Austin History Center

Max Starcke Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Starcke, Max Hugo, 1884-1972
Title: Max Starcke Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1865-1971
Bulk Dates: 1934-1955
Abstract: Max Hugo Starcke (1884-1972), a central Texas civic and business leader, was general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) from 1940- 1955. Correspondence, minutes, financial and legal documents, photographic materials, creative works, maps, charts, lists, and scrapbook materials document Max Starcke's work at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), his involvement in civic service, his business dealings in Seguin and Austin, and his personal affairs, 1881-1971. .
Identification: AR.S.003
Quantity: 4.8 linear feet (16 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, Outer Vault
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Max Hugo Starcke (1884-1972), a central Texas civic and business leader, was general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) from 1940-1955. Starcke was one of the nation's authorities on water conservation and development of hydro-electric power, but his interests and influence extended into many areas including politics, city and state government, parks and recreation, charity projects, banking, and other businesses.

Born in the village of York's Creek (now known as Zorn) in Guadalupe County, Texas, Starcke attended public schools in Seguin. After two years at Texas A&M University, Starcke returned to Seguin and began his life-long involvement in civic development and community service. In 1909, he was elected alderman to the Seguin city council, and in 1924, Starcke began six consecutive terms (spanning fourteen years) as mayor of the city. During his years of service, Starcke was instrumental in improving Seguin's power and water systems. For his beautification programs and recreation development for Seguin, its citizen's honored him with the Max Starcke Park. During this period Starcke was also interested in business and founded the Farmers State Bank in Seguin.

In 1938, Starcke left Seguin to become the operations manager of LCRA, headquartered in Austin. In 1940, he became the first general manager of the LCRA and remained in that position until he retired in 1955. Under his direction the LCRA completed the series of dams forming the Highland Lakes (the dam at Marble Falls Lake was named the Max Starcke Dam) and initiated electric service with prominent central Texas leaders such as Lyndon B. Johnson, Alvin Wirtz, and Tom Connally. Starcke remained a consultant to LCRA after his retirement.

Max Starcke was a very active participant in civic and community services and served on the boards of numerous local and state-wide associations. Among the organizations with which he was affiliated as either officer, board member, or member were the Texas Water Conservation Association, the Texas Good Roads Association, Guadalupe County Fair Association, Texas Racing Association, and the Texas Economy Commission. Starcke's community and social interests included the YWCA, the Austin Rotary Club, the Texas Ten-Pin Bowling League, and the Austin Yacht Club.

Starcke married Evelyn Quinn, and in 1942 they had a daughter, Margaret Frances (Mrs. Margaret S. Woodruff). He had two daughters, Maxine (Mrs. Maxine Storzier) and Lucille Starcke by a previous marriage. Max Starcke died in 1972 at the age of 88.

Scope and Contents

The Max Starcke papers (1886-1971) include correspondence, minutes, financial and legal documents, photographic materials, creative works, maps, charts, lists, and scrapbook materials that document Max Starcke's work at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), his involvement in civic service, his business dealings in Seguin and Austin, and his personal affairs from 1881 to 1971. This collection is divided into four series: LCRA, Civic Service, Business Affairs, and Personal Affairs.

The LCRA series (1937-1954) comprises the bulk of the papers and have the richest documentation highlighting Starcke's years as general manager for LCRA. The papers include correspondence between Starcke and Lyndon B. Johnson for the years 1938-1951. Xerox copies of the Max Starcke/Lyndon B. Johnson correspondence from 1950- 1972 are housed at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in a collection entitled "Papers of Max Starcke". Also, included are correspondence with other men affiliated with LCRA, notably Senator Tom Connally, U.S. Secretary of the Interior J.A. Krug, Assistant Secretary of War Stuart Syminton, and Senator A.J. Wirtz who later worked with the U.S. Department of the Interior. Minutes, printed material, financial documents, and creative works supplement the correspondence and emphasize the development and operations of the LCRA while Starcke served as general manager. Topics of the papers include the rural electrification in central Texas, security and military protection of the hydro-electric plants, labor organization, legislation pertaining to the electrical plants and dams, operations and divisions of the LCRA, construction and care of the Highland Lakes, and economic conditions in central Texas.

