Roger Norman Conger
Roger Norman Conger, son of Dr. Ralph E. and Margaret Conger, was born in China Spring, McLennan County, Texas, on September 26, 1909, and died in Waco on February 13, 1996, of Lou Gehrig's disease.
When Roger's father, a doctor, died on March 1, 1922, the family was forced to sell their fifteen-room home in China Spring and move into a small three-bedroom home in Waco. Roger was twelve at the time and sister Luella was sixteen. Their mother went to work selling insurance.
Roger entered Waco High School in 1922 and took his first paying job as a delivery truck driver for a retail grocery store. After graduation from school in 1926, Roger went to work for the Cooper Grocery Company where, as an eighteen-year-old, he "earned a man's salary." In 1928 he worked half-time at Cooper and attended Baylor University part time. After five years with the Cooper Grocery Company, Roger took a job with Southern Cotton Oil Company of New Orleans with an assigned position in Dallas. He married Lacy Rose Hammond in 1933 and, with children Roger Lacy and Claire, lived in University Park and was active in the Highland Park Presbyterian Church.
Roger started what he considered his "second career" in 1941 when he and his family moved to Waco, where he set up a national sales and distribution organization to market products manufactured by Hammond Laundry-Cleaning Machinery Company of Waco. During World War II the company provided products for military ships and submarines. At the end of the war, the company provided equipment for the expanding laundry and drying cleaning business. The nationwide operation expanded further into Europe, India, Soviet Russia, Mexico, and Latin America.
Roger had plans for son Roger Lacy to take on the position of operating the firm. Tragically this dream did not take place when young Conger was killed in an automobile accident in 1960 while on a business trip in Germany. The Hammond business was sold, and Roger then found time to do other things he wanted to do. He viewed "public service" as his third career. He was a Waco city commissioner 1962-65 and mayor 1964-65. He was an elder and Sunday school teacher for many years at Waco's First Presbyterian Church.
As a Waco and Texas historian, Roger rose to the top of the ranks and was known as "Mr. Waco History," according to Kent Keeth, director of Baylor University's Texas Collection. On the state level Roger was active and served as president of the Texas State Historical Association. Fortunately, much of the history Roger wrote during more than fifty years has been printed and listed in Waco's Champion: Selections from the Papers of Roger Norman Conger (Marion Travis, editor and bibliographer), published by Historic Waco Foundation in 1990. Roger's historical writings, along with his activities in the Historical Waco Foundation, Texas Ranger Museum, Sons of the Republic of Texas, Tri-State Chisholm Trail Centennial, Texas State Historical Association, and Texas Historical Commission, earned for him the coveted Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
At the time of his death Roger was a thirty-three degree Mason. He was buried in Waco's Oakwood Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Lacy Rose Hammond Conger, daughter, Claire Conger Garner, and granddaughter, Rosalyn Lacy Conger.
On July 30, 1996, the Philosophical Society lost a dear friend and fellow member, author and editor Margaret Cousins. Cousins gained prominence and recognition in literary circles for her work as a magazine writer and author of children's books. A native Texan, Cousins was born in Munday to Walter Henry and Sue Collins on January 26, 1905. After graduation from The University of Texas with an A.B. in 1926, she began her literary career as an associate editor of the Southern Pharmaceutical Journal in Dallas, and became its editor-in-chief.
In 1937 Cousins moved to New York City and joined the staff of Hearst Promotion Service as a copywriter. While at Hearst, Cousins was responsible for serving as courier in transporting the Anne Frank diaries to the United States for publication. She was quite moved by Frank's emotional writings and convinced the owners of Hearst to serialize the writings. She left Hearst after four years of service, and in 1945 accepted a position with Good Housekeeping magazine, serving as managing editor until 1958. Cousins was then hired as managing editor of McCall's until 1961 when she took the position of senior editor at Doubleday and Co.
During her time at Good Housekeeping, Cousins began to write children's stories. Her first children's story, Uncle Edgar and the Reluctant Saints, was published in 1948 and she continued to produce such works as We Were There at the Battle of the Alamo. As well as writing children's stories, Cousins wrote many short stories that found their way into our homes and lives. One of her many well remembered short stories, "The Life of Lucy Gallant," was produced as a movie in 1955. Cousins wrote more than two hundred short stories, which were published in the United States and in seventeen foreign countries during her twenty-five year career.
