San Marcos and Hays County Local History Resources
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:
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.
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.
2) Using our older online catalogue with this link:
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 the index is. Please use the “Search” function in your web browser to find keywords within the index:
Also, many of the files for specific people and historic places have been catalogued in our online public access catalogue. These bibliographic records include detailed descriptions of the contents of the files, and the identifiable local addresses have been traced with subject headings. It is always a good idea to begin a local history search by accessing our catalogue. Search for family names and street addresses:
Digitized San Marcos Daily Record, 1975-
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.)http://ttwc.advantage-preservation.com/
Newspaper Index, 1993-2014
Beginning in 1993, the library began indexing the San Marcos Daily Record. These indices attempt to document local names in the news, including photographs, obituaries, wedding and engagement announcements, and general news relating to Hays County; however, University sports and syndicated columns are generally not included.
Digitized San Marcos Free Press, 1877-1892
This is a Library of Congress project.http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86088181/
This is a Library of Congress project.http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84022096/
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.
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:
Early San Marcos Telephone directories
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 not been digitized; but Lee Huff has indexed it, and that index was made available on an early version of Rootsweb. The library printed the Rootsweb pages from the Internet sometime in the late ‘90s, and scanned it as a PDF to mount to our webserver in the 21st century:
Also of Interest…
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
Mill Tract 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.http://www.hank.ci.san-marcos.tx.us/SMHC/DOCUMENTS/Digital Biography Form.pdf