Historian Joe B. Frantz born
On this day in 1917, Texas historian Joe B. Frantz was born in Dallas. He was adopted by Ezra A. Frantz and grew up in Weatherford. He completed a master's degree in history in 1940 at the University of Texas and worked as archivist and acting director of the San Jacinto Museum before joining the United States Navy in 1943. After World War II Frantz returned to UT as a teaching fellow. In 1948 he finished Ph.D. work under the direction of Walter Prescott Webb and joined the UT faculty. His dissertation, published in 1951 as Gail Borden, Dairyman to a Nation, won the Texas Institute of Letters prize. During his tenure at the university Frantz became noted as an outstanding teacher and speaker and wrote thirteen books. He served as chair of the history department and director of the Texas State Historical Association, and was the first holder of the Walter Prescott Webb Chair of History and Ideas. He retired as professor emeritus in 1986 and died in Houston in 1993.