Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Eugene George Papers, 1961-1997

Descriptive Summary

Creator: George, Eugene, 1922-
Title: Eugene George Papers
Dates: 1961-1997
Creator Abstract: Alternating a professional and academic career, Eugene George (1922- ) has taught at universities in Texas and Kansas and maintained an architectural practice in Austin, Texas, since the 1950s. He has been involved in several historic preservation projects and served two years as resident architect at Colonial Williamsburg.
Content Abstract: Reflecting several decades of professional and personal involvement, the collection consists of material Eugene George gathered and produced while researching and promoting the preservation of the Rio Grande Valley's historic architecture.
Identification: Col 11626
Extent: 6.5 linear feet (5 boxes, 2 oversize folders, 1 drawer)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

Walter Eugene George, Jr. was born in 1922 in Wichita Falls, Texas, and spent his youth in the northern part of the state. His early travels in Texas and the western United States sparked an interest in history and culture that became an important part of his later architectural work.

George attended the University of Texas before serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a pilot during World War II. After the war, he obtained his architecture degree from the University of Texas and earned a Master’s degree from Harvard in 1950. His professional career has been divided between a private practice and academic positions, including teaching positions at the University of Texas and University of Kansas and service as dean of the University of Houston's College of Architecture. He was named to an endowed position at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1997 as professor of historic preservation.

Beginning in the 1950s, George established an architectural practice in Austin, Texas. He also served as resident architect at Colonial Williamsburg from 1971-1973 and was involved in several special projects associated with historic architecture, including work with the Historic American Buildings Survey and historic site restoration projects in various locations.

Scope and Content Note

Reflecting several decades of professional and personal involvement, the collection consists of material Eugene George gathered and produced while researching and promoting the preservation of the Rio Grande Valley's historic architecture.


Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into four series.
Series 1: Rio Grande Valley research projects
Series 2: Heinrich Portscheller research
Series 3: Rio Grande Valley general material
Series 4: Separated material


Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Robert S. Weddle material may not be photocopied without the permission of the author.

Permission to publish materials from this collection is temporarily restricted.

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.

Index Terms

Personal Names
George, Eugene.
Portscheller, Heinrich, 1843-1915.
Weddle, Robert S.
Historic buildings--Rio Grande Valley.
Historic preservation--Rio Grande Valley.
Roma (Tex.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Rio Grande Valley--History.
Personal papers.
Professional papers.

Related Material

Walter Eugene George, Jr. Drawings, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eugene George Papers, 1961-1997, Col 11626, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Eugene George, 2002 February.

Processing Information

Processed by Warren Stricker, 2002 August.

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


Further accruals are expected.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Series 1: Rio Grande Valley research projects

The largest part of the papers, this series gathers the material produced in connection with grant-funded research projects dating from about 1974-1978, centering on the town of Roma, Texas. Many of George’s files on the project have been maintained intact, and several retain his file titles (these titles appear in quotation marks in the finding aid). Included are correspondence with other participants in the project and residents and officials of the area; grant applications with supporting documentation and reports; several subject files produced while researching the history of the town and its residents; a typescript history of the region by historian Robert S. Weddle, commissioned as part of the project; other articles, papers, book excerpts, and clippings collected for research purposes; a short article by George on Roma, with attached photographs; architectural surveys of Roma, including forms used to gather information on individual buildings, with attached photographs; a notebook containing architectural notes on Roma and Rio Grande City; a small assortment of architectural drawings; a substantial number of maps and plats of Roma and the surrounding area, including plats of the town showing the location of its buildings; and photographs of buildings, the surrounding landscape, and architectural details.
Box Folder
1 1 “Correspondence,” 1975-1978
Project summaries and reports
2 “Application for grant”
3 “EDA/Gallegos/Scurlock”
4 Financial records: “Accounts”
Research files
5 “County tax records”
6 “Deed records”
7 “Economic research”
8 “Family histories”
9 “Livingston research”
10 “Ryan research”
11 “Graf bibliography and references not yet searched
“[Robert S.] Weddle manuscript” [May not be photocopied without the permission of the author.]
12-13 Draft
Box Folder
2 14-15 Completed version
16-17 Completed version with chronology
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Printed galley (photocopy)
Box Folder
2 18-20 “RSW notes and Xerox copies”
21 “Info not in Weddle”
22 “Notes and ideas”
23 Notes and miscellaneous source material
Collected articles, reports, and excerpts
24 “Archaeological Excavations at the Falcon Reservoir, Starr County, Texas” [photocopy], 1951.
25 Joseph R. Davis, “Starr County Industrial Foundation: Overall Economic Development Program,” 1978.
26 “The Development of Ranching in the Texas Hill Country, 1845-1875.”
Box Folder
3 27 Fundación de la Colonia del Nuevo Santander, excerpts [photocopy].
28 Jose Roberto Juarez, Jr., “An Architectural Description of Dolores Ranch,” 1976.
29 Alex D. Krieger and Jack T. Hughes, “Archaeological Salvage in the Falcon Reservoir Area: Progress Report No. 1,” [photocopy].
30 Mercurio Martinez, “Historical Notes of Old Buildings & Sites in Zapata County, Texas.”
31 Stephen D. Mings, “The Valenzuella Site on the Piloncillo Ranch."
32 Ada Louise Newton, “The History of Architecture Along the Rio Grande as Reflected in the Buildings around Rio Grande City, 1749-1920,” thesis [photocopy], 1964.
33 Untitled report, historic architecture, lower Rio Grande [photocopy].
34 Untitled report, historic architecture, Falcon Dam area [photocopy, incomplete].
35 Bound clippings and excerpts: Oblates
36 Bound clippings and excerpts: Rio Grande City
37 Writings: “Roma, Texas,” includes photographs used as illustrations
Architectural surveys
Field notes
38 Roma, Texas: Block 1
39 Roma, Texas: Block 2
Box Folder
4 40 Roma, Texas: Blocks 3 and 5
41 Roma, Texas: Blocks 7 and 8
42 Roma, Texas: Blocks 9, 11, and 12
43 Roma, Texas: Blocks 17, 19, 20, 21, and 26
44 Roma, Texas: Blocks 30, 31, 50, and 51
45 Roma, Texas: survey forms
46 Notebook: Roma, Rio Grande City
47 Site surveys: copied from Joe F. Cason notebook
Map case 1 Architectural drawings: Roma, Texas
Maps and plats
Roma, Texas
Texas, Rio Grande Valley, Starr County
Topographical maps: drafts and sketches
Box Folder
4 48 Directories: telephone directory, Rio Grande City/Roma
49 Historic photos, maps, illustrations
50 Landscapes and aerial views
51 Buildings
52 “Window and door details”
53 People
54 Contact prints
55 Photocopies
56 Negatives
Box Folder
Oversize 2 Oversize photograph


