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History of Senate District 6

 

1st Legislative Session

Name: Jesse Robinson                 

Years Served 1846 - 1847                                      

City/County: Unknown  

Counties in District 6: Sabine

Party: None

Bio: ROBINSON, JESSE J. (1797–?). Jesse J. Robinson, farmer and legislator, was born in North Carolina in 1797. He moved to Texas in 1840 and settled in Sabine County. He represented the county in the House of the Seventh Congress, 1842–43, and Sabine and Jasper counties in the Senate of the First Legislature in 1846. In the spring of 1847 Robinson announced himself a candidate for the office of governor and began touring East Texas to gain support. His efforts were largely unsuccessful, for he received only 379 of the almost 15,000 votes cast and thus came in a distant fourth in the election. Although he was never again a candidate for state office, Robinson remained active on the local level. In 1854 he was elected chief justice of Sabine County. On the 1860 census he was listed as a farmer who owned $50,000 in real estate and $10,000 in personal property. The sixty-three-year-old North Carolinian lived alone. He did not appear in the 1870 census.

 

2nd Legislative Session

Name:   John H. McRae                                                                       

Years Served: 1847 - 1849

Party: None                    

City/County: Unknown

Counties in District 6: Unknown.

Bio:  None available. Birthdate and date of death unknown.  Per the 1860 Census, he was a merchant, born in North Carolina, and married to Mary McRae.

3rd Legislative Session

Name:   James F. Taylor 

Years Served      1849 - 1851

Party:    None

City/County: Marshall/Harrison

Counties in District 6: Harrison, Smith, Upshur

Bio: James F. Taylor, was Plantation owner and large slave owner in East Texas, In the early days of the State's history. He served in both branches of the State Legislature and was commissioned as a Colonel for the Confederacy in the Civil War. He was also prominent In Masonic circles, having served as Grand Master and Grand High Priest. The James F. Taylor lodge at Hallsville, was so named In recognition of his services to Masonry.

4th Legislative Session

Name:   Dr. George Hill

Years Served      1851 - 1853

Party: Unknown                

City/County:  Spring Hill/Navarro

Counties in District 6: Henderson, Limestone, Navarro

Bio: HILL, GEORGE WASHINGTON (1814–1860). George Washington Hill, secretary of war and secretary of the navy in Sam Houston's cabinet, was born on April 22, 1814, at Hill Creek, Warren County, Tennessee. After attending common schools he received a degree in medicine from Transylvania University. He moved to Texas in 1836 and served as a surgeon at Fort Houston in 1836–37. The latter year he settled in Milam County and was elected county medical censor. There he married Matilda Slaughter. When Robertson County was formed from Milam County, Hill was elected to represent it in the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh congresses. In 1841 he was appointed Indian agent by Sam Houston and the same year moved to Spring Hill in Navarro County. From January 16, 1843, to December 9, 1844, he served as secretary of war and navy in Houston's cabinet. After annexation Hill resumed the practice of medicine in Navarro County. In 1855 he was appointed first agent for the Brazos Indian Reservation. He died at Spring Hill on May 29, 1860, and was buried there. Hill County was named in his honor.

 

5th Legislative Session

Name:   Simpson Newman

Years Served      1853 - 1855

Party:   Unknown             

City/County: Coffeeville /Upshur

Counties in District 6: Upshur, Wood

Bio: (Per 1850 Census) Born in South Carolina, Simpson Newman moved to Alabama, and eventually emigrated to Texas in 1849. He was a Farmer by trade.

 

6th and 7th Legislative Session

 

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Name:   Jonathan Russell

Years Served      1855 - 1859

Party:  Unknown              

City/County: Webster/Wood

Counties in District 6: Unknown

Bio: Jonathon Russell, born September 7th, 1824 in Marion County, Alabama, came to Wood County Texas circa 1848. He settled on a land grant given to him for his service in the Texas Revolution.  Russell was chosen as a member of the Texas Constitutional Convention and also served as a member of the legislature. During the Civil War, Captain Russel commanded Company B, 22nd Texas Volunteers, which was organized in Wood County. After the war, he served two terms as a state senator and wes re-elected as a member of the legislature in 1873. Russell died October 6th, 1898. 

8th Legislative Session

Name:   Emory Rains      

Years Served      1859 - 1861

Party:  Unknown              

City/County: Springville/Wood

Counties in District 6: Unknown

Bio: RAINS, EMORY (1800–1878). Emory Rains, early legislator, was born in Warren County, Tennessee, on May 4, 1800. In 1826 he moved to Texas, where he first settled in the section of the Red River district that later became Lamar County. He subsequently moved to Shelby County, which he represented as senator in the Second and Third congresses of the republic and in the Convention of 1845. Among Rains's most important legislative accomplishments was his sponsorship of the Homestead Law in 1839. After annexation he continued to represent Shelby County in the House of the Second, Fourth, and Fifth legislatures. Sometime before 1859 he moved to Wood County; he represented that county in the Senate of the Eighth Legislature. Rains County, which he helped to survey in 1869, was established from Wood County on June 9, 1870, and named in his honor. Rains was married to Marana Anderson sometime before February 19, 1835, the date he received, as a married man, one league of land in Lorenzo de Zavala's colony. Emory and Marana had twelve children. Rains died at his home in Rains County on March 4, 1878, and was buried in the cemetery at Emory.

