Pochmann Family Papers, 1910-1981 | East Texas Research Center
By Emily Kerr
The first two boxes of the collection pertain especially to Mrs. Pochmann. The collection includes Mrs. Pochmann's correspondence with various editors as well as personal correspondence and letters about awards and honors. A biographical sketch or "Vita" of Mrs. Pochmann by Essie Richardson and an article and program about Mrs. Pochmann receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award of 1981 at S. F. A. S. U. are contained in the collection. Many 6" x 9 1/2" sized notebook pages of handwritten notes by Mrs. Pochmann are included.
Some notes are about her heritage and training. Most of the notes pertain to topics she may have discussed in her radio broadcasts for WHA such as crafts, hobbies, antiques, home building and furnishing, jewelry, antique glass, china, pottery, and furniture. Several typescripts of her radio broadcasts about antiques are included. Mrs. Pochmann's brother, W. C. (Casey) Fouts, of Nacogdoches, is mentioned often in the collection.
Also included are correspondence, notes, clippings, and articles pertaining to Mrs. Pochmann's book, TRIPLE RIDGE FARM. The collection contains a typed manuscript called A FARM IS TO LOVE by Ruth Pochmann which eventually became the book TRIPLE RIDGE FARM. Also included is a 1967 typed manuscript of TRIPLE RIDGE FARM, an account of the experiences Mrs. Pochmann and her family had while reclaiming a rocky hill farm near Coloma, Wisconsin.
The third through the sixth boxes of the collection pertain especially to Dr. Pochmann. The collection includes Dr. Pochmann's correspondence with Harold S. Jantz of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts during the 1940's in which they critiqued one another's writings. Also included is Dr. Pochmann's correspondence with Karl J. Arndt of Clark University's German Department who helped write a BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF GERMAN-AMERICAN EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS. Personal correspondence contained in the collection includes correspondence with A. W. Birdwell and some relatives.
Also included are programs, articles, and correspondence pertaining to the Conference on Immigration in American History honoring Theodore C. Blegan, Dean of the Graduate School, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis held during January 29-30, 1960. Dr. Pochmann gave a speech entitled "The Migration of Ideas" at the conference. In 1961, the proceedings including Dr. Pochmann's speech were published under the editorship of Dr. Henry S. Commager in a volume entitled IMMIGRATION AND AMERICAN HISTORY. Correspondence about this volume is included in the collection. Programs, notes, and a map about conventions of the Modern Language Association are also included. The collection contains programs, mementos, speeches, awards, honors, clippings, articles, and biographies about Dr. Pochmann. Also included is one reel of microfilm of a typescript of the manuscript for Dr. Pochmann's book, GERMAN CULTURE IN AMERICA: PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY INFLUENCES, 1600-1900 as well as articles and reviews about the book. Articles, notes, reviews, and pamphlets about other works of Dr. Pochmann are included. Also contained in the collection are some essays, articles, notes and book reviews written by Dr. Pochmann.
The sixth box of the collection contains some correspondence and research about Mark Twain as well as fifteen essays written by Dr. Pochmann's students for his Mark Twain Seminars during 1966-1968.
The seventh box contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, and articles pertaining to both Henry and Ruth Pochmann; information about Henry Pochmann's hometown - Round Top; and articles, clippings, notes, book reviews, and manuscripts written by authors other than Henry or Ruth Pochmann. Included in the information about Round Top are newspaper clippings, a poem, an article in TEXAS HIGHWAYS, and correspondence with John G. Banik. Also included are newspaper clippings, an article, a snapshot, cards and notes about Bethlehem Lutheran Church which was organized in 1866 in Round Top and about Traugott Wantke who was Henry Pochmann's great grandfather and who built the pipe organ of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, carving each pipe from the native cedars. Newspaper clippings about Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson's visit to Round Top in 1967 are also included. Most of the rest of the articles and manuscripts relate to education or literature and were written by Karl J. R. Arndt, Harold S. Jantz, Howard Mumford Jones, and others.
Box eight of Mrs. Pochmann's original writings included here are poetry, a play, and fictional as well as non-fictional prose, some of which have been entered in contests. She took a creative writing course taught by Sinclair Lewis at the University of Wisconsin in 1945, and has included some notes about Sinclair Lewis and his advice to his students. Diary notes by Mrs. Pochmann from 1969-1970 are also included. The collection contains tributes to Henry Pochmann, as well as an extended Vita and some additional book reviews. Finally, correspondence, a photograph of the "Pochmann Hopper," and fuel and tire rationing papers are also included.
