Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the August Watkins Harris Papers, 1927-1976

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Harris, August Watkins, 1893-1968
Title: August Watkins Harris Papers
Dates: 1927-1976
Creator Abstract: An architect in Austin, Texas, August W. Harris (1893-1968) was an active member of the First Officers' Training Camp Association of Texas, a group consisting of veterans who were commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1917 following three months of training at Camp Funston near Leon Springs, Texas.
Content Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, lists, printed material, financial records, photographs, and artifacts gathered and created over thirty years of Harris's involvement in the First Officers' Training Camp Association of Texas.
Identification: Col 12313
Extent: 5.04 linear feet (6 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

August Watkins “Watt” Harris was a native of Texas, born in 1893 in Austin to Watkins W. Harris and Louise Swartz Harris. He studied architecture at the University of Texas and worked at a local firm before volunteering for military service upon the entry of the United States into World War I. Harris was one of over 3,000 men who entered the First Officers’ Training Camp at Camp Funston (later renamed Camp Stanley) near Leon Springs, Texas, in 1917 May. A month later he was selected for the Coast Artillery Corps, completing his training at Fort Monroe, Virginia, where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1917 August. He served in France near the end of the war and was discharged in 1919.

Returning to Austin, Harris entered into an architectural practice in partnership with Bertram Giesecke. The firm was involved in the design of numerous notable structures in Texas, including the Norwood building in Austin and the Merchant and Manufactures building in Houston, now part of the University of Houston.

Harris was recalled to active military duty in World War II, eventually reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After the war, Harris practiced on his own, becoming particularly involved in the restoration of historic buildings in Austin, including the Texas General Land Office building and the French Legation. He produced two pamphlets on historic Austin buildings and published writings on the subject in journals.

Harris maintained a long-term involvement in the First Officers' Training Camp Association, made up of veterans of the Leon Springs program. The association held its first reunion in 1931, fourteen years after about 1,700 men were commissioned in the U.S. Army following a grueling three-month training session. Harris joined the group soon after and for almost thirty years served as “Ferst Sargint” of the Coast Artillery Corps component of the association, actively recruiting members, organizing events, and corresponding with other ex-officers. A regular attendee at the reunions until a few years before his death, Harris regarded his involvement as one of the most satisfying associations of his life.

Harris and his wife Loula Macgill Ujffy (1900-1993) were the parents of four children. He died in Austin in 1968 January.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, lists, printed material, financial records, photographs, and artifacts gathered and created over thirty years of involvement in the First Officers’ Training Camp Association of Texas are part of the August Watkins Harris papers.

As a leader of the organization, particularly that portion consisting of Coast Artillery Corps veterans, Harris corresponded regularly with other members, encouraging their participation in annual reunions and helping to organize events. His correspondence with other organizers and members is particularly extensive in the 1950s and early 1960s and includes both letters received and copies of letters sent, in which he reports on his activities and records the difficulties, frustrations, and rewards associated with the effort. Separated from the more general correspondence are self-addressed postcards sent out by Harris on which members indicated their intent to attend reunions; these often include messages of varying length.

The process of compiling a list of CAC veterans of the camp was ongoing, and original rosters, mailing lists, some copies of service records, and a series of index cards were created over the years. Some lists of the other units from the camp are also part of the papers.

Printed material associated with the association is extensive, consisting of notices of reunions, programs, items produced as memorials to deceased members, and such items as souvenirs, menus, and registration material. Certificates for CAC veterans, designed and produced by Harris, are included, as are membership directories, a miscellaneous assortment of periodicals produced by the association, and newspaper clippings about the association and its members. Some clippings were added to the papers after Harris’ death.

Financial records consist of a small amount of miscellaneous bills, receipts and notes. Some general notes include a draft of a report to members by Harris and other miscellaneous items. Photographs include prints of negatives showing reunion events and people. Artifacts include several name tags from reunions, rubber stamps and wood blocks designed and created by Harris, souvenirs and a sign used at a reunion.

Finally, the papers include a small number of personal and professional items not associated with the First Officers’ Training Camp Association.


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.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Harris, August Watkins.
First Officers' Training Camp Association of Texas.
Veterans--United States--Societies, etc.
World War, 1914-1918--Veterans--United States.
Personal papers.
Printed ephemera.

Related Material

Texas Architectural Collection, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], August Watkins Harris Papers, 1927-1976, Col 12313, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Eleanor E. Harris, 2004 February, 2004 December, and 2006 July.

Processing Information

Processed by Debra Bryant and Warren Stricker, 2006 October.

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

Detailed Description of the Collection


August Watkins Harris Papers, 1927-1976

Box Folder
1 Correspondence, 1927-1968
1 1927
2 1932
3 1935
4 1936
5 1937
6 1938
7 1939
8 1949
9 1950
10 1951
11 1952
12 1953
13 1954
14 1955
15 1956
16 1957
17-18 1958
19 1959
Box Folder
2 20 1960
21-22 1961
23-24 1962
25 1963
26 1964
27 1965
28 1966
29 1967
30 1968
31 Undated
Box Folder
5 RSVP postcards, 1937-1962 and undated
Box Folder
2 Rosters, mailing lists, etc.
32 Coast Artillery Corps rosters
33 Other unit rosters and lists
34 Service records
Box Folder
5 Index cards
Box Folder
3 Printed material
35 Notices and invitations, 1931-1963
Drawer Folder
Vault Map Case 1 Notices and invitations, oversize
Box Folder
3 36 Roll Call programs, 1932-1964
37 Memorial service material, 1949-1968
38-39 General Roll Call material, 1931-1966
40 Memorial Day card, 1956
41 Coast Artillery Corps certificates
Drawer Folder
Vault Map Case 1 Coast Artillery Corps certificates, oversize
Box Folder
3 42 Membership cards
Box Folder
4 Directories
Roll Call, 1932
Roll Call, 1936
Roll Call, 1939
Roll Call, 1946
31st Roll Call, 1947
32nd Roll Call, 1948
33rd Roll Call, 1949
34th Roll Call, 1950
35th Roll Call, 1951
37th Roll Call, 1953
39th Roll Call, 1955
40th Roll Call, 1956
41st Roll Call, 1957
42nd Roll Call, 1958
43rd Roll Call, 1959
44th Roll Call, 1960
45th Roll Call, 1961
46th Roll Call, 1962
47th Roll Call, 1963
49th Roll Call, 1965
50th Roll Call, 1966
51st Roll Call, 1967
Box Folder
3 43 First Camp Bugle, 1932
Box Folder
4 The First Camper, 1937
The First Camper, 1938
The First Camper, 1939
First Camper, 1941 September
First Camper, 1947 October 24
First Camper, 1949 April 15
First Camper, 1950 December
First Camper, 1952 Spring
First Camper, 1959
Box Folder
3 44 General printed material, 1934-1963
45 General printed material, designs
Drawer Folder
Vault Map Case 1 General printed material, oversize
Box Folder
3 46 Clippings, 1939-1976
Drawer Folder
Vault Map Case 1 Clippings, oversize
Box Folder
3 47 Financial records
48 Notes
49 Photographs
Box Folder
6 Artifacts
Name tags, 13 items
Rubber stamps and wood blocks, 7 items
Souvenir bottle
Drawer Folder
Vault Map Case 1 Pennant
Box Folder
3 50 Sign
51 Personal papers