The Civic Service series (1929-1955, undated) illuminate Starcke's six consecutive terms as mayor of Seguin, his activities on state and regional boards noting especially the Texas Planning Board, the Texas Centennial of Statehood Commission, and the Guadalupe County Fair Association and finally his associations with specific lobbying groups including the Texas Water Conservation Association and the Texas Good Roads Association both of which are extremely well documented. The records of specific charitable service, and social organizations in which Starcke was involved including YWCA, the Austin Yacht Club, and the Austin Rotary Club, span the short periods of time in which Starcke was involved with then (1-4 years).

The Business Affairs series (1886-1946) include legal and financial records of his property interests in Guadalupe County, insurance policies, receipts, and correspondence generated from his private business activities in Seguin and Austin. Included here are the papers collected from Starcke's duties as executor of the Maria Schramm estate as well as the papers from his receivership of the Iona Frazier vs. D.D. Baker law suit over oil property in Guadalupe County. A file on Max Starcke's father, Hugo Starcke, contains assorted financial and legal documents and is limited in terms of those records pertaining directly to Max Starcke.

The Personal Affairs series (1927-1961, undated) comprise the fourth group and is the most loosely documented. Included here are letters received from family and friends. Especially notable are the letters from his daughter Lucille. Copies of speeches Starcke delivered, cemetery plot statements, certificates of commendation, appointment books, and credit cards are included in this group.


The collection is arranged into four series:
  1. Lower Colorado River Authority
  2. Civic Service
  3. Business Affairs
  4. Personal Affairs
Unless otherwise noted, correspondence is arranged chronologically.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

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

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Connally, Tom, 1877-1963.
Krug, Julius A. (Julius Albert), 1907-1970.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
Quinn, Frank.
Schramm, Maria.
Starcke, Max Hugo, 1884-1972.
Starcke, Hugo.
Starcke, Lucille.
Starcke, Evelyn Quinn.
Symington, Stuart, 1901-1988.
Wirtz, Alvin, 1888-1951.
Guadalupe County Fair Association (Tex.)
Lower Colorado River Authority--History--20th century.
United States. National War Labor Board.
Texas Planning Board.
Texas Centennial Statehood Commission.
Texas Racing Association.
Texas Water Conservation Association.
Texas Good Roads Association.
United States. Public Works Administration.
Travis County (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Travis County (Tex.)--Environmental conditions
Travis County (Tex.)--Economic conditions
Guadalupe County (Tex.)
Seguin (Tex.)
Dams--Texas--History--20th century.
Horse racing.
Mayors--Texas--History--20th century.
Public works--Texas.
Roads--Texas--Design and construction--History.
Water conservation--Texas--History--20th century.
Water power--Texas--History--20th century.
Document Types:
Black and white photographs.
Financial records.
Legal records.
Meeting minutes.
Greeting cards.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Max Hugo Starcke
  • AF Subject - Lower Colorado River Authority L3550

Archives & Manuscripts

  • AR.Y.004 Frank Quinn Papers (Starcke's brother-in-law)

Other Repositories

  • Max Starcke Papers at the Briscoe Center for American History
  • Xerox copies of the Max Starcke/ Lyndon B. Johnson correspondence from 1950-1972 are housed at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in the Papers of Max Starcke.

Separated Material

Three photos were separated to the Austin Files photograph collection: AF-Boats and Boating B4496 (5) PICA 28687, 28688 and AF-YWCA Y0500 PICA 28686.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Max Starcke Papers (AR.S.003). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: unknown

Donation Date: circa 1981

Processing Information

Collection partially processed by Kimberly Coffey, Jenny Timmons, Joan Thompson in 1993. Remaining materials processed, finding aid updated and encoded by Mallori White and Molly Hults in 2016.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Lower Colorado River Authority, 1937-1954

