Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Edwin A. Bonewitz Collection MSS.0025

Descriptive Summary

Creator Bonewitz, Edwin A.
Title: Edwin A. Bonewitz Collection
Dates: 1830's-1960's
Identification: MSS.0025
Quantity: 2.5 Linear feet, 6 boxes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Edwin Bonewitz was a lay historian interested in the history of Texas and especially Houston during the Republic and early statehood periods. Ed Bonewitz spent countless hours in the Harris County Court Records and in the Houston Public Library researching various topics with all the intensity of a perfectionist. Although he was an antiquarian concerned with esoteric subjects and completely caught up in detail, the results of his research are impressive.

Scope and Contents

The Edwin A. Bonewitz Collection is a small holding of manuscripts, maps, drawings, correspondence, and notes of a lay historian relating to the history of Texas and especially Houston during the Republic and early statehood periods.

Although Bonewitz researched most of his adult life, the collection consists of material he compiled after 1950; the rest was destroyed. After Ed's death in 1969, his brother Fred Bonewitz deposited these remaining papers with the Houston Public Library. The collection consists of two segments: the manuscripts and the correspondence.

Bonewitz's seventeen original, unpublished manuscripts give one a great deal of insight into Houston, Texas, during the Republic Period and early statehood. This segment is the most useful part of the collection and should always be referred to first. The manuscripts describe Houston during the 1830's and 1840's, and explain much about its institutional life.

His voluminous correspondence with other historians comprises the largest part of the collection, but it is repetitious and difficult to use. Nonetheless, much extra material can be gleaned from the correspondence so as to supplement the manuscripts.

The collection also reveals the trials and tribulations of the non-professional historian, and the controversies which antiquarians in Texas dealt with in the 1950's and 1960's.



The first two boxes are arranged alphabetically by subject with the manuscripts and letters concerning each topic filed together. Boxes 3 and 4 consist of correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The final box contains miscellaneous correspondence and notes taken by Bonewitz.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Edwin A. Bonewitz Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Allen, Augustus C.
Allen, John K.
Austin, John
Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railway Company
Bonewitz, Edwin A.
Brazoria Railway Company
Dickinson, Susanna
Holley, Mary Austin, 1784-1846
Holman, James
Houston Tap Railroad
Houston, Sam, 1793-1863
Mann, Pamelia
Moore, Francis, 1808-1864
Parker, James W.
Historical markers--Texas--Houston
Houston (Tex.)
Houston Ship Channel (Tex.)
Public Schools--Texas--Houston
San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Edwin A. Bonewitz Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Fred Bonewitz, 1969.

Processing Information

Processed by Thomas H. Kreneck, 1977.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Bonewitz Biographical Information and Houston History

Box Folder
1 1 Biographical materials, photo, and articles of Edwin A. Bonewitz
2 Early Houston: Locations of Real Properties, 1830's-1850: "Long Row," Capitol, Downtown
3 Early Houston: Locations of Real Properties, (Manuscript, "Houston-town in Mid-Year of 1839")
4 Early Houston: Bonewitz Correspondence and Manuscripts on Residences and Capitol Building
5 Early Houston: Structures and Newspapers, 1830's-1840's: Hotels, Bridges, Theatres, and Houston Telegram
6 Founding of Houston: Allen Brothers, John Austin, William Austin
7 Founding of Houston: "John Austin's Two Leagues of Land"
8 Historical Markers in the Present Houston Area
9 Houses and Schools in Early Houston, 1830's-1850's: Noble, Kellum, Cherry Houses
10 Houses Churches, Parks, and Schools in Early Houston, 1830's-1850's: Noble, Kellum, Nichols Houses
Box Folder
2 1 Incorporation of Houston: First Mayors, Early Houston City Seals
2 Incorporation of Houston: Two Bonewitz Manuscripts
3 Individuals in Early Houston, Women, 1830's-1840's: P. Mann and S. Dickenson
4 Miscellaneous Information on Early Houston and Texas: Texas Declaration of Independence, Zuber Story of Alamo, Parker Massacre, Houston during the Civil War
5 Railroads in Early Houston, 1850's-1870's:
6 San Jacinto Battle and Battleground
7 Wa. B. Travis Diary, M. A. Holley Diary
8 Water Transportation in Early Houston, 1830's-1870's: Port of Houston, Ship Channel, Constitution Bend, Steamboats, Buffalo Bayou


Bonewitz Correspondence

Box Folder
3 1 J. P. Bryan, B. Carrol, F. Dixon, J. Frantz
2 Llerena Friend
3 Llerena Friend
Box Folder
4 1 Journalists, Ed Kilman, G. Fuermann, F. Tolbert
2 Librarians, Houston and Austin, Texas
3 A. F. Muir
4 R. H. Shuffler
Box Folder
5 1 Miscellaneous
2 Bonewitz's Notes: Miscellaneous



Box Folder
6 1 Correspondence with Houston Public Library, 1959-1962
2 Correspondence with Houston Public Library, 1963-1967
3 Correspondence with Port of Houston
4 Correspondence with Port of Houston
5 Miscellaneous notes
6 Miscellaneous clippings