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Wilson Hudson

NOTE: There are two William Hudson collections. Above are the guides to the William Mathis Hudson Papers (Collection 011), donated by Hudson and Bill Wittliff, and the  William Hudson Collection (Collection 117), donated by Joe Scruggs.

A Guide to the Wilson Hudson Papers, 1913-1991, n.d.

Bulk Dates: 1936-1974

Collection 011

8 boxes (4 linear feet) 

Acquisition:  donated by Wilson M. Hudson and Bill Wittliff from 1986 to 1992

Access:  Direct inquiries to the Archivist, Southwestern Writers Collection, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 78666-4604

Processed by:  Gwyneth Cannan, February 1993, Inventory revised by Brandy Harris, 2005


Biographical Note

Wilson Mathis Hudson was born in Flatonia Texas on December 26, 1907.  He received his B.A. in 1929 and M.A. in 1930 from the University of Texas at Austin.  Hudson was an instructor of English at Rice University until 1937, when he briefly left teaching to work as a traveling representative for the publishing house of G & C. Merriam Co.  In 1939, Hudson began his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago.  World War II intervened and he left to serve in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1946.  He ultimately received his Ph.D. in English in 1947.  He then joined the English Department of the University of Texas at Austin and taught there until retiring as professor emeritus in 1974.


At the University of Texas, Hudson was friend and colleague to the folklorist J. Frank Dobie and the historian Walter Prescott Webb.  In 1950, Hudson began teaching the popular English Department course, Life and Literature of the Southwest, which was initiated by Dobie in 1930.  While teaching Southwestern literature, Hudson became interested in the cowboy writer Andy Adams, whose fiction had been rediscovered and championed by both Webb and Dobie as an accurate depiction of cowboy life.  In 1956, Hudson edited Why the Chisholm Trail Forks and other Tales of the Cattle Country, a collection of Adam's campfire tales extracted from his fiction.  Aided by Dobie's previous research papers, he wrote Adams' biography in 1964.


Comparative literature and folklore were Hudson's chief areas of scholarly interest.  He was named an associate editor to the Texas Folklore Society in 1951 and was secretary-editor from 1951 to 1972.  He edited or co-edited approximately eighteen books under the auspices of the Folklore Society.


Hudson was married to Mildred Ruckman from 1932 until her death in 1949.  He married the professor of English and Browning scholar Gertrude Reese in 1951.



Scope and Contents Note

The Wilson M. Hudson Papers date from 1913 to 1991 and are made up of research material collected for (1) the biography of cowboy writer Andy Adams and (2) a study of J. Frank Dobie.  The material consists of note cards, clippings, articles, photographs, correspondence, maps, manuscript drafts, and genealogical notes.  There are also pamphlets and brochures from the Texas Folklore Society.


Wilson Hudson donated his books and papers to the Southwestern Writers Collection through Bill and Sally Wittliff of Encino Press.  Encino Press had printed five books edited by Hudson, Andy Adams' Corporal Segundo, and four publications for the Texas Folklore Society.



Series Description


Series 1: Andy Adams, 1913-1978, n.d.

Boxes 1-6

This series contains the research material and notes that Hudson used to write the biography of cowboy writer Andy Adams.  The materials include J. Frank Dobie's research materials on Adams, maps, genealogical material, clippings, microfilm, copies of letters, articles by Adams, photographs (prints and negatives), correspondence with relatives and friends of Adams, handwritten note cards, and manuscript copies of Adams' Corporal Segundo, Barbed Wire, and Army Beef.  There is also material on the collection of Adams' campfire tales edited by Hudson.  Finally, there is correspondence with Southern Methodist University Press on the editing and publication of Hudson’s biography of Andy Adams.



Series 2.: J. Frank Dobie, 1938-1974, n.d.

Boxes 7-8

This series contains Hudson's files on J. Frank Dobie which include clippings and articles by and about Dobie, files of Dobie's autobiographical notes, clippings on Dobie's death in 1964 and a file on Dobie's widow Bertha.


Series 3: Texas Folklore Society and other Southwestern writers, 1936-1991, 

Boxes 8-9

This series contains programs and publications of the Texas Folklore Society for which Hudson was editor.  Also included are articles and clippings on Texas writers Mody Boatright, Roy Bedichek and William Humphrey, as well as the illustrator Jose Cisneros.