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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: John C. and Regina Müller Beckmann papers

Series 2: John A. Beckmann papers

Series 3: Albert F. and Marie Guenther Beckmann family papers

Series 4: Albert F. Beckmann business, professional, and political papers

Series 5: Property records, Helotes, Bexar County, Texas

Series 6: Photographs

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Beckmann Family Papers, 1825-1958



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Beckmann Family
Title: Beckmann Family Papers
Dates: 1825-1958
Creator Abstract: Born in Westphalia, John C. Beckmann (1815-1907) immigrated to the United States in 1841. Arriving in San Antonio via New York and New Orleans, he worked as a blacksmith and became active in local organizations, particularly the many German-American institutions in the city.
Content Abstract: Correspondence, legal documents, financial records, printed material and photographs are part of the Beckmann family papers, documenting several members of the family.
Identification: Col 10931
Extent: 1.84 linear feet (2 document boxes, 1 oversize box)
Language: Materials are in English, German with English translations, and Spanish with one transcription and English translation.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

Members of the Beckmann family were part of the early wave of German-speaking immigrants to Texas, where they became prominent in San Antonio business and society circles. Born in Westphalia, John C. Beckmann (1815-1907), a Catholic, decided to immigrate to the United States; according to family history, his choice was due to barriers to his proposed marriage to a Swiss Protestant, Regina A. Müller (1815-1905). In 1841 Beckmann and his intended sailed to New York, where they were soon married and their first child was born.

The Beckmann family next moved to New Orleans and then on to Texas, settling in San Antonio. There, John C. Beckmann worked as a blacksmith and became active in local organizations, particularly the many German-American institutions in the city. The Beckmann’s were the parents of seven children, though only two lived into adulthood. Their youngest son, Albert F. Beckmann, studied architecture in Germany, returning to Texas to serve as a topographical assistant to the U.S. Army before establishing an architectural practice in San Antonio. Working in partnership with James Wahrenberger and on his own, Beckmann’s designs were concentrated in San Antonio, though he also was involved in projects in Mexico, particularly Piedras Negras.

In 1886, Albert F. Beckmann married into another prominent German-American family in San Antonio when he wed Marie D. Guenther, daughter of the founder of Pioneer Flour Mills. The couple had five children: Adolph Guenther (1887-1954), Regina Augusta (1889-1959), Albert Erhard (1892-1951), Werner Noonan (1894-1962), and Kurt Detmar (1897-1976). All remained active in San Antonio area businesses and organizations. Albert F. Beckmann died in 1900; Marie Guenther Beckmann died in 1921.

References

Long, Christopher. "Albert Felix Beckmann." Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbe94.

Pease, S. W. "John Conrad Beckmann." Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbe16.

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Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, legal documents, financial records, printed material, and photographs are part of the Beckmann family papers, documenting the activities of several members of the San Antonio, Texas, family.

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Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into six series that gather items associated with particular family members.
Series 1: John C. and Regina Müller Beckmann papers
Series 2: John A. Beckmann papers
Series 3: Albert F. and Marie Guenther Beckmann family papers
Series 4: Albert F. Beckmann business, professional, and political papers
Series 5: Property records, Helotes, Bexar County, Texas
Series 6: Photographs

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

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Index Terms

Personal Names
Beckmann family.
Beckmann, John Conrad, 1815-1907.
Beckmann, Regina A., 1815-1905.
Beckmann, John A., 1850-1912.
Beckmann, Albert Felix, 1855-1900.
Beckmann, Marie Guenther, 1864-1921.
Guenther family.
Subjects
Architects--Texas--San Antonio.
Battle of Flowers Parade (San Antonio, Tex.)
Germans--Texas--San Antonio.
Land titles--Registration and transfer--Texas--San Antonio.
Swiss--Texas--San Antonio.
Locations
San Antonio (Tex.)
Genres/Formats
Family papers.
Correspondence.
Deeds.
Financial records.
Legal documents.
Photographs.
Printed ephemera.
Property records.
Scrapbooks.
Vital statistics records.

