Fletcher, Herbert Herrick (1892–1968)

By: Tyler Herrick Fletcher

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Updated: February 8, 2017

Herbert Herrick Fletcher, bookseller and publisher, son of William Herbert and Bernita Tyler (Herrick) Fletcher, was born at Waverly, New York, on June 6, 1892. He attended public school in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied the liberal arts and excelled on the track team. He was employed by Wanamaker's store and was honor graduate of the Wanamaker Institute and head of the rare book department. Among his customers were Woodrow Wilson and Shakespearean actor George Arlis. In 1914 Fletcher moved briefly to Cleveland, Ohio, and within a year founded a bookstore in Akron, Ohio, which became the gathering place for author-poet Hart Crane and his friends.

In 1925 Fletcher moved to Texas, where he met and married Thelma Rawls, a San Antonio bookseller. He moved to Houston and established Fletcher's Book Store at the corner of San Jacinto and Rusk streets. In 1929 he began the Anson Jones Press to publish books about Texas. By 1936 he had edited and published Interwoven, a classic chronicle of pioneer life in Texas. During the twenties and early thirties he wrote a column, "In the Offing," for the avant-garde Houston Gargoyle. He later was rare book editor in the "Bibliomania" column of the Dallas Times Herald. An article by Fletcher, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Texiana" was published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in July 1950.

In 1954 Fletcher closed his business in Houston and moved to Salado, where he and his wife continued the Anson Jones Press and the sale of rare and fine books. He had an acid wit and was an advocate of the little known in Texas history; he served as vice president and editor of the Harris County Historical Society, revitalized the Bell County Historical Society and served as its president, and was editor and publisher for the Texas Academy of Science. He was a lifelong Episcopalian, a member of the American Legion and the Sons of the American Revolution, a life member of the Texas State Historical Association, and the father of two children. He died on March 8, 1968, and was eulogized in a Texas State Senate resolution dated June 28, 1968. He is buried in the Salado cemetery.

Michel Cadoret and Sibylle de L'Epine, Houston (Houston, 1949). George Fuermann, Houston: Land of the Big Rich (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1951). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Brom Weber, Hart Crane (New York: Bodley, 1948).

Time Periods:
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Tyler Herrick Fletcher, “Fletcher, Herbert Herrick,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/fletcher-herbert-herrick.

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January 1, 1995
February 8, 2017

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