Cousins had strong ties to Texas and in 1972, after her publishing career, moved to San Antonio, where she lived until her death. She moved to San Antonio after close friend and interior designer Bill Pahlman relocated there. Cousins moved downtown into the Clifford Building on the San Antonio River where many of her friends, who all shared a common love for literature, also lived. Although she never married, Cousins had a wealth of friends who truly appreciated her engaging personality. One group of her friends consisting partly of architects and designers became known as the "River Rat Group," as all became friends because of their relationship to the San Antonio River. Cousins is also noted as being a member of the San Antonio Reading Club, and met with the distinguished group every week to read and critique a variety of literature. Cousins was a member of St. Marks Episcopal Church in San Antonio.
Cousins held membership and leadership positions in several other clubs over the last forty years. She served as member of the Board of Governors of the Authors Guild from 1959 to 1974, as the secretary of the American Authors League of America, and member of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of San Antonio. Her membership in various social and literary clubs also included the Cosmopolitan Club, the San Antonio Fine Arts Commission, the San Antonio Conservation Society, and the American Institute of Interior Designers.
Margaret Cousins' many years of work as an editor and writer have not gone without recognition and reward. She was given the George Washington Medal by the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge in 1969 and the J.C. Penny-Missouri School of Journalism award in 1968 for her magazine writing. She was also honored in 1973 with the Distinguished Alumna Award by The University of Texas at Austin.
In an interview with Contemporary Authors, Cousins credited much of her success to her mother and father. Self-educated and prodigious readers themselves, they exposed her to the classics at an early age and shared their love for literature with her. Because she did not know another child until her brother was born when she was five, Cousins spent much of her time listening to her father read her anything from Edgar Allen Poe to the Saturday Evening Post. She attributed her love for short stories to the fact that her father read to her all nine volumes of the O. Henry stories.
Margaret Cousins was most definitely an accomplished editor and writer who had a great influence on American literature. She shared her passion for literature through her great work and leadership of American periodicals and through her creative children's and short stories. She had a love for Texas that ran thick in her blood and she used a pen and paper as the canvas for her expression. Margaret Cousins is missed by her friends and loved ones, but her loving personality and engaging character will live on through her work.
Newton Gresham passed away at his home on Wednesday, June 5, 1991, at the age of eighty-five. He was born on July 21, 1905, on a farm near Jewett, Texas, in Leon County, the son of Edward A. and Beulah Selman Gresham. He was named for his uncle, a well-known agrarian leader in Texas who founded the Farmers Union in 1902. Gresham grew up in Uvalde, Texas, where he graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1924. For the next six years, he alternated teaching in public schools and attending The University of Texas Law School.
Receiving his law degree in 1930 when jobs were scarce, Gresham took the only job the firm of King, Wood & Morrow could offer at the time--employment as a legal stenographer. In 1937, Gresham became a partner of that firm. After undergoing major changes in the early part of the 1940s, the firm of Gresham, McCorquodale, Martin & Buck (with heavy involvement in the defense of insurance cases) merged with the firm of Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman & Bates, which later became known as Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Gresham will be remembered as a gentlemanly, low-key, brilliantly analytical lawyer. He was probably the most beloved of his firm's lawyers among the judges, clerks, bailiffs, and court reporters who worked in the rural counties where he tried some of his lawsuits.
A member of the board of regents of the State Teachers Colleges of Texas from 1959 to 1965, Gresham served as president from 1963 to 1965. His distinguished service on the coordinating board of the Texas College and University System spanned the period from 1965 to 1983, during which time he served as vice chairman from 1965 to 1980 and as chairman in 1983.
Newton Gresham was a trustee of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Killson Educational Foundation, and Sam Houston Foundation. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the International Association of Insurance Counsel, Federation of Insurance Counsel, State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, and American Bar Association. Gresham was president of the Houston Bar Association in 1984 and president of the State Bar of Texas in 1956-57, and was selected as Distinguished Alumnus of Sam Houston State University in 1977. He also held membership in Alpha Chi, Alpha Tau Omega, Order of the Coif, and Phi Delta Phi. He was a senior warden of St. John's Episcopal Church and active in its affairs.
