University of Texas,
Physics Faculty 1917


Physics Department 1917

Physics Department on steps of Old Main, 1917

Physics Faculty and Students. (My estimate on the date is about 1917, Lulu Bailey died in 1921. M. Y. Colby graduated in 1915, but was put in charge of the Radio School when war broke out. After the Armistice he left to work at a bank, about 1918.–Mel Oakes)

All identifications left to right.
Far Back: Adolph August Gruber (1868-?, brother to Louis Gruber) Laboratory Assistant, Louis Henry Gruber (1872-1960), Mechanician.

Back Row: J. M. Kuehne (1872-1960), C. W. Clark (profile), Assistant, S. Leroy Brown (1881-1966), Unknown, Thomas Beatie McCarter (1884-1970),Tutor, Ewald W. Schuhman, W. T. Mather, Professor,(1864-1937)

Front Row: J. C. Higdon (Assistant), Svante Mauritz Udden, may be L. F. Gilliland (1887-1972), Newton S. Herod, Mary Lulu Bailey, M. Y. Colby (1892-1962), Lizzie Gertrude Blasdel?, Assistant, Unknown Man in Glasses

Further information on some in picture:


Svante Mauritz Udden (1916 picture) (B. S. Engineer, Fellow in Physics) Picture used for identification in picture above.




Louis Henry Gruber was the machinist for the department for many years. He built much of the experimental equipment in the first half of the 20th Century for the Physics Department. Born March 8, 1872 in Macon, GA to Anton and Eva Gruber, both parents were from Bavaria and both were born in 1843. Anton was an Austin brewer. He had an older brother Adolph (b. 1868 in LA who worked for physics also) and a younger sister Anna (b. 1875). He and his wife, Maud, had a daughter, Gladys, who sang for a funeral home in Austin. He was Master of Austin Masonic Lodge 1915-16. He retired from UT and went into private employment until his health forced a second retirement. He died November 13, 1960.

Newton S. Herod became a professor at a Georgia College.

Others possible in picture, Zenobia Blanche Bennett (Hemphill, TX, picture from 1921 Cactus), Tutor in Physics, 1922 Phi Beta Kappa.



Franklin E. Poindexter (b. 1886, would be 31 in picture, d. Sept 1975 in St. Louis, MO). Taught at Texas State Normal College in Denton 1917-18. Later was a Professor of Physics at St. Louis University

Emil Zuhlke Jr., Clarence Hodges, B., Oscar William Silvey (PhD 1915, Chicago, Lecturer & later Professor of Physics Texas A&M); F. A. Osborn, Helena Bowers Von Koenneritz (MA 1920), Marvin Curtis Nichols (1896–1969) BS in CE 1918, engineer and authority on Texas water resources. An honorary doctor of humanities degree was conferred on him posthumously by Texas Wesleyan College in June 1969. The Texas legislature approved a resolution to name a proposed dam and reservoir on the Sulphur River the Marvin C. Nichols Dam and Reservoir.

Charles Normand.

Lizzie Gertrude Blasdel (b. Apri 14, 1889 (Indiana), d. May 19, 1978) 1916. From Richmond, TX. Cactus Photo and quote, “She’s not exactly the head of the physics department, but she’s comparatively young yet.” In 1919, married Reid Thompson Westmoreland. She was a teacher and died in Eagle Lake, TX. Her son, John Blasdell Westmoreland (1920-43) died in an airplane crash during WWII.