Beckmann Family Papers Now Processed
The DRT Library is excited to announce that a project to process the Adolph Guenther and Milby Giles Beckmann Family Papers is now complete. The collection is now open to researchers. A finding aid, or inventory, is available through the library’s online catalog and website and through Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO). As reported previously, the sizable collection was generously donated by David and Myrna Langford in December 2009.
The Adolph Guenther and Milby Giles Beckmann Family Papers contain correspondence, financial and property records, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs that document four generations of a San Antonio, Texas, family. The bulk of Adolph and Milby’s papers are financial and include ledger books, records documenting various family properties in and around San Antonio, income tax paperwork, and files pertaining to the administration of their estates. Two noteworthy items in the collection are an 1850 land patent to Milby’s grandfather John James for land in Wilson County, Texas, and a ledger book maintained by Adolph’s grandfather John Conrad Beckmann between 1859 and 1866 for his blacksmith shop, located next to the Alamo near where the DRT Library now stands.
The collection also contains a significant number of photographs, some contained within albums assembled by Adolph and Milby. Most of the images are of Adolph, Milby, and their relatives, especially members of the Beckmann and Guenther families. The collection includes formal studio portraits and more informal photos. Almost all of the pictures have been labeled with the names of the individuals shown. Photographs document Albert Felix, Marie Guenther, Adolph Guenther, and Milby Giles Beckmann throughout their lives, from infancy or childhood through adulthood. Two noteworthy photographs are family portraits of Carl Hilmar and Dorothea Pape Guenther with their children, daughters- and sons-in-law, and grandchildren, dated 1893 and 1895. The collection also contains Albert Felix Beckmann architecture photographs; images of San Antonio, including many of early-twentieth-century floods; and pictures of the Guenther-Beckmann family business, Pioneer Flour Mills.