On this day in 1895, the final issue of the weekly newspaper Rolling Stone was published in Austin. The Rolling Stone was the first publication of William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, who purchased the press of William Cowper Brann's Iconoclast. The first issue of the Rolling Stone appeared on April 28, 1894. In the paper, Porter lampooned local politicians, social customs, business practices, the performing arts, and other local and state targets. Some of his own short stories were first published in the Rolling Stone. He may have kept the paper alive with money embezzled from the First National Bank, where he worked as a teller. After being accused of the crime, he resigned and, without an income, was unable to continue publishing.
On this day in 1907, a tornado hit Hemming, Texas, killing seven people and wiping out all but one of the town's buildings. Hemming, in southern Cooke County, was established in 1889 and named for the donor of its school land. A store and cotton gin were built there in 1894, and that year a post office opened in the store. At its height just after 1900, Hemming had two general stores, a school, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, three churches, and a population of 125. The town served as the region's cotton-processing center. During the peak years of the cotton boom after 1900 the Hemming cotton gin handled 1,000 to 1,500 bales annually. But the 1907 tornado devastated the community. Though several of its buildings were rebuilt, by the early 1920s Hemming was in decline. By the late 1980s the town was no longer shown on county highway maps.
On this day in 1950, the Barker Texas History Center opened on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The Barker Center, today known as the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Collection, was named for UT history professor Eugene C. Barker. It originally occupied the Old Library Building (now called Battle Hall), which was designed by Cass Gilbert and built in 1910. In 1971 the center moved to Sid Richardson Hall, located on the eastern edge of the campus adjacent to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. In 1991 the Barker Center became a division of the university's newly organized Center for American History. Until 1994 the Center for American History remained a unit of the UT Austin General Libraries; in August 1994 it became an independent operating unit. The Barker Collection houses more than 130,000 books and periodicals; some 3,500 individual collections of personal papers and official records; an extensive newspaper collection; approximately 750,000 photographs; 30,000 recordings; and more than 30,000 printed and manuscript maps.