Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Judd Mortimer Lewis Collection MSS.0030

Descriptive Summary

Creator Lewis, Judd Mortimer
Title: Judd Mortimer Lewis Collection
Dates: 1907-1944
Identification: MSS.0030
Quantity: 6.5 Linear feet, 5 boxes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Judd Mortimer Lewis (1867-1945), first Poet Laureate of Texas, was born in Fulton, New York, on September 13, 1867. His family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended public schools. After finishing the fifth grade, he was forced by circumstances to quit school, and went to work driving oxen for a company that was clearing woodland. From there he went on to work with a stove foundry, and then joined the Kellogg Newspaper Company, where he worked as a stereotyper, making "boiler plates" for country weeklies.

In 1893, at 25 years of age, Mr. Lewis came to Houston as the branch manager for the Kellogg Company. In his spare hours he occasionally wrote verses, and after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he wrote a poem about it, entitled "They's All Been Rebels Too," and sent it across the street to Marcellus Foster, then managing editor of the Houston Post. Mr. Foster liked the poem, and as a result hired Lewis as a staff member.

Mr. Lewis married Mary Bartley of Cleveland, Ohio, on September 24, 1894, and their family included two daughters, Marjorie Augusta and Jessamine Margaret. In November 1900, a column appeared of rhymes, jokes, and gags on the editorial page, headed "Tampering with Trifles." During the next 45 years, with the exception of a brief period when he worked for the Houston Chronicle, the column appeared daily in the Post, the vehicle of thousands of poems and pleasantries by Mr. Lewis.

Mr. Lewis' humorous prose stories, "Patsy Kildare," and "Jubilee's Pardner" were syndicated and published in newspapers serially. Through these variety of writings, Mr. Lewis came to be widely known and liked throughout Texas. At one occasion he was declared "the most loved man in Texas." Several volumes of verse extended his fame nationally. He served many years as Vice President of the Houston Post. He died at the age of 77 in Houston on July 26, 1945.

Scope and Contents

The collection, consisting of 16 scrapbooks and 1 group of assorted poem clippings, includes a nearly complete chronological record of all Mr. Lewis' work done for The Houston Post. Clippings about Mr. Lewis and by Mr. Lewis were kept and placed in scrapbooks from the early 1900's through World War II. His collection of news clippings of cultural and musical personalities during the 1940's and two books of published poems are also included.


The collection was compiled by the writer in scrapbooks which have been organized by subject.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Judd Mortimer Lewis Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Lewis, Judd Mortimer
Poets laureate--Texas

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Judd Mortimer Lewis Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Marjorie Lewis Perry on August 1, 1985.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Story Scrapbooks

Box Volume
1 1 "Patsy Kildare" Stories
2 "Jubilee's Pardner" Stories September 1, 1919 to August 22, 1921
3 "Jubilee's Pardner" Stories September 25, 1922 to April 23, 1927
Box Volume
2 4 "Jubilee's Pardner" Stories April 25, 1927 to November 21, 1931
5 "Jubilee's Pardner" Stories November 23, 1931 to August 8, 1936

Personal Scrapbooks

Box Volume
3 1 World War I
2 Cultural programs, personalities
3 Cultural programs, personalities
4 Cultural programs, personalities

Books of Poetry

Box Volume
3 1 Lilts of Love
2 Sing the South


Box Folder
3 1 Group of Clippings, primarily "Tampering with Trifles"


Box Volume
4 1 Miscellaneous Writings, Articles, and Personal Clippings about Lewis
2 Poems and Lewis Clippings September 1903 to November 15, 1907
3 Poems and Clippings June 7, 1910 to October 17, 1912
4 Poems June 18, 1912 to June 20, 1916
5 "Patsy Kildare" & Poems May 13, 1918 to May 19, 1927
Box Volume
5 1 Poems June 12, 1927 to March 7, 1934
2 Poems May 26, 1943 to April 26, 1944