J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb
versity, and a more delightful and intellectually stimulating experience
would be impossible to duplicate.
One day I was in old "B" Hall taking a final exam in a political science
course when Dr. Webb approached my desk and asked me to step into
the hall. There he introduced me to Dr. James Taylor, chairman of the
Social Science Division at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos. As a
result of that meeting, Dr. Taylor offered me a position in the Social
Science Department, and there I stayed until I retired thirty years later.
My indebtedness to Dr. Webb thus encompasses not only a wonder-
ful intellectual experience but a professional career in history as well.
He was a wonderfully stimulating teacher, and his kindness and un-
obtrusive generosity to his students, both professionally and financially,
knew no bounds.
His office was a repository for all the relics, trinkets, paraphernalia of
the American West and the cowboy that he had collected over a life-
time. I made the mistake of rearranging it one day, then spent the rest
of the week helping him locate various items and putting them back in
their appropriate places. That mistake was never repeated.
It was my great privilege to have been his student, his reader, and his
W. P. Webb
After more than thirty years, one has to sweep the cobwebs from
one's mind to remember specifics concerning any individual. It was not
that difficult relative to W. P. Webb.
My first contact with him was in his well-known Great Plains course.
Here students were exposed to singing cowboys, Walker Colts, and
other unusual items not normally the grist of a senior-level history
class. Combined with his weather-beaten appearance and his clothes,
which seemed to fit the part, these factors helped to give a certain
amount of verisimilitude to our M.W.F. meetings.
But it was as a graduate student that I came to know him better. First
as a member of his year-long seminar confined to doctoral candidates,
and later, as one of his two students working on a dissertation, I began
to see Dr. Webb on a more personalized basis. It was as a result of this
association that I began to understand some of the events that had
*Lionel Patenaude is a professor of history at San Antonio College
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed May 18, 2013.