UT Health Science Center San Antonio

Guide to the Rudolph Menger Papers

Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Menger, Rudolph, 1851-1921
Title: Guide to the Rudolph Menger Papers
Inclusive dates: 1862 - 1915
Abstract: The Rudolph Menger Papers include a patient account book, reprints of articles written by Dr. Menger, correspondence, and miscellaneous records. A number of the documents relate to the interest shown by Dr. Menger in natural history and photography. A noted San Antonio physician and naturalist, Dr. Menger served as City Physician for San Antonio on two separate occasions.
Identification: MS 10
Extent: 1 box, 6 linear inches
Language: Materials are written in English and German.
Repository University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, UTHSC Libraries, University Archives, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Biographical Note

Rudolph Menger was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1851, the son of Simon L. and Augusta Louisa Menger, native Germans who arrived in Texas in 1846. He attended the old German-English School, and worked as a clerk in Kalteyer’s Drug Store from 1866 to 1869, where he began the study of pharmacy under the owner’s guidance. He then studied medicine in Germany at the University of Leipsic, in Saxony, graduating in November, 1874. He returned at once to San Antonio and served as Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army for one year then was appointed as City Physician of San Antonio from 1875 until 1881. For several years he devoted his time to private practice, then was appointed as City Physician a second time in 1892, greatly improving the operations in the city hospital. He was an active member of the West Texas Medical Society, continued his general medicine practice, and wrote numerous articles for various medical journals. He is credited with performing the first suprapubic lithotomy in Texas, as recorded in Daniel’s Texas Medical Journal in 1886.

He married Barbara C. Menger in 1879, a native of San Antonio and daughter of William L. Menger, owner of the Menger Hotel but unrelated to Rudolph. They had eight children, Minnie, Edward, August, Louis, Gustave, Rudolph, Theodore, and Margaret.

Dr. Menger is best remembered for his nature observations. He was a close observer and early formed the habit of recording what he saw, taking many pictures. In 1913 he published his studies in a book, which he called Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscences. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs and drawings by the author and contains descriptions of many Texas insects and animals, including the vinegaroon, the tarantula, the rattlesnake, the chaparral cock, the whippoorwill, and the Texas longhorn.


Menger, R., M.D. "Biographical Sketch of the Author," Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscences. San Antonio, Guessaz & Ferlet Company, 1913.

Nixon, Pat Ireland. A Century of Medicine in San Antonio : the Story of Medicine in Bexar County, Texas. San Antonio, TX: Privately published by the author, 1936.

Scope and Contents

The Menger papers include correspondence, copies of articles, contracts and certificates of appointment, a license to practice medicine in San Antonio, photographs and drawings.


Arrangement of Collection

The papers are arranged in 1 box in 4 series as follows:
Series 1: Dr. Rudolph Menger Account Book
Series 2: Correspondence
Series 3: Articles
Series 4: Miscellaneous


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use. Materials may be viewed in the reading room of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Access to patient records is restricted.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Physical Access

Some materials are very brittle or torn on the edges and may require an electronic copy or photocopy for use.

Index Terms

Menger, Rudolph, 1851-1921
Insects - Texas
History of Medicine – Texas
Natural History - Texas
Physicians – Texas
Document Types

Separated Material

Menger, R., M.D. Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscences. San Antonio, Guessaz & Ferlet Company, 1913. Located in the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, UTHSC Libraries, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Also available online in full text through the Portal to Texas History .

Menger, R., M.D. Photo-micro-graphs / prepared by Dr. R. Menger. 1888? Scrapbook of photographs prepared by Dr. Rudolph Menger. Located in P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, UTHSC Libraries, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], in the Rudolph Menger Papers, MS 10, University Archives, UTHSC Libraries, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.


Materials in this collection were donated in 1970 to the library of the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio by the Bexar County Medical Society.

Collection History

Received as part of a donation of manuscripts and historical books from the Bexar County Medical Society Library in 1970.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by: Anne Comeaux, July 2011.

Detailed Description of Collection


Series 1. Account Book

Dr. Rudolph Menger Account Book. Dates: 1895 – 1905?
Page 303/304 of Account Book with attached newspaper clipping removed to Miscellaneous folder.
Loose handwritten note by R.M. on desire of scientific writers to be remembered for their work was removed from the account book during creation of finding aid and placed in the Miscellaneous folder.