 

9th and 10th Legislative Sessions

Name:   Stephen W. Beasley

Years Served      1861 - 1866

Party:  Unknown              

City/County: Gilmer/Upshur

Counties in District 6: Unknown

Bio: (Per Senate Journal) Beasley came to Texas from Georgia and was a farmer. Beasley passed away on March 21st, 1872. 

 

11th Legislative Session

Name:   C.C. Coppedge

Years Served      1866 - 1870

Party:                

City/County: Marshall/Harrison

Counties in District 6: Harrison, Upshur

Bio: Biographical sketch: Born in Tennessee on February 2nd, 1830. Served two terms in the Legislature, one from Harrison County and one from Upshur County. Coppedge was a farmer by trade and became a Methodist preacher in 1880. He was the father of 21 children, 5 of whom became Methodist ministers. Coppedge Served in Edward Clark's Company, Camp H, the 14th Regiment in the Confederate Army, and was elected general quartermaster.

12th Legislative Session

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Name:   J.P. Douglas

Years Served      1870 - 1873

Party:                

City/County: Tyler/Smith

Counties in District 6: Camp, Gregg, Smith, Upshur

Bio: DOUGLAS, JAMES POSTELL (1836–1901). James Postell Douglas, Confederate artillery officer, the oldest son of Alexander and Margaret Tirzah (Cowsar) Douglas, was born near Lancaster, South Carolina, on January 7, 1836. He moved with his family to Talladega, Alabama, in 1838 and to Texas in 1847. In January 1848 the Douglas and Cowsar families settled at Tyler, where Douglas attended such public schools as were available. Generally, however, he was self-educated; he learned Latin with the aid of a neighbor in Talladega. Among his earliest jobs was delivery of the mail from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Nacogdoches, Texas. When his father died in 1854, the seventeen-year-old became head of the Douglas household, served as principal of the Tyler Male Academy by day, and read law at night. Although licensed to practice law, he purchased a half interest in and edited the Tyler Reporter, now the Tyler Courier Times, in 1859.

With the outbreak of the Civil War Douglas was commissioned by Col. Elkanah Greer to raise a fifty-man company in Smith County to man half a field artillery battery to be attached to Greer's Third Texas Cavalry. The other company was raised in Dallas County by John J. Good. Douglas was commissioned first lieutenant and named second in command of the battery on June 13, 1861. He was promoted to captain and commander in July 1862. The battery, first commanded by Captain Good, was variously known as the First Texas Battery, the Dallas Light Artillery, the Good-Douglas Battery, and Douglas's Battery, and became the only unit of Texas artillery to serve east of the Mississippi River. It is said to have been the first Confederate unit to volunteer "for the duration of the war." After receiving its baptism of fire with Benjamin McCulloch's Army of the West at the battle of Elkhorn Tavern in March 1862, the battery was transferred to Mississippi, where it saw action at the battle of Corinth. Thereafter it took part in all of the major battles of the Army of Tennessee-Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, the battles for Atlanta, and John Bell Hood's disastrous Tennessee campaign of 1864. Covering Hood's retreat from Nashville, the battery lost its guns when they bogged in the mud and were overrun by Union cavalry. Douglas barely escaped capture by riding away on the horse behind his younger brother. On February 16, 1864, the Confederate Congress offered a formal vote of thanks to the battery. Douglas's battery was paroled at Mobile, Alabama, on May 12, 1865, and Douglas returned to Tyler.

He resumed his work with the Tyler Reporter and in 1870 was elected to the Senate of the Twelfth Texas Legislature, where he was noted for his anti-Reconstruction attitude and activities. He was the organizer and first president of the Texas branch of the Cotton Belt Railroad, the so-called Tyler Tap, which was later sold to Jay Gould. Douglas was also instrumental in the establishment of the Texas and St. Louis and the Kansas and Gulf Short Line railroads. He owned a chain of canning factories, the first in Tyler, to market produce from his farms. As a planter, he was greatly interested in agricultural experimentation and owned a large peach orchard, said to be the first in East Texas.

Douglas was married twice, first on March 24, 1864, to Sallie Susan White, who died on August 22, 1872, and subsequently to Alice Earle Smith, on July 7, 1874. Four children were born to the first marriage and six to the second. Douglas died on November 27, 1901, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery at Tyler. His wife died on June 28, 1955, and is buried beside him.

