Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »

HAVINS, THOMAS ROBERT

Mrs. Gordon Creel

HAVINS, THOMAS ROBERT (1890–1976). Thomas Robert Havins, historian and college professor, was born on October 6, 1890, to William E. and Frances (McCall) Havins at Merkel, Texas, where his mother died while he was an infant. Thereafter his father, a sheepherder, moved his young family often throughout Central Texas. During a stay in Callahan County he sent his son Tom to Scranton Academy and then, in 1907, to Howard Payne College (now Howard Payne University) in Brownwood. Havins taught in small public schools from 1909 to 1921. He began working as a librarian at Howard Payne College in 1923 and received a B.A. degree there in 1927. In 1931 he received his M.A. degree from the University of Texas and began teaching history and government at Howard Payne. He taught there until his retirement in 1961, except when he left to obtain a Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas (awarded in 1941) and to serve in World War II as an officer in the United States Army Air Force (1942–45).

Havins was chairman of the department of social sciences and was the first recipient of the Howard Payne Oscar, an award for faculty achievement. He was credited with teaching more students than any other teacher in the school's history and was named professor emeritus upon retirement. He served as a visiting professor of history at the University of Texas (1962–63). From 1947 to 1953 he was a member of the Texas Prison Board (see PRISON SYSTEM) and was recognized for his role in helping reform the state's prison system. Havins was made a fellow of the Texas State Historical Societyqv in 1959. He wrote Something About Brown (1958), a history of Brown County; Camp Colorado: A Decade of Defense (1964); Beyond the Cimarron: Major Earl Van Dorn in Comanche Land (1968); and Belle Plain, Texas: Ghost Town in Callahan (1972). He published numerous articles in the 1952 Handbook of Texas, the Southern Baptist Encyclopedia, Texas Military History, Texana, and the West Texas Historical Association Yearbook. He was also the author of a column, "Evergreen," published in the Brownwood Bulletin in 1960 and 1961, for which he won a Texas Press Association award.

Havins was married on June 14, 1915, to Mottie Frierson, who died on June 26, 1970. They had a son and a daughter. In 1972 Havins married Myrtle Kimberlin. He was a Baptist and Democrat. He died in Baptist Memorial Hospital in San Angelo on February 6, 1976, and was buried in Eastlawn Memorial Park in Early.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Brownwood Bulletin, February 7, 1976. T. R. Havins Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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.

Citation

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Mrs. Gordon Creel, "HAVINS, THOMAS ROBERT," accessed November 14, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhadl.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on October 30, 2019. 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...