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Related Material

Adolph Guenther and Milby Giles Beckmann Family Papers, 1859-1982, Col 14629, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Alfred Giles Family Papers, MS 325, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Beckmann Family Papers, 1825-1958, Col 10931, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Helena Hurst Harrison and Amanda Hurst Ochse, 1999-2002, 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Warren Stricker, 2001.

Spanish-language deed dated 1825 March 10 translated by Dora Guerra, 2001 May.

German-language materials translated by Lore A. Senseney, 2008-2009.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 September.

Accrual (2011) processed and finding aid updated by Caitlin Donnelly, 2012 October.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1: John C. and Regina Müller Beckmann papers

The first series is made up of the papers of John C. and Regina A. Beckmann and includes a number of letters from family and friends in Switzerland and Germany. Some official documents from their life in Switzerland are also found. A number of property records date to Beckmann’s arrival in Texas in the 1840s and include the property near the Alamo where he established his blacksmith’s business. The remainder of this series gathers a miscellany of financial documents, printed items, and items related to organizations. Some genealogical notes are found here, including a small register of births, marriages, and deaths.
Box Folder
1 Correspondence, 1850-1905
1 Joseph Beckmann, New Orleans, Louisiana, to John C. Beckmann, 1850 October 5.
Unknown author, Zurich, Switzerland, to children [incomplete], 1852 September 19.
Felix Müller, Zurich, Switzerland, to children, 1856 February 10.
Unknown Müller, Zurich, Switzerland, possibly to Regina and John C. Beckmann, 1856 March 24.
Carl Beckmann, Rulle, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1867 July 10.
Carl Beckmann, Rulle, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1870 December 30.
2 Carl Beckmann, Rulle, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1875 January 25.
Julius Berends, Frauenfeld, Switzerland, to John C. Beckmann, 1886 December 6.
Lisette Roelofsen, Münster, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1889 June 6.
Lisette Roelofsen, Münster, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1890 February 23.
Lisette Roelofsen, Münster, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1892 January 15.
Possibly Lisette Roelofsen, Münster, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann [incomplete], 1893 October 18.
Lisette Roelofsen, Münster, Prussia, to John C. Beckmann, 1893 November 23.
Adolph Beckmann to John C. Beckmann, 1905 January 25.
3 Swiss documents, 1829-1841
4 Marriage record, John C. Beckmann and Regina Müller, 1841
Property records, 1825-1896
5 Deed: Maria Josefa Hernandez to Antonio Salazar, 1825 March 10.
Deed: Maria de Refugio Morales to Johann Conrad Beckmann, 1848 January 8.
Deed: Antonio Salazar to Johann Conrad Beckmann, 1848 January 8.
Plat and field notes: J. C. Beckmann lot, 1848 February 22.
Title bond: Thomas J. Devine and Francis Giraud, Jr. to John C. Beckmann, 1852 November 17.
Deed: Thomas J. Devine and Francis Giraud, Jr. to John C. Beckmann, 1853 November 28.
Deed: Jacob Waelder to John C. Beckmann, 1858 September 25.
Articles of agreement: Jacob Waelder and John C. Beckmann [2 copies], 1859 September 2.
Deed: Jacob Waelder to John C. Beckmann, 1866 February 22.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to Henry Elmendorf, 1878 June 1.
Release: Henry Elmendorf to John C. Beckmann, 1880 June 1.
6 Notes: Alamo property transactions, 1877-1883.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to John J. Stevens, Trustee [2 copies], 1889 January 25.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to J. T. Woodhull, Trustee, 1895 January 26.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to J. T. Woodhull, Trustee, 1895 September 7.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to J.T. Woodhull, Trustee, 1896 February 24.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to J.T. Woodhull, Trustee, 1896 April 29.
Deed: John C. Beckmann to J.T. Woodhull, Trustee, 1896 June 20.
7 Promissory notes, 1896
Receipts, 1849-1904
8 San Antonio taxes, 1849-1900
9 Bexar County taxes, 1849-1899, 1904
10 Confederate taxes, 1861-1864
11 Bills, 1892
Certificates, 1865-1876
12 Registration, 1865-1872
13 Membership, Deutsch-Englishen Schulverein, 1876.
14 Organizations: Arbeiterbunde, 1852
15 Announcements and invitations, 1867 and 1891
Funeral notice, Joseph Beckmann, 1867
Wedding anniversary, John C. and Regina Müller Beckmann, 1891
16 Menus
17 Poem: “An John un Albert Beckmann,” possibly by Ernst Dosch, 1862
Biographical and genealogical material
18 Family register
19 Notes

