Skip to main content

Bedichek, Roy, 1878-1959



Roy Bedichek was born on June 27, 1878 in Cass County, Illinois. At the age of six he and his family moved to Falls County, Texas. Bedichek attended the Bedichek Academy at Eddy, a school founded by his father. He entered the University of Texas at Austin in 1898 and worked for John A. Lomax in the Office of the Registrar until graduating with a B.S. in 1903. In 1910 he married Lillian Greer; they had three children together. From 1903 until 1917, when he returned to the University, Bedichek held many jobs: reporter, high school teacher, newspaper editor, and secretary to two Chambers of Commerce, one in Deming, New Mexico, and the other in Austin (where the Chamber of Commerce was then known as the Young Men's Business League). From 1915-1916 Bedichek worked as the executive secretary to Will C. Hogg's Organization for Promoting Interest in Higher Education in Texas. In 1917 he returned to the University of Texas at Austin as the director of the University Interscholastic League (UIL, aka Texas Interscholastic League). Through his belief in the benefits of educational competition Bedichek shaped the UIL's policies and made the fledgling league a success. Bedichek served as director of the UIL until his retirement in 1948.

Bedichek is best known for his work as a Texas naturalist and his friendship with J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb. His career as an author and his relationship with Webb and Dobie are intertwined, as it was these two friends who encouraged Bedichek to write his first book, Adventures with a Texas Naturalist (1947). To write this work, Bedichek took a hiatus from the UIL and went into a year long seclusion at Webb's Friday Mountain Ranch. Bedichek wrote two more books, Karankaway County (1950) and Educational Competition (1956) before his death in 1959. The Sense of Smell (1960) was published posthumously. Bedichek's letters have been collected into three books, including one detailing his friendships with Dobie and Webb.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Roy Bedichek papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00011

Roy Bedichek (1878-1959) was a naturalist, educator, writer, and director of the University (of Texas) Interscholastic League from 1914-1948. The Roy Bedichek Papers, 1897-1959, 2003, document his studies of ornithology, botany, wildlife, and conservation, history and philosophy and include literary productions, correspondence, and business records.

Dates: circa 1880-1960; 2003

Edward Crane papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.03092

Correspondence, photographs, maps, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous certificates, legal documents, and financial records comprise the Edward E. Crane Papers, 1883-1963, documenting Crane’s personal life and career.

Dates: 1883 - 1959

John Henry Faulk papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00010

The John Henry Faulk Papers, 1881, 1936-2010, document Faulk's career in literary and broadcast media, as well as his activities in politics, humanitarian concerns, and civil liberties, particularly his successful libel suit after having been blacklisted for alleged Communist associations.

Dates: 1881; 1936 - 2010

William A. Owens oral history transcripts

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.02566

The William A. Owens Oral History Transcripts, 1953, contains eight transcripts of interviews and conversations conducted by William A. Owens with naturalist Roy Bedichek, historian Walter Prescott Webb, and folklorist J. Frank Dobie from July and August 1953. The interviewees discuss growing up in Texas, their careers as educators, their associations with the University of Texas at Austin, and other experiences.

Dates: 1953

Charles S. Potts papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.02335

Composed of correspondence, subject files, organizational files, legal documents, creative works, and printed material, the Charles S. Potts Papers, 1886-1960, documents the professional and scholarly activities of Potts while at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) and University of Texas at Austin (UT).

Dates: 1886 - 1960

UT Auditor's Office records

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.03390

The University of Texas Auditor’s Office Records contain correspondence, auditor’s reports, departmental budget and expenditure reports, inventories, bank statements, and account books and ledgers from 1885 to 1942.

Dates: 1885 - 1942

Walter Prescott Webb papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00344

Historian Walter Prescott Webb taught at the University of Texas at Austin (1918-1963), served as director of the Texas State Historical Association (1939-1946), and authored ground-breaking works on the history of Texas and the American West.

Dates: 1857 - 1966

Additional filters:

Texas 6
Texas--Austin 4
Law 2
Naturalists 2
Politics and government 2