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 »


Ernest Wallace
Paul W. Horn
Paul Whitfield Horn. Courtesy of Southwestern University. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
New Century Spelling Book
The New Century Spelling Book, Paul W. Horn. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Horn's Grave
Paul W. Horn's Grave. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

HORN, PAUL WHITFIELD (1870–1932). Paul Whitfield Horn, college president, the son of George Washington and Mattie (Myers) Horn, was born on April 30, 1870, in Boonville, Missouri. He graduated from Boonville High School at the age of fourteen and from Central College with an M.A. degree at eighteen and entered the teaching profession. While at Pryor Institute in Jasper, Tennessee, on August 28, 1890, he married Maud Keith. They had one daughter.

Horn moved to Texas in 1892 and was principal of schools at Valleyview for a year and superintendent of schools at Belcherville for two years. From 1895 to 1897 he was principal of Sherman High School; he served as superintendent of Sherman schools from 1897 to 1904. He then left Sherman to head the Houston schools, which under his leadership achieved national recognition, the introduction of the junior high school plan being his most important contribution. Horn was president of the Texas State Teachers Association in 1910 and became vice president of the National Education Association. In 1917 Baylor University, Southwestern University, and Central College honored him with honorary doctorates. Horn surveyed the Portland, Oregon, schools in 1917 and the El Paso schools in 1921, and was a member of the Alabama school survey commission in 1919 and the Texas commission in 1923.

He left Houston in 1921 to head the American School Foundation in Mexico City but after one year returned to Texas as president of Southwestern University. In 1925 he assumed his duties as first president of Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University), where he served until his death. Horn wrote numerous articles. He was the author of Our Schools Today (1908), a series of readers, and Best Things in Our Schools (1914);he was coauthor of New Century Spelling Book (1908) and School Room Essentials (1911). He was a Democrat and Methodist. He died on April 13, 1932, and was buried in the Lubbock cemetery.


Elva Marshall Barnett, Paul Whitfield Horn, 1870–1932 (M.A. thesis, Texas Technological College, 1938). Houston Post, April 14, 1932. Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.

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, Ernest Wallace, "HORN, PAUL WHITFIELD," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fho59.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 9, 2017. 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...