Perkins, Lois Craddock (1887–1983)

By: Walter N. Vernon

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Lois Craddock Perkins, philanthropist and church leader, was born on February 8, 1887, in China Springs, Texas, and attended Southwestern University. She went to Wichita Falls to teach in 1913 and married Joe J. Perkins five years later. The couple had two daughters, one of whom died in childhood.

With her husband Mrs. Perkins devoted herself to charitable causes, contributing millions of dollars to philanthropic projects and Methodist colleges, hospitals, and homes. Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, which was named for the Perkinses, received $12 million, and Mrs. Perkins's support of racial integration in classes and dormitories in the early 1950s was a decisive factor in the school's decision to admit black students. The Lois Perkins Chapel at Southwestern University was dedicated in 1950. After her husband's death in 1960 she succeeded him on the Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council. She was inducted into the Methodist Hall of Fame in Philanthropy and recognized by the World Methodist Council for "distinguished service to world Methodism" at the general conference of 1972 in Atlanta. She received Southwestern University's Outstanding Alumna award in 1970. She died on November 30, 1983, and was buried in Wichita Falls.

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Norman W. and Betty B. Spellmann, History of First Methodist Church, Wichita Falls (Dallas: Heritage Committee, 1981). Walter N. Vernon et al., The Methodist Excitement in Texas (Dallas: Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984).
  • Religion
  • Methodist
  • Women
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists

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

Walter N. Vernon, “Perkins, Lois Craddock,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 12, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995

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