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Pingenot Auction, Lot 97


97. [EAGLE PASS, TEXAS]. An eclectic collection of documents, photographs, and printed materials related to Eagle Pass. A highlight of the collection is a voluminous file of late-nineteenth-century business papers of L. de Bona, an Eagle Pass merchant. Another strength is an extensive file of photographs assembled over years of scouting and research by Ben Pingenot. Printed materials on the history, architecture, military presence in Eagle Pass, and area development round out the collection.

Examples of materials in the collection include:

DE BONA, L. (Eagle Pass Merchant). Approximately 500 business letters, invoices, and other business papers addressed to L. De Bona at Eagle Pass. Dates range from 1889 to 1895, but virtually all are from 1889. The correspondence embraces the usual business concerns—orders, receipt and non-receipt of goods, payment and non-payment of invoices, threats of legal action, etc. A voluminous record of a year’s business in Eagle Pass. De Bona dealt in foodstuffs, tobacco, coffee, and similar commodities. Correspondents are mostly from Texas and nearby Mexico, but a few are from as far away as the Atlantic seaboard.

HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS. A rich and varied file of approximately 175 historic photographs related to Eagle Pass and environs. About one-fifth are original late-nineteenth-century (mostly albumen) or early-twentieth-century photographs, and the balance are modern prints of old photographs. Subjects and examples include:

Eagle Pass Views: Street scenes, homes, businesses, and buildings, including original early photographs of the railroad station (one of a train of recruits departing for World War I), Courthouse, interior of Ladner’s Hardware, Eagle Pass High School 1910 Southwest Texas champion football team (original silver print), an early grade school class photograph, stagecoach with passengers arriving at Dolch Hotel, First National Bank Building (about 1893 with several persons in photograph identified on reverse).

International Bridge: Original photographs of inauguration festivities (1885) and early views of the bridge. Later photos include the bridge and the river during various floods.

Military: Two original group photographs of members of the Eagle Pass Rifles (1891), early photograph of a military band at Fort Duncan (ca. 1918?), bird’s-eye view of the encampment of the 30th Infantry at Eagle Pass (1918), 23rd Infantry in formation in front of its barracks at Fort Duncan (ca. 1896), a set of 20 original negatives (ca. 1918) of Fort Duncan with accompanying modern prints.

Personalities, etc.: Original early photographs of Jesse Sumpter and family, undated early photograph of a Mexican shepherd with sheep, cabinet card of Pasquale De Bona, photograph of four members of the De Bona family with bicycles in their front yard, La Piedra Parada Saloon with group standing in front (including photos of the same building as it appeared in the 1950s), four gentlemen in top hats seated on a buckboard pulled by four burros, identified "Season’s Greeting, Jan’y 1st, 1893" (celebrants are identified on the reverse and the location is given as "Jagge’s Camp Yard, Corner Ford & Washington"), street scene in Piedras Negras, Mexico "where the Market House now stands."

EAGLE PASS FLOOD. Portfolio of 21 photographs of the Eagle Pass flood of June 1954, when the normally knee deep Rio Grande rose past the 45 foot mark. The pictures range from small snapshots to large format professional photographs. A few are stamped on the reverse "Rojas, Eagle Pass, Texas."

EAGLE PASS VIEWS. A gathering of almost 100 postcards of Eagle Pass: homes, street views, business, office, and bank buildings, schools, an Armistice Day Parade float, International Bridge, Post Office and Custom House, "Mexican Generals" [Pancho Villa and companions], Mexican side of the border, U.S. Army troops and encampments, etc. Mostly black-and-white, a few hand-colored, and some early printed color. The cards are largely unused, used cards bear postmarks from the first three decades of the twentieth century. The group includes a fan-fold card "Views of National Guard on the Rio Grande" with 18 photographs (dated 1917) and a "Souvenir Folder of Eagle Pass" with 10 photographs.

EAGLE PASS BUSINESS DISTRICT PLAN. SOUTH/WEST PLANNING ASSOCIATES. Eagle Pass Comprehensive Plan: Central Business District Plan. Bryan, Texas, 1972. [8] 19 pp., plans (some folding), charts, tables. 4to, beige pictorial wrappers, spiral bound. A comprehensive plan for the Eagle Pass business district to carry the city forward to 1991.

KOCH, Augustus. Bird’s Eye View of Eagle Pass Maverick Co. Texas 1887. Purple-tone reproduction of the 1887 Koch view.

[MAPS]. Four large-scale manuscript maps of mid-nineteenth-century Eagle Pass and vicinity. Drawn for publication, with corrections and blue lines.

SELLERS, Rosella R. The History of Fort Duncan, Eagle Pass, Texas. El Paso, 1960. 134 leaves. 4to., orange wrappers. Master’s thesis presented to the Graduate Council of Sul Ross College.

FICTION. STANDISH, Hal. Fred Fearnot’s Quick Work! Or The Hold Up at Eagle Pass. New York: Frank Tousey, 1915. 30 [2, ads] pp. 4to, original pictorial wrappers. Remarkably fine. Published as an issue of Work and Win; an Interesting Weekly for Young America, no. 876, September 17, 1915. Frontier adventure and pulp fiction at its finest.

U.S. ARMY AIR FORCES. Wings Over America. [Baton Rouge: Army and Navy Publishing Co. of Louisiana, ca. 1943]. 100 pp., photographic illustrations and portraits. Large 4to, blue pictorial cloth embellished with the coat of arms of the Army Air Forces Flying Training Command and embossed with a resplendent American eagle. A profusely illustrated graduation "yearbook" for a large class of World War II cadets at the Army Air Forces Advanced Flying School (Single Engine) at Eagle Pass Army Air Field. Among the graduates are 36 cadets of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps.

MILITARY MENUS. Two 16mo holiday menus for U.S. Army troops stationed in Eagle Pass: (1) Machine Gun Company, 3rd U.S. Infantry. Thanksgiving Day Nineteen Hundred and Sixteen. Eagle Pass, 1916. Original beige gilt pictorial wrappers. (2) Christmas 1927. Troop "G" Fifth Cavalry. Eagle Pass, 1927. Original cream wrappers decorated with a Christmas holly border.

CALDERÓN, Roberto, R. (compiler). South Texas Coal Mining: A Community History. [Eagle Pass: Ramirez Printing, 1984]. 152 [10] pp., photographic illustrations, map. 4to, original tan pictorial wrappers. Fine. A comprehensive work on the bituminous coal industry of Maverick County.

BORDERLANDS ARCHITECTURE. Report on the Architectural Survey of Villa Guerrero, Coahuila, Mexico, and Eagle Pass, Texas, United States. N.p., 1973-76. vi, 80 pp., maps, 55 plates of architectural drawings + [3] [230, architectural survey sheets] pp. 2 vols., 4to, original wrappers. Excellent study of historic borderlands architecture, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and an international cooperative effort involving the Texas Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Texas Architectural Foundation, and the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Volume I has excellent architectural drawings of historic structures in the area of the study. Volume II publishes architectural survey sheets, with photographs, for the entire village of Guerrero.

Plus approximately 20 additional pamphlets and other ephemera.