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West Texas Historical Association

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West Texas Historical Association

The West Texas Historical Association is an organization of both academics and laypersons dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the total history of West Texas, loosely defined geographically as all Texas counties and portions of counties located west of Interstate 35.

Formation of the WTHA

Royston Campbell Crane, an [1]

On April 18, 1925, the association held its first annual meeting in Cisco in Eastland County, located east of Abilene. Thereafter, it published the first volume of the West Texas Historical Association Year Book. Only eighty pages, the publication included three scholarly articles and reprints of several historical documents.[1]The Yearbook will be renamed in 2014 (for the 2013 publication material) as the West Texas Historical Review.

Later years

By 1983, by the time of the 59th Year Book, total published items had increased to 502 scholarly or semi-scholarly articles, 90 memoirs or recollections, and 51 miscellaneous items. including approximately 30 under the title "History in West Texas." As explained the historian Ernest Wallace, the original topics of Indians, military matters, and pioneer settlers have expanded over the years to include additional studies: contemporary politics, education, ethnic minorities, women, transportation, the environment, music, entertainment, and architectural structures.[1]

The WTHA Year Book contains a book-review section, an index, and the auditor’s annual report. In 2004, Ashley Armes,[2] a history professor at [4]

In addition to the Year Book, the WTHA publishes The Cyclone, a newsletter issued in February and August, currently edited by James T. "Jim" Matthews, an official of the Boy Scouts of America, and his wife, Becky, of San Antonio.[5]

The organization had been particularly associated with Hardin-Simmons, where twenty-two of the annual meetings were held during the early years of the organization. In 1998, with the retirement of [1] Past presidents have included rancher Marisue Potts of Motley County and the petroleum businessmen and West Texas historian Travis Roberts of Sanderson in Terrell County and Clayton W. Williams, Sr., of Fort Stockton, father of the 1990 Republican gubernatorial nominee, Clayton W. Williams, Jr.

The 2010 conclave held in Fort Worth on February 25–27, was a rare joint meeting with the East Texas Historical Association, based in Nacogdoches. The 2009 meeting was held at the Radisson Hotel in Lubbock; attendants were given a tour of Ransom Canyon and the Harvey House in Slaton. In the spring of 2008, the association met on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon and tours there included the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the Palo Duro Canyon.

The 2013 association meeting, with the theme "Tracking the Trail of History", convened at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls; the 2014 meeting was held in Odessa, with an emphasis on public history. The 2015 meeting is scheduled for Amarillo.

Travis Roberts of Sanderson, Texas, is a veteran member of the WTHA.
Tiffany Haggard Fink, of Hardin-Simmons University, past president of the West Texas Historical Association
Historian Monte Monroe of Texas Tech University, editor of the WTHA Year Book
WTHA executive director Tai D. Kreidler
Kenneth W. Davis (left) and Garry L. Nall, WTHA fellows for 2010–2011

The current executive director of the association is Tai D. Kreidler, a native of Burkburnett, Texas, and the co-director of the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University who holds a PhD from Texas Tech.[7]

Other notable members, officers, contributors

  • Thomas E. Alexander, professional historian on the Texas Historical Commission
  • H. Allen Anderson, archivist and specialist on West Texas ranching and railroads; WTHA fellow, Lubbock native, and author of pending history of Texas Tech University
  • Paul H. Carlson, professor emeritus at Texas Tech; specialist on the American West, WTHA fellow, and former editor of the Year Book
  • Robert T. "Ty" Cashion, associate professor at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, former WTHA book review editor, and keynote speaker at 2009 association meeting; president of the East Texas Historical Association from 2002–2003
  • Patrick Dearen, Midland-based author; winner of 2014 WTHA Elmer Kelton Book Award for his 2012 novel, To Hell and the Pecos
  • Arnoldo De Leon, graduate of Texas Christian University, professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo, specialist in Mexican American history, and 2008 WTHA fellow
  • Kenneth Davis, historian, member of the Texas Folklore Society, and 2010–2011 WTHA fellow
  • J. Frank Dobie (1888–1964), "Progenitor of the Mustang", Vol. 26[5]
  • Tiffany Haggard Fink, Hardin-Simmons University historian in Abilene and WTHA president, 2009–2010
  • Joe B. Frantz, "Prospecting in Western History", Vol. 40[5]
  • J. Evetts Haley (1901–1995), best known of the West Texas historians; contributed "Grass Fires of the Southern Plains" (Year Book Vol. 5, 1929)[5]
  • Diana Hinton, Midland College professor, 2014–2015 WTHA vice president
  • Kenneth Roy Jacobs (1933–2009),[8] professor emeritus, of Hardin-Simmons University, editor of the WTHA Year Book, 1985–1998
  • Elmer Kelton (1926–2009), novelist of the American West; "Converting History into Fiction", Vol. 48[5]
  • Martin Herman Kuhlman, author of forthcoming History of West Texas A&M University
  • Herbert H. Lang (1921–2006), Texas A&M University American West professor, "Fort Worth's Role in the Origins of the Helium Industry", Vol. 47, p. 127[5]
  • Monte Monroe, Southwest Collection archivist and current editor of the WTHA Year Book
  • Garry L. Nall, retired West Texas A&M University professor and active agricultural historian, WTHA fellow
  • Bill Neal (born c. 1936), former attorney in Abilene who won the Rupert Richardson Book Award for Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings & Celebrated Trials (2006)[9]
  • Bill O'Neal, Texas state historian, prolific western author and retired professor at Panola College in Carthage, Texas; 2014–2015 WTHA president
  • Keith Owen, professor at Lubbock Christian University and WTHA president, 2010–2011
  • Lou Halsell Rodenberger (1926–2009), WTHA fellow; "West Texas Pioneer Women: The Wilder, Stronger Breed", Vol. 77[5]
  • Jean A. Stuntz, West Texas A&M University department chairperson; former WTHA book review editor, specialist in women's studies
  • James Clyde Tillapaugh, University of Texas of the Permian Basin founding faculty member, 2013–2014 WTHA president, endowed the Tillapaugh Public History Fund
  • Walter Prescott Webb (1888–1963), "Land and Life of the Great Plains", Vol. 4[5]

See also

Texas State Historical Association


  1. ^ a b c d """Ernest Wallace, "West Texas Historical Association. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  2. ^ Ashley Armes is a daughter of Paul Woodson Armes, president of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, and a granddaughter of Sybil Leonard Armes, a Texas Baptist author and musician.
  3. ^ "Rate My Professors: Ashley Armes". Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  4. ^ Ashley Armes, "Year Book (2004), Volume 81, p. 113
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "West Texas Historical Association Publications". Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  6. ^ "From the Executive Director". Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  7. ^ "West Texas Historical Association". Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  9. ^ (2006) Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings ^ Celebrated Trials Bill Neal,.  

External links

  • Official Website
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