Virginia Ruth Fouts Pochmann (1903 - 1993) was born on March 20, 1903 in Nacogdoches, Texas. Her parents were Wilbur Courtland and Lela (Roquemore) Fouts. She graduated from Nacogdoches High School and then, during 1920-1923, attended Southern Methodist University. Mrs. Pochmann received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College in the first graduating class of 1925. After earning her Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York in 1927, she married Henry August Pochmann on Sept. 11, 1928. They had one daughter, Virginia Ruth (Mrs. Theodore P. Weis).
Mrs. Pochmann was known as an educator and author. She gained experience as a teacher at Nacogdoches Junior and High Schools (1923-1924), Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College (1924-1928), Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge (1929), the University of Mississippi at Oxford (1930-1931), Mississippi State College at Starkville (1932-1935) and the U. S. Air Force Institute (1941-1943). Subjects taught included Physiology, Ancient History, Spanish, English Grammar, American and English Literature, and Creative Writing. She was an active member of study clubs, garden clubs, and the Methodist Church wherever she lived. She acted in the Little Theatres in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and won the Best Actress Award in the Texas State Little Theatre Tournament in 1928.
Mrs. Pochmann had experience in writing radio scripts and broadcasting for WHA (the oldest radio station in the nation) in Madison, Wisconsin. She discussed garden problems, landscaping small yards, horticultural topics, old pewter, old china, old glassware, Christmas legends concerning flowers, and book reviews.
In 1942, Mrs. Pochmann authored a genealogy, SOME EARLY TEXAS FAMILIES, which included the Roquemore, Lacey, Fouts, Pochmann, Burrows, and one hundred and fifty related families. Mrs. Pochmann did postgraduate work at the University of Wisconsin from 1958 to 1959. In 1954, the Pochmann's bought a Waushara County, Wisconsin farm for fun and Mrs. Pochmann began a daily journal which led to her writing a non-fiction book, TRIPLE RIDGE FARM. In 1968, William Morrow and Co. published the book and it became a best seller and was adopted by three book clubs: Farm Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, and Christian Advocate. The book won several honors including the Hull Award and was placed on the Ambassador's List of 1968.
Mrs. Pochmann was listed in several WHO'S WHO including the prestigious WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA by Marquis. Dr. and Mrs. Pochmann moved to Nacogdoches early in 1971. Annually, Mrs. Pochmann would give the "Ruth Pochmann Literary Award" to the student in Nacogdoches High School who had shown the most potential for becoming a creative writer. In 1973, she established a $10,000 scholarship for S. F. A. State University through the Alumni Association. Mrs. Pochmann died December 5, 1993 and is buried next to her husband in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Henry August Pochmann (1901-1973) was born on January 5, 1901 in Round Top, Texas, about 70 miles west of Houston in Fayette County. He received his early public school education in Round Top. Mr. Pochmann attended high school at Round Top and Main Avenue High School in San Antonio. He then attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1923 majoring in English and mathematics. While attending college, he edited THE COLLEGE STAR during 1922-1923. Mr. Pochmann received a Master of Arts degree in English at the University of Texas in 1924 writing the thesis "The Mind of Mark Twain." He taught English at Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College during 1924-1926. In 1928, Mr. Pochmann received a Ph. D. degree at the University of North Carolina writing the dissertation, "The Influence of the German Tale on the American Short Story (Irving, Hawthorne, and Poe)," which won the $500 Smith Prize for the best dissertation for the year. Dr. Pochmann married Virginia Ruth Fouts of Nacogdoches on Sept. 11, 1928. He taught English at Louisiana State University during 1928-1930 and lectured during the summers at S. F. A. State Teachers College (1928 and 1929) and Southwest Texas State College (1930). Dr. Pochmann served as a professor of English and the head of the Dept. of English at the University of Mississippi during 1930-1931. In 1931, he published two articles: "Irving's German Tour and its Influence on His Tales" (in the Dec. issue of PUBLICATION OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION) and "Irving's German Sources in THE SKETCH BOOK" (in STUDIES OF PHILOLOGY). He then served as the head of the English Dept. at Mississippi State College during 1932-1938. He continued to lecture in summer schools for universities in Iowa, North Carolina, and Texas. During April 1 through Sept. 1, 1934, Dr. and Mrs. Pochmann travailed and conducted research in Europe especially at the British museum in London. In the fall of 1934, he published a book called WASHINGTON IRVING as one of a series of 20 books called the American Writers Series and prepared under the general editor ship of Harry H. Clark of the University of Wisconsin.
In 1936, Dr. Pochmann became the Dean of a newly created Graduate School at Mississippi State College and served as Dean until 1938 when he accepted a position as Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. He remained there until his retirement in 1971 when he moved to Nacogdoches. His seminar on Mark Twain was a particular favorite with doctoral candidates on the Madison campus. Dr. Pochmann published several books while teaching at the University of Wisconsin including MASTERS OF AMERICAN LITERATURE (with Gay Wilson Allen), 1949; NEW ENGLAND TRANSCENDENTALISM AND ST. LOUIS HEGELIANISM, 1949; and BIBLIOGRAPHY OF GERMAN CULTURE IN AMERICA (TO 1940), 1953.
