UT Health Science Center San Antonio

Guide to the Gerhard Family Papers

Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Gerhard, Cora Lee, 1897-1995
Title: Gerhard Family Papers
Inclusive dates: 1907 - 1960
Abstract: The Gerhard Family Papers contain personal and business papers for various members of the Gerhard family of Mikeska, Texas in Live Oak County, including Cora Lee Gerhard, Sophia Gerhard, and Andrew F. Gerhard. Materials include correspondence, financial records, photographs and religious memorabilia. Many of the pictures show unidentified family or friends as well as unidentified nurses and nursing students at the Kenney Sanitorium of San Antonio, Texas and pictures of Dr. John Wesley Kenney and Dr. Edmunde L. Sharpe.
Identification: MS 16
Extent: 3 boxes, approximately 600 items
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, UTHSC Libraries, University Archives, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Biographical Note

Joseph M. Gerhard was a farmer in Mikeska, Texas in the county of Live Oak. The 1900 US Census shows he was a stock raiser who owned his own farm free of mortgage, was born in Texas in May 1860 and was then 40 years old. He was married in 1894 to Julia G. Gerhard, born in Texas in Aug 1871 and shown as 28 years old. They had 4 children – Soklau, born Jan 1895; Andrew, born Apr 1896; Cora L., born Jun 1897; and William J., born Aug 1899. Gerhard’s father was born in Germany and his mother in Ireland, while his wife’s father was born in Louisiana. In the 1910 US Census, Joseph, then 50, was widowed with his two sons, Andrew and W. Jennings, then 13 and 10, living at home with him. He was listed as a merchant in General Merchandize while Andrew is listed as a home farmer. The 1920 US Census shows Joseph was 60 and still widowed with 3 children living with him, Sophia Lee (25), Cora Lee (22), and William J. (20). No mention is made of Andrew, but letters in the collection show that he served with the American Expeditionary Forces during WW I in France. He survived the war and was later discharged. In the 1940 US Census, Joseph M. Gerhard (widowed, aged 80) and his daughter Sophia Lee (single, aged 43) were still living in Live Oak County on the farm with neither working but with other income. Cora Lee was living with the J. V. Redick family on Scenic Loop in Bexar County, Texas, and working as a private home nurse, having lived in Beeville, Bee County, Texas, in 1935. Cora Lee died June 19, 1995 at the age of 97. It is not known when other family members deceased, but there were no immediate survivors at the time of her death.

Cora Lee Gerhard, whom much of the correspondence and financial records belong to, was a private home nurse working in Houston and Beeville and other areas of Texas. Her sister Sophia may also have been a nurse. Both Cora Lee and Sophia attended the Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi, as evidenced by notes on the back of the religious memorabilia in the collection. Cora Lee received her nurses training or worked at the Kenney Sanatorium, a small private hospital established in San Antonio in 1904 by Dr. John Wesley Kenney, as the collection contains many photographs of nurses and nursing students at the hospital.

The Kenney Sanatorium lasted until at least 1938 but is not listed in the 1942 A.M.A. directory. Dr. Kenney practiced with Dr. Nathaniel Mitchell Kenney, and both were graduates of Tulane Medical School. Nathaniel also maintained an office at 209 1/2 Alamo Plaza with Dr. Edmunde Sharpe, a graduate of Vanderbilt University Medical School, who also served as anesthetist for the hospital.


U.S. Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1940.

Letter from Joyce Ray, Archivist, to Heritage House of George West, TX, dated April 18, 1986.

Sparkman, Ervin L. The People's History of Live Oak County, Texas. Mesquite, Texas: Ide House Publishers, 1981.

"Cora L. Gerhard", obituary appearing in the Corpus Christi Caller-TimesJune 22, 1995.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the personal papers and photographs belonging to several members of the Gerhard family, primarily Cora Lee Gerhard and Sophia Gerhard. Papers include financial records, a medical record for Sophia Gerhard, business and personal correspondence, Christmas cards, programs, newspaper clippings, and religious memorabilia. The collection also contains many unidentified pictures of nurses and nursing students at the Kenney Sanatorium and pictures of Dr. John Wesley Kenney and Dr. Edmunde L. Sharpe.


Arrangement of Collection

Materials are arranged in 3 boxes and on 1 shelf in 3 series as follows:
Series 1: Papers
Series 2: Correspondence
Series 3: Photographs


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.

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

Gerhard, Andrew, 1896-?
Gerhard, Cora Lee, 1897-1995
Gerhard, Joseph M., 1860-?
Gerhard, Julia M, 1871-?
Gerhard, Sophia, 1895-?
Gerhard, William Jennings, 1899-?
Kenney, John W., 1871-1945
Sharpe, Edmunde L.
Sheeran, Lois Marie
Incarnate Word Academy (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Kenney Sanatorium (San Antonio, Texas)
Farming - Texas
History of Nursing - Texas
Physicians – Texas
Religious Articles – United States
World War I
Document Types
Newspaper Clippings

Related Material

Parmen House Records. UTHSCSA Collection, 1PH*1, Folder 1, University Archives, UTHSC Libraries, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Contains a portrait of John Kenney, biographical data on the Kenney family, a photocopy of an oil on canvas of Dr. Kenney’s Sanatorium, and a photocopy of Dr. John Kenney holding his daughter.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], in the Gerhard Family Papers, MS 16, University Archives, UTHSC Libraries, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.


