The Rupert N. Richardson Award

Rupert N. RichardsonThe Rupert N. Richardson Award recognizes the best non-fiction book published on West Texas History.

During his long career at Hardin-Simmons University, Rupert Richardson was both president and professor emeritus, and founder and long-time editor/director of the West Texas Historical Association. He was considered one of the preeminent Texas and Western historians and authored numerous books including "The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement" (1933) and a history textbook Texas: The Lone Star State (1943) that eventually went through five editions. He was born on April 28, 1891, on Sandy Creek near Caddo, Texas, and died in Abilene on April 14, 1988. He held a B.A. degree from Hardin-Simmons in 1912 and a B.S. from the University of Chicago in 1914. He obtained both a M.A. and Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas in 1922 and 1928. The Rupert Richardson Award was established in 1996.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • The book must focus on West Texas history.
  • Eligible books are to have been published within the past two (2) calendar years.
  • To be eligible, an individual must have been a member of the Association for at least one full year prior to the application deadline.
  • Publishers or authors should submit three copies of each nominated book.

The award winner will receive a $500 cash award and a certificate.

The award application is due on January 10th.

The award winner will be announced at the annual meeting of the Association during the presidential luncheon.

Paul Carlson and Tom Crum, pictured here with Monte Monroe, were winners of the 2010 Richardson Award for Best Book. They generously donated their award check to the WTHA Student Scholarship fund.

Author Bill Neal, two time winner of the Rupert Richardson Award, donated his check back to WTHA for the scholarship fund. Photo by Gene Preuss.

 Jim Matthews, with wife Becky, proudly shows his award plaque for his book, Fort Concho: A History and a Guide, 2006 Richardson award winner.

Richardson Award winners:

2023 - Jim Matthews, Always In The Vanguard: The Buffalo Soldiers of                Company H, Tenth U.S. Cavalry

2022 - David Murrah, The Rise and Fall of the Lazy S Ranch

2021 - M. Scott Sosebee, Henry C. Hank Smith and the Cross B Ranch

2020 - Michael C. Collins, ed., A Texan's Story: The Autobiography of Walter Prescott Webb

2018 - Paul H. Carlson and Clint Chambers, Comanche Jack Stillwell: Army Scout and Plainsman

2017 - Janet Neugebauer, A Witness to History: George H. Mahon, West Texas Congressman

2016 - Glen Ely, The Texas Frontier and the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858-1861

2015 - Sylvia Gann Mahoney, Finding the Great Western Trail

2014 - Alvin R. Lynn, Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls: a Tale of Two Journeys

2013 - Bruce A. Glasrud and Robert J. Mallouf, Big Bend's Ancient and Modern Past

2012 - Patrick Dearen, Devil's River: Treacherous Twin to the Pecos,        1535-1900

2011 - Glen Ely, Where the West Begins: Debating Texas Identity

2010 - Paul Carlson and Tom Crum, Myth, Memory, and Massacre: The Pease River Capture of Cynthia Ann Parker

2009 - Bret Cruse, Battles of the Red River War: Archaeological Perspectives on the Indian Campaign of 1874

2008 - Bill Neal, "From Guns to Gavels: How Justice Grew Up in the Outlaw West."

2007 - Bill Neal, Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier

2006 - Jim Matthews, Fort Concho:  A History and a Guide

2005 - Tom Alexander, Rattlesnake Bomber Base

2004 - Marsha Pfluger, Across Time and Territory: A Walk Through the National Ranching Heritage Center

2003 - Paul H. Carlson, The Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877

2002 - Jo Ella Powell Exley, Frontier Blood: the Saga of the Parker Family

2001 - Jim Pfluger and Bob Moorehouse, Pitchfork Country: the Photography of Bob Moorehouse

2000 - Paul H. Carlson, ed., The Cowboy Way: an Exploration of History and Culture

1999 - Frederick W. Rathjen, Texas Panhandle Frontier (2nd edition)

1998 - John Miller Morris, Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, 1536-1860

1997 - Paul H. Carlson, Empire Builder in the Texas Panhandle: William Henry Bush

1996 - Ty Cashion, A Texas Frontier: The Clear Fort Country and Fort Griffin, 1849-1887


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