His bibliography on American and German culture appeared second in a group of works treating American and French, Spanish, Italian, Scandinavian, and Russian culture. Dr. Mumford Jones wrote the first volume about American and French culture. In the 1930's, Dr. Pochmann began tracing German culture in America during the years 1600-1900. After 25 years of effort and such delays as a change in publishers, wartime unpopularity of his subject, an airplane crash which damaged his proofs, a dock strike delaying delivery of the finished text, and two revisions during which he had to cut about 400 pages from his book, Dr. Pochmann published his 865 page work: GERMAN CULTURE IN AMERICA, 1600-1900: PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY INFLUENCES in 1957. The book traces the influences of German traditions upon American character as they show through the writings of perhaps a hundred native American authors. The book was included in the White House Library and was placed on the United States Ambassador's List. It won the $1000 Loubat Prize awarded by the Trustees of Columbia University. During the late 1960's, Dr. Pochmann worked as editor-in-chief of a 28 volume series on Washington Irving for the first three volumes. The series was called THE COMPLETE WORKS, JOURNALS, AND LETTERS OF WASHINGTON IRVING.
Dr. Pochmann was active in the Modern Languages Association, a professional organization of American, Canadian, and European college and university professors of modern language and literature. During the mid 1930's he served as chairman of the Bibliographical Committee of the Anglo German group which published annually a bibliography in the JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY. Also he was appointed chairman of the nominating committee which nominated several officers of the association and two members of the advisory council. Dr. Pochmann attended meetings and conventions of the Modern Language Association of America held in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Missouri during 1933 1936. He continued to serve on various committees of the Association through 1970. Other groups that Dr. Pochmann identified with were Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, American Studies Association, Bibliographical Society of America, and the Modern Humanities Research Association. Dr. Pochmann died on January 13, 1973 and was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches.
(Pochmann, Ruth. "Pochmann, Henry August, Ph.D." and "Pochmann, Ruth Fouts." Nacogdoches County Families. Dallas: Curtis Publishing Corporation, 1985. pp. 534-535).
Browse by Box:
[Box 4: Manuscript],
- Box 8
- Folder 1: Henry and Ruth Pochmann - Miscellaneous Correspondence. (typescript, handwritten), 1918-1967
- Folder 2: Ruth Pochmann - Diary Notes, 1969-1970
- Folder 3: Ruth Pochmann - Notes relating to Sinclair Lewis, his creative writing class, and his advice to beginning writers. (typescript, handwritten), 1940
- Folder 4: Ruth Pochmann - "Twins---Nacogdoches and Natchitoches," by Ruth Fouts Pochmann, n.d. (typescript)
- Folder 5: Ruth Pochmann - "Nakoma Audition," a play written and directed by Ruth Pochmann. (typescript with handwritten notes), 1953
- Folder 6: Ruth Pochmann - "Life and Songs of Hiawatha in Nakoma," a poem by Ruth Fouts Pochmann, written for use by the Nakoma Welfare League, n.d. (carbon copy of typescript)
- Folder 7: Ruth Pochmann - "The Hope-chest Makes a Comeback," and "Challenge to Democracy," manuscripts by Ruth Fouts Pochmann, (typescript), 1950's
- Folder 8: Ruth Pochmann - "Pete the Fawn that Wanted to go to School," a juvenile story, n.d. (typescript)
- Folder 9: Ruth Pochmann - "I Spent a Strange Night," and "The Townsman's Tale," poems by Ruth Fouts Pochmann, n.d. (typescript)
- Folder 10: Ruth Pochmann - "The Little Old Man Who Lived on the Hill," and "The Old Farm Mystery," tales by Ruth Fouts Pochmann. (typescript, handwritten), 1937-1960
- Folder 11: Ruth Pochmann - Poems and stories by Ruth Fouts Pochmann. (typescript with handwritten notes, 1 carbon copy), 1937-1964
- Folder 12: Henry Pochmann - "Vita,". (typescript with handwritten notes), 1972
- Folder 13: Henry Pochmann - Tributes to Henry Pochmann. (photocopy), 1973
- Folder 14: Henry Pochmann - Reviews on Pochmann's GERMAN CULTURE IN AMERICA: PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY INFLUENCE (Photocopy), 1600-1900, 1957-1959
- Folder 15: Henry Pochmann - Photograph of the "Pochmann Hopper," n.d. (photograph)
- Folder 16: Henry Pochmann - Fuel oil and tire rationing papers. (print, typescript, handwritten notes and receipts), 1942-1943
Browse by Box:
[Box 4: Manuscript],