William Trout Chambers was born November 14, 1896, in Sullivan County, Indiana. Chambers received a B.A. degree from Indiana State Teachers College and his master's and doctor's degrees from the University of Chicago. Upon completion of his doctorate, he joined the Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College in 1926 as the first SFA faculty member to hold a Ph.D degree. He came to Texas with very little knowledge of the state to find on his arrival that he was scheduled to teach a course on Texas geography that semester and there was no text book. A determined Dr. Chambers started studying Texas geography in order to be able to teach it. In 1927, he added the first course in conservation to the geography curriculum at SFA.
Dr. Chambers wrote many articles and essays concerning Texas and the United States and a few on other parts of the world. His work stresses the effects of geography on man and his civilization. Dr. Chambers wrote the first book on Texas geography entitled The Geography of Texas. It was published in 1946 by Steck Publishers and was adopted by the State Board for use in public schools. In this first geography of Texas, Dr. Chambers divided Texas into twelve regions based on soil, bedrock, climate, and vegetation. He later wrote several other books on Texas Geography. Chambers was also a rock collector, and by 1961, he had a collection of about 300 specimens.
Dr. Chambers was a member of the Association of American Geographers and the Southwestern Social Science Association. He presided over several conferences held for geographers. He was also a member of the Nacogdoches Boosters Club and the Rotary Club. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I. William T. Chambers died in Nacogdoches County in 1986.
(Adams, Mrs. David D. "Chambers, William Trout." Nacogdoches County Families. Dallas, Texas; Curtis Media Corporation, 1985. p. 208).
Scope and Contents: Articles and essays written by William T. Chambers which relate to the geography of Texas, U.S., and other parts of the world. Also includes a letter written by Dr. Chambers which describes the land of Nacogdoches County in 1840.