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Devall, Lyde Williford (1909–1986)

Mary M. Standifer Biography Entry

Lyde Williford Devall, publisher and University of Texas regent, was born on December 14, 1909, in Dallas, the daughter of Herbert L. and Lyde Williford. She attended Highland Park High School and Southern Methodist University, where she received a B.A. in 1931 and an M.A. in 1932. She also did graduate work at the University of Texas (1935), the University of Southern California, and Oxford University. From 1933 to 1939 she taught at Highland Park High School. She married Charles K. Devall on July 15, 1939.

The Devalls owned several Northeast Texas newspapers, including the Kilgore News Herald, which they published from 1940 to 1979. From 1942 to 1946, while Charles was serving in the navy, Lyde served as acting publisher of the Kilgore News Herald, Mount Vernon Optic-Herald, Morris County News, and Hughes Springs New Era. Her weekly column, "Kilgoround," which she was still writing in 1955, won awards from the Texas Daily Newspaper Association.

In the 1940s or early 1950s Mrs. Devall was a member of the state Democratic executive committee. Following the 1952 national Democratic convention, to which she was a delegate, she served on the executive board of Democrats for Eisenhower. Governor Allan Shivers appointed her to the first Texas Commission on Higher Education, in which she served from 1953 to 1955, and to the University of Texas Board of Regents, where she served from 1955 to 196l. She was also a member of the University of Texas Development Board from 1962 to 1968 and the University of Texas Centennial Commission.

Before her appointment as UT regent, she served as president of the Kilgore Garden Club, Kilgore Women's Club, and United Church Women of Kilgore. In 1953 she was selected "First Lady of Kilgore." In 1986 the Devalls donated to UT seven pieces of nineteenth-century oriental furniture, which were placed on exhibit in the Hoblitzelle Room of the Flawn Academic Center. Lyde Devall also helped to raise funds for the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She died on April 17, 1986, in a Tyler hospital after suffering a stroke. Services were held at the First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore, and burial was in the Kilgore City Cemetery. She was survived by her husband and a sister.

Austin American-Statesman, October 4, 1986. Daily Texan, October 7, 1986. Dallas Morning News, July 16, 1939. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Charles K. Devall).

Categories:

  • Education
  • School Trustees and Regents
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Publishers and Executives
  • Women

Time Periods:

  • Progressive Era
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II

Places:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

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

Mary M. Standifer, “Devall, Lyde Williford,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 08, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/devall-lyde-williford.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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