Austin History Center

Eugene Carlos Bartholomew Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Bartholomew, Eugene Carlos, 1839-1923
Title: Eugene Carlos Bartholomew Papers
Dates: 1854-1923
Abstract: The Eugene Carlos Bartholomew Papers document the life and work of Eugene Carlos Bartholomew (1839-1923), an Austin resident prominent in city and federal government, local banking and real estate. An outstanding feature of the collection is the series of meticulously written diaries which chronicle 69 years of his personal and professional life, including his Civil War experience. Also represented are account ledgers, clippings, correspondence, fliers, scrapbook items, and other assorted materials that document daily life and the history of Austin, Texas during the Reconstruction Period through the early 20th century.
Accession number: AR.D.007
Quantity: 7.5 linear feet (7 document boxes and 13 oversize ledgers)
Location: Archive stacks, Oversize volumes, qAR
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

Eugene Carlos Bartholomew, son of Orange Adams and Sarah Chapin Wright Bartholomew, was born in Hanover, Michigan, on January 3, 1839, and moved to Jonesville, Michigan with his family at age 11. He graduated from Hillsdale College (MI) in 1861, and then entered the Union Army as a civilian employee in 1864. In 1865, he became chief clerk in the Quartermaster's Division of the Fourth Army Corps, a unit that was relocated from Nashville to Victoria, Texas in 1865. Thereafter he worked with the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands in Galveston, Texas. As an agent of the Bureau he was transferred to Austin in 1867 to oversee the establishment of schools. In 1870, he was appointed Superintendent of Education, having also served as Chief Clerk for both the State House of Representatives and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instructions. By 1873 he had become involved in the real estate and loan business, which occupied him for the remainder of his life. He was one of the founders and original director of the Austin National Bank, in which both his son and grandson later became executive managers. From 1909 to 1919, he served as one of the first city commissioners and assisted in the funding of the first city park, named in honor of Mayor Wooldridge. Bartholomew also headed the Water and Light Department during which time he managed to lower utility costs by reducing the water rate to 50 cents per month, which proved highly beneficial to over 20,000 residents. In this official capacity in 1917 he was integral in negotiations in the Colorado River dam reconstruction. Among his other accomplishments include his role as Commissioner of Parks and Public Property, and his many years as a United States grand jury commissioner.

Bartholomew married Elizabeth Morley Brown on February 1, 1870, and they had one son, Claude Morley. Bartholomew was a Republican, an Episcopalian, and a Freemason. He died in Austin on October 27, 1923, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery. In 1959, the city’s Bartholomew Park was named in honor of him and his family.

Source: Bartholomew, Eugene Carlos ( accessed September 12, 2017)

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the activities of Eugene Carlos Bartholomew from the years before entering college in 1857 until approximately two weeks before his death in 1923. There are five series, grouped as Diaries, Account Books, Letters Sent, Letters Received and Assorted Materials.

The outstanding feature of the collection is evidenced in 26 Diaries (1854-1923) that span 69 consecutive years of entries, with intermittent chronological gaps. Bartholomew was very meticulous in his note-taking and devoted to a regular habit of recording his observations and collecting news of the world in which he lived. It is worth mentioning that the entries bear witness to events from his recent past and ongoing present, and refer to those anticipated in the near future. This "journalistic" approach contrasts with other diarists whose efforts may be regarded more in terms of personal memoirs and introspective reflections.

Some noteworthy highlights from the diaries include the first two volumes, which are devoted to his high school life in Jonesville, Michigan; the cover of the initial diary bears his name misspelled. Diary 3 chronicles his first calendar year at Hillsdale College, in Hanover, Michigan, during which time he mentions purchasing a rooster. Diaries 5 through 7 continue to portray his college life, in which he discusses his coursework, his friendships and his general activities as an ambitious youth. His painstaking log of his personal accounts becomes first apparent at this stage. For instance, extensive lists of what he paid for individual food items and articles of clothing are kept on an almost daily basis. Diaries 8 and 9 have much to say of his civilian employment as a clerk in the Chief Quartermaster's Office of the Union's Fourth Army and, more generally, of life during the Civil War. For example, he refers to popular discussion of General Sherman’s next course of action, and of witnessing a transport of Confederate prisoners-of-war. To illustrate the breadth of experience Bartholomew recorded, Diary 11’s entry for March 27th (which is also one of the shortest) mentions that "nothing remarkable occurred", while a later entry in October features a newspaper obituary of his younger brother Henry. Diary 12 continues his habit of recording social encounters among friends and family, including engagements, weddings, and a two-page list of the deaths of everyone he has personally known to that point. Diary 12 also includes information about the day of Texas' readmission to the Union and the beginning of Reconstruction. It was during this time he started work in the Freedmen's Bureau, after having been transferred to Victoria, Texas. By Diary 16, Bartholomew, while continuing with all of his previous diary habits mentioned above, has made much of his work in Austin as the Superintendent of Education. At this stage he had been performing many other municipal functions in the city. For example, he also refers to his appointment as Inspector of Hides and Animals, a title which no longer exists. Diary 24 discusses his first business with and subsequent directorship at the Austin National Bank, and, continuing on various city council roles, also records local election results. Diary 26 refers to the catastrophic hurricane in Galveston, Texas, as well as the Austin Dam collapse, and his efforts in negotiating later reconstruction. Diary 27 records the 1905 yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans, one of the last in the nation. Diary 28 mentions the death at age 77 of "one of Austin's oldest residents", and that Bartholomew paid for the installation of a public drinking fountain. In his final diary from the year of his death, in which only 79 of the 152 pages were used, he laments the passing of Warren G. Harding, "a good President and an honest man gone." Bartholomew was fond of including information about disasters foreign and domestic, and the occurrence of various meteorological phenomena (shooting stars, eclipses, etc.) His final diary entry is about rainfall. In fact, previous entries about rainfall served two corroborate witness testimony in two separate court cases. The range from the general to the specific of Bartholomew's writing illuminates both the particularities of his daily experience as well as that of life in late 19th century/early 20th century Austin.

