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Montgomery, Vaida Stewart (1888–1959)

Mary Simpson Biography Entry

Vaida Stewart Montgomery, poet and publisher, daughter of William Riley and Butriss (Fowler) Stewart, was born in Childress, Texas, on August 28, 1888. For three decades she and her husband, Whitney M. Montgomery, provided a showcase for the work of Texas poets with their magazine Kaleidograph and through the related Kaleidograph Press. Mrs. Montgomery was also recognized as a major Texas poet and published handbooks on versification and writing. After receiving a public school education in Ellis, Cottle, and Hardeman counties, Vaida Stewart taught kindergarten briefly before attending the Metropolitan Business College in Dallas, where she graduated in 1917. She taught typing at Dallas evening schools from 1922 to 1927. Her first marriage, to J. Arthur Boyd, took place on March 5, 1905. The Boyds had two daughters. Fellow poet Whitney Montgomery became Vaida's second husband on June 9, 1927. "Stampede," Mrs. Montgomery's first ambitious poem, was published in 1924. Her verse subsequently appeared in West, Sunset, Holland's, Modern Homemaking, Parents' Magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. She also published a number of short stories in magazines. Locoed and Other Poems, her first volume of verse, came out in 1930; eighteen years later she published a second, Hail for Rain, recipient of the Texas Institute of Letters poetry award for 1948. The Poetry Society of Texas had awarded her its Old South Prize in 1939 and 1944. Among the Kaleidograph Press books written and published by Vaida Montgomery were First Aid for Fictionists (1933), A Century with Texas Poets and Poetry (1934), Secrets of Selling Verse (1934), and Verse Technique-Simplified (1934). Mrs. Montgomery was a Democrat and a Methodist. She served as recording secretary of the Poetry Society of Texas in 1944–45. She was a member of the Poetry Society of America and an associate member of Theta Sigma Phi. She died on July 24, 1959, in Dallas.

Florence Elberta Barns, Texas Writers of Today (Dallas: Tardy, 1935). Hilton Ross Greer and Florence Elberta Barns, New Voices of the Southwest (Dallas: Tardy, 1934). Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). Who's Who of American Women, 1958.


  • Journalism
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Journals and Publications
  • Poets
  • Women

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

Mary Simpson, “Montgomery, Vaida Stewart,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed February 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: