News and Events - June 2022



June 2022



News and Events from

The Museum of North Texas History











Dear Members,     

We are so excited to bring you the Rural Texas Women at Work: 1930-1960 exhibit from Humanities Texas. We hope you’re able to stop by and see it! It will be on display until June 11 so you still have time to see it.

Don’t forget that After Hours Art walk is on June 2! Come cool off in the museum during this awesome downtown event.

Have you seen our post about the mystery Emil Hermann painting? We haven’t figured it out yet. Any guesses?





Downtown Wichita Falls





Thursday, June 2nd



Rural Texas Women At Work











Help us solve a mystery

The Museum of North Texas History was gifted a collection of portraits by Emil Hermann. Most of the individuals were easily recognizable. This distinguished-looking gentleman was not.

A front-page story in the Wichita Falls Times Record News generated some guesses as did posts on Facebook.

For those interested in the life and works of Hermann, see Emil Hermann, His Life and Works by JoAnn Jenne Crites. The book is on sale at the Museum of North Texas History.


Emil Hermann was born in Vienna of French and Austrian parents. His father did not consider art a proper profession, but his talents were so obvious, that his father let him enter the Royal Academy in Vienna. He went on to study at the National Art Institute in Budapest and the Rembrandt Art Institute in Amsterdam. In 1889, Hermann came to the United States to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the age of nineteen.

After enrolling in the Academy, he opened his first studio in Philadelphia. In 1890, he received his citizenship papers.

His first break came when a Dayton art dealer invited Hermann to hold a one-man art show. From this show, he obtained a position as a muralist with the great Schachne Studios. Soon, he became one of the best-known portrait artists in the area, drawing the leading citizens of Dayton to his studio.

Shortly before moving to Wichita Falls, Hermann married Minnie Roberts in 1919, who died in 1951. And the years in Wichita Falls were fruitful ones. In 1960, at the age of 90, Hermann told reporters that probably 500 of his works, including 100 portraits, hung in homes and public buildings in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

Emil Hermann died in his studio in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1966 at the age of 95. His brush captured the likeness of great and ordinary men with equal vigor during his 75 year artistic career. He completed more than 1,000 portraits, murals, and landscapes during his lifetime - many of which grace Texas homes and public buildings, today.

(from Diva Art Group)



Some of the Guesses


Emil Hermann's Father

Dr. Richard Nelson

Ed Howard, TRN Publisher


Joseph Kemp

K. E. Bauch

Frank Kell



Where Have Our Toys Gone??



Our Toys Are Moving!

Do you know why we moved our Toy and Doll Exhibit to the Harvey Hall for a few months this year?

We are working hard at renovating the Toy and Doll Exhibit space so had to clear everything out of there. Instead of putting everything in storage, we decided to keep it on display!



Bit of History



Each month we will highlight "bits" of North Texas history.



North Texas State Hospital - Wichita Falls




In the late 19th and early 20th century, mental illness “treatment” equaled confinement and usually confinement in a jail or county “poor farm.” “North Texas Insane Asylum,” located in Wichita Falls, was created by the legislature in 1917 with the first patients entering the facility in 1922. Allegedly, given the choice between a state university and a state asylum, the city chose the asylum.

Local architect Herbert R. Volcker designed the facility constructed by the J. C. Dielman Company. In March 1921, S. B. Cowell, chair of the state board with control over eleemosynary (charity) institutions, visited Wichita Falls to inspect the new buildings and grounds.  Dr. S. F. White, the first director of the facility, opened the asylum with a capacity of 350 patients.

The Wichita Falls asylum differed from others in the state. Instead of confinement, the facility provided treatment to “curable” individuals. Treatments included hydrotherapy, electroshock, and insulin shock therapy.

Later publications state the first patients in the asylum were seven women. The designated hospital districts took care of their population. However, soon after opening, the Wichita Falls asylum was accepting patients from other areas of the state. In 1925, construction was approved for two additional wards.