Regarding its physical nature, each diary consists of approximately 200 hand-numbered pages. Bartholomew indexed on the inside front and back covers and within the page margins the persons and subjects referred to in the entries. interleaved among the pages of the diaries are various paper items that include but are not restricted to the following: loose correspondence; scraps of notes; business and entertainment memoranda; certificates; licenses; telegrams; advertisements; newspaper clippings (often pasted); greeting cards; accounting slips; and fragments from other journals. Please note that Diaries 14, 15, and 19 were omitted prior to donation. Diary 13 is in fact Account Book 1, although a great number of diary entries also included the accounting of daily expenses. Among the latter diaries this practice was replaced by the inclusion of more newspaper clippings, as the account books had assumed this function more specifically.

There are four Account Books (1868-1906) which record his personal transactions, with some omissions. Account Book 3 primarily records business related to his Masonic activities.

The series of Letters Sent (1876-1909) are collected in eight volumes of original books of letter press tissue copies that document Bartholomew's outgoing correspondence, with some omissions. Some replies to the sent letters are included.

The series of Letters Received (1861-1883), also with gaps in the sequence, is pasted on the pages of five bound volumes. Contained in a folder housed in a separate document box are about 40 letters removed from their original binding. Amomg this handwritten correspondence are printed invitations and announcements. Many of the above books have detached covers and loose bindings.

Assorted Materials (1854-1923, undated) consists of a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, bound to an accompanying hymnal; a folder of Austin National Bank documents, much of it on official letterhead, that communicate Bartholomew's operations as bank director; another folder containing a miscellany of paper materials which include, among other items, a dog tax receipt, social club invitations and ballroom tickets, a stage coach bill, magazine subscription renewals, and commencement programs for UT and Austin High School graduation ceremonies; and a copy of the most widely-used educational primer of its time, McGuffey's Fourth New Eclectic Reader, which belonged to Bartholomew's son Claude Morley. The last folder contains an assortment of loose scrapbook items (holiday cards, autographs, and clippings).


The collection is arranged in five series:

  • Diaries
  • Account Books
  • Letters Sent
  • Letters Received
  • Assorted Materials


Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Physical Characteristics

Some of the volumes are fragile and require care in handling for preservation purposes. Please consult repository for details and assistance with handling.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Bartholomew, Eugene Carlos, 1839-1923.
Hawley, George C.
Subjects (Organizations)
Austin National Bank.
Department of Parks and Recreation.
Hillsdale College.
Oakwood Cemetery (Austin, Tex.).
Austin (Tex.). City Council.
United States. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.
American Civil War (United States : 1861-1865)
Banks and banking--Texas--Austin.
Campaign paraphernalia--Collectors and collecting.
City council members--Texas--Austin.
Municipal officials and employees--Texas--Austin.
United States. Army. Army, 4th.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877).
Austin (Tex.).
Austin (Tex.)--Environmental conditions.
Austin (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Austin Dam (1893-1900).
Galveston (Tex.).
Hanover (Mich.).
Jonesville (Mich.).
Travis County (Tex.).
Victoria (Tex.).
Document Types

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Bartholomew, Eugene Carlos.
  • AF Subject - Banks and Banking - Austin National Bank- Interfirst (Before 1950) - B0710
  • AF Subject - City Council - (1900-1909) - 4030(4)
  • AF Subject - City Council - (1910-1919) - 4030(5)
  • AF Subject - Dams - Austin Dam - D0100
  • AF Subject - Freemasons - Ben Hur Temple - F3600(4)
  • AF Subject - Freemasons - Colorado Commandery #4 - F3600(6)
  • AF Subject - Parks - Bartholomew - P1200(2)
  • AF Subject - Parks - Wooldridge - P1295
  • AF Subject - Parks and Recreation - General (Before 1949) - P1400(1)
  • AF Subject - Public Utilities - General - P9200
  • AF Subject - Water and Wastewater - (General - 1979) - Wo800