He was married to Mary Frances Stone on July 3, 1933, and they had one daughter, Susan Frances Oaks, and two granddaughters, Elizabeth Clarke Oaks and Mary Gresham Oaks.
J. S. B. & H. L. W.
Everett Holland Jones
Bishop Jones was born in San Antonio, where he went through the public schools and spent most of his life. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1922, he taught a year at the Texas Military Institute before continuing graduate studies in journalism at Columbia University. While in New York, gaining experience as a reporter, he began taking courses at Union Theological Seminary. Later he enrolled in Virginia Theological Seminary from which he received the degree of Master of Divinity-1927. After ordination as an Episcopal priest he served parishes in Cuero and Waco and as canon chancellor of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In 1938 he returned to San Antonio as rector of St. Marks Episcopal Church where he had been baptized, confirmed, ordained, and finally consecrated as bishop of the Diocese of West Texas.
In 1940 he was married in St. Marks to Helen Miller Cameron, a widow with one child. From her custom of always wearing red at annual diocesan meetings, she became West Texas's "Lady in Red." Her ministry to the clergy wives helped build the diocesan sense of family. Her generosity is still reflected in many parts of San Antonio and the state.
He brought the program of Alcoholics Anonymous to San Antonio while he was rector at St. Marks. As bishop he was one of the three co-founders of the Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health in San Antonio. He also led in developing the finest young camping program.
He wrote several small books. One of them, "A Bishop Looks at Life," was a compilation of sixty of his newspaper columns which were carried in more than forty newspapers in Texas.
Bishop Jones received honorary degrees from the University of the South, the Virginia Seminary, and Trinity University in San Antonio.
He died in San Antonio at the age of 93 on November 21, 1995.
W. D. S.
J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson was born to Swedish immigrants in Brooklyn, New York, in 1902. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1922, and moved to Dallas in 1934 with Geophysical Services, Inc., the forerunner of Texas Instruments. The Jonssons had one daughter, Margaret Jonsson Rogers, and two sons, Philip Jonsson and Kenneth Jonsson. Margaret and Philip reside in Dallas, and Kenneth lives in Los Angeles. Mrs. Jonsson predeceased Mr. Jonsson, having died in 1984.
Mr. Jonsson's business genius helped create one of the world's most successful corporations. He and his partners, Eugene McDermott and Cecil Green, took Texas Instruments as a small electronics company in the early 1950s and turned it into a multi-billion dollar giant.
As significant as his accomplishments were in the world of business, perhaps even more so was the leadership he provided for Dallas during its darkest hours. He became mayor of Dallas in 1964 just months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His seven-year tenure as mayor totally reshaped the image of Dallas. Among his accomplishments were the very successful Goals for Dallas program, construction of a new city hall designed by I. M. Pei, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in south Dallas, the new downtown library, and his concept of developing the West End as an entertainment district. His crowning civic achievement, however, was the partnership with Fort Worth that led to the construction of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, now the second busiest airport in the world.
Mr. Jonsson, with his business associates, had a keen appreciation for the value of quality higher education and were responsible for what is now the University of Texas at Dallas. In addition, he was a major supporter of a number of institutions of higher education including the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he is often given credit for making it possible to retain the services of two of the institution's Nobel Laureates, Dr. Joseph Goldstein and Dr. Michael Brown.
Mr. Jonsson died at the age of ninety-three and few, if any, have had a greater impact on the development of the city of Dallas.
C. C. S.
F. Lee Lawrence
I take comfort in knowing that my friend, F. Lee Lawrence, who died on July 10, 1996, has been presented his crown of righteousness, but knowing this does not fill the vacancy his death leaves in my life. It is a gap that only he was uniquely qualified to fill. That he would trust me with the task of writing his memorial may not have been his wisest request, but it is certainly one of my highest compliments. And it is a formidable task. Let me try to define him by drawing the circle of all he touched, and talk about the important ways he touched me and why F. Lee Lawrence was, to me, a very special hero.
Our lives crossed thirty-six years of shared adventure. We had three passages in our relationship. The first was my rite of initiation as I tried to prove myself a worthy addition to the Lewis family or, more importantly, worthy to be Lee's brother-in-law. In Spanish, we are called contigos, non-blood brothers, but there was enough transfusion between us of life's essence that we developed a bond as deep as blood.
