Montgomery, Whitney Maxwell (1877–1966)

By: George Bond

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: April 1, 1995

Whitney Maxwell Montgomery, writer, the son of Prosper K. and Margaret (Cook) Montgomery, was born on a farm near Eureka, Navarro County, Texas, on September 14, 1877. Although his formal education ended with the eighth grade, he acquired a love of poetry from his father and was contributing verse to magazines at the age of nineteen. He remained on the farm as a farmer and stockman until he was fifty years old, but continued to write. On June 9, 1927, he married a fellow poet, Vaida Stewart Boyd (see MONTGOMERY, VAIDA STEWART), and they established their home in Dallas. There in May 1929 he and his wife launched Kaleidoscope (later Kaleidograph)and shortly afterward entered the field of book publication. They issued the magazine monthly until 1954 and quarterly from 1954 to 1959; during the same period they published more than 500 books of verse. Both Whitney and his wife received numerous prizes. He won the ballad contest of the Poetry Society of Texas in 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1945 and received the Alamo prize from the society in 1943. He received the poetry book award of the Texas Institute of Letters in 1946 for Joseph's Coat and won the Billy Chandler Memorial Award that year. His other books of verse are Corn Silks and Cotton Blossoms (1928), Brown Fields and Bright Lights (1930), and Hounds in the Hills (1934). He also edited The Road to Texas (1940) and with his wife prepared five other anthologies. Montgomery was a member of the Poetry Society of Texas, which he served as an organizer and vice president, and the Poetry Society of America. He was president of the Texas Institute of Letters in 1940. For his accomplishments as poet, editor, and publisher, Southern Methodist University conferred on him an honorary doctorate in 1956. On July 24, 1959, his wife died, and Montgomery decided to discontinue Kaleidograph. He died on December 7, 1966, and was survived by two daughters. He was buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park.

Dallas Morning News, December 8, 1966. Dallas Times Herald, June 3, 1956. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 4.
  • Journalism
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Journals and Publications
  • Poets
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

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

George Bond, “Montgomery, Whitney Maxwell,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995

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