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 Jefferson Davis Sandefer

SANDEFER, JEFFERSON DAVIS (1868-1940). Jefferson Davis (Dave) Sandefer, president of Simmons University (later Hardin-Simmons University), the second of nine children of Samuel Butner and Lucretia (Leverton) Sandefer, was born on March 13, 1868, in Sharp County, Arkansas. When he was ten years old, the family moved to Parker County, Texas. Sandefer completed the course of study at Parker Institute in 1893, attended summer sessions of the University of Texas, and secured a bachelor of philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1907. Baylor University gave him an LL.D. degree in 1917. Sandefer taught in various schools in Texas. He was president of Strawn College from 1894 to 1900, superintendent at Granbury from 1900 to 1901, and professor of Latin and history at John Tarleton (later Tarleton State College) from 1901 until 1908, when he became president of that school. He was chosen president of Simmons University, later Hardin­Simmons University, in 1909 and retained that position until his death on March 22, 1940. Sandefer was married to Lucile Gilbert of Nashville, Tennessee, on December 26, 1894. They had four children. An able speaker and a natural philosopher, Sandefer was a leader in educational, church, and civic organizations in the Southwest. He was president of the Texas Baptist Convention from 1920 to 1923 and was vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1923 to 1924. He was buried in Abilene on the campus of the university he had served so long.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Inez Woodward Sandefer, Jefferson Davis Sandefer, Christian Educator (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1940). Who's Who in America, 1940-41.

Naomi Hatton Kincaid

"SANDEFER, JEFFERSON DAVIS." The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/SS/fsa22.html>

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