 

13th Legislative Session

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Name:   John Lane Henry

 

Years Served      1873 - 1874

 

Party:                

 

City/County: Tyler/Smith

 

Counties in District 6: Smith, Upshur

 

Bio: HENRY, JOHN LANE (1831–1907). John Lane Henry, lawyer, judge, and Confederate soldier, was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, on October 18, 1831. He attended Union University in Tennessee and moved in 1852 to Huntsville, Texas, where he read law in 1854 and was admitted to the bar in 1855. In 1856 he moved to Livingston and began a law practice. In 1860 he was elected district attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District, and in December of that year he married Cornelia Jameson (Jamison) in Rutherford County, Tennessee. The couple had five children. In 1862 Henry joined Henry M. Elmer's Twentieth Texas Infantry regiment. He served in the Texas coast defense until the end of the Civil War. He moved to Tyler in 1869, and in 1870 he served as United States district attorney pro tem for the district court of the Western District of Texas. From 1871 to 1873 he represented Smith County in the Texas Senate. He was a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention of 1875, where he served as a member of the judiciary committee. He moved to the Dallas area in 1879 and was soon involved in the city government of East Dallas, a separately incorporated community, where he served two terms as mayor and one as alderman. In addition to his political activities, he maintained a highly successful law practice and served as a director of the Dallas and Wichita Railroad Company in 1885. In November 1888 he was appointed associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court, a position he held until 1893, when he resigned to return to his private law practice. Henry was active in the Dallas Bar Association and had been its president for several years at the time of his death. He died on October 21, 1907, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

 

 

14th Legislative Session

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Name:   John L. Camp, Sr.

Years Served      1874 - 1875

Party:                

City/County: Gilmer/Upshur

Counties in District 6: Smith, Upshur

Bio: CAMP, JOHN LAFAYETTE (1828–1891). John Lafayette Camp, soldier and political leader, was born on February 20, 1828, near Birmingham, Alabama, the son of John Lay and Elizabeth (Brown) Camp. In 1848 he graduated from the University of Tennessee, and the following year he moved to Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas. There he taught school, became a prosperous cotton planter, and established himself as one of the leading attorneys of East Texas. In 1851 he married Mary Ann Ward, the daughter of William Ward, a well-known physician. The couple eventually had five children.

When the Civil War began, Camp was first elected captain of a company and then colonel of the Fourteenth Texas Cavalry. The regiment served in Texas and Arkansas in the early months of the war but was later transferred east of the Mississippi River to the Confederate Army of Tennessee. There the regiment was consolidated with the Tenth Texas Cavalry, Dismounted, and assigned to Mathew D. Ector's brigade. Camp saw action at the battles of Richmond and Cumberland Gap, Kentucky; Murfreesboro (Stone's River), Tennessee; and Chickamauga and Altoona, Georgia. He was twice wounded and twice captured.

In 1866 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the First District of Texas but was not permitted to take his seat. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1866, where he was an advocate of presidential Reconstruction. In 1872, as a delegate to the national Democratic party convention, he favored cooperation with the liberal wing of the Republican party. In 1874 he was elected to the Texas Senate, where he sponsored railroad construction in order to encourage the settlement of West Texas. He was also a firm supporter of constitutional reform and, with two members of the Texas House of Representatives, formed a committee that drafted a proposed new constitution for the state.

In 1878 Governor Richard B. Hubbard appointed Camp judge of the district comprising Jefferson, Marshall, Palestine, and Tyler, and in 1884, hoping that the change of climate would improve Camp's health, President Grover Cleveland appointed him registrar of the land office in Arizona. His health continued to decline, however, and Camp resigned after two years to return to Texas. He settled in San Antonio, where he died on July 16, 1891, and was buried in Dignowity Cemetery. He was the father of John Lafayette Camp, Jr. Camp County in northeast Texas is named in his honor.

 

15th Legislative Session

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Name:   William Amos Wortham

Years Served      1876 - 1879

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Sulphur Springs/Hopkins

Counties in District 6: Franklin, Hopkins, Red River, Titus

Bio: WORTHAM, WILLIAM AMOS (1830–1910). William Amos Wortham, journalist, legislator, and soldier, was born in Maury County, Tennessee, on November 3, 1830, the son of William H. and Elizabeth (Johnston) Wortham. In 1843 he and his widowed mother immigrated to Texas, settling first in Lamar County and then in Harrison County. He was apprenticed for three years to a local printer in Marshall. On June 11, 1852, he married Adeline E. Ashcroft (Ashcraft) in Tyler. They had five children, including William B. Wortham, who was to become state treasurer and chairman of the Railroad Commission. In 1853 Wortham moved his family to Jefferson, where for two years he was a newspaper publisher. In 1855 he moved to Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County, where he became editor and publisher of the Gazette-News. In 1856 he was elected justice of the peace and in 1858 district clerk. In 1859 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the Eighth Legislature; he was reelected in 1861 but resigned to join the Confederate army. In December 1861 Wortham enlisted in Capt. Zachary Scott's Company H of Lt. Col. R. P. Crump's battalion of what became Col. Julius A. Andrews's Thirty-second Texas Cavalry of Mathew D. Ector's brigade. This unit took part in Benjamin McCulloch's 1861 and 1862 campaigns in Arkansas and Missouri and in Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky in 1862. By 1863 Wortham had risen to captain of his company but was compelled by chronic ill health to resign and return to Texas. Late in 1863, when Col. James B. Likens organized the Thirty-fifth Texas Cavalry, Wortham was elected major and was later promoted to lieutenant colonel. This regiment served in Texas until 1864, when it was transferred to Louisiana to take part in the Red River campaign. Wortham served as the regimental commander through the final months of the Civil War and was promoted to colonel just before its end. He then returned to Sulfur Springs and the Gazette-News. As a staunch state's rights Democrat, he was often in opposition to the authorities during Reconstruction. He represented the Twenty-fourth District in the House of Representatives of the Fourteenth Legislature and in the Senate of the Fifteenth. On November 7, 1882, he was returned to the house after narrowly defeating his Greenback opponent, O. S. Davis. In 1891 Governor James S. Hogg appointed Wortham superintendent of the State Orphans' Asylum (see CORSICANA STATE HOME) at Corsicana. He was subsequently reappointed by Governor Charles A. Culberson, serving a total of eight years. Wortham died in Fort Worth on October 1, 1910. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, a Mason, and an Odd Fellow.

