Daffan, Katie Litty (1874–1951)

By: Andrea Ivie Webb

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 8, 2016

Katie Litty (Miss Katie) Daffan, author, teacher, journalist, and clubwoman, was born on July 29, 1874, in Brenham, Texas, daughter of Laurence A. and Mollie (Day) Daffan. She attended public schools in Denison and Corsicana, graduated from Hollins Institute in Virginia, and was a special history student at the universities of Texas and Chicago. She taught elementary school in Ennis and San Augustine and high school history in Houston, served as principal of a girls' school in Dallas, and taught summer sessions in the normal schools of East Texas. She was elected first vice president of the Texas State Teachers Association and was named to the State Text-Book Board by Governor T. M. Campbell. When she was named superintendent of the Confederate Woman's Home in Austin in 1911, she became the first woman in Texas appointed to head a state institution; she remained superintendent until her resignation in 1918.

Miss Katie was literary editor for the Houston Chronicle from 1921 to 1928 and feature columnist for the Ennis Daily News from 1936 to 1950. She also wrote or edited New Orleans (1906), Woman in History (1908), My Father as I Remember Him (1908), The Woman on Pine Springs Road (1910), As Thinketh a Woman (poems, 1911), Texas Hero Stories (1912), History of the United States (1924), and Texas Heros (1924), which was adopted as a textbook for third, fourth, and fifth grade students in Texas.

She served five terms as president of the Texas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was third vice president general of the UDC, and was a life member of its executive board. In addition, she served as president of the Texas Woman's Press Association (1908–09), state historian of the Daughters of the American Revolution (1909–10), state secretary to the General Federation of Women's Clubs (1909), and first vice president of the Texas State Historical Association (1912, 1913, 1914); she was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, a charter member of Houston Pen Women, a board member of the Houston Public Library (1904–29) and of the Houston Board of Recreation (1922–29), and first president of the Houston Storyteller's Club (1922–29).

Miss Katie was twice appointed sponsor for Texas to the General Confederate reunions and in May 1913 was appointed sponsor for the South to the General Confederate Reunion held in Chattanooga, Tennessee-the highest social honor conferred upon a woman of the South. The Katie Daffan Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at Denton was named in her honor. She was also secretary for life of Hood's Texas Brigade, in which her father had served.

Although reared a Baptist, she was converted to Catholicism in 1938. Throughout her life she was an ardent Democrat and in her last writing still spoke strongly in favor of states' rights and the "Brave Cause of the South." She was married briefly in 1897 to Mann Trice, then assistant attorney general for the state of Texas. They had no children. Katie Daffan died in Ennis on May 22, 1951, after being hit by a car near her home.

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Virginia Duff, "In Memory of Miss Katie Daffan," Texas House of Representatives Journal (52d leg., reg. sess., 1951). Who's Who in America, 1946.

  • Education
  • Educators
  • General Education
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Dramatists and Novelists
  • Fiction
  • Poets
  • Women
  • Women's Clubs
  • Historians
Time Periods:
  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Andrea Ivie Webb, “Daffan, Katie Litty,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/daffan-katie-litty.

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December 8, 2016

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