In the beginning, the fourteen years of age that separated us seemed too wide a gulf for us to ever cross, but Lee became like an older brother to me. One to be admired, emulated, imitated, but never excelled. In the Lewis family, there were four brothers-in-law. You may recognize this as the perfect number for a golf outing. The only problem was that Lee did not play golf, so his vacancy was filled by our father-in-law, A. Y. Lewis, the head of the Lewises. I have often wondered how different all our lives might have been if we could have convinced Lee to have been our companion in such play.
However, it was far away from the golf course, around a subject that was a life-long passion for Lee, that our relationship developed. It was Lee's love for history--the Civil War, Texas, and especially the history of East Texas. It was truly his love for history that best defined him. Importantly, it was not just history for history's sake, but what he loved in history. For him it was the heroes of history, those people who stood above the madding crowd and gave their all for a cause, a forlorn cause: heroes like those of Hood's Texas Brigade, which suffered 70% casualties at Chancellorsville, or Terry's Texas Rangers, who, at the conclusion of that great conflict, refused to surrender and turned their horses west, back to Texas. Lee had no time for compromises or compromising souls of those living out their lives in quiet desperation. He always wanted to stand for something and to stand up for something.
Sometime, about ten years ago, we entered the third phase of our relationship. It was a time of mutual admiration and shared commitment. Like all of us, he had a sin nature. He could pick far too long at some of the bones of life. But, deep down, he was a man full of tenderness and compassion and integrity. A conversation with Lee would frequently begin, "Now (fill in your name), tell me about your (fill in your subject)." This was his invitation for you to share your life with him. He listened to your answers, never hurrying you to conclusion, always ending with some meaningful insight into your situation, and always with respectful approval of your efforts. I observed this process on a thousand occasions. It never felt staged. I frequently asked myself, "Why did he do this?" and, finally, one day, I understood. He truly cared about you, your life, your struggle. Not only could he sympathize with your failure, but he could applaud your success. That is truly a rare talent.
Lee did not give the impression of being tough or one to whom physical strength was important, though he had an inner toughness, strength, and courage. He was unwavering in his convictions, conservative in his politics, but liberal in his generosity to friends and family. Lee was a great lawyer, in part, because he believed so fervently in his clients and their causes. But his friends and family were beneficiaries of that same unconditional affection and commitment. It was once asked of the famous Texas Ranger, Captain McNally, what type of adversary he feared the most. His answer: "A man who knows he is right and never stops coming." Lee was a man who pursued causes that he knew were right, and I can tell you, based on his life, he never stopped coming.
I watched Lee serve in numerous leadership roles-president of the Texas State Historical Association, the Texas Historical Foundation, the East Texas Historical Association, and, twice appointed by Texas governors to the Board of the Texas Historical Commission. In all these roles, he captured the respect and admiration of all those with whom he served because of his excellent judgment and insight and his willingness to make a financial commitment. But I think, most importantly, he gained respect because Lee, in pursuing his passion for history, served not his own selfish interest in life, but a true interest and love for history. There is not one of those organizations that is not distinctly better for his service to their cause.
If Lee believed in you, he would always be there for you. Throughout our thirty-six years, he never failed me or deserted me. He was the first man I called for advice when I was faced with a difficult task or just wanted to hear the voice of a friend. He was the first person I called when I became president of the Texas State Historical Association. He was the first person I called when I was seeking new members to the Board of the Texas Historical Foundation, and he gave generously of his time and money. He was the first person I called when I planned a large fund-raising effort for the Texas State Historical Association. He was the first person I called when I decided to restore and expand the Gage Hotel in Marfa, and he was the first man I talked to when I made the decision to take my former job in Canada. He supported my nomination to the Texas State Historical Association and the Philosophical Society of Texas. He introduced me to the Greek revival architecture of East Texas and, most significantly, he infected me with his passion for history.
I was only twenty years old when he encouraged me to give my first historical speech before the Texas State Historical Association on my relative, Moses Austin. I will share with you today, in all honesty, that it was a miserable speech. But Lee, as I watched him, never flinched. Afterwards, he made me feel that I had just delivered the equivalent of the Gettysburg Address. From that date forward, for thirty-five years, Lee suffered through many of my historical speeches and always found something positive to say to encourage me.
