Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

John William Rogers, Jr. Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Rogers, Jr, John William
Title: John William Rogers, Jr. Collection
Dates: 1912-1960 (bulk 1930-1950)
Identification: MA58-1
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History and Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young Street Dallas, TX 75201 

Biographical Note

John William Rogers, Jr. (9/28/1894-11/18/1965) was a playwright, drama critic, and patron of the arts. He graduated from Dartmouth where he developed an interest in dramas. He worked for several publishing and advertising agencies in New York before his eighteen months of military service during World War I. After returning home to Texas after the war, he worked for a newspaper in the Dallas area. He gained almost overnight success with his one-act play, “Judge Lynch” which won the Belasco cup in the first national Little Theater competition in New York for the Dallas Little Theater. He wrote several other plays including “Dark Blood”, the first produced play that had no characters appearing on stage. Rogers was involved in the Dallas Little Theatre for many years. As book editor and art critic for The Times Herald in Dallas and as a playwright, Rogers interviewed and entertained many prominent authors, producers, and actors. In 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a young newly published author, suggested that Rogers publish Fitzgerald's self interview to help publicize his book. While Mr. Rogers did not believe it was of enough interest to publish, he did file the rough pencil draft of the self-interview. The long hidden interview was published in 1960 by the Saturday Review. Rogers is most well known for writing the book, "The Lusty Texans of Dallas".

John William Rogers, Jr. was born in Dallas on September 28, 1894 to Lena Wells and John William Rogers. He married author, Kenneth Horan, in New York in 1947 while he was the book editor of the Chicago Sun. He died on November 18, 1965 and was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, TX.

Scope and Contents

The collection is 1.5 linear feet, excluding the painting, sketches, and watercolor located in the rare books room. The collection consists mainly of correspondence with authors, playwrights, actors, and others. The collection will be of interest to those researching the arts during the 1920s through 1940s. It may also be of interest to those researching Miss Ima Hogg as her correspondence discusses her gardens, travels, and other subjects. Those researching the art and literary culture in Taos, New Mexico during that time period may also be interested in the correspondence of Mabel Dodge Luhan and others.

Series 1: Correspondence includes letters from W. Somerset Maugham, Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Miss Ima Hogg, Isobel Fields, and Mabel Dodge Luhan. Many of the letters are simple thank you notes for his hospitality and/or reviews; others show a long term personal relationship with Rogers.

Series 2: Includes several photographs, a watercolor, painting, and related pencil sketches.

Series 3: Includes a hand corrected galley proof of the book, "The Lusty Texans of Dallas" and a hand corrected copy of the first printing of the book.

Series 4: Consists of one letter box from the Van Winkle Bookstore in Dallas.



The collection consists of four series.
Series one: Correspondence.
Series two: Drawings, photographs, and painting.
Series three: Literary works.
Series four: Miscellany.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
James William Rogers, Jr.
Family Names:
Dallas (TX)
Journalist, author, drama critic, and playwright

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA58-1 John William Rogers, Jr. Collection; Texas/Dallas History; Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Processing Information

Processed by Lela G. Evans

Supervised by Brian Collins

Detailed Description of the Collection


Correspondence, 1912-1960, n.d.

Box Folder
1 1 Gertrude Atherton, 1944-1947.
Author of "Golden Gate Country" and "My San Francisco: A wayward biographer"

Box Folder
1 2 Karle Wilson Baker, 7 March 1931.
An East Texas writer, one of the best known Texas poets of the early twentieth century, one of the first fellows of the Texas Institute of Letters. Wrote "The Pneumatic Dollar".

Box Folder
1 3 Carleton Beals, 1923-1924.
Author of "Mexico: An interpretation"

Box Folder
1 4 Lucius Beebe, 1944-1945.
Author and journalist for New York Herald Tribune

Box Folder
1 5 Eleanor Robson Belmont (Mrs. August Belmont), 1927.
Includes an invitation to an evening in honor of Edwin Arlington Robinson during which Mrs. August Belmont will read in advance of publication from "Tristram".

Box Folder
1 6 Thomas Boyd, n.d.

Box Folder
1 7 Vera Brittain, 1937-1940.
British writer, feminist, and pacifist.

Box Folder
1 8 John Mason Brown, 1946-1947.
Drama critic and author.

Box Folder
1 9 Grace and Telesforo Casauova, 1939-1944.

Box Folder
1 10 Norman Cousins, 29 July 1960.
Editor, Saturday Review. Thank you note for the Fitzgerald interview.

Box Folder
1 11 Whitney Darrow, 1960.
Former editor at Scribners. A letter to Mr. Darrow pertaining to the F. Scott Fitzgerald interview and his answer.

