Texas Folklore Society

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The Texas Folklore Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1909. John Avery Lomax and Leonidas Warren Payne, Jr., conceived the idea for the Society and served as its first officers.

The Society’s annual meetings have been held regularly since 1911, except for interruptions caused by the two world wars. Starting with its 1923 publication, edited by renowned folklorist J. Frank Dobie, the organization has published or sponsored at least one volume each year.

Since 1923, the Society’s publications have been edited by the Secretary-Editor, who also attends to the day-to-day business of the organization.

The Society was headquartered in Austin until 1971, when Francis Edward Abernethy became Secretary-Editor, and the group moved its offices to the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

Current and former Secretary-Editors:

  • J. Frank Dobie: 1923 -1943
  • Mody C. Boatright: 1943-1964[1]
  • Wilson M. Hudson: 1964-1971[2]
  • Francis Edward Abernethy: 1971-2004
  • Kenneth L. Untiedt: 2004-present

Membership open to anyone interested in folklore. According to Abernethy, “the Society's main purpose is to search for ways to preserve folklore without embalming it and to present a fairly well educated public with the treasures of their culture's folk life.”

Members include(d) Kenneth Davis, also a fellow with the West Texas Historical Association, B W Aston, a former member of the Hardin-Simmons University faculty in Abilene, and Paul Patterson, the western author and mentor of novelist Elmer Kelton.

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