They say there are three things a man should do to endure past his grave. Have a child, plant a tree, and write a book. Lee did all three of these with wonderful style. He had three outstanding children-daughters. He planted a tree. As a matter of fact, he planted many trees, especially on their Mountain Creek Ranch at Comanche. The Mountain Creek Ranch was the original Texas homestead of Lee's relatives, the Cunninghams, who settled in Comanche County in 1855. Lee, through good fortune, was able to buy that homestead in 1984, and, with the help of his family and friends, he carefully and lovingly restored it to its original status. Then, as was the case with most things Lee did, he significantly improved on it. This was not just an outstanding example of a historical restoration, but a restoration done with profound respect and sympathy for those ancestors who had passed before him, who gave birth, shed blood, and suffered death on that very spot. I know Lee gained inspiration in this task from the hero images of his ancestors. This was not just a piece of God's earth that Lee was restoring. To him it was sacred ground.
Lee authored not one, but two books. Both subjects reflected a different part of his historical passion. The first, Camp Ford, is a book about the Confederate prison camp that was located in Tyler, and the second, Texas War Horses, is a delightful book about Texas horses who, loyally and with stamina, carried their riders into the jaws of conflict over three generations of history. These books say volumes about Lee. Space permits only two observations. In Camp Ford, the dedication was not to a variety of inspiring supporters who had helped with this work, but simply to the men of Camp Ford, both Union and Confederate, who lived out their drama on that location more than 100 years ago. It was compassionate recognition by Lee of the struggle suffered by both prisoner and guard as they tried to maintain their human dignity in the most difficult of circumstances. In Texas War Horses, you see Lee's affection for horses as he acknowledged their loyal commitment to themselves as animals and to their riders.
I will close by reading the following from Lee's Texas War Horses:
Most frontier horses were expected to do their jobs with only the nourishment they could gather themselves from whatever range was available. And yet they performed incredible feats that no modern rider would expect his horse to accomplish even under the best of conditions. It is difficult to comprehend. The answer must lie in the inherent vigor common to all who survive physical adversity. It is the same vigor we have admired in their riders; so the story of the old time Texas War Horse is parallel to and coincidental with that of the Texas pioneer who rode it. The adversities, hardships, and privations they both endured on the prairies of Texas produced people and horses possessed of astonishing stamina and grit. The frontier lifestyle that created these rawhide horses and riders has long since vanished, and so have they. We will not see their like again.
And I say similarly, that I know I shall never again see the likeness of a man such as my friend and hero, Lee Lawrence.
Leonard F. (MC) McCollum
Distinguished businessman, citizen, and philanthropist "Mc" McCollum was born in Tennessee, but grew up in South Texas, graduating from Cuero High School in 1920 and from The University of Texas in 1925 with a B.S. degree in geology.
That same year he went to work for the Humble Oil and Refining Company (an affiliate of Standard Oil of New Jersey) as a scout and geologist. In twenty-two years he advanced from scout to head of the worldwide production of Esso, now Exxon.
In move that he called "the hardest thing I did in my life," he left Esso to become president of Continental Oil Company. "Mr. Mc" transformed the medium-sized domestic company into an integrated international energy firm with $2.3 billion in assets and 32,000 employees. "The hottest brand going" was the gasoline trademark of his Conoco years. He was a "go-getter" who joked abut the fast pace: "I kept four company planes at my disposal to go north, south, east, and west. I couldn't waste time turning around."
"Mc" bred cattle on his 1000-acre ranch near Brenham which became a gathering place for cattlemen, business executives, heads of state, and friends from all over the world.
In addition to his positions of leadership in the petroleum industry and varied other businesses, he was devoted to education and public service.
For his contributions to The University of Texas as a member of the Chancellor's Council, the Committee of 75, and the Centennial Committee, and his place as a national business leader, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1965.
He served as a member of the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. The McCollum Center at the school is named for him and his wife, Margaret.
He was a trustee of the California Institute of Technology for many years.
Beginning in 1969 he served with distinction as a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Medical Center, Inc. For four years he served as chairman of Baylor College of Medicine. "I was persuaded to accept the job because I believed, from talking with some people at Baylor, that I could be helpful to the school."
In 1973, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey wrote: "Under L. F. McCollum's guidance Baylor has quadrupled its endowment, doubled its student body, strengthened its faculty, and implemented a 10 point program originally expected to require a decade for completion."
