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Rupert C. Koeninger Personal Papers

Identifier: UAC/14/2014.a001

Scope and Contents

The Rupert C. Koeninger Personal Papers Collection is composed of 1 box.

Box 1: Koeninger Biographical, Correspondence, and Publication Materials

The Rupert C. Koeninger Personal Papers Collection contains original and photocopied materials dating from 1927-2006 (majority from 1960-1963), which deal mainly with his tenure at Sam Houston State Teachers College as a professor and head of the Sociology Department and his sequent firing by the Board of Regents of Texas State Teachers Colleges in 1961. This collection also includes family letters, newspaper clippings, publications, awards, and information regarding Koeninger's personal life and death.


  • 1927 - 2006
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 1963

Conditions Governing Use

The materials represented in this finding aid have been made available for research, teaching and private use. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) these items without prior permission on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies.

Please contact the Newton Gresham Library's Special Collections and University Archives department to request permissions to reproduce materials for any other purpose, or to obtain information regarding the copyright status of a particular digital image, text, audio or video recording.

Biographical / Historical

In May 1961, after more than a decade of devoted service at Sam Houston State Teachers College (SHSTC), Rupert C. Koeninger received word that he would be dismissed from his position as chair of the Sociology Department because of his work on behalf of civil liberties and civil rights. Though his dismissal was in the guise of affiliating the university with his personal political activities.

Rupert C. Koeninger was born on March 13, 1907, in Wise County, Texas. His father August C. Koeninger, the son of an immigrant, had settled in Wise County and served as a schoolteacher While his mother Lina, the daughter of a pioneer physician had settled in the neighboring Jack County, managed the family’s income.

Koeninger’s first school days were in Mineral Wells, Texas. After receiving his high school graduation certificate from Wayland Baptist Academy in 1925, Koeninger enrolled in Wayland Baptist Junior College in June 1926 and graduated the next year. He finished his undergraduate degree at Texas Technological College with a BA in English and a minor in Sociology in the Summer of 1929. Koeninger received his master’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Economics at the University of Chicago in 1936. Koeninger received his doctorate in Sociology with a minor in education at Ohio State University in 1939. Over the course of 40 years, Koeninger accepted teaching positions at public schools in Montana and Texas, Marietta College, Ohio State University, Central Michigan University, SHSTC, and Texas Southern University. Koeninger was also a ranger with the National Park Service for four parks from 1929-1933.

In 1934, Rupert C. Koeninger married Ethel Childers, a native Texan. Koeninger met Ethel in Lawrence, Kansas through a mutual friend as he was hitch-hiking against the country the previous year. The couple had four children: Wanda, Clifford, Frieda, and Arthur. In 1947, after nearly a decade of working in Michigan, Koeninger, his wife, and four children moved back to Texas to serve as Chair of the Sociology Department at SHSTC.

Two years after joining SHSTC, Koeninger received a position as director of the Bureau of Classification at the Texas Prison System in Huntsville (1949-1954). He accepted the position on the condition that he kept his faculty status at the college. After Koeninger’s wrongful termination by the Texas State Teachers College Board of Regents, Koeninger accepted a teaching position in the Sociology Department at Texas Southern University (TSU). His position as a professor started in the fall of 1962, and he remained with the university for the next five years. Koeninger would finish up his teaching career at Central Michigan University until his retirement on June 30, 1975.

Rupert C. Koeninger passed away on November 1, 1991, in Austin, Texas. Koeninger was honored posthumously by the Sam Houston State University’s Chapter of the NAACP as one of the first Sam Houston Pioneers. On February 10, 2010, the NAACP honored those individuals who fought for civil rights change at the university.

In 2017, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of Sam Houston State University inducted Rupert C. Koeninger as a Distinguished Faculty member for the college's Wall of Honor. Koeninger was inducted for his contributions in fighting for academic freedom and civil rights.


1 boxes

Language of Materials



This collection of original and photocopies of selected documents is arranged by chronological order. The majority of the materials are composed of correspondence from 1960-1963.

Physical Location

Located in the University Archives, 400. Newton Gresham Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials within the Rupert C. Koeninger Personal Papers Collection have been donated by Rupert C. Koeninger's daughter, Dr. Frieda Koeninger, retired Sam Houston State University professor and Carolyn Carroll, historian.

Rupert C. Koeninger Personal Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Thomason Special Collections & SHSU University Archives Repository

1830 Bobby K. Marks Drive
Huntsville TX 77341 US