Heritage, 2011, Volume 3 Page: 17
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Rihrdo ndhs oRuet ihrdoJr os nfrn o h risofte l aml hm sea er Cado exs.Rchrdo
ofe jkd ht oh ean brhmLiclnwrebrni lgcais
broad interests, Richardson felt unsure of which career
path to pursue, but he knew for certain that if he wanted
to marry Pauline Mayes, he needed a job.
Rupert Richardson returned to West Texas in the fall
of 1914, working as a teacher and principal. After decid-
ing that public school administration was to his liking,
he attended a summer program at The University of Chi-
cago's School of Education. He married Mayes in Decem-
ber 1915, and by the following year, the hard-working and
ambitious young man was principal of Sweetwater High
School. The 25-year old educator seemed to be on his way
to a career in public school administration until March
1917, when he accepted a faculty position at Simmons
College, teaching history, government, sociology, and eco-
Shortly after beginning this new assignment, the United
States entered World War I. When a Student Army Train-
ing Corps was formed at Simmons College, Richardson
was among a group of students and teachers sent to Illinois
for specialized training. After completing the program,
the newly-commissioned second lieutenant returned to
the college where he resumed teaching and drilling. Rich-
ardson received his Army discharge when the war ended.
Recognizing once again that any career advancement ne-
cessitated further education, he and his family traveled to
Austin in 1921, where Richardson completed his master's
degree at The University of Texas the following year; he
earned his doctorate in philosophy from the same institu-
tion in 1928.
In Austin, Richardson had the opportunity to indulge
his interest for Texas' past, befriending famous historians,
including Eugene Barker and Joe Franz, and enjoying ac-
cess to research materials at the university and the Texas
State Library and Archives. When he returned to Abilene,
Richardson became dean of students at Simmons College
in 1926, and subsequently accepted the position of vice
president, a post he held for 10 years.
During this time in administration, Richardson ex-
panded his knowledge and understanding of history
through study and writing. Those who knew him describe
the academic's approach to research as straightforward.
When reading the findings of other scholars, Richardson
took their interpretations with a grain of salt, preferring
instead to draw his own conclusions. He said on many oc-
casions that "the pursuit of truth is not always an easy job;
in fact, it is often hard and demanding work, but it is the
most important thing." It was a philosophy that Richard-
son felt could be applied to all aspects of life, regardless of
one's profession or station.
This dedication to discovering the truth and active par-
ticipation in the search for information gave strong voice
to Richardson's first book, The Comanche Barrier to South
Plains Settlement, published in 1933. While working on
this manuscript, Richardson became friends with Coman-
che Chief Quanah Parker's son, Baldwin, who assisted
him with translations and introductions. Richardson at-
tended multiple religious ceremonies with the tribe and
conducted numerous interviews with elders. In addition,
he spent a summer in Washington, D.C., examining gov-
ernment documents and witness accounts of Indian raids.
Volume 3 2011 I TEXASHERITAGE 17
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2011, Volume 3, periodical, 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254222/m1/17/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.