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Series 2: John A. Beckmann papers

This series contains a small number of items of the Beckmann’s oldest surviving son, John A. Beckmann, including a small notebook containing photographs of family ranch property northwest of San Antonio.
Box Folder
1 20 Will and estate records
21 Autograph book pages [photocopies]
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Photograph album

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Series 3: Albert F. and Marie Guenther Beckmann family papers

The third series gathers personal papers of the Beckmann’s youngest son, Albert F. Beckmann, and his wife, Marie Guenther Beckmann. A few items date from prior to their marriage, including some letters and school material. Property records, estate records, financial documents, and printed material make up most of the remainder. Two scrapbooks, one of Marie Guenther Beckmann, the other belonging to her daughter Regina Beckmann Hurst, contain clippings on family, friends, and social events.
Box Folder
1 Correspondence, 1875-1881, 1941
22 Albert F. Beckmann, 1875-1881
23 Regina Beckmann Hurst, 1941
School records, 1871-1879
24 Report card: Marie Guenther, High School for Young Ladies, 1879.
Identification cards: Albert F. Beckmann, Polytechnische Schule, 1871-1873.
Certificates: Albert F. Beckmann, Königlische Polytechnische Schule zu Hannover, 1871-1873.
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Progress reports: Albert F. Beckmann, Königlische Polytechnische Schule zu Hannover, 1872-1874.
Box Folder
1 25 Marriage license
Will and estate records, 1898-1904, 1921
26 Albert F. Beckmann, 1898-1904
27 Marie Guenther Beckmann, 1921
28 Deeds, 1884 and 1899
John E. Ochse and Lewis J. Furtner to Alfred F. Beckmann, 1884 March 14.
Albert F. Beckmann to Marie Dorothea Beckmann, 1899 February 8.
29 Birth record: Statement of Ferdinand Herff on birth of Albert F. Beckmann, 1871.
30 Financial records: bills, receipts, and notes
31 Stock certificates: Museum of Natural History of San Antonio [attached receipt], 1885.
32 Creative works
Essay: “Some Thoughts relative to climatic and topographic changes in West Texas” by Albert F. Beckmann, 1889.
Poem: “The Callaghan Green” by Albert F. Beckmann
33 Sketches: Albert F. Beckmann, from autograph book [photocopies]
Printed ephemera
34 Dance cards, 1885-1888
35 Invitations, 1886 and 1920
36 Menu, 1886
37 Funeral notice, 1900
38 Program, 1904
39 Calling card
40 Clippings
Box Folder
Vault map case Oversize clippings
Scrapbooks
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Marie G. Beckmann, 1889-1918
Regina Beckmann Hurst, 1890-1958
Box Folder
1 41 Scrapbook pages

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Series 4: Albert F. Beckmann business, professional, and political papers

The fourth series includes a small number of items associated with Albert F. Beckmann’s civic and business activities. Orders and other official documents date from his work as an army topographical assistant; a miscellany of letters and associated documents are related to his architectural work; and his service as an alderman for the city of San Antonio is documented by election certificates and a city council resolution on his death.
Box Folder
1 42 Military records, 1881-1882
43 Architectural practice records: letters, printed material, and legal documents
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Certificate: San Antonio Mid-Winter Fair, 1895-1896
Box Folder
1 44 City Alderman records: certificates of election and resolution, 1891-1900
45 Clippings

