J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb
my lecture, Dr. Webb announced: "That was an interesting lecture Miss
Stewart. You will give a second hour's lecture at the next class meeting."
I survived the second lecture also. I was the only student in the class
required to give two lectures.
Several years later when I was editor of the Cleburne Times-Review, I
used much of the research I had done in Dr. Webb's classes for a special
rodeo edition. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was so impressed with the
rodeo edition that it carried an editorial calling the edition "outstand-
ing." I told Dr. Webb about it when I visited with him in his office a few
months before his death. By that time, my utilization of work done in
his classes was wryly amusing to both of us. I learned for the first time
that Dr. Webb once had applied for a news-writing job on the San An-
tonio Express, and had been discouraged by an assistant editor named
Roy Bedichek. As I left, Dr. Webb gave me a copy of his book More
Water for Texas, and autographed it to me "with the best of wishes." It is
one of the most cherished books in my library.
An Eighty-three-Year-Old Student's Tribute to
Professor Walter Prescott Webb
In 1921 Professor Webb taught a freshman class of some twenty-odd
students in the old wooden-frame building constructed by the U.S. gov-
ernment for army classes during World War I.
The impression this man made on me was indelible. I remember one
freshman asked what we should believe about a controversial problem,
and he unhesitatingly replied, "You consider all the data and make up
your own mind."
As some of us freshmen would come up with a stupid or asinine
statement, Dr. Webb would with visible effort control himself and pa-
tiently set us straight in our thinking.
Before class, during class, and after class, he would radiate confi-
dence as some of us would show what he regarded as an original appre-
ciation of facts. Certainly his stern incisive mind inspired a lifelong ap-
preciation of history in general and of Texas history in particular.
*Jim Coltharp, a retired electrical engineer and member of the Class of 1925 at the Univer-
sity of Texas at Austin, lives in Beaumont.
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 March 13, 2014.