This is only a partial list of his many interests and accomplishments and honors he earned.
"Mc" McCollum was preceded in death by his first wife of 45 years, Margaret Wilson. He is survived by his second wife, the former Eleanor Searle Whitney; a son, L. Franklin McCollum Jr. and his wife Lauran; a daughter, Olive McCollum Jenney and husband Robert M.; a step-son, Cornelius Searle Whitney of San Francisco; a sister, Macie Bell Midgett of Donna; five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
May he rest in peace.
W. D. S.
Herman P. Pressler JR.
Herman Pressler, Houston attorney and civic leader, died May 2, 1995, at his home in Houston. He was born in Austin. After graduation from its public schools, he attended Virginia Military Institute and graduated from The University of Texas, both its undergraduate and law schools. He was a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University Graduate School. At both Texas and Harvard, he was president of his graduating class.
He came to Houston to practice law in 1925 and later joined the legal department of the Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon). He later served as vice president of that company until his retirement in 1967. After retirement, he practiced law and handled family investments.
Herman Pressler served as president of the Houston Bar Association (1950-51), president of the Texas Medical Center (1976-1982), and founder, charter member and trustee of Texas Children's Hospital. He served as chairman of it from 1976 to 1982 and chairman emeritus from 1982 until his death. He also was chairman of the Houston and Harris County Chapter of the American Red Cross (1952-1954) and was a trustee of Baylor College of Medicine. Mr. Pressler was a founding member of River Oaks Baptist Church. He was a member of the Houston Country Club, Bayou Club, Petroleum Club, the Eagle Lake Rod and Gun Club, and a member of other social organizations. He served on many other professional and charitable boards during his lifetime of service to his community.
Various honors were awarded him, including having a street in the Medical Center named "Herman Pressler Street" and the west lobby of Texas Children's Hospital named the "Herman P. Pressler, Jr. Lobby." Sheltering Arms awarded him and his wife, Elsie Townes Pressler, its Distinguished Service Award. The Houston Bar Association presented him with the Leon Jaworski Award for outstanding community service. The City Council of Houston adopted a resolution designating "Herman Pressler Day."
He was an avid hunter until the time of his death. Few birds which came within the range of his gun survived. He hunted often with his wife, sons, grandsons, and friends. He also thoroughly enjoyed the mental stimulation and camaraderie of the Philosophical Society meetings. He was a very well rounded person.
Mr. Pressler was survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Elsie Townes Pressler, two sons, Judge H. Paul Pressler III and his wife, Nancy Avery Pressler, and Townes Garrett Pressler and his wife, Bette Craddock Pressler. He was also survived by six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He always took time for his family in spite of his heavy involvement in business and charitable activities. Since his death, his number of great-grandchildren has grown to thirteen. He worked hard to make this a better world for them to enjoy.
H. P. P.
Harry Mayo Provence
A native Texan, Harry Provence was born on September 9, 1914, and graduated from Denton High School. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Baylor University in 1937 and a year later married his college sweetheart, Frances Bludworth, who preceded him in death in 1988.
During his days at Baylor, Provence was editor of the Lariat, the student newspaper, and immediately following graduation he began working at the Waco Tribune-Herald on June 11, 1937. He served as copy editor, night news editor, day news editor, and managing editor before taking over the reins as editor in August 1951. In 1954 he was appointed editor-in-chief of Newspapers Incorporated, which owned the newspapers in Waco, Austin, Lufkin, and Port Arthur. He became vice president of the Corporation in 1963 and, in 1976 when Cox Enterprises purchased Newspapers, Inc., Provence continued as editor-in-chief of the Tribune-Herald until retiring October 1, 1979.
Harry Provence was a committed citizen of the State of Texas and gave of himself selflessly to a number of worthy endeavors. After James Connally Air Force Base in Waco was closed in 1964, Provence was instrumental in getting the base converted into what is now Texas State Technical College (TSTC). TSTC recognized his vital role through the years by naming its communications building the Provence Communications Technology Building. Additionally, Provence was a friend to many influential state and national leaders, including President Lyndon B. Johnson and a succession of Texas governors. He was a frequent visitor to the White House during Johnson's presidency and authored Lyndon Johnson, A Biography, a personal look at the chief executive culled from years of personally accumulated material.
