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LEWIS, JUDD MORTIMER

LEWIS, JUDD MORTIMER (1867–1945). Judd Mortimer Lewis, poet and columnist known as "Uncle Judd," son of Charles Steven and Arabella (Kenyon) Lewis, was born on September 13, 1867, in Fulton, New York. He attended public schools in Cleveland, Ohio, and became a stereotyper with the A. N. Kellogg Newspaper Company. In 1893 he moved to Houston, Texas, as manager of one of the company's branches. On September 24, 1894, he married Mary Bartley of Cleveland, Ohio; they had two daughters. He joined the Houston Post in 1900 and, except for a short period with the Houston Chronicle,qv was with the Post for forty-five years; he became a director and vice president of the paper. Lewis received a Litt.D. degree at Baylor University in 1920. In 1929 he toured the Orient for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He wrote poetry and prose humor and was selected by the Texas legislature in February 1932 to be the first poet laureate of Texas. His books of verse included Sing the South (1905), Lilts o'Love (1906), The Old Wash Place (1912), Toddle-Town Trails (1914), and Christmas Days (1917). Among his humorous prose stories were "Patsy Kildare, Outlaw" and "Jubilee's Pardner." Lewis was vice president of the American Folk-Lore Society and in 1921 was president of the Texas Press Association. He was active in finding homes for abandoned infants through his work with the local baby bureau. He was a Democrat and a Methodist. He died on July 25, 1945, and was buried at Forest Park Cemetery, Houston.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Emory A. Bailey, Who's Who in Texas (Dallas: John B. McCraw Press, 1931). Davis Foute Eagleton, comp. and ed., Writers and Writings of Texas (New York: Broadway, 1913). History of the Texas Press and the Texas Press Association (Dallas: Harben-Spotts, 1929). Houston Post, July 26, 1945.

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Lewis, Judd Mortimer," accessed May 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fle43.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.