Series 2. Correspondence

Folder Item
1 1 Letter dated September 1915 to P. I. Nixon re leaving photomicrographic collection for Bexar County Medical Library and describing recently added item – photograph of phosphorescent beetle by its own light.
2 Letter dated 11/3/1915 from L. O. Howard to Dr. R. Menger with explanation by Mr. Barber of light in photograph submitted by Menger of phosphorescent beetle.
3 Letter dated 11/11/1915 to L. O. Howard, Chief Entomologist, Washington, D.C. from R. Menger, M.D. re: argument against report by Dr. Barber on explanation of light in photograph of phosphorescent beetle and saying sending glass tube used in experiment separately. Handwritten original and typewritten copy.
4 Letter dated 11/18/1915 from L. O. Howard to R. Menger saying letter referred to Mr. Berger.
5 Letter dated 11/29/1915 from L. O. Howard to R. Menger reporting receiving broken glass tube and alternate explanation from Mr. Berger.
6 Letter dated 11/12/1915 to Dr. W. H. Hargis, Secretary of the Bexar Co. Medical Society asking him to place enclosed correspondence in collection of photomicrographs and send him typewritten copies.
7 Handwritten notes to Dr. Hargis, Secretary West Texas County Medical Association describing photographing of phosphorescent beetle, intent to repeat photograph of glass tube, and requesting help in typing letters. No date.
8 Letter dated 11/23/1915 to W. H. Hargis.
9 Letter dated 11/24/1915 to W. H. Hargis.
10 Letter dated 11/24/1915 to Miss Josephine S. Brin, Librarian, Bexar County Medical Society, thanking her for typewritten copies of letters sent to Dr. Hargis.
11 Letter dated 12/4/1915 to Dr. Hargis
12 Letter to J. H. French, Mayor of San Antonio, from Dr. Ru Menger, City Physician, re management of Poorhouse Hospital. No date.
13 Letter from San Antonio Traction Co. dated 6/9/1906 to R. Menger.
14 Letter to Menger dated 12/7/1913 from dentist sending article on use of Novocain.
15 Letter from R. N. L. Bibs? On case of Echinococus.
16 Letter from I. H. Taylor, Asst. Adjun. General, to Headquarters Department San Antonio, Texas, dated April 1875 with official orders for Asst. Surgeon Rudolph Menger.
17 Wrapper from Surgeon General, U. S. Army, dated 3/9/1896 returning orders to Dr. Rudolph Menger.
18 Letter from P. Ornuelas M.D., PhD., Consul of Mexico, to Dr. R. Menger, City Physician, dated 7/23/1879 asking for copy of autopsy report on death of General A. R. Falcon and request to change nationality on report from U. S. citizen to citizen of Mexico.
19 Letter from Dr. Adolph J. Glaser of Hondo, TX dated 3/15/1905 re report of a raccoon that would eat very poisonous insects and reptiles.
20 Letter from Allen Smith of University of Texas, School of Medicine in Galveston dated 3/31/1899 to Dr. Menger re slide sent separately with stained cells from a case of amoebic dysentery.
21 Letter in German dated 8/20/1862 from Menger to unknown recipient.
22 Letter dated 10/21/1899 from Menger discussing tapeworm infections. Recipient unknown.
Missing page 1.
23 Letter in German to Rudolf Menger dated Aug 1872.
24 Letter in German from Menger dated 5/21/1875.


Series 3. Articles

Folder Item
2 1 R. Menger, M.D. “The Rational Treatment of Snake-Bites and Others with Andrenalin Chloride.” The Texas Medical Journal, 18(11), May 1903.
Missing last page.
2 R. Menger, M.D. “Aspiration in Knee Joint Effusion After Traumatism.” The Texas Medical Journal, 17(8): 283-284, Feb. 1902.
3 R. Menger, M.D. “Punctured Wounds by Venomous Animals.” The Medical Brief. No date.
4 R. Menger, M.D. A Case of Traumatic Tetanus with Trismus – Recovery. No date.
5 Rudolph Menger, M.D. A Multiple Colloid Cystoma of the Left Ovary Successfully Removed. Reprint from Daniel’s Texas Medical Journal, November 15, 1889.
Handwritten note on back by RM describing operating conditions.
6 Ledger sheet with 4 articles mounted: 1) R. Menger, M.D. “Laparotomy in a Case of Strangulation of the Ilium.” The Journal of Materia Medica, April 1877, 2) Rud. Menger, M.D. “Case of Poisoning with Ladanum, Cured by an Emetic Applied to the Rectum.” Source unknown, 3) German article entitled ”Zur Casuistik der Verletzungen.” 4) German article entitled “Monatilicher Zterbebericht.” Source unknown.
7 Newspaper clipping announcing publication of paper by R. Menger on “Climatic and Health Conditions of San Antonio.”
8 R. Menger, M.D. “Stab-Wound in Bladder. – Laparotomy. – Recovery." Daniel’s Texas Medical Journal . Date unknown.
9 R. Menger, M.D. “How the Vinegaroon and the Galeodes Kill Their Victims.” The Outdoor World. Date unknown.
10 R. Menger. “Reptiles are Passing. The Fate of Snake and Wild Animals in Texas is Fixed and They are Going Out.” Sunday Express. Date unknown.


Series 3. Miscellaneous

Folder Item
3 1 Certificate with notation "(Copy)" at top that Dr. Med. Rudolph Menger of San Antonio, Texas from May 11, 1869 to end of year 1874 was matriculated at the University of Leipsic as a Student of Medicine and graduated as a Doctor of Medicine, Surgery, and Obstetrics after having passed examinations prescribed by the medical faculty. Dated 25 Feb 1875.
Contains Notary Public notation at bottom of document dated 13/4/1875 that foregoing was a substantially true and correct translation of the original.
2 Contract for Rudolph Mender to serve as Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army, Dept. of Texas. Dated April 14, 1875.
3 Certificate of Election showing that Rudolph Menger was elected to the office of City Physician of the City of San Antonio on January 8, 1874.
4 Commission for Dr. R. Menger to serve as City Physician for the City of San Antonio. Dated 3/5/1895.
5 Order form for Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscences.
3 copies.
6 Photograph of Dr. Rudolph Menger.
7 Receipt for Occupation Tax entitling Rud Menger to pursue the occupation of a physician for six months, from 1st day of January 1876 to the 30th day of June 1876, inclusive. San Antonio, June 9, 1876 (date uncertain) .
8 Photograph of a phosporescent beetle - giant glow worm, photographed by its own light (in a glass tube).
Note on back: “With complements to Dr. J. Hargis, Secretary Bexar County Medical Society. Menger. No printed letters have been adjusted w/this instance.”
9 Drawing of the poisonous sac of a centipede with handwritten description.
Page has number 2 b at top.
10 Page 303/304 of Account Book with newspaper clipping entitled, “For Tuberculosis Sufferers. Can Be Cured by Outdoor Living and Good Conduct.”
11 Handwritten note by R.M. on desire of scientific writers to be remembered for their work
12 3 page note in German.
13 Drawing with note in German.