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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964



J. Frank Dobie, historian, teacher, author, and folklorist, was born on September 26, 1888 on a ranch in Live Oak County, Texas, the son of Richard J. and Ella (Byler) Dobie. In 1910, he graduated with a B. A. degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown. He began teaching shortly thereafter in Alpine, Texas, and working summers as a newspaper reporter. After receiving a master's degree from Columbia University, Dobie joined the University of Texas faculty and the Texas Folklore Society in 1914. Dobie and writer Bertha McKee were married in 1916. He interrupted his work at the University for two years during World War I and then again in 1920 to manage his uncle Jim Dobie's ranch. In 1919, Dobie began writing articles for the Southwest Review (then known as the Texas Review). Dobie's first book, A Vaquero of the Brush Country, was published in 1929. This book was followed two years later by Coronado's Children (1931), and then On the Open Range (1931), Tales of the Mustang (1936), The Flavor of Texas (1936), Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver (1939), The Longhorns (1941), Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest (1942), and Tongues of the Monte (1947).

Dobie was also a vocal member of the Advisory Board of Texas Historians, which reported regularly to the Commission of Control for the Texas Centennial Celebrations. These celebrations were characterized by a strong interest in Texas history, and accordingly marking and preserving sites of historical significance. The Advisory Board made specific recommendations with accompanying budget outlines to the Commission. The recommendations included erecting new markers for the graves of notable individuals in Texas history, making corrections to inscriptions on existing Texas monuments, the relocation of the remains of Texas heroes to the Texas State Cemetery, and creation of new monuments to mark the sites of important historical events. Dobie himself was outspoken in his criticism of the state of existing monuments. During this time, he corresponded with historian and Advisory Board chairman Louis Wiltz Kemp, as well as famous sculptors Gutzon Borglum, Pompeo Coppini, and Bonnie MacLeary. Dobie was also active in the Centennial Celebrations themselves and was even offered a seat on the Speakers' Platform at the Dallas festivities.

In 1939, Dobie began his syndicated newspaper column "My Texas." After a leave of absence from the University of Texas during World War II, Dobie became embroiled in a fierce debate with the University of Texas board of regents over the firing of President Homer P. Rainey in November 1944. Dobie requested a continuation of his leave of absence in 1947, but was refused and dismissed from the UT faculty, thereby ending his teaching career. Dobie remained in the Austin area and devoted all his time to writing and anthologizing. Publication of The Voice of the Coyote (1949), The Ben Lilly Legend (1950), The Mustangs (1952), Tales of Old Time Texas (1955), Up the Trail from Texas (1955), I'll Tell You a Tale (1960), and Cow People (1964) occurred during this time. President Lyndon Johnson awarded him the Medal of Freedom on September 14, 1964, and Dobie died on September 18, 1964.

Found in 24 Collections and/or Records:

Buell O. Baker papers

Identifier: camh-arc-004542

The Buell O. Baker papers are comprised of correspondence, literary productions, newspaper clippings, maps, and photographs arranged chronologically under subject.

Dates: 1847; 1871; 1912 - 1945

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

Henry Cohen papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00020

Henry Cohen was rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Galveston, Texas, from 1888 to 1949. Papers document his religious and social welfare activities and other interests.

Dates: 1825 - 1951

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

Dudley R. Dobie, Jr., papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.02675

Comprised of a letter, a history, pamphlets, and photographs, the Dudley Dobie, Jr., Papers, 1990-1992, undated, document the restoration by Dobie of his cousin J. Frank Dobie’s house.

Dates: 1990 - 1992; undated

James Frank Dobie papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00356

J. Frank Dobie, historian, teacher, author, and folklorist, joined the University of Texas faculty and the Texas Folklore Society in 1914. Along with Dobie's research into native Texas history and folklore, the centennial celebrations and the selection of monuments are the central focus of the papers, which contain correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, maps, and reports.

Dates: 1923 - 2008

Martha Dobie collection

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.02510

Books, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, book catalogs, journals, and prints compose the Martha Dobie Collection, 1923-1988, undated, documenting the life of Dobie's brother, writer J. Frank Dobie, as well as her interests and the history of the Dobie family.

Dates: 1923 - 1988; undated

John Crittendon Duval papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.02089

Composed of correspondence, literary works, and a diary, the John Crittenden Duval Papers, 1879-1885, 1921-1937, primarily concern the writing career of Duval.

Dates: 1879 - 1885; 1921 - 1937

Michael Erskine papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.03760

The collection consists of the original two-volume diary of Michael Erskine's 1854 cattle drive, 1928 transcript of the diary, and a photocopy of the transcript. Also included are correspondence and Erskine family genealogical material.

Dates: 1854 - 1930

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

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