San Marcos and Hays County Local History Resources
Digitized by the San Marcos Public Library :                      
An Annotated Bibliography

Pathfinder for Local History Research


The San Marcos-Hays County Collection of local history at the San Marcos Public Library originated with a gift of files from Tula Townsend Wyatt. It has been augmented with gifts from other historians, notably Frances Stovall.  These remain “vertical files” in physical filing cabinets. They consist mainly of newspaper clippings, photographs, and some genealogical narratives contributed from the families themselves.

In the digital age, however, the San Marcos Public Library has endeavored to scan the most useful documents and mount them on a webserver to provide Internet access to researchers.

Below, you will find links and a brief description of our online local history resources:


ResCarta is a powerful local history research tool aggregating several of our collections: photography, early telephone directories, selected obituaries, cemetery inscriptions, and other seminal history documents.  Use a keyword or phrase to search family names and place names.

Historical Photographs

The San Marcos-Hays County Collection includes many photographs of historical interest. The Library has worked to digitize the most important and rare photographs, but this project is ongoing.  Each of these images is accessible through our online catalogue, using subject search terms and keywords. Every identifiable address has also been traced with subject headings.

A high-definition version of this image is available for scholarly or personal use by request from the library. It should be cited as "Photo reproduced from the San Marcos-Hays County Collection at the San Marcos Public Library."

There are two ways to browse the historical collection.

1) Using the Rescarta interface, which will display high-definition images through your browser at this URL:

2) Using our older online catalogue with this link:,0,&startindex=0&SearchData=SMHC%20photo%20collection


Local History Files

A listing of all the physical historical files, known affectionately as the TTWC files (for Tula Townsend Wyatt Collection, our first historian benefactor) may be found at the link, below. It includes a list of file names, and also an index of some of the contents of the individual files.

The files themselves are not available online, but each has been catalogued. Please search the library online catalogue. Use family names and street names.


Digitized Hays County Newspapers

This is a fully keyword-searchable archive digitized from our microfilm collection using OCR (optical character recognition).  Keep in mind that the search terms will find whole pages that contain the terms. (And in these results the terms may only be on the same page, not the same article.)

It also includes many other local newspapers, dating from 1873.


A Brief History of Hays County and San Marcos

This very careful history of Hays County was written in serial form and published in The San Marcos Record by Dudley R. Dobie (brother of J. Frank) in 1948. It covers our local history through 1900.

It was originally published in the local newspaper as a serial in 1948, to celebrate the centennial of the creation of Hays County. It was reprinted shortly afterward in a 68 page booklet; however, it never has been indexed. Below, you will find a link to a searchable PDF of the reprint. Use your browser’s Search command to find keywords of interest to your research.


Hays County Cemetery Inscriptions

In 1990 the Hays County Historical Commission examined every tombstone they could find in Hays County. They noted what was legible on each marker into a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet (made with the latest DOS-based technology, Lotus 1-2-3) was then printed in two volumes. Volume One has all the inscriptions found in Hays County—except for those at the San Marcos Cemetery; Volume Two has only the San Marcos Cemetery.

This has proved a valuable genealogical resource for the last quarter-century; however, it was always clunky to use because you had to search both volumes to make sure you found all the dead from one family.

Both volumes have now been scanned as a single, searchable PDF:



Obituaries clipped from local newspapers, dating from the 20th century

From the early years of the Public Library through the mid-eighties, the library was blessed with a corps of volunteers who carefully clipped the obituaries from the local papers and filed them in little wax envelopes. These were clipped from the San Marcos News, the San Marcos Record—later known as the Daily Record, the Hays County Citizen, the Kyle News, the Wimberley View, and the Free Press, among other newspapers.

In this century, we organized the rapidly deteriorating, yellowed individual newspaper clippings in alphabetical order and made digital scans. Below, please find links to the obituaries sorted by initial letter:

This publication may also be found in our ResCarta archive.



Early San Marcos Telephone directories
The earliest local telephone directory dates from 1899--and it is just a sheet of paper. Beginning in 1905 two separate telephone companies serving San Marcos began reguraly publishing directories. The library has scanned the directories up to 1954 and they
may be found in our ResCarta archive.

Hays County Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly

From 1967-1978 the local historical society published a fine house organ, chiefly composed of individual family genealogies, relevant indices of the U.S. Census, and articles concerning Hays County heritage and lore. This publication has been digitized and may be found in our ResCarta archive.


Also of Interest…
C.W. Wimberley’s charming biography, My River of Innocence.


Deborah Galbreath’s 1919 School Report on San Marcos.


Earliest descriptions of the Springs.


A short article on Street Names


The archaeology of Hays County
Riddles of the Past, a 1993 publication of the Hays County Historical Commission by Dee Ann Story detailing the Native Americans who lived in Hays County of Hays County.pdf

WPA index to the Hays County archives
Inventory of the county archives of Texas : Hays County, no. 105.
An exhaustive catalogue of the records at the Hays County Courthouse, as of 1937. County Archives.pdf


Mill Tract history
Three files digitally scanned from the TTWC Historic Markers--San Marcos Mill Tract file

The River Reflects on Pepper's Past

Mill Tract marker documents from Scott McGehee

Mark D. Cowan timeline on Mill Tract

Hays County ghost towns
A 1978 report by Maude M. Walling for the Sorosis Club on extinct cities and towns in Hays County.

Ghost towns in Hays County, Texas

Share Your Local History...

The San Marcos Public Library wants to include your family in our San Marcos-Hays County Local History Collection.

This form is for individuals and families to document their history within the San Marcos and Hays County community. The library is creating a digital history center based on submissions from community members. Submissions should be descriptions of families with ties to Hays County. Using information submitted on this form, the librarian will make a record of the submission in the library’s catalog, and scan the accompanying documents (up to five pages) to our webserver. Your virtual histories will be accessible on the Internet through our library catalog—and ultimately through a Google search. Biography Form.pdf