 

16th and 17th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   William Swain

Years Served      1879 - 1883

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Clarksville/Red River

Counties in District 6: Franklin, Hopkins, Red River, Titus

Bio: SWAIN, WILLIAM JESSE (1839–1904). William Jesse Swain, soldier and legislator, son of Dr. Charles and Martha (Burnett) Swain, was born in Estell County, Kentucky, on February 19, 1839. He moved in 1855 to Mississippi and in 1859 to Clarksville, Texas, where he worked in a store and attended McKenzie College. In December 1861 he married Mary Frances Bohannan; they had four children. Immediately after his marriage Swain enlisted in Company F, Whitfield's Legion, in which he served as second lieutenant and then as first lieutenant. He was captured at Carter's Creek and was held for a time at Fortress Monroe. He was among Confederate prisoners being conveyed to Fort Delaware on the steamer Maple Leaf when the prisoners overpowered the guard and escaped to rejoin the regiment at Richmond. Swain returned to Clarksville in 1864 to farm and raise livestock. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1872, the same year that he began the publication of the Clarksville Times. He was secretary of the Texas Editorial and Press Association in 1873, when he was elected to the House of the Fourteenth Legislature, in which he served as chairman of the penitentiary committee. He was elected to the Senate of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth legislatures (1879, 1881), and in 1882 was elected state comptroller, an office he held from January 16, 1883, to January 18, 1887. He died in Houston on December 20, 1904, and was buried in the State Cemetery in Austin.

 

18th Legislative Session

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Name:   John C. Buchanan

Years Served      1883 - 1884

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Mineola/Wood

Counties in District 6: Gregg, Rains, Smith, Upshur, Wood

Bio: John Creighton Buchanan was born in Greenwood Louisiana, February 24th, 1850, and moved with his family to Gilmer Texas the same year. Buchanan was an attorney by trade, and was elected County Attorney of Wood County in 1876 and as State Senator for District 10 in 1879, and for District 6 in 1883. Buchanan passed away on December 1, 1884.

 

19th and 20th    Legislative Sessions

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Name:   John L. Camp, Jr

Years Served      1885 - 1889

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Gilmer/Upshur

Counties in District 6: Gregg, Rains, Smith, Upshur, Wood

Bio: CAMP, JOHN LAFAYETTE, JR. (1855–1918). John Lafayette Camp, Jr., judge, was born on September 23, 1855, in Gilmer, Texas, the son of Mary Ann (Ward) and John Lafayette Campqv. After graduating from the Gilmer Academy, Texas Military Instituteqv (San Antonio), and Trinity University he served in the Texas Senate from 1887 to 1891 and then moved to San Antonio, where he established a legal practice. In 1897 Governor Charles Allen Culberson appointed Camp judge of the Forty-fifth District Court. He continued to be reelected for seventeen years, usually without opposition. Among his most notable decisions was that which enabled the preservation of the Alamo chapel. "Care and custody" of the shrine had been granted to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas by a state law of 1905. In 1912, however, the state legislature, at the prompting of Governor Oscar Branch Colquitt, appropriated $5,000 to "improve" the Alamo. Colquitt's true intention was to turn the Alamo into a state park. When the DRT filed suit to halt the dismantling of the historic structure, Camp ruled that the 1912 law had not overturned that of 1905 and that the Daughters maintained custody of the property. An appellate court concurred.

In 1913 President Woodrow Wilson appointed Camp United States district attorney for western Texas. In that position he was chiefly responsible for the arrest, on June 27, 1915, of former Mexican president Victoriano Huerta for the violation of United States neutrality laws. Huerta was released on bond but rearrested on July 3 and confined at Fort Bliss, where he died six months later. In 1916, when Judge Thomas Sheldon Maxey retired from the bench, the eighteen Texas representatives and two senators endorsed Camp as his successor as federal judge of West Texas, but President Wilson demurred, thinking that no one over the age of sixty should hold such a position. Wilson did, however, appoint Camp to a second term as district attorney.

In 1881 Camp married Lamartine Felder, the daughter of J. L. Felder, a Leesburg physician. Camp died in San Antonio on August 10, 1918. He was survived by his wife, five daughters, and two sons.

