University of Texas Arlington

Alexander Dienst Papers:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dienst, Alex, 1870-1938.
Title: Alex Dienst Papers
Dates: 1899-1935
Abstract: The Alex Dienst Papers span the period 1899-1935 and are related primarily to Dr. Dienst's search for information on the Twin Sisters cannons used in the Texas Revolution. Papers consist of correspondence, notes, a rough draft, and printed material.
Identification: GA20
Extent: 1 box (0.12 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Biographical Note

Dr. Alexander Dienst, Jr., son of Dr. Alexander and Augusta (Moller) Dienst, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1870. He attended Ozark College, Greenfield, Missouri, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the Philadelphia Dental College. In 1889, he established himself as a dentist in Temple, Texas, where he practiced his profession intermittently until his death.

Dr. Dienst became an enthusiastic student of Texas history and a collector of books and source materials dealing particularly with the Texas Revolution. He was a member of the executive council of the Texas State Historical Association and served as its president from 1932 to 1935. Much of his great collection of Texana became, appropriately, a part of the library of the University of Texas.

He married Florice Gooda in 1893 and they became the parents of six children. Dienst died at his home in Temple on May 6, 1938.

Sources:


  • Wharton, C.P. Texas Under Many Flags III (1930).
  • Dallas Morning News, Jan. 13, 1929.

Scope and Contents

The Alexander Dienst Papers are comprised mainly of correspondence, notes, and a rough draft that document Dr. Dienst's research activities related to the Twin Sisters cannons used in the Texas Revolution. There are also some materials dealing with articles written for the Texas Good Roads Magazine and Dr. Dienst's address on Moses Austin given at the 10th Anniversary meeting of the Texas Agricultural Workers Association.


Organization

Materials are arranged in 13 folders in chronological order by document type.

Restrictions

Access

Open for research.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons
Dienst, Alex, 1870-1938--Archives.
Subjects
Ordnance--Research--Texas.
Texas--Army--Ordnance and Ordnance Stores.
Places
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836--Sources.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection

Administrative Information

Citation

Alex Dienst Papers, GA20, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

Acquisition

Gift of Jenkins Garrett, 1974. Processed by Shirel Spivey, January 1984.


Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.


Container List

Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 1 Jan 28, 1899.
Alex Dienst's fragments for essay on the "Twin Sisters" artillery cannon, taken from the Youkum Texas His., Vol II, Page 123. Notes relate to how the cannons were commissioned and how they were delivered to Houston. Footnotes on Captain Smith and Bru McCullock.
N, 21.6 × 14.1 cm., handwritten on personal office stationary, ecru colored paper, top edges stained, last page faded, 4 pp.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 2 March 17, 1899.
Charles Shalm (acting chief), Office of the Chief of Ordinance in Washington, to Alex Dienst, Temple, Tx. Reply to Dienst about inquiries concerning two 6-pounder cannons. Shalm relates information received from the San Antonio Arsenal about some cannons.
TLS, 26.5 × 20.2 cm. Typed on Ordinance Dept. stationary, penciled "Sh" in upper right corner, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 3 April 21, 1899.
Charles Shalm, Major Ordinance Dept., Washington to Dr. Alexander Dienst, Temple. Reply in reference to inquires made about cannons. States that inquiries made at Rock Island Arsenal, showed that the Arsenal had no records on the cannons.
TLS, 26.5 × 20.2 cm. Typed on Ordinance Dept. stationary, penciled "Sh" in upper right corner, envelope included, 2 pp.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 4 March 25, 1899.
C. E. Ditton, Major Ordinance Dept. at San Antonio Arsenal to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Reply to Dienst inquiries about cannons in Arsenal. States that cannons in question were presented to the state and had never belonged to the Republic.
ALS, 12.5 × 20.3 cm. Handwritten on San Antonio Arsenal paper, folded in half, good condition, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 5 March 29, 1899.
Jefferson Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History of Texas to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Reply to Dienst about information requested about the cannons. Johnson included letter from President Foster of Texas A & M (1 - 7).
TLS, 27.7 × 21 cm. Good condition, typed on Department stationary, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 6 March 28, 1899.
R. H. Whitlock, acting President of Texas A & M College at College Station to Jefferson Johnson, Commissioner of Agriculture, Austin. Reply to Johnson on inquiries about the guns at A & M. Whitlock states that as far as he could find out, these guns did not appear during the Mexican War.
TLS, 27.9 × 21.5 cm. Typed on Texas A & M stationary. On verso, 2 handwritten words.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 7 April 1, 1899.
L. L. Foster, President of Texas A & M to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Foster states that certain cannons at A & M which Dienst had inquired about had no connection with the history of the Republic.
ALS, 27.9 × 21.5 cm. Handwritten on Texas A & M stationary, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 1 Item 8
Envelope postmarked Jun 20, 1899, addressed to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple, Tx. Return address, Phoenix Hotel. Right hand end torn off, handwritten note under return address - no letter.
A, 16 × 9.3 cm.



