The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 137
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J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb
ciation and friendship that has lasted for almost thirty years. Early in
1964, Dorman brought to my attention a set of paintings by the well-
known Austin artist Charles B. Normann. The set consisted of portraits
of nine of the greatest men in Texas history: Stephen F. Austin, James
Butler Bonham, James Bowie, David Crockett, James W. Fannin, Sam
Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Benjamin R. Milam, and William Barret
Travis. Commissioned by Mr. Dewey Bradford, then owner of the
Country Store Galleries, the portraits were based on extensive research
and represented what were thought to be true likenesses of these leg-
ends in Texas history. Titled "Heroes of Texas," the paintings had been
sold to Summerfield G. Roberts, a wealthy Dallas oilman. Dorman felt
that these portraits would make outstanding illustrations for a book,
with biographies of each hero.
At Dorman's urging, I contacted Mr. Roberts and went to Dallas to
secure his permission to use the paintings in a book to be published by
Texian Press. Mr. Roberts liked the idea and agreed to allow the paint-
ings to be reproduced. We set out to secure the best historians in Texas
to write the biographies that would be published with each of the paint-
ings. I knew that Texian Press could not afford to pay royalties to nine
authors, so Dorman agreed to help me secure the writers we needed.
In short order we signed up Rupert N. Richardson for Stephen F. Aus-
tin; H. Bailey Carroll, David Crockett; Joseph M. Nance, James W. Fan-
nin; Ben H. Procter, James B. Bonham; Llerena B. Friend, Sam Hous-
ton; Dorman Winfrey, Mirabeau B. Lamar; James M. Day, Ben Milam;
Joe B. Frantz, William B. Travis. This only left Jim Bowie without an
Dorman suggested that I contact J. Frank Dobie, as he had a lifelong
interest in Jim Bowie. Knowing that Mr. Dobie received large sums for
his writing, I was rather hesitant about contacting him and asking if he
would do the Bowie article free (actually each author did receive ten
copies of the book). At Dorman's urging I finally agreed, and we got an
appointment for 2: oo P.M. on a beautiful spring afternoon. A close
friend of Dobie's had recommended that if we were asking for a favor
from him, we should take along a fifth of Jack Daniels (Dobie's favorite
bourbon) because Mrs. Dobie had cut off his liquor supply for several
months. So, accompanied by Dorman Winfrey and James Day and
armed with the Jack Daniels, I set out for what became one of the most
memorable afternoons of my life.
Mr. Dobie answered the door, dressed in his undershirt and a pair of
well-worn khaki pants. His eyes lit up when I handed him the Jack
Daniels and he invited us upstairs to his study. Mrs. Dobie was out
shopping, so he opened up the bourbon and poured four glasses about
half full. He added a small amount of water, not enough to hurt the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/164/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.