Richard Augustus Hearon, historian and school administrator, son of Robert Leart and Sara (Armstrong) Hearon, was born at Falcon, Arkansas, on September 25, 1869, and educated in the schools of his hometown. He worked as a young man in his father's grocery store and played on the local baseball team. His ability in the sport led to an invitation to try out for a professional team, but he chose to attend Peabody College, where he became a prize-winning student. He received his B.A. degree there in 1906 and his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1914. On April 1, 1896, he married Mattie Jewel Smith at Texarkana, Arkansas; they had two sons. In 1900 Hearon came to Texas to join W. B. Head in establishing an academy at Grandview. From 1905 to 1914 he was professor of history, dean, and acting president of Polytechnic College. In 1915 he joined Southern Methodist University and became head of the history and economics department of the new school. He was acting dean of SMU in 1915 and 1916 and chairman of the graduate school from 1917 to 1923. He was known for his interest in the development of intercollegiate sports and his leadership in standardization of Texas colleges. Hearon's Syllabus for the Study of History was first published in 1923. After his death, former students collected and published his poems as Remembrance (1929). Hearon died in Dallas on October 24, 1928, and was buried in Hope, Arkansas.
Support Texas History Now
Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.
- University Presidents and School Administrators
- Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Johnette Highsmith, “Hearon, Richard Augustus,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hearon-richard-augustus.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.