Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
LEONIDAS WARREN PAYNE JR.
Leonidas Warren Payne Jr., retired professor of English, died on June 16, 1945. He was 71.
Professor Payne was born on July 12, 1873, in Auburn, Alabama. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Auburn University in 1892 and 1893, respectively. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1904.
Dr. Payne taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Louisiana State University. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1906 and was retired to half-time service in 1943. Professor Payne taught some of the first classes in American literature offered at the University. He was a lifelong friend to American writers Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, and Carl Sandburg. He was one of the first scholars who recognized the genius of poet E. E. Cummings.
Professor Payne published the first anthology of Texas writing, A Survey of Texas Literature, in 1928. He published History of American Literature and Texas Poems in 1919 and 1936, respectively. Professor Payne also promoted the work of J. Frank Dobie and Stark Young, two Texas authors. He was a cofounder and the first president of the Texas Folklore Society, the second oldest continuously operating folklore society in the nation.
"When the Woods Were Burnt," a memorial honoring Professor Payne, was published by the Texas Folklore Society in 1946.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996: Link to the Texas Folklore Society in the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.