University of Texas
William Henry Adamson


William Henry Adamson

William Henry Adamson (1876–1948) was professor of physics and mathematics at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville, TX for 26 years. He retired in 1946.

Obituary from The Mexia Daily News, November 1, 1948.
William H. Adamson died in Austin at age of 72. The eldest son of an early-day Mexia family and lifelong Texas educator died Sunday afternoon at his home in Austin after a long illness. Funeral services will be held here at the home of his sister, Mrs B. W. Simmons, Tuesday at 2 PM with burial in the Mexia Cemetery.

Mr. Adamson was born in Mexia January 27, 1876, the son of William Louis and Henrietta Edwards Adamson. In 1897, he completed his public school work with one of the first Mexia graduating classes and then accepted his Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Texas in 1901. At Texas, he was President of The Rusk Society in 1899; Editor of Literary Magazine in 1900–1901: Vice-President Oratorial Association 1900–1901; Secretary University Hall Association, 1900–1901. In later years he did graduate work at the University of Chicago.

From the time he was 18, he dedicated his life to the teaching profession, beginning in the rural limestone school of Horn Hill, then going on to larger systems such as Temple and Austin. In 1916, he taught chemistry at Austin High School. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, an education fraternity, For the past thirty years, he was professor of physics at Sam Houston State Teacher's College at Huntsville, retiring two years ago. He was not happy out of the classroom he had occupied for over fifty years, so later continued with tutoring work at the University of Texas. In 1947, he worked for the State of Texas General Land Office in Austin. Then he accepted the position of head of the Physics Department at Daniel Baker college at Brownwood. He was stricken with the first of a series of heart attacks while teaching there this Spring.

Teaching was a pleasure for him, and even after he was confined to his bed earlier this year, he delighted in visits made by former students. Many of them returned years after their school days were over to thank him, and sometimes to repay loans he had made in order they they might continue their college work.

Mr. Adamson was an active churchman throughout his life, teaching a men's bible class for many years up until the time of his final illness. He was also active in masonic work, and was a member of the Blue Lodge and Circle. Surviving are his wife, the former Rachel Edna Dickinson of Gainesville, and one son, William, now a student at the University of Texas. Surviving brothers and sister include Mrs. B. W. Simmons of Mexia, Roy L. Adamson of Glendale Ca., and Sam E. Adamson of Kilgore.

Services in Mexia well be held by the Rev. Guy F. Jones of Houston, lifelong friend of the deceased, assisted by the Rev A. W. DeGuire of Mexia. Pallbearers will be J. W. Elliott, John C. Groover, Enders Groover, Reuben Storey, Willia Wright, L. P. White, Gene Womack, Herman Hitt, Edward Adamson of Kilgore, Hugh Adamson of Houston, and Jack Simmons. Corley's will be in charge of service

William Henry Adamson, third from left, back row. Freshman Class 1898.

William Henry Adamson was a senior in 1900 Cactus, he is pictured above, bottom row center.

William Henry Adamson, second row up, third from right.

W. H. Adamson, tenor trumpet, University Band 1901, Cactus, second row, fourth from left. John Langdon Sinclair, alto trumpet, is in picture. He is third from left on back row. John Lang Sinclair became a student at the newly formed University of Texas in 1899. When the UT band was formed in 1900, he became a member. He was also a member of the UT Glee Club and in 1903 was asked to write a school song.

Set to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad", Sinclair's song took its name from the words of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who admonished his students at Washington College with the words "The Eyes of the South are Upon You."

William L. Prather, who was one of Lee's students, eventually became the president of the University of Texas, adapted the saying "the eyes of Texas are upon you". Sinclair wrote the words that were performed at a 1903 minstrel show benefiting the University's track team. When Prather died in 1905, his family requested that "The Eyes of Texas" be sung and performed at his funeral.

In 1904 Sinclair graduated from UT and returned to his family's dairy farm in San Antonio. After his marriage, he and his wife, Stella Anderson, lived in New York where they were active in the Texas Exes' Association.

On the day Sinclair died in 1947, the chimes atop the University of Texas Tower played The Eyes of Texas. He is buried in the Anderson Family plot a short distance from Clara Driscoll, who helped to save the Alamo. He is buried in Alamo Masonic Cemetery located at the corner of East Commerce and Pine Street in San Antonio.
(Thanks to Nancy Adamson for pointing out that Sinclair was in this picture.)

Senior Class 1901 Cactus, Second row from top, man with mustache.

University of Texas Literary Magazine members, 1901. William Henry Adamson, Editor, 1900-01, is fourth from left, back row. John Langdon Sinclair, Eyes of Texas author, front row third from right.

William Henry Adamson, third from left, back row. Freshman Class 1898.

1901 Cactus


Class picture, Cactus 1899, Adamson, back row, second from right.

Roy Leonard Adamson, brother of William Henry Adamson, 1909 Cactus. Roy earned a Masters in Civil Engineering.


Adamson earned an MA in 1914 as seen in the Cactus yearbook. Third column, second from bottom.

From 1932 Sam Houston State Teachers College yearbook, The Alcalde









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