Box Folder
GA20 2 Item 1 June 22, 1905.
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Stapp, Van Vleck, to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Letter relates information about her father, Dr. Charles W. Rice, and the naming of the cannons "Twin Sisters." The letter states that the cannon was named by a Mr. Lewis Allan after herself and her twin sister.
ALS, 16.5 × 21.1 cm. 5 pp. Good condition.



Box Folder
GA20 2 Item 2 July 16, 1905.
New Orleans, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Stapp, Van Vleck, to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Letter explains about her father, Dr. Charles W. Rice and his activities in the Navy of the Republic and other information about her family.
ALS, 20.5 × 25.1 cm. 2 pp. Good condition.



Box Folder
GA20 2 Item 3
Copy of portions of articles by Ben C. Stuart in the Galveston News, Nov. 14, 1909, and the Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 10, 1909, about the "Twin Sisters."
26 × 20.2 cm. Typed, 1 page



Box Folder
GA20 2 Item 4 November 29, 1909.
M. A. Sweetman, Circleville, Ohio to Ben C. Stuart, Hitchcock, Texas. The Letter refers to an article written by Sweetman about the "Twin Sisters" in the Galveston News, Nov. 14, 1909. He adds that he has a copy of the Galveston News of July 23, 1865, which has an article about the "Twin Sisters."
ALS, 14.5 × 22.7 cm. 1 page, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 1 Feb. 13, 1911.
E. G. Littlejohn, Galveston, Texas to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple, Texas. Reply to card sent to him about information on the "Twin Sisters." Related information about articles by Ben C. Stuart and mentions M. S. Park of Amarillo and F. A. Park of Galveston who might have additional information. Littlejohn, Secretary of the Texas State Historical Society.
ALS, 27.8 × 21.3 cm. With Texas State Historical Society letterhead, 1 page, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 2 Feb. 15, 1911.
Ben C. Stuart, Hitchcock, Texas, to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Reply by Stuart about information requested by Dienst about the "Twin Sisters." Stuart had written two articles on the "Twin Sisters" and stated that he thought the cannons were taken by the U. S. Government at the end of the Civil War.
ALS, 24.8 × 20.7 cm. handwritten in pencil on tan paper, envelope included. 3 pp.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 3 Feb. 22, 1911.
Ben C. Stuart, Hitchcock, Texas, to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Letter giving some information on the arrival of the cannon into Galveston. Stuart copied part of a newspaper article and related it to Dienst.
ALS, 22 × 15 cm. Handwritten in pencil on tan paper, smear marks on page 1. 4 pp.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 4
Envelope postmarked 11-23-1909 to Mr. Ben C. Stuart, Hitchcock, Texas. Return address, Federal Realty Mortgage & Trust Co.
22.5 × 10 cm. Opened at right end, stained.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 5
Envelope postmarked 2-23-1911 to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple, Texas. Return address, S. T. Fontaine, Galveston Cty.
23 × 10.5 cm. Torn open at right side, writing in lower left hand corner.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 6
Envelope, postmarked 2-28-1911 to Dr. Alex Dienst. Return address, M. S. Park, Amarillo, Texas.
14.5 × 9 cm. Torn open at right hand side.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 7
Envelope postmarked 3-1-1911 to Dr. Alex Dienst. Return address, Assessor and Collector's Office, Galveston.
16 × 9.2 cm. Torn open on left hand side.



Box Folder
GA20 3 Item 8 August 18, 1917.
J. W. Dunn, secretary of Electra Commercial Club to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Dunn refers to Dienst article in The Texas Good Roads Magazine. Dunn wishes to make some corrections about Dienst's view of Electra. (10-3)
TLS, 28 × 21.9 cm. Typed, Electra Commercial Club letterhead, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 4 Item 1 April 10, 1935.
Salina Metgenthin Rannick, College Station, Texas to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Rannick reply to letter from Dienst, mentions the Society of Friends of German Pioneers and other interesting items on Germans in Texas.
ALS, 28.7 × 21.3 cm. 2 pp. Page 2 torn in half, envelope included.



Box Folder
GA20 5 Item 1
Various research notes taken by Dr. Alex Dienst in preparation for his article on the "Twin Sisters" cannons.
N, 9 items. Good condition.



