Jewel Henson Gibson, Author, 1904–1989
Born in Bald Prairie, a small East Texas town, author Jewel Henson Gibson married, graduated from high school and had a child, in that order.
She became a high school English teacher and eventually earned a master’s degree at the age of 46.
She spent 15 years completing her first novel, Joshua Beene and God, a tongue-in-cheek story of a small town preacher. This novel caused quite a stir within various religious communities—even within her own family. Mrs. Gibson’s mother (who herself authored several plays and an unpublished novel), reportedly told her daughter: “I hate that I can’t congratulate you on your first book, but I can’t and ever face myself again. You have strayed from your rearing. You are not a good Baptist or you couldn’t have written about them as you did.” However, J. Frank Dobie, in his review said Gibson’s “vitality makes…delightful reading.”
Ms. Gibson deftly captures small town Texas life, handling complex issues of religion and racial tension. Ms. Gibson considered herself foremost a schoolteacher and wrote as a “hobby” for many years including novels and plays along with newspaper articles for the Corsicana Daily Sun.