Maxwell, Robert S. (1911–1990)

By: Tracé Etienne-Gray

Type: Biography

Published: September 1, 1995

Robert S. Maxwell, historian, was born on November 26, 1911, in Newport, Kentucky. He received a BA from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1934 and went on to the University of Cincinnati for his masters degree. In 1949 he earned a Ph.D in history from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at Wisconsin and at the University of Kentucky before going to Stephen F. Austin State College in 1952. From 1969 to 1983 he served as the chair of the history department at the college. He retired in 1983. During his career at Stephen F. Austin he received teaching awards from both the student body and the board of regents. During World War II he served as an infantry captain in the United States Army. Topics of his scholarship included business and economic history of the early twentieth century, particularly when related to Texas. In 1956 the State Historical Society of Wisconsin published his work, LaFollete and the Rise of Progressives in Wisconsin. Books related to Texas included, Whistle in the Piney Woods: Paul Bremond and the Houston East and West Texas Railway (1963); Texas Economic Growth, 1890 to World War II: From Frontier to Industrial Giant (1981); Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry (1983), which he coauthored with Robert Baker. Maxwell was a member of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. He died on December 29, 1990, in Nacogdoches. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church.

Directory of American Scholars, 1985. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Social Sciences

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

TracĂ© Etienne-Gray, “Maxwell, Robert S.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995