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Travis, Edmunds (1890–1971)

Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl Biography

Edmunds Travis, newspaperman, was born in Jackson, Tennessee, on February 6, 1890, the son of James Ludson Stephen and Sarah (Edmunds) Travis. He was educated in public schools in Paris, Tennessee, and began setting type for his father's weekly paper at age eight. The family moved to Texas in 1904. The following year, at age fourteen, Travis got a job as a reporter for the Texas Democrat in San Marcos. He worked for the Austin Tribune in 1906 and started his own weekly newspaper at Manor in 1907. He was city editor for the Austin Tribune in 1908. Travis married Virginia May in April 1909, and they had one child. Virginia died in 1911. Travis married Winifred May in August 1913, and they became the parents of two children. Travis worked as reporter and then editor of the Austin Statesman (see AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN) from 1916 to 1925; he and two partners bought the paper in 1922. Travis sold his share of the paper in 1925 and retired for several years. He began to write as a columnist for the Houston Post in 1931, and in 1932 he served as a public relations advisor for several oil companies. He was editor of the Austin Dispatch from 1932 to 1934 and of the Austin Tribune from 1939 to 1940. In the 1940s he served as a substitute editor for the Houston Post. He also acted as legislative consultant for several oil companies and was credited with the passage of a number of statutes relating to the oil business. Travis was a Democrat, an Episcopalian, and a member of the National Press Club, the Texas Editorial Association, and the Texas Press Association. In 1968 the Texas Senate honored him by passing a resolution calling him one of the finest journalists in the Southwest, and the city of Austin proclaimed his seventy-eighth birthday to be Edmunds Travis Day. Travis died in Austin on September 27, 1971, and was buried at Austin Memorial Park.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). Alan Baum, "Edmunds Travis: Life of a Texas Newspaperman," Texas Historian, March 1972. Vertical Files, Austin History Center. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives

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

Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “Travis, Edmunds,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 27, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.