Agencies 1937-1943, undated
Box Folder
1 1 Federal Power Commission/Federal Works Agency correspondence, 1937, 1941-1943
2 Federal Power Commission/ Federal Works Agency minutes, printed material, and creative works, 1937, 1941-1943
3 War Labor Board correspondence , 1940-1942
4 War Labor Board minutes, 1942
5 War Labor Board creative works, 1935, 1942, undated
6 Tennessee Valley Authority correspondence, 1941-1943
7 Tennessee Valley Authority financial statements, 1943
8 Public Works Administration correspondence, 1940-1941
9 Reconstruction Finance Corporation correspondence, 1940-1941
10 War Production Board correspondence, 1942
Correspondence, 1938-1951, undated
Box Folder
2 1 Lyndon B. Johnson (includes clippings), 1938
2-6 Lyndon B. Johnson, 1939-1942
Box Folder
3 1-9 Lyndon B. Johnson, 1943-1951
Box Folder
4 1 John E. Babcock , 1943-1947
2 Senator Tom Connally, 1951
3 James D. Craven, 1946
4 Gordon Fulcher, 1942
5 Arthur Goldschmidt, 1942
6 P.R. Hamill, 1943
7 George F. Harley, 1945
8 J.A. Krug, 1945-1946
9 Hon. Chas. Matula, 1943
10 J. H. McLean, 1940-1942
11 Frank G. Ragsdale, 1938-1939
12 Stuart Symington, 1946
13 P.B. Tartt, 1943-1944
14 A.J. Wirtz, 1939-1941
15 A.J. Wirtz , 1942-1943
Labor, 1941-1945, undated
Box Folder
5 1 Labor organized, 1941
2 Strike , 1945
3 Wage investigation, 1942, 1944-1945
4 Employees, 1945,1952
Operations, 1938-1949, undated
Box Folder
5 5 Industrialization, 1940-1941
6 Statistical data, 1939, 1941-1943
7 Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. 1940
8 Confidential auditing, 1943-1944
9 Bond proposal, 1949
Legislation, 1943, undated
Box Folder
5 10 Legislation correspondence, 1943
11 Legislation printed material and creative works, 1943, undated
Lower Colorado River Authority Divisions, 1941-1942, 1953-1954, undated
Box Folder
6 1 Granite Shoals Youth Center, 1953-1954, undated
2 Development Department and Load Building, 1941-1942, undated
Recreation, 1948
Box Folder
6 3 Dude Ranches, 1948
Magnesium Data, 1943-1946, undated
Box Folder
6 4 Magnesium Data, 1943-1944, 1946, undated
Photographs, 1942, undated
Box Folder
1 11 Conference and award banquet photographs (#053-063), 1942, undated
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault qAR photo box Conference photograph (#064-065), 1942

Civic Service, 1929-1955, undated

City of Seguin, Mayor's Office, 1929-1936, 1945, undated
Box Folder
7 1 Mayor Starcke
Guadalupe County Fair Association, 1934-1938
Box Folder
16 1-5 Correspondence, 1934-1938
6 Seguin Race Meet programs and marketing materials, 1934
7 Seguin Race Meet financial reports, 1934
8 Seguin Race Meet financial and banking records, 1934
9 Seguin Race Meet Alamo Down, Inc. receipts and disbursements, 1934
10 Seguin Race Meet invoices, 1934
11 Seguin Race Meet money winners and tickets, 1934
12 Seguin Race Meet time sheets and payroll, 1934
State Boards and Agencies, 1936-51, undated
Box Folder
16 13 Texas Racing Association, 1936
Box Folder
7 2 Texas Planning Board minutes, 1936-1937
3 Texas Planning Board correspondence, 1936-1938
4 Texas Planning Board printed material, 1936-1937, undated
5 Texas Centennial of Statehood Commission, 1944-1947, undated
6 Texas Beach and Pool Association correspondence, 1938-1939
7 Texas Beach and Pool Association minutes, creative works, and printed material, 1938-1939, undated
8 Zoning and Planning Commission, 1940-1941
9 University of Texas Development Board, 1949, 1951
10 Old Age Assistance Commission, 1936. undated
Regional Board, 1936, undated
Box Folder
7 11 Southwestern States Probation and Parole Board, 1936, undated
Lobbying Groups, 1935-1955, undated
Box Folder
8 1 Texas Water Conservation correspondence , 1946, 1949
2-5 Texas Water Conservation correspondence, 1950-1955
6 Texas Water Conservation minutes, 1950-1955
7 Texas Water Conservation creative works, 1950-1955
Box Folder
9 1 Texas Water Conservation financial statements , 1950-1955
2-7 Texas Water Conservation record of checks , 1950-1955
8 Texas Water Conservation printed material, 1949-1952, 1954, undated
9 Water development, 1961
Box Folder
10 1 Texas Good Roads Association Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting, 1938-1943
2 Texas Good Roads Association Minutes of Joint Meeting of the Executive and Legislative Committee, 1938, 1939, 1941
3 Texas Good Roads Association assorted minutes, 1938, 1940-1941, 1943
4-10 Texas Good Roads Association correspondence, 1938-1943
11 Texas Good Roads Association creative works, 1946, 1950-1955, undated
Box Folder
11 1 Texas Good Roads Association legal documents, 1938, 1939
2 Texas Good Roads Association printed material, 1939- 1941
3 Texas Economy Commission, 1950
4 Texas Chemurgic Council, 1935-1936, 1947-1948
5 Texas Social Welfare Association, 1947

