Williams, Jesse Wallace (1891–1977)

By: Kenneth F. Neighbours

Type: Biography

Published: October 1, 1995

Jesse Wallace Williams, historian of southwestern trails, was born on June 3, 1891, in Cross Plains, Texas, the son of Robert H. and Mary L. (Ely) Williams. His father was a Baptist minister, and one of his ten siblings, Robert W. Williams, was a journalist, author, inventor, and rancher. Jesse Williams received his B.A. from Simmons College and his M.A. from Hardin-Simmons University. He taught mathematics at schools near Merkle and in Midland, Big Spring, Wichita Falls, and Burkburnett from 1913 to 1923. From 1923 to 1960 he taught at Wichita Falls Senior High School. He was a visiting professor of history at Midwestern University and at Howard Payne College. Williams was the author of numerous articles and four books: Great Moments With the Coyotes (1953), The Big Ranch Country (1954), Sizzling Southwest Football (1956), and Old Texas Trails (1979). He was the recipient of a Rockefeller grant in 1942. Williams was a Democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. He was active in various social and civic organizations, such as the Southwest Rotary Club and the Wichita County Historical Commission. He was also president of the West Texas Historical Association. Williams married Ruth Elizabeth Veazey on August 11, 1915. After her death, he was married a second time, on November 22, 1964, to Mrs. Agnes McCarty. No children were born to either marriage. On February 22, 1977, Williams died in Wichita Falls, Texas, and was buried there in Crestview Memorial Park.

Kenneth F. Neighbours, "In Memoriam: Jesse Wallace Williams," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 53 (1977). Kenneth F. Neighbours, "Jesse Wallace Williams: Man, Teacher and Writer," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 56 (1980). Who's Who in the South and Southwest.
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Social Sciences

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

Kenneth F. Neighbours, “Williams, Jesse Wallace,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/williams-jesse-wallace.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995