Dr. Goldman’s work focuses on German Jewish Texans, Jewish immigrant businessmen in nineteenth century Texas, and their integration into Texas culture. It will also provide a synthesis of their participation in cultural groups such as the Casino Club, educational associations such as English Day Schools and several other societies including the Masons and Odd Fellows.
Kay Goldman lives in Austin, Texas. She is retired from Texas A&M University, where she was a program coordinator. She received a B.A. and M.A. (1995) from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M. She is a specialist in the history of Jewish Texans. She has presented a number of conference papers on topics related to her interests and is a member of the Texas Jewish Historical Society.
The activities of women’s clubs in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Texas provide counterpoint to popular stereotypes of Texas as a frontier area, an important component of the Lone Star myth. This essay will examine the career of Ethel Tunstall Drought during the early decades of the twentieth century. Drought, the wife of a wealthy and influential attorney in San Antonio, was very active in woman’s causes in the Alamo City prior to her death in 1942. She was a founder of the San Antonio Woman’s Club, serving that group for over forty years. Having served in almost every office associated with the Woman’s Club, she oversaw a considerable number of activities and causes relating to the schools of the city, public health, parks and recreation, and other similar concerns. She was also the founder and moving force behind the San Antonio Art League. Drought was also one of the founders of the Witte Museum, serving on its board of directors for many years. In that regard, she created the famous Texas Wildflower Competitions of the late 1920s. Prof. Cummins will, for the first time in the literature, provide a full discussion of her activities and provide an analysis of her influence on the state.
Light Townsend Cummins is the Guy M. Bryan, Jr. Professor of History at Austin College. He received a B.S. in Ed. and an M.A. (1972) from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. from Tulane University. He was named a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor in 2006. He has been a Fulbright Scholar to Spain. Cummins is the author or editor of twelve academic books and several dozen scholarly articles dealing with Texas and Gulf Coast history along with two best-selling college textbooks, popular-oriented essays, and numerous book reviews.