BLAIR, MALLORY BENTON (1887~1962) One of three children born to James Benton and Sarah Reed Blair, Mallory Benton Blair was born September 11, 1887, on a farm near Killeen, Bell County, Texas. When Blair's mother died, his father married Jennie Lena Harkins and they had seven children. James was sheriff of Bell County in the early 1900s and for a time he and his family lived over the county jail.
Attending private school in Belton and graduating with honors from Wedemeyer Academy (later Belton Academy) in 1909, Blair worked his way through school by selling horses, cattle, and other livestock. He taught eighth grade at the academy for two years before graduating in 1912 from the law department of The University of Texas.
Blair practiced law in Belton after law school, and in 1916 was elected county judge, a position he held for four years. In 1921 he was elected for a two-year term as judge of the 27th Judicial District Court serving Bell, Lampasas and Mills counties. In 1923 he was elected to the Court of Civil Appeals at Austin on which he sat for twenty-four years.
Justice Blair was defeated for re-election in 1947 and returned to private practice, in partnership with Gibson Randle and Gaynor Kendall. His practice was interrupted in mid-1947, however, when President Truman appointed Blair to serve on the American Military Tribunal III at Nuremberg, Germany, a body charged to try war crimes committed during the World War II period. After nearly a year on the tribunal, he returned to his Austin law practice.
Governor Price Daniel appointed Justice Blair as chairman of the Commission on the Study of Industrial and Occupational Safety. He was also a member of the State Board of Law Examiners form 1953 until shortly before his death on March 15, 1962, at age seventy-five.
Justice Blair, an active member of the First Methodist Church in Austin, was on the Board of Stewards and taught a men's Bible class there for fifteen years.
On May 28, 1913, Justice Blair married Margaret (Maggie) Dougherty of Burnet. They are survived by two daughters, Sarah Blair Dougherty and Dawn Blair Woodward.
Taken, with permission, from "The Court of Appeals at Austin 1892-1992" by Debrah O. Powers. State House Press. Austin, Texas. 1992."