Box Folder
1 12 Andrew Dasburg, n.d.

Box Folder
1 13 Ruth S. Davis, 2 Feb 1924.

Box Folder
1 14 Bertha and J. Frank Dobie, 1931.
Secretary and Editor for Texas Folk-Lore Society.

Box Folder
1 15 Carl Van Doren, 1927-1932.
Editor in Chief of The Literary Guild of America, Inc.

Box Folder
1 16 Angna Enters, 1938-1943.
Includes a copy of a drawing of Angus Enters

Box Folder
1 17 Bergen Evans, 1949.
Professor of English for Northwestern University; Also the question authority for the television show, The $64,000 Question.

Box Folder
1 18 Isobel Field, 1943.
Author of "This life I've loved". Stepdaughter of Robert Lewis Stevenson and his secretary for the last four years of his life.

Box Folder
1 19 F Scott Fitzgerald, n.d.
Introduction of an old friend, Alec McKaig

Box Folder
1 20 John Golden, 1943.
Producer at Saint James Theatre/John Golden Theatre in New York City. Note to Mr. Austin Strong referencing John William Rogers' play.

Box Folder
1 21 John Galsworthy, 1928.
English novelist and playwright, won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1932.

Box Folder
1 22 Richard (Dick) Halliburton, n.d.
Author and adventurer, wrote Seven League Boots, reviewed by J. William Rogers.

Box Folder
1 23 Julien S. Healey, 1932.

Box Folder
1 24 Victor Higgins, 18 November 1938.
Western Union telegram from Victor Higgins to John William Rogers with directions for Tony [possibly: Tony Luhan].

Box Folder
1 25 Paul Hogan, 1921, 1940-1946.
Includes a drawing of a dog titled Bemelmans in envelope dated 1921.

Box Folder
1 26 Ima Hogg, 1939-1951.
Fifteen personal notes and letters from Miss Ima Hogg.

Box Folder
1 27 Gerald W. Johnson, 1947.

Box Folder
1 28 E. A. Johnison, 1927, n.d.

Box Folder
1 29 Annie Fellows Johnston, 1912.
Author of "The Little Colonel" series, a personal letter of encouragement to Rogers.

Box Folder
1 30 Margo Jones, 1930.

Box Folder
1 31 Horace M. Kallen, 1933.

Box Folder
1 32 Lincoln E. Kirstein, 1938-1940.
Director for Ballet Caravan, Inc. Then, President and Director for The School of American Ballet.

Box Folder
1 33 Laura Knight, 1939.
Artist, includes booklet depicting Laura Knight's paintings.

Box Folder
1 34 Ethelreda Lewis, 1927.
Author, edited "Trader Horn: Being the life and works of Alfred Aloysius Horn".

Box Folder
1 35 Sinclair Lewis, 1943, n.d.
Four letters.

Box Folder
1 36 John A. Lomax, 1939-1945.

Box Folder
1 37 Luigi Lucioni (1900-1988), n.d.
An Italian American painter known for his still lifes, landscapes, and portraits.

Box Folder
1 38 Mabel Dodge Luhan, 1938-1949, n.d.
The letters were left in the order in which they were received as many were only dated with the month and day. Several of the letters were addressed to Tony, husband of Mabel Luhan, with a note to John William Rogers to read them to Tony. Folder includes one telegram and one 8x10 photograph of Tony Luhan and 5 other Taos Indians.

Box Folder
1 39 J B Martin, 1935.

Box Folder
1 40 W. S. Maugham, 1926.

Box Folder
1 41 Townsend Miller, 1944.
Department of English, University of Texas, Austin, TX.

Box Folder
1 42 Harold Nicolson, 1949.
An English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West.

Box Folder
1 43 Norma Patterson, 1934.
Author from Dallas and founding member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

Box Folder
1 44 George Sessions Perry (1910-1956), 1943-1946.
An American novelist, World War II correspondent, and one of the highest paid magazine journalists of his time.

Box Folder
1 45 A. Plumister Proctor (1860-1950), 1937-1948.
American sculptor of the Robert E. Lee and Young Soldier in Dallas.

Box Folder
1 46 Lynn Riggs, 1941, n.d.

Box Folder
1 47 Elizabeth Roberts, 1928, n.d.

Box Folder
1 48 John William Rogers, 1915, n.d.

Box Folder
1 49 Eugene F. Savage, 1936.
Member of the Board for The Commission of Fine Arts, established by Congress May 17, 1910.

Box Folder
1 50 Lyle Saxon, 1935.

