Willa B. Morelock

MORELOCK, HORACE WILSON (1873–1966). Horace Wilson Morelock, teacher, college president, and writer, was born on May 16, 1873, in Cleo, Tennessee, the son of William K. and Sarah Lucretia (Weatherly) Morelock. He won a Peabody scholarship and enrolled in 1895 in the University of Nashville; he received his B.A. with honors from the University of Tennessee in 1902. That fall he became professor of English at Tusculem College, Tennessee. In 1904 Morelock was named superintendent of city schools in Kerrville, Texas. He married Willa Royston Battaile of Houston on June 24, 1907, and they had three children.

In 1910 he was named chairman of the English department at West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas State University). In 1917 he entered Harvard University, where he became an Austin scholar and received an M.A. degree. His return to WTSN was followed by appointment in 1923 to the presidency of Sul Ross State Teachers College (now Sul Ross State University), where he served until 1945. In this capacity he helped save the institution from legislative extinction and worked toward making it a fully accredited college. As a community leader in Alpine, Morelock also assisted in the long campaign that resulted in the establishment of Big Bend National Park.

His works include A Handbook for English Teachers (1914), Big Bend Panorama (ca. 1953), and Mountains of the Mind (1956). He received an honorary LL.D. degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and was president emeritus of Sul Ross from 1945 until his death on August 4, 1966, at Austin, where he was buried in Memorial Park.

Austin American, August 4, 1966. Texas Outlook, July 1923. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Willa B. Morelock, "MORELOCK, HORACE WILSON," accessed January 20, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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