Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

HORNADAY, WILLIAM DEMING (1868–1942). William Deming Hornaday, journalist and teacher, was born at Plainfield, Indiana, on February 4, 1868, the son of Anson Deming and Sarah Hurid (Hanna) Hornaday. He began his first newspaper job at age seventeen and during the next twelve years worked for newspapers in Indianapolis, Columbus, Denver, and Memphis. He moved to Texas in 1898 and wrote first for the San Antonio Times and later for the San Antonio Express. He received national attention for his investigative reporting on the poor rations received by United States soldiers. Hornaday became a special correspondent for a network of newspapers across the country, to which he reported on everything from the Galveston hurricane of 1900 to the Mexican revolution. He spent two years in Mexico as publicity director for the Mexican National Railway and had interviews with Victoriano Huerta, Francisco I. Madero, Francisco (Pancho) Villa, Porfirio Díaz, Álvaro Obregón, Venustiano Carranza, and Emiliano Zapata. He made trips to Europe, the Far East, and several Pacific Islands.

In 1917 Hornaday accepted a position as director of publicity for the University of Texas, and he served in that capacity until his death; he was also a lecturer in the Department of Journalism from 1917 to 1935. In 1921 he established a clipping service, student owned and operated, which collected newspaper accounts and letters of World War I Texas servicemen. Also in the 1920s Hornaday wrote a news story about the possibility of finding oil under university land in West Texas; the story resulted in the exploration and subsequent development of the university's oil interests.

Hornaday married Marjorie Rochow on February 28, 1891, and they had four children. Hornaday died at his home in Austin on December 6, 1942, after suffering a stroke; he was buried at Oakwood Cemetery. The collections of newspaper clippings and photographs from the late 1890s and from his travels in the South Pacific were given to the Texas State Library by his son in 1975.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). William Deming Hornaday Collection, Texas State Archives, 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.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "HORNADAY, WILLIAM DEMING," accessed January 18, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhoah.

Uploaded on June 15, 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...