General Collection

  • A 627.8 Ba Bartlett and Rainey, Report on Changes of Contract Design for Austin Dam. 1916.
  • A 627.8 Me Mead, Daniel W., Report on the Dam and Water Power Development at Austin, TX. 1917.
  • A818 BaD Transcripts of Diaries 1-3, 5-12,16-18, 20-30
  • A818 BaD Index- Deaths
  • A818 BaD Index- Diaries v. 18, 20 , 26
  • A818 BaD Index - Weddings
  • A818 BaL Transcripts and Photocopies of Letters Sent, Volumes 1-4
  • A818 BaL Transcripts and Photocopies of Letters Received, Book 1, Book 2 (v.1, 2), Book 3, Book 4 (v. 1,2), Book5 (v.1,2)
  • A 976.411 Au76L Long, Walter E. Flood to Faucet 1956 .

Archives & Manuscripts

  • AR.J.003 Freemason's Colorado Commandery No. 4 (1870-1886)
  • AR.P.001 The Laws Collection of Records of the City of Austin
  • AR.1991.046 The George C. Hawley Papers

Separated Material

  • Separated materials including a few certificates, licenses, postcards and other printed matter relocated to the George C. Hawley Papers, AR.1991.46.
  • Empty scrapbook to Austin History Center book sale.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was donated by Eugene Carlos Bartholomew's granddaughter on September 8, 1965.

Preferred Citation

Eugene Carlos Bartholomew Papers (AR.D.007). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1956/004

Donation Date: September 8, 1965

Processing Information

Processed by Jim Rizkalla, August 2017

Finding aid encoded by Jim Rizkalla, September 2017

Detailed Description of the Collection

Diaries, 1854-1923

1 Diary 1, 1854, 1855
Diary 2, 1855-1857
Diary 3, 1858
Diary 4, 1/1/1859 - 9/3/1860
Diary 5, 9/3/1860-6/10/1861
Diary 6, 6/10/1861-5/3/1862
Diary 7, 5/5/1862-12/31/1862
Diary 8, 1/1/1863-11/8/1864
Diary 9, 11/9/1864-10/24/1865
Diary 10, 10/25/1865-2/10/1867
Diary 11, 2/11/1867-12/31/1869
Diary 12, 1/1/1870-9/24/1872
Diary 16, 9/25/1872-11/24/1875
Diary 17, 11/25/1875-4/21/1879
Diary 18, 4/23/1879-12/31/1882
2 Diary 20, 1/1/1883-9/30/1885
Diary 21, 11/1/1885-11/30/1888
Diary 22, 11/1/1888-12/31/1889
Diary 23, 1/1/1890-12/31/1892
Diary 24, 1/1/1893-12/31/1895
Diary 25, 1/1/1896-12/31/1899
Diary 26, 1/1/1900-6/30/1905
3 Diary 27, 7/4/1905-9/27/1911
Diary 28, 9/25/1911-8/15/1917
4 Diary 29, 8/11/1917-12/1/1921
Diary 30, 12/7/1921-11/9/1923

Account Books, 1868-1906

6 Account Book 1, 1868-1871
Account Book 2, 1885-1891
Account Book 3, 1897-1913
7 Account Book 4, 1900-1906

Letters Sent, 1876-1909

Location Box
Oversize Volumes 8 Book, 11/1876 - 9/1880
Book, 9/1/1879-3/83/1886
Location Box
Oversize Volumes 9 Book, 4/14/1886-3/8/1888
Book, 3/15/1888-9/19/1889
Location Box
Oversize Volumes 10 Book, 9/20/1889-3/31/1902
Book, 4/2/1892-6/27/1895
Location Box
Oversize Volumes 11 Book, 7/1/1895-4/4/1901
Book, 4/18/1901-3/30/1909

Letters Received, 1861-1898

Box Folder
5 1 Unbound Letters Received, 1861-1875;1872;1875;1898
Location Box
Oversize Volumes 12 Book, 1868-1870
13 Book, 1871
14 Book, 1872-1873
15 Book, 1874-1875
16 Book, 1882-1883

Assorted Materials, 1861, 1863, 1868, undated

3 The Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal, undated
Box Folder
5 2 Austin National Bank documents, undated
3 Unsorted Papers and Memorabilia, undated
4 McGuffey's New Fourth Eclectic Reader, undated
5 Loose scrapbook materials, 1863, undated
Location BoxItem
qAR 01/008 Certificate, 1861
01/007 Diploma, 1861
02/004 Diploma, 1868