Sheffy, Lester Fields (1887–1967)

By: Fred Rathjen

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

Lester Fields Sheffy, historian, was born on March 27, 1887, at Henrietta, Texas, the son of W. B. and Alice (Sherwood) Sheffy. In 1889 the family moved to Plainview, where Sheffy attended public schools. He attended Clarendon College before receiving a B.A. degree from Southwestern University in 1911 and an M.A. degree from the University of Texas in 1914. In 1923–24 he did additional graduate work at the University of Chicago; he was awarded the Litt.D. degree by Austin College, Sherman, in 1937. Sheffy began his career in 1911 and served as superintendent of public schools at Stratford, Matador, and Wellington. In 1918 he joined the faculty of West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas State University) as professor of history and head of the department, a post held until his retirement in 1957. Sheffy was a leader in the formation of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society in 1921, was elected its first president, served the society as executive secretary from 1930 to 1953, and was reelected president in 1954. He edited the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review for eighteen years. He was active in the drive to secure funds for construction of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and was a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association. His publications included The Life and Times of Timothy Dwight Hobart, 1855–1935 (1950), The Francklyn Land and Cattle Company (1963), and (with Ima Christina Barlow and Alyce McWilliams) Texas (1954). On July 26, 1911, Sheffy married Carrie Virginia Smith of Clarendon. He died on November 23, 1967, at Canyon and was buried in Plainview Cemetery.

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.

Fred Rathjen, “Sheffy, Lester Fields,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995