Box Folder
GA20 6 Item 1
Rough draft of article on "Twin Sisters" cannon by Dr. Alex Dienst. Some material is letters and other information that he has gathered and compiled and arranged in the desired order.
AMs, 50 pp. Pages vary in size and some are ragged on edges:
  • pp. 1-18, Ms, 20.2 × 26.6 cm.
  • pp. 19-22, 21.8 × 28 cm., edges ragged, pages written by Mssrs. Allen, Brusle and Austin, not by Dienst (inserted into Ms where Dienst wanted them).
  • pp. 23-28, Ms, 20.2 × 26.6 cm.
  • pp. 29-35, ALS, Charles I. Evans, Washington, to Bru. C. Stewart, Hitchcock, Tx, 7 pp. 19.6 × 25.4 cm. and 21.5 × 27.26 cm.
  • p. 36, AMs, 20.3 × 26.6 cm.
  • pp. 37-38, TLS, 21.5 × 27.8 cm., typed letter from S. T. Fontaine, Galveston, to Dr. Dienst, Temple, Tx., 2pp.
  • pp. 39-40, AMs, 20.3 × 26.6 cm., 2 pp.
  • pp. 41-42, TLS, 21.5 × 28 cm., 2 pp.
  • p. 43, AMs, 20.3 × 26.6 cm.
  • pp. 44-45, ALS, 21.1 × 27.8 cm., 2 pp., Letter from F. A. Park, Galveston, to Dr. Dienst, Temple, Tx, edges ragged and top left stained.
  • p. 46, ALS, 21.5 × 27.9 cm., 1 p., letter from M. S. Park, Randall Cty., to Dr. Dienst, Temple, Tx., edges ragged and top left corner stained.
  • p. 47, AMs, 20.3 × 26.6 cm., 1 p., edges tattered and top left corner stained.
  • p. 48-50, ALS, 15.2 × 24.3 cm., 3 pp., letter from Dr. H. M. Graves, Georgestown, Tx., to Dr. Dienst, Temple, Tx., written in pencil, top left corner stained.



Box Folder
GA20 7 Item 1 Dec. 14, 1911.
E. C. Barker, editor of Southwestern Historical Quarterly, to Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple. Barker's letter explains some of his corrections in Dienst's draft of the "Twin Sisters."
ALS, 27.9 × 21.5 cm. 1 page, written on Texas State Historical Association stationary.



Box Folder
GA20 7 Item 2
E. C. Barker's edited copy of Dienst's article on "Twin Sisters" cannons.
TMs., 35.6 × 21.7 cm. 19 pages, typewritten and edited.



Box Folder
GA20 7 Item 3 Dec. 17, 1911.
E. C. Barker, editor of Southwestern Historical Quarterly to Dr. Dienst, Temple. Barker explains some of his corrections on the "Twin Sisters" for publication in the Texas State Historical Association Quarterly. Also adds that he in no way wishes to offend Dr. Dienst.
ALS, 27.9 × 21.5 cm. Texas State Historical Association letter-head, 3 pages. Over: Regarding Publication of the "Twin Sisters" Cannon. I published this in full in the San Antonio Express - as I did not want it condensed.



Box Folder
GA20 8 Item 1
Corrected copy of "The Famous San Jacinto "Twin Sisters" Cannon" by Alex Dienst.
TMs, 28 × 21.5 cm. 16 pages. Tan, linen-like paper, typed and corrected with pen. Seal on page 1 upper right corner. Page 16, Verso "Twin Sisters Research by Dr. Dienst", handwritten.



Box Folder
GA20 9 Item 1
Copy of article "Twin Sisters" by Alex Dienst. More polished copy with only minor revisions added.
TMs, 27.9 × 21.5 cm. Typed 12 pages, tan paper. (Verso, letter-head-The Texas State Historical Association).



Box Folder
GA20 10 Item 1 March, 1914.
Texas Good Roads. Magazine contains article by Dr. Alex Dienst, "Deer Hunt with Hounds", pp. 24-28.
25.7 × 17 cm. Front cover loose.



Box Folder
GA20 10 Item 2 August, 1917.
Texas Good Roads Magazine. Contains article by Dr. Alex Dienst, "…In the Panhandle of Texas". Essentially the same article that appeared in The Temple Daily Telegram, July 18, 1917 (11-1).
26.5 × 20 cm.



Box Folder
GA20 10 Item 3 September, 1917.
Texas Good Roads Magazine. Contains letter written by J. W. Dunn, Electra Boosters Club's secretary about Alex Dienst article "…In the Panhandle of Texas." (3-8)
26.5 × 20 cm.



Box Folder
GA20 11 Item 1
Article by Alex Dienst, "Observations on Trip to Panhandle" in the Temple Daily Telegram, July 18, 1917. Article deals mainly with cities of Wichita Falls and Electra.
51 × 11.3 cm. Some yellowing.



Box Folder
GA20 12 Item 1
Address given by Dr. Alex Dienst, January 8, 1937, Temple, Texas before the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Texas Agricultural Workers' Association. Address on Moses Austin and his son, Stephen F. Austin, with emphasis on Stephen F. Austin.
26.7 × 20.3 cm. 10 pages typed. First page has imprint of Dienst's name and Temple, Tx.



Box Folder
GA20 13 Item 1
Reproduction of lithograph, mounted on photographic board of Mier Prisoners charge on the Guard and victory at Salado. Taken from a drawing by Charles McLaughlin, a prisoner, also found in Thomas J. Green's Mier Expedition, page 155. Given to Dienst by Dr. John Hill Luther.
17 × 23 cm. (lithograph only), 19.2 × 25.5 cm. photographic board. On lower front "Dr. Brenham who lead charge was killed. Town of Breham was named for him in 1844." Over: 35.00 in left corner. Written on back, "A copy of this, but smaller in Green's Mier Expedition, p. 154. Given to me by Dr. John Hill Luther who received it from Moses Austin Bryan at Independence Texas. Dienst" (drawing by Charles McLaughlin, a prisoner) (Raines, p. 98).