Box Folder
1 51 John Selby, 1951, n.d.
Editor-in-Chief, Rinehart and Co., Inc.

Box Folder
1 52 Ted Shawn, 1937.
Shawn School of Dance for Men. Folder includes a postcard picture of the sculpture Lawrence Stevens did of Shawn.

Box Folder
1 53 P.B. Soklay, 1935.
P. B. Sokaly (The Hockaday School) wrote a card to Mrs. Abrams declining an invitation for Miss Gertrude Stein to be the guest of honor at a reception following her lecture.

Box Folder
1 54 P. A. Sorokin, 1944, n.d.
Chairman of the Department of Sociology, Harvard University.

Box Folder
1 55 Vilhjalmur Stefansson, 1944.
Author of "Artic Manual"

Box Folder
1 56 Leopold Stokowski, 1951.

Box Folder
1 57 Austin and Mary Strong, 1943-1948, n.d.
A well known playwright and son of Isobel Field, who also wrote to Rogers.

Box Folder
1 58 Hudson Stuck, 1920.
Archdeacon, New York

Box Folder
1 59 Deems Taylor, 1937.
Consultant of Music, Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.

Box Folder
1 60 Van Day Truex, n.d.
President of Parsons School of Design, New York/

Box Folder
1 61 Unidentified, n.d.
Partial letter addressed to "Dearest Mother" typed on Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York stationary. The last page of the letter is missing. The second letter is a Thank you note written on Auditorium Hotel, Chicago stationary with a pictograph signature.

Box Folder
1 62 Eleanor Unidentified, 1950.
The last name is unreadable.

Box Folder
1 63 Frank unidentified, 1940.
Letter is only signed Frank, written on White House stationery. Author writes of standing on the porch with Mrs. R. and other house guests as the President addressed 4000 youngsters. He is probably speaking of the event held by the American Youth Congress' Citizenship Institute in February of 1940.

Box Folder
1 64 Evelyn Waugh, 1945.
Author, wrote among other works, "Brideshead Revisited".

Box Folder
1 65 Glenway Wescott, 1951.

Box Folder
1 66 Alexander Woollcott, 1939, n.d.
War correspondent for Stars and Stripes during World War 1 and helped found "The New Yorker" after the war. Includes a card with a line drawing of Alexander Woollcott found between letters from J. Frank Dobie and Ted Shawn.

Box Folder
1 67 Stark Young, 1934 -1944.
Editor for the New Republic, New York. Included is a newspaper clipping reviewing John William Rogers play, "Bumblepuppy" and Stark Young's "Rose Windows", and a note by Julia Peterkin commenting on Stark's play, "River House".


Series 2: Drawings,photographs,and paintings, 1946, n.d.

Box Folder
1 68 Drawing titled "The Miracle of Friar Lawrence - Christmas 1946", 1946.

Box Folder
1 69 Photographs, n.d.
One small photograph of a house and a photograph of several men, one who could be Warren G. Harding. The 2nd photograph is signed, "Cordially Warren G. Harding". A note was attached to the 2nd photograph that says it was found among gifts from Miss Sarah Meriwether.

Box Folder
"Oak Tree", watercolor by Everett Spruce, n.d.
Size 11.25 x 9, preliminary watercolor of painting, located in the Fine Books Room.

Box Folder
Four pencil sketches of "Pine tree and rocks" by Everett Spruce, n.d.
Size 6" x 4", includes letter from John William Rogers explaining how he came to own the sketches, watercolor, and painting by Everett Spruce, located in the Fine Books Room.

Box Folder
"Pine tree and rocks" oil painting, n.d.
Size 32" x 25.5" on board, located in Fine Books, painting was exhibited in the 10th annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition by the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, February 1939. Located in the Fine Books Room


Series 3: Literary Works, n.d.

Box Folder
Box 1 70 F. Scott Fitzgerald, self-interview, 1920.

Box Folder
1 71 Saturday Review, 5 Nov 1960.
The F. Scott Fitzgerald self-interview is published in this magazine 40 years after it was written and given to John William Rogers.

Box Folder
1 72 Sheet music, "I am a one hundred percent American" by William W. Woollcott, n.d.

Box Folder
2 Galley Proof and typed index of "The Lusty Texans of Dallas", n.d.
Includes hand written corrections.

Box Folder
2 "The Lusty Texans of Dallas", 1951.
Includes handwritten corrections and updates for the 1959 edition.


Series 4: Miscellany, n.d.

Box Folder
2 Letter box, n.d.
The letter box from Van Winkle's Book Store in Dallas in which Rogers' correspondence was kept. It was labeled "signature".