Series 2: Heinrich Portscheller research

This series contains material associated with George’s long interest in Heinrich Portscheller (1843-1915), a builder and architect who lived in Roma and Laredo, Texas. Correspondence dates from George’s first exposure to the architecture of Roma in 1961 and includes information exchanged with Portscheller’s descendants in Germany and Texas. Copy prints of photographs of Portscheller and his family and photographs of some of the buildings he built are also part of this series.
Box Folder
5 57 Correspondence, 1961-1997
58 Writings: “Enrico Portscheller: Baumeister of the Rio Grande,” manuscript and typescript
59 Notes and source material
60 People
61 Buildings
62 Buildings: negatives


Series 3: Rio Grande Valley general material

This series contains material gathered and produced outside of the specific research projects of the other series, reflecting an ongoing interest in the history and culture of the region. Included is information on historical, cultural, and preservation organizations and projects; collected articles and papers; books, pamphlets, and periodicals; assorted source material and notes; and photographs.
Box Folder
5 Organizations and projects
63 Los Amigos de Guerrero Viejo
64 Los Caminos del Rio
65 Rio Grande International Study Center
66 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Roma Restoration Project
Articles and papers
67 Scott Cook, “Artisanal Brick Culture in the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Borderlands: Historical, Geographical, and Anthropological Considerations,” 1997.
68 James M. Earhart, “Disturbing Trends in Rio Grande Water Quality,” 1994.
69 Hugo Antonio Gardea, “Early Town Planning in the South Texas Borderland,” 2 copies, 1992.
70 Terry G. Jordan, “A Gabled Folk House Type of the Mexico/Texas Borderland,” 1988.
Books and pamphlets
71 Angel Sepulveda Brown and Gloria Villa Cadena, San Agustin Parish of Laredo: Abstracts of Marriage [incomplete photocopy], 1989.
72 Fernando Garza González, Ciudad Guerrero: Sus Fundadores, Sus Hombres. Nuevo Laredo: Publicaciones Frontera Norte, 1995.
73 Fronteras, 1994 and 1997
74 Texas Highways, 1986 February
75 Invitations
76 Miscellaneous papers
77-78 Photographs


Series 4: Separated material

See the DRT Library's online catalog for the location of these items.
General Collection Ben P. Bailey, Jr. Borderlands Sketchbook: Libro de Bosquejos Fronterizos. Waco, Texas: Texian Press, 1976.
Ellen Beasley. Architectural/Historical Survey and Preservation Plan. Brownsville, 1975.
Marlene Elizabeth Heck. Proceedings: An Exploration of a Common Legacy: A Conference on Border Architecture. Texas Historical Commission, possibly 1979.
David Hoffman. Roma. Austin: University of Texas at Austin, possibly 1972.
Nancy O’Malley, Lynn Osborne Bobbitt, and Dan Scurlock. A Historical and Archeological Investigation of Roma, Texas. Austin: Texas Historical Commission, 1976.
Report on the Architectural Survey of Villa Guerrero, Coahuila, Mexico, and Eagle Pass, Texas, United States, 1976.
Newspaper Collection LareDOS, 1994 December 20, 1995 February and April.
Artifacts Collection Artifact: Roma, Texas, commemorative keyring, 1976.
Artifact: fragment of stair landing, Guerra store, received from Frank Briscoe, 1995.