Provence served as a distinguished member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from 1965 until 1979, and was appointed chairman of the board in 1973 by Governor Dolph Briscoe and was reappointed chairman in 1975. He always felt that this was one of his most meaningful pursuits. In recognition of Provence's outstanding service to Texas higher education, Baylor University conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree on him in 1978. A number of other institutions also recognized Provence in various ways for his lasting contributions.
Provence was a sportsman and spent much time fishing and hunting. He was also a jazz enthusiast and a scintillating conversationalist. He also served faithfully and well on the board of Waco's Community Bank and Trust for twenty-four years, beginning in 1971.
Harry Provence left an important legacy when he died on August 3, 1995. He is survived by his three daughters, Eugenia Provence, Harriett Provence Spitzley, and Lesley Provence Grohe, two sisters, and four grandchildren. An obituary to Provence stated that "at six feet five inches tall, Harry Mayo Provence's size was matched only by his influence for good." Bob Lott, his successor as editor at the Waco Tribune-Herald, stated that on the personal side he knew Harry as a "thoughtful, gentle and considerate man," which is echoed by all who knew him.
B.R. and H.H.R.
James Udell Teague
James Udell Teague, oil field roustabout to independent driller, Rice student to Chairman of the Trustees, was born on October 23, 1909, in Caldwell, Texas, to Oliver R. Teague and Mary Frances Rollins. He was elected to the Philosophical Society in 1979.
Jim graduated from Caldwell High at fifteen, worked in the oil fields in West Columbia for a year, and entered Rice. While a Rice student, he earned extra money by running a radio repair service in West Columbia. "In those days [late 1920s] a radio was quite an unusual thing. I built my first radio when I was still in Caldwell, and of course word got around that the Teague kid could fix radios. After that I persuaded a radio manufacturer to let me be the West Columbia dealer." After graduation he worked in the field as a roustabout for Humble Oil-"That is the way we all came up in my day--by actually working on the rigs in the field." Jim said of a meeting with Mr. Will Hogg during his Rice days, "I'll never forget going into that great man's presence. He was a very big man and I was terrified." In 1940 he left Humble and joined the Hogg Company, but soon left to serve in the U. S. Navy in the Pacific reaching the rank of Lt. Commander. He returned to Texas in 1947 to found his own company, Columbia Drilling, and developed it into a prosperous enterprise. "The oil industry is a highly technical field, and it is unfortunate that misunderstandings have developed with people who have no interest in oil other than getting a tank of gasoline at the lowest price. Although we have tried to publicize the crisis in oil supply for years, we have never been able to overcome the Cinderella image of a few people in the industry." "In reality it's not that way at all. Much of the wealth of the industry is divided into the relatively small earnings of hundreds of people-small investors and landowners who collect only modest royalties from the wells drilled on their property. I'm optimistic about the future."
Jim served many professional societies: American Association of Oilwell Drilling as director and president, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, Mid Continent Oil and Gas Association, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, and the Independent Petroleum Association of America. He served as director of First Professional Bank N.A. of Houston, First City Bank-Medical Center, The Howell Corporation, and Falcon Seabord Drilling Co. as president and director. He was also president of the Houston Petroleum Club. Through his lifelong association with the oil industry, Teague developed a real dedication to the industry and a strong desire to see present problems worked out. In Houston civic affairs Jim was a director of the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation, Holly Hall, and was president of the DePelchin Faith Home.
Jim and his wife, Margot Elizabeth Terry, had two children, James Oliver Teague and Margot Terry Teague Fry. Mrs. Teague died in 1990. Jim later married Lara Ruth Lindholm.
At Rice between 1966 and 1979 he served as chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee, co-chair of the Corporates and Foundation Committee for the $33 Million Campaign, vice chairman and chairman of the trustees. He was awarded the Rice Academic Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in 1976. On his role at Rice, "The beautiful part about being a Trustee of a University like Rice is the feeling of being part of an institution that is going to go on so much longer than your own lifetime. We sit down there in the board room for a while, try to make decisions for the good of the University, and then are gone. But the University lasts in perpetuity. Oh yes, I think that Rice has a great future!"
W. E. G.
(W. E. G. thanks the Development Research Office at Rice University for archival material used in this memorial.)