HINTON, HARWOOD PERRY, JR.

Henry Franklin Tribe
Harwood Perry Hinton, Jr. (1927–2016).
Author and educator Harwood Hinton was a acknowledged scholar of Western history. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

HINTON, HARWOOD PERRY, JR. (1927–2016). Harwood Perry Hinton, Jr., historian, author, and educator, was born on March 26, 1927, in Irving, Texas. He was the son of Harwood Perry Hinton, Sr,. and Willie Mae (Abbott) Hinton. After graduating from Irving High School, Hinton entered the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.A. in history in 1949. His plans, however, were disrupted with the outbreak of the Korean War. Drafted into the U. S. Army in 1950, he served in Japan. After his discharge, Hinton returned to Texas and for a time taught history in a junior high school in Odessa. Harwood Hinton married Mary Ann Brookshire on June 16, 1955. The couple remained married until Ann’s death in 1997. They had three children: John Harwood, Mary, and James. 

Seeking advanced degrees in history, Hinton traveled east to New York City. At Columbia University, his interest in the cattle industry led him to write his thesis on the cattle king John Simpson Chisum. Hinton’s work on Chisum was published as “John Simpson Chisum, 1877–84,” in the New Mexico Historical Review in 1956 and 1957. After earning his M.A. degree in 1955, Hinton continued his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At Wisconsin, he devoted much time to researching the life of John Ellis Wool, a military officer, who saw service in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Civil War. After finishing his dissertation “The Military Career of John Ellis Wool, 1812–1863,” Hinton received his Ph.D. in 1960.

Returning to Texas, Hinton took a position at Texas A&M University in 1960. After a year at College Station, he accepted a position at the University of Arizona at Tucson where he  remained for the next thirty years as a history professor. At Arizona, Hinton served as the editor of Arizona and the West. Under his direction, the journal earned a reputation for being a leader among scholarly periodicals devoted to the history of the American West. Recognized as an expert in his field, Hinton played a role in the establishment of the Western History Association and remained active in the organization for much of his career. For a time, he served on the board of editors of the Western Historical Quarterly. He also worked as a consultant to Hollywood film makers on Western movies. In 1986 Hinton edited an unpublished manuscript of John Stricklin Spratt, published as Thurber, Texas: The Life and Death of a Company Coal Town by the University of Texas Press. Former students viewed Hinton as a generous mentor who was always eager to suggest new historical topics and inspire others to embrace his field.

After retiring from the University of Arizona in 1989, Hinton settled in Austin in 1991. He remained active in retirement. A lifetime member of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), he served as one of the editors of The New Handbook of Texas in the early 1990s. In 1991 he provided the introduction to History of the Cattlemen of Texas (a reprint of a book authorized by the Cattle Raisers Association of Texas). The TSHA selected Hinton as a fellow in 1997. He was also a member of the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association.

Hinton relocated to Midland, Texas, in 2005. On May 14, 2005, he married Diana Davids Olien. In Midland, he remained active with his own research and writing and met with younger scholars and attended meetings of the West Texas Historical Association. Hardwood Perry Hinton, Jr., died at the age of eighty-nine in Midland, on September 6, 2016. He was survived by his second wife, Diana Hinton, and two of his three children. He was buried at Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Arizona Daily Star, September 11, 2016. Harwood P. Hinton Collection, 1874–1995.  Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. “Southwestern Collection,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 120 (January 2017).

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Handbook of Texas Online, Henry Franklin Tribe , "HINTON, HARWOOD PERRY, JR. ," accessed September 19, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhint.

Uploaded on September 11, 2018. Modified on September 12, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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