Materials in this collection were donated in 1986 to the library of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio by the George West Heritage Foundation, George West. Texas. Cherry Warrick called the library in August 1986 and reported that she had discovered a trunk full of old photographs at the George West dump. Many of the photographs were of doctors and nurses at the Kenney Sanatorium in the early 1900s. Research revealed that the sanatorium, a general hospital located on Main Street, was owned and operated by Dr. John Kenney of San Antonio. The photographs were the property of Cora Lee Gerhard, a registered nurse who worked at the hospital in the 1910s and 1920s. Ms. Warrick donated the Gerhard collection containing family papers and nearly one hundred photographs to the Nixon Library on behalf of the George West Heritage Foundation.

Collection History

Received as a donation from the George West Heritage Foundation, George West. Texas in 1986.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by: Anne Comeaux, August 2012, and revised July 2013.

Detailed Description of Collection


Series 1. Papers

Box Folder
MS 16*1 1 Address Books, ca. 1960.
2 items
2 Financial Records. 1924-1946
Approx. 100 items
Includes car insurance policy, check stubs, canceled checks, receipts, bank statements, bank deposit slips.
3 Sophia Gerhard. Patient Records, Beeville Hospital. 1924
4 Health and Beauty Treatments.
Approx. 34 items
Ads, handwritten diets, instructions
5 Notebooks.
3 items
6 Miscellaneous.
Newspaper clippings, programs, Christmas card, handwritten poem, autograph book, birthday card, article from the American Weekly on Sister Elizabeth Kenny and her treatment of polio.
7 Sophia Gerhard. Religious Mementos.
37 items
8 Cora Lee Gerhard. Religious Mementoes.
12 items including small Bible
9 Religious Mementoes (folder 1).
34 items
10 Religious Mementoes (folder 2).
42 items
11 Religious Mementoes (folder 3).
38 items


Series 2. Correspondence

Box Folder
MS 16*2 1 A.J. Gerhard, Sr. Correspondence.
approx. 20 items
2 Cora Lee Gerhard. Correspondence. 1918-1929
6 items
3 Cora Lee Gerhard. Correspondence with Patricia Sue Gerhard.
23 items
4 Cora Lee Gerhard. Correspondence. 1930-1939
16 items
5 Cora Lee Gerhard. Correspondence. 1940-1944
12 items
6 Cora Lee Gerhard. Correspondence. 1945-1949
22 items
Box Folder
MS 16*3 1 Cora Lee Gerhard. Undated Correspondence.
27 items
2 Sophia Gerhard. Correspondence.
Approx. 36 items
3 Gerhard Family. Miscellaneous Correspondence (folder 1).
27 items
4 Gerhard Family. Miscellaneous Correspondence (folder 2).
28 items


Series 3. Photographs

Box Item
MS 16*4 1 Unidentified Tintype of Elderly Man.
2 Unidentified Photograph of U.S. Sailor. ca. 1918
3 Unidentified Photograph of U.S. Soldier. ca. 1918
4 Photograph of 'Julia' in Nurses Uniform, seated
5 Photograph of 'Julia' in Nurses Uniform, head shot
6 Photograph of Dr. E.L. Sharpe, M.D.
7 Photograph of J.W.W. Kenney, M.D.
8 Photograph of Lois Marie Sheeran, 7 1/2 Months. ca. 1955
9 Photograph of Students of Parochial School. ca. 1920
10 Unidentified Photo of Girl Child, (Patricia Sue Gerhard?)
11 Unidentified Photo of Young Woman. ca. 1920
12 Photograph of 1 year old girl child, Maxine Wood, ward of J. W. Kenney, married name Maxine Hagemann.
13 Unidentified Photograph of Priest
14 Unidentified Photograph of Young Man (A.J. Gerhard?).
15 Group Portrait of Nurses At Kenney Sanitorium. ca. 1920
16 Unidentified Photograph of Flowers on Grave.
17 Notebook of photographs and postcards.
Contains 19 photographs of nurses, doctors, and staff of Kenney Sanatorium; postcard of Sunken Gardens, San Antonio, TX; postcard of Cypress Courts, Kerrville, TX; postcard of Kerr County Court House, Kerrville, TX; unidentified wedding portrait; 54 photographs of unidentified family and friends, many in a rural farm setting or showing soldiers. ca. 1920
18 Large envelope with photographs.
Contains 5 unidentified photographs of nurses; 31 unidentified photographs of family and friends in a rural farm setting, some showing a person in a sailor uniform; and one sheet with 9 prints of tintype of unidentified old man. ca. 1920
19 6 envelopes with miscellaneous negatives.
Shelf Item
109 1 Group Photograph of Co. C, 315th Engineers. ca. 1914
2 Group Photograph of Students, Kansas City Auto and Tractor School. 1920
3 Panoramic Photograph of Downtown Mercedes, Texas. ca. 1920
4 Panoramic View of Unidentified Nursing Staff or Nursing Students at Kenney Sanatorium. ca. 1920
2 copies
5 Panoramic View of Unidentified Nursing Staff or Nursing Students at Kenney Sanatorium, holding sign saying Kenney Sanatorium. ca. 1920