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VINCENT, LOUELLA STYLES

VINCENT, LOUELLA STYLES (1853–1924). Louella Vincent, author and composer, daughter of Carey Wentworth and Fannie Jean (Evans) Styles, was born Louisa Gabriella Styles on September 5, 1853, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her father founded the Atlanta, Georgia, Constitution. Louisa combined her given names to form the name Louella. She studied music and literature at Andrew Female Academy in Cuthbert, Georgia, and Augusta Female Seminary in Staunton, Virginia, before marrying James Upshur Vincent, a teacher, attorney, and journalist, on September 28, 1875. The Vincents lived in Canton and later Brunswick, Georgia, before moving in 1881 to Texas, where Carey Styles had accepted a position with the Galveston News.

The Vincents and their two sons lived in Galveston, Jonesboro, and Glen Rose before settling in Meridian in 1886. There Louella and James established a private academy; he served as principal, and she taught music. In 1890 the family moved to Stephenville and shared a house with Louella's parents. James became owner and manager of the Stephenville Empire, and Louella gave private lessons in vocal and instrumental music. She wrote music and poetry and established a United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter named for her elder son, who had died in 1886. With her mother, she became a charter member of the Twentieth Century Club in 1901; the two women made their interest in poetry and southern literature the emphasis of the club's programs.

Although they were never divorced, Louella and James had separated by the late 1890s, and Louella tried to turn a profit from writing and lecturing in order to ease her financial position. She published poems in regional magazines, tried unsuccessfully to find a publisher for a comic opera she had written, and with her son, Upshur, as her manager, lectured on the Chautauqua circuit in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Colorado. In 1905 she fulfilled a lifetime dream by founding and editing The Southerner, "Louella Styles Vincent's magazine of the South," a literary journal to which she and her mother were the heaviest contributors. Upshur Vincent published The Southerner from his printing house in Strawn and served as his mother's business manager; the magazine went through only four issues before the breakdown of Louella's health and Upshur's finances resulted in its demise.

Mrs. Vincent moved to Dallas late in 1905 and in July 1908 began publication of The Dallas Clubwoman, a weekly chronicle of society and church activities. She followed it with the short-lived Texas Clubwoman in 1909; both magazines served as showcases for her poetry. When her son became editor and publisher of the Dallas Jeffersonian in 1909, her verses were displayed prominently as one of the paper's regular features. She published "My Lowlier Lot" in the Texas Review in 1921 and submitted "Sonnets of Our City, Dallas" to the Poetry Society of England.

Louella Vincent was a charter member of the Dallas Women's Forum and the Texas Congress of Mothers, served two years as state secretary of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and held memberships in the Poetry Society of Texas and the Poetry Society of England. She died on April 25, 1924, at her son's home in Fort Worth, leaving three volumes of poetry, fifty musical compositions (half a dozen of which had been published), and five volumes of partially edited prose. She was buried in Meridian Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Imogene Bentley Dickey, Early Literary Magazines of Texas (Austin: Steck–Vaughn, 1970). C. Richard King, "Louella Styles Vincent: Texas Editor and Author," West Texas Historical Association Yearbook 47 (1971). Styles-Vincent-Day Family Papers, 1819–1985, Special Collections, University of Texas at Arlington Library. James Upshur Vincent Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

C. Richard King

Citation

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

C. Richard King, "VINCENT, LOUELLA STYLES," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fvi16), accessed July 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.