J. Frank Dobze and Walter Prescott Webb
willing to serve as a visiting professor that summer. When Webb ac-
cepted the position, the funds for my sojourn to the north were used
for his salary. I was delighted that he had been able to see this frontier
for himself, but it was really a sacrifice for him to go without Terrell.
Following his return from Alaska, Webb and Terrell edited a manu-
script Terrell had uncovered while moving her belongings to Austin.
Maury Maverick's aunt had kept a journal of her impressions of per-
sonalities and events during her husband's service as congressman
from 1897 to 19g19. When Harper's published the book, Washington
Wife: Journal of Ellen Maury Slayden from x897-1919, the Webbs were
invited to many autograph parties and speaking engagements.
On the night of March 8, 1963, I was awakened by a telephone call
and learned that on his return from a speaking engagement, Webb's
car had overturned and Webb had been killed immediately. Terrell had
suffered a crushed pelvis and other serious injuries. It was heartrend-
ing. But the funeral was what Webb would have appreciated. Dr. Ed-
mund Heinsohn, pastor of the University Methodist Church, gave the
oration, which was sprinkled with a number of Webb's witty remarks.
The audience tittered and even laughed aloud at times. The world had
lost a great historian and I had lost a good friend.
Walter Prescott Webb
It is odd that for all the years I spent at the University of Texas (Aus-
tin), before and after World War II, and in spite of all the courses I took
in Garrison Hall, I never had any contact with Dr. Webb. It was much
later that our paths would cross, and even then it was just a brief en-
counter. But it was Webbian.
At that time I was developing a graduate seminar at Texas Tech. The
course was misnomered "Sociological Uses of Historical Data." This
was unfortunate because (a) as it turned out, history students gained
more from the course than sociology students, and (b) the writings of
historian Walter P. Webb contributed more to the course than the writ-
ings of any other individual. Additionally, I was pleased that the noted
sociologist William F. Ogburn heralded Webb! Ogburn, a student of so-
cial change, referred extensively to what he called Webb's theory of
*Sylvan Dunn is the former director of the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University.
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 July 2, 2015.