 

21st and 22nd Legislative Sessions

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Name:   W. Cone Johnson         

Years Served      1889 - 1893

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Tyler/Smith

Counties in District 6: Gregg, Rains, Smith, Upshur, Wood

Bio: JOHNSON, CONE (1860–1933). Cone Johnson, lawyer and politician, was born on June 11, 1860, to Samuel Caraway and Emily (Swilling) Johnson at Dawsonville, Georgia. He attended Emory College at Oxford, Georgia, and Peabody Normal College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1880. After graduating, he moved to Tyler, Texas, where he taught for two years at East Texas University while studying law with William S. Herndon. He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1883 and for the next forty years maintained a law practice in Tyler.

In 1886 he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. Having been an opponent of prohibition in his youth, he campaigned as a stump speaker in 1887 against the proposed constitutional amendment. He engaged in several debates, the most memorable of which was a meeting at Denton with prohibition supporter Joseph Weldon Baileyqv before a crowd of 8,000. Eventually, the antiprohibition forces prevailed, and the amendment failed in a general election. Ironically, both Johnson and Bailey later reversed their positions on the issue. After serving only one term in the Texas House of Representatives, Johnson was elected state senator in 1888 and served until 1892. In 1891 he framed a bill to establish the Railroad Commission. He chose not to seek reelection when the state was redistricted. In 1892 he supported James Stephen Hogg's opponent in the gubernatorial race. Johnson and Hogg eventually overcame an early estrangement to become good friends and political allies. After his service in the Texas Senate, Johnson practiced law in Tyler and participated in state party politics. He fought unsuccessfully in 1908 against antiprohibitionist Joseph Bailey for a delegate-at-large seat at the Democratic national convention. In 1910, Johnson made a run for governor against Oscar Branch Colquitt but failed to appeal to a majority of Democrats. He was a staunch prohibitionist by this time and, in addition to prohibition, supported a variety of progressive issues, such as trust-busting.

One of his political strengths lay in his oratorical skills. Reporters described him as "eloquent" and "pleasing," particularly when it came to the prohibition issue. "The saloon must go," he stated; "it has no rightful place in the affairs of men; it remains only to demoralize and debase manhood, produce poverty and crime and injure, disturb and degrade the social, industrial and political life of the people." When yet another prohibition amendment was submitted to Texas voters in 1911, Johnson explained its importance: "The law may not make men good, but it undertakes to make men `be good.'"

In 1912, as a delegate to the Democratic convention in Baltimore, Johnson gained national notice as the leader of the so-called "Immortal Forty," Texas delegates who provided crucial swing votes for Woodrow Wilson's presidential nomination. In 1914, Wilson appointed Johnson solicitor in the Department of State. Johnson acted as an advisor to Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan and handled American citizens' claims for losses in World War I. Many credited him with having a stabilizing influence on American foreign policy during this turbulent time. He resigned his position in 1917 and returned to Texas, where he worked in the Liberty Loan program and the Red Cross during the war. In 1920 Johnson supported William G. McAdoo for president and served as head of the Texas delegation to the national democratic convention in San Francisco. In 1922 he campaigned for Pat M. Neff in his gubernatorial race nagainst Joe Bailey. Johnson's final public service to Texas was as commissioner of the Texas State Highway Department. He was appointed to the post in 1927 by Governor Dan Moody and served until his death.

In addition to his political activities and career in law, Johnson served as a trustee of Southwestern University in Georgetown and was a member of the Marvin Methodist Church in Tyler, where on occasion he acted as lay preacher. He was married on May 8, 1889, to Eliza Sophia Robertson of Salado, who died in 1926 (see JOHNSON, ELIZA S. R.), and on Aug. 2, 1928, to Ethel Frances Hilton of Galveston. Johnson died on March 17, 1933, in Tyler.

 

23rd, 24th and 25th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   O.P. Bowser

Years Served      1893 - 1899

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6: Dallas, Rockwall

Bio: BOWSER, OLIVER P. (1842–1915). Oliver P. Bowser, businessman and legislator, son of David and Mary A. (Bookwalter) Bowser, was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, on March 21, 1842. The family moved to Dallas County, Texas, in 1856. Bowser enlisted as a private in Company E, Eighteenth Texas Cavalry, in 1861, and rose to lieutenant; he fought in the battles of Franklin and Nashville under John Bell Hood. In 1873 he and W. H. Lemmon became partners in an implement company, acquired considerable land, and developed the Oak Lawn section of Dallas. Beginning in 1892 Bowser served one term in the Texas House of Representatives, one four-year and two two-year terms in the state Senate, and another term as representative. He wrote the Dallas County road law, the county auditor law, and a Texas house-insurance measure. He was president of the Texas Good Roads Association and the Texas Manufacturers Associationqv. In July 1866 he married Virginia L. Murray. He died in Dallas on December 15, 1915, and was buried in Grove Hill Cemetery.

 

26th and 27th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Barry Miller

Years Served      1899 - 1903

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6: Dallas, Rockwall

Bio: MILLER, BARRY (1864–1933). Barry Miller, legislator and lieutenant governor, the son of Thomas Johnson and Rachel (Barry) Miller, was born on December 25, 1864, near Barnwell, South Carolina. He spent his boyhood in Washington, D.C., where he served for a time as page in the United States Senate and worked as printer's devil on the Washington Post. He moved to Texas in 1882 and, at the age of nineteen, began to practice law in Dallas. In 1885 he married Minnie H. Miller, daughter of William B. Miller. Their home was known as Millermore. Miller was elected to the Texas Senate in 1899 and served four terms; he was president pro tem in the Twenty-seventh Legislature. For three elections he was campaign manager for Charles A. Culberson. Miller was appointed judge of the Criminal District Court of Dallas County in 1911 and was reelected to the post for four years. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1916 to 1922, when he was defeated for reelection. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1924, 1926, and 1928. In 1930 he was candidate for governor but failed to receive the Democratic nomination. He died at Millermore on June 20, 1933.

