Through the Eye Piece of the Microscope … San Antonio Nature Observations

Dr. Rudolph Menger was an early San Antonio doctor who loved nature and is best remembered for his nature observations and pictures.  He was born in San Antonio, Texas on April 21, 1851, to Johann and Augusta Menger.  His parents, native Germans, arrived in Texas in 1846. Menger attended the German-English school, a school established in 1858 by German immigrants, which endeavored to educate the children of recent immigrants. After graduation, he studied medicine in Germany at the University of Leipsic, in Saxony, graduating in November, 1874.

After graduating from medical school, Menger returned to San Antonio and served as Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army for one year then was appointed City Physician of San Antonio from 1875 until 1881, and was appointed once more in 1892. He was an active member of the West Texas Medical Society, wrote numerous articles for various medical journals, and worked in private practice.

He married Barbara C. Menger in 1879, a native of San Antonio and daughter of William L. Menger, owner of the Menger Hotel but unrelated to Ruldolph.  They had eight children: Minnie, Edward, August, Louis, Gustave, Rudolph, Theodore, and Margaret.

Dr. Menger’s book Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses, published in 1913, includes many of his photo-micrographs and observations.  It is available in the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, and the university’s copy may be viewed online in full text through the University of North Texas’ Portal to Texas History at http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143558/m1/1/?q=menger .

Picture from Menger book of scorpions

Picture from Menger book of scorpions

 

The P. I. Nixon Library owns the original scrapbook with Menger’s microphotographs.  It has been digitized for preservation, and the library hopes to make it viewable soon through the UTHSC Digital Archive.

Page from Menger Scrapbook

Page from Menger Scrapbook

Sources—

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/drtsa/00017/00017-P.html

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/uthscsa/00010/hscsa-00010.html

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dgm02

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my post.  If you have a story of the early days of the Health Science Center or medicine in San Antonio to share, please send it to dethorne@uthscsa.edu or call 210-567-2470.

 

Mellisa DeThorne, keeper of precious things