Guide to the Gerhard Family Papers
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.
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.
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.
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Some materials are very brittle or torn on the edges and may require an electronic copy or photocopy for use.
[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.
Received as a donation from the George West Heritage Foundation, George West. Texas in 1986.
Finding aid created by: Anne Comeaux, August 2012
Detailed Description of Collection