 

28th and 29th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   W.C. McKamy

Years Served      1903 - 1907

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6: Dallas, Rockwall

Bio: William C.  McKamy was born in Dallas County  on June 25th, 1861. He was a farmer by trade, and lived and worked on the same farm where he was born for his entire life. He served as a Director of the State Fair of Texas at Dallas. He was elected and served as member of the Texas House of Representatives in the twenty-third, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth legislatures, and in the Senate during the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth legislatures. He passed away on February 20th, 1934.

 

30th and 31st Legislative Sessions

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Name:   E.G. Senter

Years Served      1907 - 1911

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6: Dallas, Rockwall

Bio: Erasmus Gilbert Senter was born on April 22nd, 1865 in Kentucky. He was a journalist, and two term state senator that served as Senate President Pro Tem in the 31st legislative session.  Senter was regarded as “a scrapper who never sat on a political fence”  Obituary  10/17/1942, p. 4. Dallas Morning News

 

32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   J.C. McNealus

Years Served      1911 - 1921

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6: Dallas, Rockwall

Bio: James Clayton McNealus was born near Roxbury, New York on October 15th 1850, of parents who were natives of North Ireland. At the age of 15 he took a job as an apprentice printer for the Albany Argus, and eventually worked as a printer and journalist in cities across the United States before coming to Dallas in 1874. In Dallas he worked on the Dallas Times-Herald, the Dallas News, operated a news gathering bureau of his own and finally became the publisher of the Dallas Democrat. He was elected a member of the Texas Senate for District 6 in 1910 and held that office until his death on May 18th 1921. At the time of his passing he was the “Dean of the Texas Senate”, the title given to the longest serving senator.

 

37th Legislative Session

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Name:   Hart Willis

Years Served      1921 - 1923

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6: Dallas, Rockwall

Bio: James Hart Willis Sr. (Date of birth unknown) was elected to the Texas Senate in 1921 and served one term. He was also an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1944. He passed away on May 31st, 1963.

 

38th Legislatve Session

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Name:   John Davis

Years Served      1923 - 1925

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Dallas/Dallas

Counties in District 6:

Bio: John Davis was born on August 28, 1877. He served four terms in the Texas Legislature, including two terms as State Representative for District 47 in the 36th and 37th legislatures, one term as State Senator from District 6 in the 38th legislature, and one term as State Senator from District 11 in the 39th legislature.  Davis passed away on November 19th, 1945.

 

39th Legislative Session

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Name:   J. Roy Hardin

Years Served      1925 - 1927

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Kaufman/Kaufman

Counties in District 6:

Bio: J. Roy Hardin was born on October 20th, 1887. He served three terms in the Texas Legislature, including one term as State Representative for District 45 in the 37th legislature, one term as State Representative for District 52 in the 38th legislature, and one term as State Senator for District 6 in the 39th legislature. Hardin passed away on April 24th, 1973.

 

40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Julian P. Greer

Years Served      1927 - 1935

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Poynor/Henderson

Counties in District 6: Anderson, Freestone, Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro

Bio: Julian Preston Greer was born on February 16th, 1898. He served 7 terms in the Texas Legislature, including one term as State Representative for District 28 in the 37th legislature, one term as State Representative for District 54 in the 38th legislature, two terms as State Senator for District 6 in the 40th and 41st legislatures, and one term as State Representative for District 55 in the 49th legislature. He passed away on June 7th, 1986. During his term as State Senator for District 6, he served as the Senate President Pro Tem.

 

44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Clay Cotten

Years Served      1935 - 1944

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Palestine/Anderson

Counties in District 6:

Bio: Clay Cotton was born on September 4th, 1884. He resided in the City of Palestine, Texas and was an Attorney.  He was elected Texas Senator for District 6 in 1935, and served for five terms including the 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, and 48th legislatures.  During his tenure he served as President Pro Tem and eventually as the Dean of the Senate, the title given to the longest serving member.  Cotton passed away on August 16th, 1944.

 

48th, 49th, 50th, 51st Legislative Sessions

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Name:   James E. Taylor

Years Served 1944 - 1949           

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Kerens/Navarro

Counties in District 6:

Bio: James Edward Taylor was born in San Marcos on June 26th, 1906. He attended Baylor University and graduated in 1927. Taylor joined the Army in 1938 and served in World War II as a member of the 36th Division, and earned the Silver Star and Bronze Star for Valor. During his distinguished military career, he through the ranks from Private to Brigadier General.  While living on base in Kerens, Texas General Taylor edited the local paper, the Tribune, and served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and four terms in the Texas Senate. He also was Executive Direcor of the Texas Motor Transportation Association. General Taylor passed away on October 13th, 1995 and is buried in the Texas State Cemetery.

