While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Stanley Hugh Benson

ELLIOTT, LESLIE ROBINSON (1886–1966). Leslie Robinson Elliott, theological librarian, was born in Rosetta, Henderson County, Illinois, on September 30, 1886, the oldest son of Judson Andrew and Minnie Hortense (Robinson) Elliott. He moved with his family in 1897 to the Salt River valley of Arizona and attended high school in Phoenix. Following in his father's footsteps, he decided to become a Baptist minister and returned to the Midwest for his college and seminary education. He graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri (B.A., 1910), and attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1910 to 1912, when illness compelled him to withdraw. He later completed his education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth (Th.M., 1921; Th.D., 1925). After he was ordained by the Immanuel Baptist Church of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1911, he served as pastor of churches in Butler, Missouri (1912–15), Denver, Colorado (1915–17), and Del Rey, California (1917–19). He married Mary Ethelyn Shearer of Unionville, Missouri, on May 31, 1911.

In 1919, when Elliott resumed his studies at Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, he intended to complete the basic theological degree as quickly as possible and enter the full-time ministry. Circumstances changed his course, however, and he remained in Fort Worth the rest of his life. Shortly after enrolling, he began working as an assistant in the seminary library. In 1922 he was appointed librarian and thus became one of the first full-time Protestant theological librarians in Texas. He served until his retirement in 1957 and developed at Southwestern an important theological library. Furthermore, he promoted a theory of the educational function of the library as a true partner with the classroom and made the seminary library a heavily used resource. He also taught New Testament Greek at the seminary (1925–42) and served as registrar from 1937 through 1943. Elliott's published writings include A Comparative Lexicon of New Testament Greek (1945) and Syntax in Diagram (1950). He edited Centennial Story of Texas Baptists (1936) and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists (1958).

He often felt isolated from the major theological libraries in the eastern and midwestern sections of the nation. His need for a closer professional relationship with other theological librarians led him to help in the establishment of the American Theological Library Association (1947). He served as president of that organization for the first two terms (1947–49), and in 1955 he represented it in the formation of the International Association of Theological Libraries in Brussels, Belgium. In 1957–58 Elliott served as acting librarian for the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Also in 1957, William Jewell College awarded him an honorary doctorate.

On March 29, 1963, Elliott received a special citation at the fiftieth annual meeting of the Texas Library Association in recognition of his contributions to professional librarianship and his work as a trustee of the Fort Worth Public Library. He died in Fort Worth on May 2, 1966.

Stanley H. Benson, Leslie Robinson Elliott: His Contributions to Theological Librarianship (M.L.S. thesis, University of Texas, 1965).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Stanley Hugh Benson, "ELLIOTT, LESLIE ROBINSON," accessed July 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fel21.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...