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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Aug 2006 10:27:23 -0400
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This is in Oxford Press:

Edgar Branch

Family-Placed Obituary

BRANCH, Edgar Marquess Age 93, Miami University Research Professor of
English Emeritus and Associate in American Literature, died August 14,
2006 at his home in Oxford, Ohio. He was the husband of Mary Jo
Emerson Branch, whom he married in 1939 and with whom he had three
children: Sydney Elizabeth, Robert Marquess, and Marian Emerson. He
was born March 21, 1913, in Chicago, the son of publisher Raymond S.
Branch and his wife Marian Marquess. His two sisters, Sydney and
Beverly, taught in the Economics and French departments, respectively,
at the Western College for Women in Oxford, where Sydney later became
a member of Western's Board of Trustees. In 1934 Branch earned a B.A.
degree from Beloit College and-as the Beloit College Foreign Fellow-
studied at University College of the University of London, England,
during his junior year. He then attended Brown University for a year
on a fellowship in philosophy, earned a M.A. degree in American
literature from the University of Chicago in 1938, and, as a teaching
fellow, a Ph.D. from the University
of Iowa in 1941. He taught in Miami's English Department from 1941 to
1978. During World War 2 at Miami he instructed cadets in the U.S.
Navy V-12 program and in the Naval Radio School. From 1959 to 1964 he
was chair of the English Department. As chair during a period of rapid
departmental expansion, he helped lay the foundation for the
department's future accreditation for doctoral instruction and
personally hired the entire English department of Wright State
University, when it was being established by the State of Ohio through
the cooperative effort of Miami and Ohio State University. Branch's
literary interests were in Southern and mid-and-far-Western American
Literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was the
author or editor of fifteen books and scores of articles, most of them
dealing with the life and writings of two Midwestern authors: Mark
Twain and the Chicago realist James T. Farr
ell. Among his books are The Literary Apprenticeship of Mark Twain;
Clemens of the Call; James T. Farrell; Studs Lonigan's Neighborhood
and the Making of James T. Farrell; and A Paris Year: Dorothy and
James Farrell in Paris, 1931-1932. He was the literary executor of the
James T. Farrell Estate and a member of the Board of Directors of the
Mark Twain Project at the University of California at Berkeley. In
1992 Branch received the Mark Twain Circle of America's "Lifetime
Achievement Award," and in 1994 the "MidAmerica Award for
Distinguished Contributions to the Study of Midwestern Literature,"
from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. In 1995 he
was awarded the first "Modern Language Association Prize for a
Distinguished Scholarly Edition" (Mark Twain's Roughing It),
considered the "Pulitzer Prize" of scholarly publication. The
following year he received the "Ohioana Pegasus Award" for "unique and
outstanding cultural contribution by an Ohioan" from the Ohioan
a Society. Branch also was a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 1978-79,
and a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities in
1971-1972 and again in 1976-1977. He received Miami's "Benjamin
Harrison Award" in 1978, the "Nancy Dasher Book Award" from the
College English Association of Ohio in 1981, and a "Distinguished
Service Citation Award" from Beloit College in 1979. His contributions
to Miami's undergraduate and graduate programs are /remembered in a
Bachelor Hall seminar room dedicated to him, and in the Weigel-Branch
Scholar-Leader Study in Elliott Hall. He was a co-founder and the
first president of the Miami University Friends of the Library, a
member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Psi Honorary Society, Beta Theta
Pi social fraternity, and many professional organizations. Survivors
are his wife Mary Jo, his daughters Sydney Daly and her husband Gerald
of Chatsworth, Georgia, his daughter Marian Williams of Shaker
Heights, his sons-in-law James Diez and Scott
 Williams, grandchildren Matthew Diez and his wife Sunita Wagle,
Jeffrey Diez, Robert, Olivia, and Laura Williams and a great grandson,
Kai Diez. A private family service will be held. Memorial
contributions may be made to the Miami University Friends of the
Library. Smith & Ogle Funeral Home assisting the family.
Published in the Hamilton Journal-News from 8/16/2006 - 8/18/2006.

I knew him for a short time,