 

51st, 52nd Legislative Sessions

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Name:   George O. Nokes, Jr.

Years Served 1950 - 1953           

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Corsicana/Navarro

Counties in District 6: Anderson, Freestone, Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro

Bio: A Navarro County native, George Nokes was a decorated veteran who served his nation with distinction as a bombardier during World War II. At the age of 22, while still a student at the University of Texas School of Law, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He was subsequently elected to the Texas Senate in a special election in November of 1949. During his tenure in the Senate, he played a leading role in legislation that outlawed slot machines and other forms of gambling. Senator Nokes was a leading Waco citizen who served as an attorney and was active in real estate and numerous civic and professional organizations. After he retired in 1985 and moved to Austin, he became one of the most active and generous supporters of the University of Texas at Austin and was noted for the scholarships he eastblised and for his leadership role in numerous university programs. Nokes passed away on November 18th, 2011.

 

53rd, 54th, 55th Legislative Sessions

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Name: J. Searcy Bracewell, Jr.    

Years Served 1949 - 1959           

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: A native Houstonian, Searcy Bracewell was born on January 19th, 1918. After graduating from Milby High School and Texas A&M, he attended Houston Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1940. During World War II he served on the staff of General George Patton’s Third Army, and left the service with the rank of major in 1943. That same year, he helped found the law firm of Bracewell and Patterson. In addition to practicing law, he worked with his father to expand the work of the Broadway Plan, a national organization to assist churches in financing their building programs. Searcy Bracewell served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1947 to 1949, and represented District 6 in the Texas Senate from 1949 to 1959. During his legislative career he authored bills establishing what later became the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School. After his tenure in the Senate, he continued to practice law and, along with his wife Elizabeth, was active in civic and cultural affairs. He was also active in supporting his alma mater, Texas A&M, serving as the chairman of the Chancellor’s Century Council and as president of the Texas A&M Research Foundation. Bracewell passed away on May 13th, 2003.

 

56th and 57th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Robert W. Baker

Years Served 1959 - 1963           

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Baytown/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: Robert W. Baker was born in Baytown, Texas on July 25th, 1987. Baker attended Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas Law School. He served in the Air Force during World War II, where he flew over 30 combat missions. Baker was an attorney and banker, and served three consecutive terms in the Texas House of Representatives, and one term as State Senator for District 6. He also made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 1962. Baker authored bills that created medical examiners offices in major Texas counties, created the crime of shoplifting, made it a crime to pay wages with a hot check, and established the Psychiatric Research Institute in the Texas Medical Center. Although, his most notable achievement was his successful effort in 1961 to add the University of Houston to the system of state supported colleges, an undertaking that met intense opposition from many legislators. Baker passed away on December 11th, 1987.

 

58th, 59th, 60th, 61st Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Criss Cole

Years Served      1963 - 1971

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: COLE, CRISS (1918–1985). Criss Cole, Texas legislator and judge, was born on May 11, 1918, in Sawyer, Oklahoma, one of ten children of sharecroppers James M. and Drucy Cole. He spent his childhood on a farm near Avery, Texas. He worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps near Golden, Colorado, before joining the United States Marines in 1940. He served in Iceland, New Zealand, and Guadalcanal. As a corporal, he was blinded in 1943 during a beach attack at Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands by a Japanese grenade, an injury for which he was later awarded a Purple Heart. He returned to civilian life, moved to Houston, completed high school work, worked for Reed Roller Bit and as a legal stenographer for the city's legal department, and took prelaw courses at the University of Saint Thomas. He received his law degree in June 1954 from the University of Houston law school. Cole was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1955 to 1962 and served in the Texas Senate from 1963 to 1970. In 1971 he was appointed to preside over what became in 1977 the 315th District Court, one of three courts handling juvenile cases in Harris County. He helped to pass bills establishing Padre Island National Seashore and the University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at HemisFair in San Antonio, was instrumental in passing a measure banning racial discrimination by state and local governments, and was involved with measures for redistricting, loan-company regulation, multiple use and pollution of Texas waters, and vocational rehabilitation. In 1970, 1976, and 1977 he attended the National College for Juvenile Justice. Cole served as director of the Lighthouse for the Blind, vice president of the Texas Air and Water Resources Foundation, state general chairman for the Texas Society for the Prevention of Blindness, and state advocate for the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Houston and Texas Bar associations, a trustee of the University of Saint Thomas, and a founder and president of the Hope Center for Youth in Houston. In 1969 the legislature voted to name Austin's rehabilitation center for the blind in his honor. Cole married Joanne Spica on September 25, 1945; the couple had two sons. Cole died on June 21, 1985, in Houston and was buried in Houston National Cemetery.

