McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.

Dr. William “Jack” Schull in archive of the McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.

Dr. Schull was the guiding force behind our extensive Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) collection. Using the many contacts that he cultivated during his work in Japan for ABCC and in the Texas Medical Center, he was able to preserve the personal papers of many physicians and scientists in the areas of radiation research and genetics. He promoted multicultural projects between archivists in Japan and the United States. (You can read about the ceremony that marked the culmination of a 4-year international project at the TMC News.) Most recently, he strongly endorsed the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project, which is an expansion of the ABCC project.

Left to right, William J. Schull, Ph.D., professor emeritus of genetics and epidemiology at the School of Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Masahito Ando, Ph.D., a professor of archival science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, Japan; Philip Montgomery, MLIS, CA, head of the TMC Library's McGovern Historical Center; and archivist and historian Kaori Maekawa. (Credit: Maggie Galehouse, TMC News)

At the project closing ceremony, Left to right, William J. Schull, Ph.D., professor emeritus of genetics and epidemiology at the School of Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Masahito Ando, Ph.D., a professor of archival science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, Japan; Philip Montgomery, MLIS, CA, head of the TMC Library’s McGovern Historical Center; and archivist and historian Kaori Maekawa. (Credit: Maggie Galehouse, TMC News)

In addition to many of his ABCC colleagues, he has two personal collections preserved in the McGovern Historical Center:

We had an ongoing collaborative project with him to utilize facial recognition tools to identify thousands of people in his photograph collection. He was always seeking newer and better tools to collect information. In fact, he provided the archive with a couple of Mac computers to facilitate these projects. If you love pilot project documentation, you’ll find the facial recognition project report by our former Metadata Intern and Project Archivist, Kiersten Bryant, very fascinating! The project speaks volumes about Dr. Schull’s commitment to the archive.

Screenshot of Dr. Schull's Photoshop Elements catalog where he tagged as many people as he could remember. Dr. Schull appears in the center of the screen. He identified 140 people in 5400 images.

Screenshot of Dr. Schull’s Photoshop Elements catalog where he tagged as many people as he could remember. Dr. Schull appears in the center of the screen. He identified 140 people in 5400 images.

Dr. Schull will be greatly missed at the archive, but his life, legacy, and influence lives on in every collection he helped preserve.

Learn more about Dr. Schull, and we invite you to leave a thought or memory about Dr. Schull in the comments below.

Posted in ABCC, Dr. Schull, Japan, Manuscript Collection, Radiation Effects and Events

Mad for Mading: A Glimpse Into the Past of Public Health

Snapshot of books on shelf from Mading Collection

Keya Gokhale
Special Collections Intern

Are you a current public health student or researcher? Do you just love old books? Come check out the Mading collection at the McGovern Historical Center! It is a one-stop shop for information regarding the worldwide history of public health. It has works dating back as far as 1767, all the way up to the mid 20th century. Topics covered include yellow fever, cholera, public sanitation, typhoid, epidemics, typhus, sex education, and infant nutrition. It is fascinating to see how attitudes and information regarding these topics have changed over the last couple of hundred years. Notable authors include Daniel Defoe, Absalom Jones, and Benjamin Rush.

Titles available include:

Dreadful Visitation: in a Short Account of the Progress and Effects of the Plague, the Last Time it Spread in the City of London, in the Year 1665. By Daniel Defoe. | This pamphlet is the oldest work in the collection, being published in 1767. Its author, Daniel Defoe, is best known for his book Robinson Crusoe.

 

Town and Country Friend and Physician : or, An Affectionate Address on the Preservation of Health, and the Removal of Disease on its First Appearance. By James Parkinson. | Dr. Parkinson left this small handbook to his community upon his retirement. It was meant to serve as a reference guide to treating life’s ailments in his absence.

Town and country friend and physician : or, An affectionate address on the preservation of health, and the removal of disease on its first appearance. By James Parkinson-1803. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Town and Country Friend and Physician : or, An Affectionate Address on the Preservation of Health, and the Removal of Disease on its First Appearance. James Parkinson. 1803. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Account of the Bilious Remitting Yellow Fever : as it Appeared in the City of Philadelphia, in the Year 1793. By Benjamin Rush. | Benjamin Rush was a physician and one of the founding fathers of the United States.

 

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and Infants’ Milk-Foods, with Special Regard to Hygiene and Sanitary Milk Inspection : a Labor. By Nicholas Gerber. | This book provides an interesting look at different types of milk and infant feeding options in 1882. Written by the founder of the Gerber Method. 

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and infants' milk-foods, with special regard to hygiene and sanitary milk inspection : a labor. Nicholas Gerber. 1882. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and Infants’ Milk-Foods, With Special Regard to Hygiene and Sanitary Milk Inspection : a Labor. Nicholas Gerber. 1882. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People : During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the Year 1793: and a refutation of some censures. By Absalom Jones. | Absalom Jones was the first African American ordained priest in the United States.

 

New York (N.Y.). Mayor’s Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York. | Believe it or not, public baths were still popular in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This book, published in 1897, examines ways to improve the city’s baths and make them more sanitary.

New York (N.Y.). Mayor's Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York-1897. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

New York (N.Y.). Mayor’s Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York. 1897. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Sex Instruction in Public Schools. By Willard Beatty. | This pamphlet from 1936 provides a surprisingly insightful and modern outlook on sex education in schools.

 

Treatise Upon the Causes, Prevention, and Cure of Fever and Ague, and All Forms of Miasmatic Diseases : Sanative Rules for Those Living in Malarious Districts. By W. Griswold. | In the early 1800’s, it was commonly believed that “bad air” or “miasmas” were the means by which infection spread. It was not until later that the germ theory of infection gained popularity.

 

Other items from the collection shown below. Look how unique looking some are!

Map of London from the mid 1800's. From "Snow on Cholera" by John Snow. 1936 edition. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Map of London from the mid 1800’s. From “Snow on Cholera” by John Snow. 1936 edition. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Insanity and Insane Asylums. E.T. Wilkins. 1872. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Insanity and Insane Asylums. E.T. Wilkins. 1872. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Reports from the Massachusetts state board of health. 1897-1915. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Reports from the Massachusetts state board of health. 1897-1915. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Summer and its Diseases. By J. C. Wilson-1879. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Summer and its Diseases. J. C. Wilson. 1879. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

 

Posted in Mading Collection, Public Health, Rare Books, Special Collections
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