Business Affairs, 1886-1946

General Business, 1908-1936
Box Folder
12 1 General Business, 1908-1936, undated
2 General Business legal documents, 1886-1912
3 General Business legal documents, 1913-1917
4 General Business legal documents, 1919-1929
5 General business leases, 1908-1916, 1936
6 General business insurance policies, 1917-1934
7 General business maps, undated
Boards, 1916-1946, undated
Box Folder
12 8 Farmers' State Bank, 1917, 1921-1938, undated
9 Geronimo State Bank, 1916, 1919-1928, undated
10 7- Up Panhandle Co., 1939-1940, 1944, 1946
Personal, 1901-1930
Box Folder
12 11 Hugo Starcke, 1901-1930
Maria Schramm Estate, 1907-1947, undated
Box Folder
13 1-4 Maria Schramm Estate correspondence sent, 1925-1947, undated
5-9 Maria Schramm Estate correspondence received, 1925-1947, undated
10 Maria Schramm Estate printed materials
Box Folder
14 1 Maria Schramm Estate financial documents , 1907-1908, 1917, 1929-1946
2 Maria Schramm Estate audit papers
3 Maria Schramm Estate audit reports, 1931-1933
4 Maria Schramm Estate Report of Examination, 1934-1938
5 Maria Schramm Estate Report of Special Investigation, 1939-1946
6 Maria Schramm Estate legal documents, 1923, 1928-1930, 1942, 1947
7 Maria Schramm Estate maps, undated
Receivership of Iona Frazier Vs. D.D. Baker Law Suit, 1930-1932
Box Folder
15 1 Receivership of Iona Frazier Vs. D.D. Baker Law Suit correspondence, 1930-1931
2 Receivership of Iona Frazier Vs. D.D. Baker Law Suit financial documents, 1930-1932
3 Receivership of Iona Frazier Vs. D.D. Baker Law Suit legal documents, 1930-1931
4 Receivership of Iona Frazier Vs. D.D. Baker Law Suit creative works, 1930-1931
5 Receivership of Iona Frazier Vs. D.D. Baker Law Suit charts and lists, 1930-1931

Personal Affairs, 1927-1961, undated

Box Folder
15 6 Letters received, 1933-1938, undated
7 Printed material, 1944-1946,1954, 1961
8 Financial documents, 1936, 1938, 1943, undated
9 Creative works, 1932, undated
10 Germany trip, 1952
11 Scrapbook, 1927, 1930-1931, 1934-1936, undated
Charitable Organizations, 1947-1950, undated
Box Folder
11 6 Young Women's Christian Association, 1947
7 Travis County Society for Crippled Children, Inc., 1950
Service Organizations, 1944-1945, undated
Box Folder
11 8 Austin Rotary Club- National Service Committee, 1944-1945
Social Organizations, 1935-1936, 1943-1947, undated
Box Folder
11 9 Austin Yacht Club, 1944-1946
10 Texas Ten-Pin Bowling League, 1935-1936
11 Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.,