Fran Vick: 2011 President of the Philosophical Society of Texas
Fran Vick—Frances Brannen Vick—is the retired publisher and founder of E-Heart Press and the University of North Texas Press. She is the 2011 president of the Philosophical Society of Texas; president of the Texas State Historical Association, 2008-2009. She is a former president of the Texas Institute of Letters; a Fellow in the Texas Folklore Society. She serves on the Development Board at The University of Texas, the advisory board for the College of Liberal Arts, and the Heritage Society of Texas Exes. She serves on the Advisory Board for Texas A&M University Press and the President’s Council at the University of North Texas.
Born in Trinity, Texas, she is a fifth generation Texan and an East Texan to the core, but she manages to love every bit and piece of the state of Texas and most of the people therein. On her mother’s side, she is descended from Martin Parmer, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and possibly one of the most colorful characters in a state full of characters. A man ahead of his time, Martin helped start the Fredonian Rebellion in Nacogdoches, Texas, 10 years before the real rebellion in 1836.
Her father’s side is a bit murkier, with Choctaws and Irishmen from Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, and a duke’s mixture further back from North Carolina, but she and a cousin are hot on the trail of the beginnings and hope to get it sorted out, assuming it is sortable. That bunch got here before the Civil War and one of them managed to serve in the 26th Cavalry of Debray’s Regiment and the other in Hood’s Brigade. So with all this steeped up business in Texas, she has given up on sophistication and changing her East Texas twang and has made peace with what could not be changed any how. And now she wouldn’t if she could. It is way too late.
After a few years of teaching English, ranging in grades from the seventh to graduate school, she began publishing, mainly because F. E. Abernethy couldn’t find anyone else to publish the Texas Folklore Society Publications. The press was E-Heart, named for the family’s old cattle brand from the 1850’s. That began a publishing career that lasted until her retirement in 2000 from the University of North Texas Press, which she helped found.
During her career and up until today, she has lectured widely on Texas writers and the publishing of Texas writers. And always, always supports Texas writers and their writing.
Her writing consists of being an editor and contributor to the Texas Folklore Society publication, The Family Saga: A Collection of Texas Family Legends, a contributor to Texas Women Writers and Texas Women Up the Cattle Trail, both published by Texas A&M University Press and Notes from Texas: On Writing in the Lone Star State, published by TCU Press.
She was author of 100 Years of The Eyes of Texas published by and for The University of Texas Exes, Heritage Society.
She is co-author with Jane Monday of Petra’s Legacy: The South Texas Ranching Empire of Petra Vela and Mifflin Kenedy, from Texas A&M University Press, winner of the Coral Horton Tullis Award from the Texas State Historical Association for the best book on Texas in 2007, and the Webb County Heritage Foundation Jim Parish Award in 2008 for Documentation and Publication of Local and Regional History.
She is editor of Literary Dallas for TCU Press, published in the Fall of 2008.
She wrote and delivered the lecture on Confessions of a Texas Publisher/Writer, #13 of the limited edition monographs from the Carl Hertzog Lecture Series from The University of Texas at El Paso.
She has written articles for such publications as The Alcalde, The Dallas Morning News and The Proceedings of the Texas Philosophical Society.
She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from The University of Texas at Austin and Stephen F. Austin State University, respectively, a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from the University of North Texas; and was awarded the Pro Bene Meritis by the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.