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MORRISON, WILLIAM MELVIN

MORRISON, WILLIAM MELVIN (1914–1981). William Melvin Morrison, dealer in Texana, was born in Akron, Alabama, on October 29, 1914, and adopted by Marian R. and Vena (Collins) Morrison. He completed high school in Akron and moved to Wichita Falls, Texas, in the late 1930s. He enlisted in the navy in December 1941 and served in the South Pacific until he was wounded in 1944. He was married in the early 1930s to Louise Veasy, and they had a son. In 1944 he married Eris Lee (Ricky) Rix, and they had two children. Following his military service he attended the University of Houston and worked as accountant for a major construction company. He developed an interest in Texana and issued List Number One from Corpus Christi in July 1951. He produced four catalogs in Corpus Christi, then returned to Houston in 1952 and became a fulltime book dealer. He mailed catalogs from his home and in 1954 opened a rare-book store in Houston. Herbert Fletcher was his mentor. Morrison moved to Eagle Nest, New Mexico, in 1955. There he operated the Heart of Texas Motel. In 1958 he moved permanently to Waco, where he opened a shop for rare books. In 1960 he operated his business out of his home. Over a twenty-three-year period he issued 340 catalogs. He published Texas Book Prices in 1963 and revised it in 1972 with updated prices. He published more than thirty reprints and original works on Texas history. He was a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, a founder of the Houston Civil War Roundtable, and a sustaining member of the Texas State Historical Association. Morrison earned three Awards of Merit from the Texas Civil War Centennial Commission. He was a Protestant and a political conservative. Both of his sons became dealers in Texana and Western Americana. His younger son, Richard, continued the business after his father's stroke in 1974, the first of a series leading to Morrison's death, on August 26, 1981. He was buried in Rosemound Cemetery in Waco.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Harold B. Simpson, "W. M. Morrison, Bookseller," Texana 2 (Spring 1964). Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Southwestern Collection, January 1982.

Dan Kilgore

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Dan Kilgore, "MORRISON, WILLIAM MELVIN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmoaa), accessed December 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.