A Guide to the Hedwig Thusnelda Kniker Family Papers, 1887-1987
Hedwig Thusnelda Kniker was born to German immigrants Reverend Carl Kniker (1858-1935) and Mrs. Natalie Kniker (1861-1941) on November 13, 1891 in Gay Hill, Texas. She graduated as valedictorian from the Opera House School in New Braunfels in 1908 and became a teacher in Washington County. She was one of seven children. Her parents served at St. Paul Evangelical Church (now known as St. Paul United Church of Christ) in Cibolo, Texas from 1892 to 1934.
In 1913, Kniker enrolled in the University of Texas (UT). She graduated with a B.A. degree in German, psychology, and geology in 1916 and received her M.A. in 1917. She continued her study of paleontology at Cornell University and the University of Chicago before returning to Austin.
Kniker worked at the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT until 1920, at which time she moved to Houston to work for Texaco. In 1927, Kniker moved to San Angelo, where she worked for Phillips Petroleum, as well as Ricker and Dodson. In 1930, she moved to San Antonio and became an independent consultant. In 1941, Kniker moved to Puenta Areanas, Chile to work for the United Geophysical Company.
Kniker returned to the United States to retire in Seguin, Texas in 1950 and in 1970 moved to San Antonio. She died on October 12, 1985. A donation to the University provisioned in Kniker’s will financed the addition of 39 bells to the Main Building Tower chime, turning it into the largest carillon in Texas. The carillon was named for and dedicated to Kniker on November 14, 1987.
Tindol, Robert. "Woman for whom Kniker Carillon named left mark as a geologist." From On Campus (November 1987). Last modified May 1999. Accessed July 3, 2013. http://www.utexas.edu/tours/mainbuilding/news/carillon/knicker.html.
"Frequently Asked Questions." The Guild of Student Carillonneurs. University of Texas. Accessed July 3, 2013. http://www.texascarillon.com/about-the-carillon.
Papers document the life and career of Hedwig Kniker (1891-1985), University of Texas graduate (B.A. 1916, M.A. 1917), prominent Texas geologist and paleontologist, and donor of the Kniker Carillon at UT (1987), and also relate to her parents, Carl and Natalie Kniker and their seven children. Included are academic and professional literary productions, diplomas, UT memorabilia, genealogical materials, and photographs of the Kniker family and The University of Texas. The papers also include audiocassette tapes of Kniker Carillon musical programs and a videotape of the carillon’s dedication ceremony in 1987.
This collection is open for research use.
Use of audio material by appointment only; please contact sound archivist for more information.
Use of video material by appointment only; please contact repository for more information.
Hedwig Thusnelda Kniker Family Papers, 1887-1987, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Lynn Bell, November 1987.
Subsequent revisions were made by Vanessa Attia, July 2013.
Detailed Description of the Papers