The contents of this collection are the papers and publications of Harry Van Demark who settled in Houston in 1901. The collection specifically contains typescript and bound versions of plays and short stories as well as scrap books, articles, and poetry. There are also pamphlets, programs and tickets from plays Van Demark wrote and produced.
Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713-348-2586.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from the Harry Van Demark Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
Biographical / Historical
Harry Van Deusen Van Demark was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, New York on Jan. 26, 1881. He came to settle in Webster, Harris County, Texas in 1894, with his father via Nebraska and later moved to Houston in 1901.
He became the owner and editor of the Webster Star, later the Webster Weekly News, until the storm of 1900. After moving to Houston in 1901, he began a career as a theatre manager, producer and playwright. He wrote plays on subjects about Texas such as The Texan and The Texas Ranger. He produced juvenile periodicals under various noms de plume in addition to editing magazines.
Prior to World War I he began writing mystery stories, notably The Vanishing Diplomat. He continued to write in this genre for another thirty years combining mystery and crime with a western back drop but writing under numerous aliases. Along with being a free-lance writer, Van Demark was always employed. He managed theatres, worked for the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post, and edited for Texas Parade, and Texas Week.
He married Josephine Bonifay on Feb. 1, 1902 by whom he had eight children. She died on Feb. 4 1943 and Van Demark followed on Dec. 6, 1948. Van Demark was considered the most prolific writer in the Houston area of his time.
The contents of this collection include the papers and publications of Harry Van Demark. Within the collection are typescript and bound versions of plays and short stories as well as scrap books, articles, and poetry. Van Demark was considered the most prolific writer in the Houston area of his time.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was purchased from Mrs. Herbert Fletcher with Friends' funds on December 19, 1969.