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Williams, Frank B., Jr.



  • Existence: 1913-


Frank B. Williams, Jr. was born on December 22, 1913 in Savannah, Tennessee. He attended Savannah Elementary School in Savannah, Tennessee and Central High School in Hardin County, Tennessee. He earned a B.S. degree from Memphis State University in 1937; an M.A. in history from George Peabody College for Teachers Nashville, Tennessee in 1940; and a Ph.D. in history from Vanderbilt University in 1950.

Williams began his teaching career in 1937 at Morris Chapel High School in Hardin County, Tennessee, where he remained until he accepted a position at Hampton High School in Hampton, Virginia in 1940. In February 1943, Williams volunteered for a commission in the United States Navy. Williams was discharged from the Navy in December 1945 and returned to Tennessee to pursue a doctoral degree in history at Vanderbilt University.

Williams accepted a position in the history department at East Tennessee State College in the fall of 1949. Throughout his teaching career at East Tennessee State, Williams taught a variety of courses, among these Tennessee history, United States history survey, American diplomatic history, and twentieth-century United States political and social history. In 1961, upon the retirement of long-time chair William Flinn Rogers, Williams was elected chair of the history department. He remained as head of the department until his retirement in June 1979.

Williams' research interests centered on twentieth-century United States political history and Tennessee history. He wrote numerous scholarly articles and authored Tennessee's Presidents (1981). He also wrote the foreword to the 1974 edition of Samuel Cole Williams's Tennessee During the Revolutionary War, and with Pauline Massengill DeFriece wrote the article "Rocky Mount: The Cobb-Massengill Home, First Capitol of the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio," in More Landmarks of Tennessee History, edited by Robert McBride (1969). Williams wrote the only full-length history of East Tennessee State, A University's Story, 1911-1980 (1991). In addition, he wrote numerous book reviews and served as a manuscript reviewer for the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.

During his career, Williams was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1977 and with Professor Emeritus after his retirement from the history department.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Frank B. Williams, Jr. Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UnivRec-0345

The collection is divided into the following series: Series 1, Graduate School Coursework, 1939-49; Series 2, Office Files, 1949-79; Series 3, Teaching, 1949-88; Series 4, Research, 1949-89; Series 5, A University's Story, 1911-1980; Series 6, Professional Service, 1949-88; and Series 7, Other Materials, 1941-92.

Dates: 1941-1942