James Wooten McClendon

Portrait of James Wooten McClendon Headstone Photograph



November 1, 1873
January 9, 1972

Grand Master
Masons in Texas

Anne Hale

April 4, 1880
April 8, 1964
Full Name: James Wooten McClendon
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
Row:C  Number:16
Reason for Eligibility: Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court Commission of Appeals; Chief Justice, Court of Civil Appeals for the Third Supreme Judicial District of Texas 
Birth Date: November 1, 1873 
Died: January 9, 1972 
Burial Date:  
Confederate Home Roster Information:
Birth Place: Georgia 

MCCLENDON, JAMES WOOTEN (1873 ~ 1972). James Wooten McClendon, lawyer, judge, and chief justice of the state Court of Civil Appeals, was born on November 1, 1873, in West Point, Georgia, the son of James Wooten and Annie Eliza (Thompson) McClendon.

After attending public schools in Georgia, he moved to Texas and received his B.A. degree from the University of Texas in 1895. In 1897 he was a member of the first graduating class of the University of Texas law school, and he began law practice that year in Austin. He was named associate justice on the Texas Supreme Court Commission of Appeals on October 7, 1918, and served until December 1923.

He was appointed chief justice of the Court of Civil Appeals by Governor Pat Neff in 1923; he served in that position until 1949, when he retired. In 1929 McClendon proposed the formation of the Texas Judicial Council. He also served on an advisory committee appointed by the state Supreme Court to revise the rules of civil procedure.

As chief justice of the Court of Civil Appeals in 1948, McClendon presided over the landmark case Sweatt v. Painter, in which Heman M. Sweatt, a black postal employee, charged that he was denied entry to the UT law school because of his race. McClendon's decision, overruled by the United States Supreme Court in 1950, ruled against Sweatt and upheld the state's "separate but equal" provisions in state schools.

McClendon married Anne Hale Watt on December 14, 1904; they had two children. He was a member of numerous judicial and honorary societies and also served as director and a member of the board of editors of the Texas Law Review. He was a Methodist, a Mason, a Democrat, and a member of Town and Gown.

He died in Austin on January 9, 1972, and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Austin American, January 10, 1972. Deborah D. Powers, The Court of Appeals at Austin, 1892-1992 (Austin: State House Press, 1992). Who's Who in America, 1960-61.

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "MCCLENDON, JAMES WOOTEN," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/MM/fmc13.html (accessed February 8, 2005).


#8891) Served on the Texas Supreme Court Commission of Appeals from 1918 to 1923 and as chief justice of the Court of Civil Appeals from 1923 to 1949.
Entered by Administrator on 2/1/1998 12:11:33 PM

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