The Wallace Eleemosynary Reform Bill of 1925, with reforms for the care of the mentally, waited two years for funding. The bill called for treatment and cure versus incarceration and restraint of those deemed “insane.” Also called for was the removal of objectionable words such as insane, feeble-minded, and epileptic from the names of state facilities. “Northwest Texas Insane Asylum” was renamed Wichita Falls State Hospital (WFSH). Other reforms mandated included the use of jails for only the violent and prohibited forms of restraints, such as straitjackets, unless under the order of the hospital superintendent.

By 1951, WFSH, serving seven counties, housed close to 3,800 patients. The advent of psychotropic medications in the 1950s reduced the use of treatments such as electroshock, insulin shock, and hydrotherapy.

In the 1960s, WFSH merged with the two campuses of Vernon State Hospital, becoming North Texas State Hospital.

Glenn Shelton, a writer for the Wichita Falls Times Record News, wrote extensively about the state hospital. In an article from 1968, he reported one of the seven women admitted to the hospital in 1922 remained there as a patient. She resided at the hospital for over 44 years.

North Texas State Hospital in Wichita Falls can currently treat up to 550 patients. Admissions come through the local mental health authority and are of short duration.




Texas Association of Museums 2022




Excerpt from a presentation made to the Wichita Falls City Council on May 17, 2022:

We are pleased to share with you key takeaways from the annual meeting of the Texas Association of Museums, where we represented Wichita Falls among 300 museum professionals from around the state, who gathered to strengthen skills, network, and be inspired.

Established in 1939, the Texas Association of Museums is made up of around 140 individual members, 150 institutional members, and within those institutions, hundreds of staff members, for a total membership of around 850 people charged with stewarding our State’s cultural, historical, and scientific artifacts and knowledge.

TAM’s mission is to strengthen the sustainability of Texas museums.

Tracee Robertson, director of the Wichita Falls Museum of Art, recently completed a three-year term as Councilor-at-Large for the Association’s governing body, on which she represented our region and the visual arts. Tracee also presented at this year’s annual meeting, where Nadine McKown, Site Director of the Kell House Museum, and Madeleine Calcote-Garcia, Executive Director of the Museum of North Texas History – along with our colleague Callie Lawson from the Archer County Museum and Art Center - attended keynote lectures, workshops, and sessions.

Today we’re sharing with you three key takeaways that we bring back to our museums in service of the people of Wichita Falls: mission statements aligned with national standards; the economic impact of well-being; and the power of trust in the 21st century.








Wichita Falls Junior College opened in September 1922, the second municipal junior college in Texas. It was operated by the Wichita Falls Independent School District and superintendent Randolph Lee Clark. Its liberal arts curriculum drew fifty-five freshmen that fall. Classes met in the high school on Broad Street. What a change 100 years brings!

(Photo from MSU Texas; Text from Texas State History Online)



German-Texas Settlers

The largest ethnic group in Texas derived directly from Europe was persons of German birth or descent. As early as 1850, they constituted more than 5 percent of the total Texas population, a proportion that remained constant through the remainder of the nineteenth century.

From their first immigration to Texas in the 1830s, the Germans tended to cluster in ethnic enclaves. A majority settled in a broad, fragmented belt across the south-central part of the state.

(From Texas State History Online)



Celebrating June











Museum of North Texas History








Jenny to Jet


Wichita Falls Municipal Airport


4000 Armstrong Drive Wichita Falls, Texas 76305



Museum of North Texas History

Officers of the Board of Directors


President: Tim Swagerty

Vice President: Lindsay Barker

Secretary: Bryce Blair

Treasurer:  Paul Fleming


Executive Director: Madeleine Calcote-Garcia

Curator: Leanne Ray

Newsletter Editor: Becky Trammell, Ph.D.



Museum Hours

Thursday - Saturday

10:00am - 4:00pm

Wichita County Archives

Located in the Museum

Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm (By appointment)

Tuesday - Thursday

Bryce Blair, Archivist




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