Benjamin Grady Oneal

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Benjamin Grady Oneal
August 20, 1874
November 14, 1960
Texas State Senator 1931 - 1938
Texas Senate Representative
Interstate Assembly 1933 and 1935
Author of Historic Marker Amendment
to 1935 Texas Centennial Bill
Member State Board of Education
1939 - 1945

Back of headstone

In 1933 Ben G. Oneal Was Selected By The Texas Senate As
Its Representative To The First Interstate Assembly In
Washington, D.C. In 1935 He Again Served In This Assembly.
In 1935 He Also Authored The Amendment To The Texas
Centennial Bill Which Provided For The Placement Of
Historic Markers And Memorials Throughout Texas. One
Of The Outstanding Results Brought About Under This Bill
Was The Restoration Of Old Fort Belknap, Which, Established
In 1851, Became The Key Post In A Chain Of Outer, Border
Posts To Protect The Exposed Frontier. As The Moving Spirit
He Served As President Of Fort Belknap Historical Society
For 22 Years; And In 1960 Saw Fort Belknap Designated By
The U.S. Department Of Interior As One Of The Eight Historical
Spots Of Texas.

A Lover Of Texas, Its History And Its People.
Full Name: Benjamin Grady Oneal
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 2 (C2)
Row:C  Number:3
Reason for Eligibility: Member and President Pro Tempore, Texas Senate; Member, State Board of Education 
Birth Date: December 9, 1874 
Died: November 14, 1960 
Burial Date: November 16, 1960 

ONEAL, BENJAMIN GRADY (1874 ~ 1960). Benjamin Grady Oneal, state senator and historical preservationist, was born in Grenada, Mississippi, on August 20, 1874. After moving to Breckenridge, Texas, with his parents at the age of four, he attended Breckenridge schools, the University of Texas, Peabody Normal College in Nashville, Tennessee, and the University of Texas law school, where he graduated in 1906.

After graduation he and his wife, Cora Maud (Norton), taught school in Weatherford, Texas, where Oneal later entered law practice with Frederick (Fritz) G. Lanham. In 1916 Oneal moved to a growing Wichita Falls and went into legal practice with Bernard M. Martin.

Although he had never before run for public office, in 1930 Oneal was elected to the Texas Senate from Wichita Falls. He served from 1931 to 1938 and during his terms of office worked in the areas of education and the welfare of young people, law, the environment, taxation, and oil and gas. He voted for larger appropriations for public schools and wrote and secured passage of the Oneal Amendment No. 1 to the Texas Centennial bill of 1935, which provided for the placement of historical markers, the restoration of structures connected with the history of Texas, and the placement of monuments to early patriots. He guided the restoration of Fort Belknap in Young County after saving the fort from destruction.

Oneal died on November 14, 1960, and is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin. His correspondence was donated to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin, and his papers dealing with the 1936 Texas Centennial are housed in the State Library in Austin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ben G. Oneal, "A Brief Story of the Restoration of Fort Belknap," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 29 (1953).

Lamar Lentz

"ONEAL, BENJAMIN GRADY." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Tue Feb 25 10:34:37 US/Central 2003].

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