 

62nd and 63rd Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Jim Wallace

Years Served 1971 - 1974           

Party: Democrat                          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: James Price Wallace was born  in White County, Arkansas on April 8th 1928, and attended rural schools there. Following high school, he served in the U.S. Navy for three years before entering the University of Arkansas. After graduating in 1952, he worked for IBM briefly before enrolling in law school at the University of Houston, and earned his J.D. degree in 1957. Wallace was admitted to the bar in 1957 and practiced law for the next eighteen years. He served in the Texas senate for four years in the Sixty-second and Sixty-third Legislatures where he passed environmental legislation, worked for insurance reform, tax relief for the elderly and disabled, and various veterans’ initiatives. After his tenure in the senate, Wallace was judge of the 215th District Court of Harris County from 1975 to 1978. From 1978 to 1980 he was an associate justice of the First Court of Civil Appeals in Harris County. Wallace was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1980 and again in 1986. He was appointed to the Railroad Commission by Governor Ann Richards in 1992, and served until 1993.

 

64th, 65th, 66th, 67th, 68th, 69th Legislative Sessions

Name:   Lindon Williams

Years Served      1975 - 1985

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6:

Bio: A native of Broaddus in San Augestine County, Williams served in the United States Army during the Korean War.  He later attended South Texas Junior College and the University of Houston. His legislative career began in 1966 with his election to the Texas House of Representatives where he served for eight years, representing Baytown and East Harris County.  He was then elected to the Texas Senate in 1975 to represent District 6. During his legislative career he was recognized as the “voice of Texas veterans” for his authoring the majority of the legislation benefitting Texas Veterans during his tenure. He also served as State Commander of the American Legion. In 1984 Williams was elected President Pro Tem of the Senate, and in 1984 was inaugurated as Governor for a Day. After his retirement from the Senate in 1985, he was appointed to serves as Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3 Position 2 in East Harris County, and served in that capacity until his death on September 24th, 1989.

 

69th, 70th, 71st, 72nd Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Gene Green

Years Served      1985 - 1993

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: GREEN, RAYMOND EUGENE "GENE" (1947~) Raymond Eugene "Gene" Green, state legislator and U. S. Congressman, was born in Houston, Texas on October 17, 1947, and holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctorate from the Bates College of Law at the University of Houston. He has been a practicing attorney since 1977. After serving twenty years in the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate, 1973 to 1993, Green was elected to serve in the United States House of Representatives. After taking his seat, Congressman Green has worked on the issues of education, labor and health. He has also worked to increase the minimum wage, job training services, access to technology and to reform managed care and provide affordable prescription drug benefits to seniors. Congressman Green has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his many years of public service. In 1995, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Houston and has also received awards from the National Rehabilitation Association, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the American Council for the Blind. In 1998, he was named an Honorary Member of LULAC, League of United Latin American Citizens, and was awarded the Fiestas Patrias "Mexicano de Corazon" award. In 1999 and 2000, he was awarded the U. S. Oncology Medal of Honor and in January, 2001, was recognized by the Association for Residency and Citizenship (ARCA) for his efforts to protect the rights of late amnesty applicants. Congressman Green has been married to Helen Albers Green since 1970, and is the father of two children, Angela and Christopher.

 

73rd Legislative Session

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Name:   Dan Shelley

Years Served      1993 - 1995

Party:    Republican        

City/County: Crosby/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: January 3, 1949, Dan Shelley is Attended Texas Tech University, South Texas College of Law, and is a military veteran. Shelley was first elected to House of Representatives for District 127 in 1987 and served three terms. Elected State Senator for District 6 in 1993 and served one term. Was Legislative Director on the staff of Governor George Bush and Governor Rick Perry.  He currently works as a Government Relations Advisor in Austin.

 

74th, 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, 81st, 82nd Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Mario Gallegos

Years Served      1995 - 2012

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: Mario Valentin Gallegos Jr. was born in Houston on Sept. 8, 1950, and grew up in Magnolia Park, an East End neighborhood near the Ship Channel. He graduated from Milby High School and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Houston-Downtown in 2001.Gallegos joined the Houston Fire Department at 18 and served for 22 years, rising to the rank of senior captain. His involvement in union affairs as a firefighter whetted his interest in politics. In 1990, Gallegos was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served for two terms before being elected to the state Senate in 1994, and was the first Hispanic elected to the state Senate from Harris County.  He brought his expertise as a firefighter to bear on issues regarding public safety, and he received numerous awards for his work on fire safety and other public safety legislation. He also took a special interest in public education, redistricting and other issues he believed would have an effect on the lives of the predominantly working-class residents in Senate District 6. Senator Gallegos passed away on October 16th, 2012.

 

83rd and 84th Legislative Sessions

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Name:   Sylvia R. Garcia

Years Served      2013 - 2015

Party:    Democrat          

City/County: Houston/Harris

Counties in District 6: Harris

Bio: Senator Sylvia R. Garcia is a native of the South Texas farming community, Palito Blanco. The eighth of ten children, Sylvia learned at an early age the value of education and hard work. Garcia attended Texas Woman's University on a scholarship. She then received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. After college Garcia worked as a social worker early and shortly afterwards, entered her public service career with the City of Houston. She served as Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal System for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors.  Garcia was later elected to City Controller and then in 2002, she was elected to Harris County Commissioner's Court. The first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the office, she continued her advocacy for working families and made certain Harris County took care of its most vulnerable, all while making certain Harris County led the way for new jobs and economic development. In 2013 Garcia was elected in a special election to the Texas Senate for a four year term.