Great Plains Studies, Center for



Date of this Version

Spring 1999


Published in Great Plains Research 9 (Spring 1999): 05-06. Copyright © 1999 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Leslie Hewes, the eminent Geographer and Great Plains scholar, died in his sleep on 7 March 1999, aged 93. He remained active on the tennis court and in his scholarship and travels right to the end, and his passing leaves a large gap in the Department of Geography at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and in the world of Plains scholarship that cannot be filled.

Dr. Hewes was born on 25 February 1906 on a homestead near Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory. His father had obtained the homestead in the land run of 1889. The early death of his father meant that life was frugal, and often there was not enough to eat. But fortunately the University of Oklahoma did not charge residents tuition in 1924. Dr. Hewes began his academic life there, first as a Spanish major, then as a Geographer.