A Guide to the Baxter-Hollamon-Hampton Family Papers, [ca. 1850-1950]
William Chester Baxter (1811-1903) emigrated from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Texas in 1836 and briefly served in the Texas Army. Following the Texas Revolution, he received a veteran’s land grant then purchased more land in Columbus. After managing a hotel for a short period of time, he moved first to San Antonio and then to Seguin, where he worked as a blacksmith and hotelkeeper. Soon afterwards, he married Caledonia Neill and raised a family of nine children, including his son Walter H. Baxter (Sr.).
Walter H. Baxter, Sr., married Jeanette Hampton, the daughter of Wade M. Hampton and Pattie Martha Hollamon Hampton, who was the daughter of Seguin general store owner George Byron Hollamon. Pattie Hampton died giving birth to Jeanette. George Hollamon and his wife, along with Pattie’s maiden sister, Jennie, raised Jeanette and their ante-bellum home, the Erskine Home, still stands in Seguin. Walter Baxter, Sr., and Jeanette (who lived to be 95) had four children, including two sons Walter H. Baxter, Jr., and William C. Baxter, Jr. In 1920, the family moved from Seguin to the newly established town of Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley.
William C. Baxter, Jr., became a prominent architect and helped develop the town of Weslaco. He designed the Rio Grande building for the 1936 Texas Centennial celebration in Dallas and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo during World War II.
The Seguin, Texas, Hampton family is distantly related to the South Carolina Hamptons and the Texas Rabb family.
The Baxter-Hollamon-Hampton Family Collection, [ca. 1850-1950], encompasses life in Texas from the pioneer days to the mid-twentieth century and includes journals (both intact and in fragments), family correspondence, a ledger account book from 1850, a $500 bond signed by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1866), scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and family-related materials, and photographs. The bulk of the collection concerns the Baxter family, although it also includes some materials relating to the Hampton, Hollamon, and Rabb families.
The 1850 ledger account book documents the sale of dry goods to leading individuals throughout the town of Seguin in the dry goods store owned and operated by George Byron Hollamon. Jeannette Hollamon Baxter’s manuscript journal relates to her family’s experiences and the agriculture development of early Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley, from 1920 to 1940. The photographs include carte-de-visite (a small photograph made of an albumen print, no larger than 2 in. x 4 in.), cabinet cards, and a photograph album of snapshots of the Baxter family (1914-1915).
The Baxter family letters, 1893-1927, primarily concern the daily lives of Baxter family members in Seguin and Weslaco. Many of the 204 letters were exchanged between Walter H. Baxter, Sr., and Jeannette Hampton Baxter during their courtship and marriage, and include details of her experiences at Camp Verde near Kerrville during the summer of 198. The letters also describe the illnesses and deaths of two daughters, depictions by Walter from Wichita Falls and Breckinridge regarding efforts to establish a water business in the oil fields in 1919, and descriptions of agricultural enterprise and daily life in the newly developed Rio Grande Valley during the 1920s. There are eight-five additional letters written between 1941 and 1945, primarily relating to family matters.
This collection is open for research use.
Baxter-Hollamon-Hampton Family Collection, [ca. 1850-1950], Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Stephanie Malmros, May 2003.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers