By Shaneil Snipe
Scope and Contents of the Materials
The materials that make up this collection portray J. Frank Dobie’s interests in and contributions to the Texas Folklore Society. The predominant themes are Texas folklore and culture, cattle branding, Dobie’s time in England as a professor at Cambridge and his World War I experiences.
Significantly, there is also a file of illustrations of cattle brands which were sent back and forth between SHSU faculty members Frances McMinn and Emma Normand and, we believe, J. Frank Dobie. These illustrations were eventually used to create a quilt depicting cattle branding as art.
Collection Historical Note
James Frank Dobie was born on September 26, 1888 in Live Oak County, Texas, to Richard J. and Ella Dobie. At the age of sixteen he went to live with his Grandparents in Alice, Texas where he completed high school. He enrolled in Southwestern University where he was introduced to English Poetry and met Bertha McKee, whom he married in 1916. After graduating in 1910 Dobie worked for the Galveston Tribune and the San Antonio Express, before attaining a high school teaching job in Alpine. He moved on to teach at the Southwestern Preparatory School and later earned his M.A. from Columbia University. In 1914 he joined the University of Texas faculty and as well as the Texas Folklore Society. He left the University and served for two years in field artillery during World War I.
After returning to Texas, Dobie published his first articles as a newspaperman in 1919. He made the decision to resign from his position at the University of Texas in 1920 in order to manage his Uncle Jim Dobie's ranch. It was during his time on the ranch that Dobie’s passion for describing aspects of Texas lifestyle and culture was developed. Dobie was named the secretary of the Folklore Society in April of 1922. His first book, Vaquero of the Brush Country, was published in 1929. His other publications include: The Voice of the Coyote, The Mustangs, Tales of Old Time Texas, Up the Trail From Texas, I'll Tell You a Tale and Cow People. He also wrote for the Southwestern Review and a Sunday newspaper column.
On September 14, 1964 Dobie was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B Johnson. Dobie died on September 18, 1964. Several schools and other buildings were named in Dobie’s honor and he was posthumously inducted into the Texas Heroes Hall of Honor.
SHSU Special Collections & University Archives
The materials represented in this finding aid have been made available for research, teaching and private use. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) these items without prior permission on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies.
Please contact the Newton Gresham Library's Special Collections and University Archives department to request permissions to reproduce materials for any other purpose, or to obtain information regarding the copyright status of a particular digital image, text, audio or video recording.
J. Frank Dobie Collection. Thomason Special Collections, Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.
Box and Folder Listing Browse by Series:
Browse by Series:
- Series 1
- Sub-Series 1
- Box 1
- Folder 1: J. Frank Dobie and Frances McMinn Correspondence, 1910; 1934
- Folder 2: J. Frank Dobie Publications, 1929; 1967; 1988-89
- Folder 3: SHSU Faculty Cattle Brands and Notes, 1934
- Folder 4: Dobie in England Newspaper Clippings, 1949
- Folder 5: Dobie Articles, Senior Perspectives, 1958-1966
- Folder 6: Dobie Brands Clippings, 1933-1940
- Folder 7: J. Frank Dobie Newspaper Clippings, 1936-1991
- Folder 8: General Dobie Articles, 1936-1962
- Folder 9: Dobie Obituary and Estate Sale, 1964-1965; 1985
- Folder 10: J. Frank Dobie Materials, no date
- Sub-Series 2
- Box 2
- Folder 1: The English Bulletin Number 10, 1922 December 1
- Contains "Folk-Lore in Texas and the Texas Folk Lore Society" by J. Frank Dobie
- Folder 2: "Folk-Lore of the Southwest" by J. Frank Dobie, 1924
- Two copies.
- Folder 3: "Ballads and Songs of the Frontier Folk" by J. Frank Dobie, 1927
- Folder 4: "The Texas Part of Texas" by J. Frank Dobie, 1930 November
- Nature Magazine
- Folder 5: "The Mexican Vaquero of the Texas Border" by J. Frank Dobie, circa 1927
- Folder 6: "Life and Literature of the Southwest" by J. Frank Dobie, 1930
- Includes multiple copies
- Folder 7: "A Corner Forever Texas" by J. Frank Dobie, 1938
- Folder 8: "A Vaquero of the Brush Country" by J. Frank Dobie, 1930 February
- Printed in Texas Federation News
- Folder 9: "Folklore in Texas" by J. Frank Dobie, 1940 February
- Printed in The Dallas Morning News
- Folder 10: "My Texas" by J. Frank Dobie, 1940 July 28
- Printed in the Houston Post
- Folder 11: "A Texan Teaches at Cambridge" by J. Frank Dobie, 1946
- Printed in National Geographic Magazine. Includes copy.
- Folder 12: "What I Saw Across the Rhine" by J. Frank Dobie, 1947
- Printed in National Geographic Magazine. Includes copy.
- Folder 13: "The Writer and his Region" by J. Frank Dobie, 1950
- Reprint from the Southwest Review
- Folder 14: "As the Moving Finger Writ" by J. Frank Dobie, 1955
- Folder 15: "The First Bookseller to Enrich My Life" by J. Frank Dobie, 1957
- Includes copy.
- Folder 16: "E.L. Shettles, Man, Bookman and Friend" by J. Frank Dobie, undated
- Folder 17: "The Road Runner in Fact and Folklore" by J. Frank Dobie, 1958
- Printed in Arizona Highways magazine
- Folder 18: "The Archives Wars of Texas" by J. Frank Dobie, circa 1957
- Folder 19: "Out of the Original Rock" by J. Frank Dobie, 1962
- Folder 20: "Hunting Cousin Sally" by J. Frank Dobie, 1963
- Folder 21: "A yarn and true stories Nat Straw told" by J. Frank Dobie, 1974
- Printed in Wilderness of the Gila
- Sub-Series 3
- Box 3
- Folder 1: J. Frank Dobie - Texan: An Appreciation, 1963
- Folder 2: J. Frank Dobie of Texas, 1964 July 24
- The Texas Observer. Two copies.
- Folder 3: Concerning Mr. Dobie and The University of Texas, 1964
- Folder 4: J. Frank Dobie: Remarks Presented at the Dobie Folklore Dinner, 1955 April 23
- Folder 5: "Frank Dobie: Man & Friend" by Ralph W. Yarborough, 1968
- Folder 6: The Right Tempo of Range Life: J. Frank Dobie's Interpretation of the Cattle Kingdom, 1978
- The Greater Llano Estacado Southwest Heritage
- Folder 7: A Catalogue of the Writings of J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964), undated
- Folder 8: J. Frank Dobie: Mr. Texas, 2006
- On Exhibit at the Southwestern Writers Collection. Two copies. Includes a Schedule of Events insert. Donated by Paul Culp.
- Folder 9: "A Dedication to the Memory of James Frank Dobie" by Jeff Dykes, 1966
- Printed in Arizona and the West quarterly journal
- Folder 10: "My Dobie Collection" by Jeff Dykes, 1971
- Includes two copies plus the corresponding programs from a presentation by Dykes at Texas A&M University. Includes correspondence from Texas A&M University.
- Folder 11: "I Helped Frank Dobie Cut Down a Tree" by John Haller, undated
- Unbound copy of a story about J. Frank Dobie.
- Folder 12: J. Frank Dobie Biographical Sketch, undated
- Includes bibliography.
- Folder 13: Lost Pines Resort and Spa J. Frank Dobie Inscription, 1939-2006
- A handwritten copy of an iscription concerning J.Frank Dobie, John W. Thomason, and The Texas Institute of Letters.
- Folder 14: The Keystone, 2006
- Texas State University at San Marcos publication featuring J. Frank Dobie
- Folder 15: Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 1988 July
- J. Frank Dobie on the cover. Includes writings about Dobie