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Series 5: Property records, Helotes, Bexar County, Texas

The fifth series contains records pertaining to Beckmann and Guenther family property near Helotes in Bexar County, Texas. Various members of the Beckmann family are mentioned, as are Marie Dorothea Guenther Beckmann's father Carl Hilmar Guenther; her brother Erhard Rosini Guenther; and her brothers-in-law Hermann Schuchard and Adolph Wagner.
Box Folder
2 46 Deeds, 1880-1956
C. K. and Sarah W. Rhodes to Carl Hilmar Guenther, 1880 August 23.
John C. and Regina Beckmann to John A. Beckmann, 1899 February 10.
Erhard R. Guenther, Hermann Schuchard, and Adolph Wagner, executors of estate of Carl Hilmar Guenther, to Marie Dorothea Guenther Beckmann, 1903 March 31.
John A. Beckmann to John C. Beckmann, 1905 July 29.
John C. Beckmann to Marie Dorothea Guenther Beckmann, 1905 August 12.
William B. Rossy to Adolph Wagner, 1915 May 17.
Adolph Wagner to Marie Dorothea Guenther Beckmann, 1915 May 17.
Werner Noonan and Kurt Detmar Beckmann to Carmel T. Marnoch, 1925 September 28.
Carmel T. Marnoch to Werner Noonan and Kurt Detmar Beckmann, 1925 September 29.
Walter and Mary Chumbley Johnson to Werner Noonan and Kurt Detmar Beckmann, 1956 September 24.
47 Plat and field notes, 1892 March 16-17
48 Maps, 1887 and undated
"Map of Bexar County," showing land owners and properties, compiled and drawn from the records of surveys in Bexar County, sketches from General Land Office, and sketches and memoranda of the present County Surveyor, John D. Rullmann, Draughtsman, County Surveyor's Office, 1887 June 7.
Helotes property, undated.
49 Letter: Webb & Goeth, Attorneys at Law, San Antonio, Texas, to Marie D. Beckmann, San Antonio, Texas, describes enclosed deeds and abstracts of title, enclosed statement from Bexar County tax collector, 1905 August 26.
50 Abstracts of title, 2 items, 1900-1926
51 Notes, 1943, undated

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Series 6: Photographs

The final series includes views of Albert F. Beckmann-designed buildings in San Antonio and Mexico, informal family photographs, a number of photographs of group outings and organizations, and general scenes.
Box Folder
2 52 Albert F. Beckmann architectural work
City brewery construction [1 item], 1897
A. Staacke residence [1 item], undated
C. Harnisch residence [3 items], undated
Oficinas Federales, Cd. Porfirio Diaz, Piedras Negras, Mexico [1 item]
Aduana, Cd. Porfirio Diaz, Piedras Negras, Mexico [2 items]
Unidentified residence [1 item]
53 Wahrenberger and Beckmann, architects
54 Mexico: Zacatecas, Saltillo, and possibly Piedras Negras
55 John A. Beckmann
56 Beckmann home, Casino Street, San Antonio
57 Battle of Flowers Parade floats, 1904, 1906, 1911, 1912
Pictured: Regina Beckmann, Milby Giles, Amanda Guenther, Dorothea Guenther, Helena Guenther, Lieschen Guenther, Etta Hummel, Jesse Newton, Marie Schuchard, and Eleanor Stevens.
58 John C. Beckmann and Regina Müller Beckmann
Group photographs
59 Casino Club theater group, 1868
60 Beethoven Maennerchor
Box Folder
Oversize 1 San Antonio Opera Club picnic, 1880
Box Folder
2 61 General and unidentified groups
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Unidentified
Box Folder
2 62 San Antonio: flood, 1921
63 Unidentified

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