Charles Vernon Terrell

Portrait of Charles Vernon Terrell Headstone Photograph

C. V. Terrell

Charles Vernon Terrell
Born in Wise County May 2, 1861 Died Nov. 17, 1959
Attended Texas A & M 1880 - Capt. Decatur Rifles.
City & County Atty; - County Judge of Wise County.
State Senator 1897 8 Years. 25, 26, 31, 32 Senates.
Author of Law Establishing North Texas State
College at Denton Texas. - Delegate to National
Democratic Convention in St. Louis in 1904.
Presidential Elector in 1920 - Chairman Exemption
Board Wise Co. World War 1. State Treasurer
3 Years 1921 to 1924 - Railroad Commissioner 1924
to 1940 - 1st. President Texas Heritage Foundation.
Author of "The Terrells and 85 Years of Texas."
And "History of the Railroad Commission of Texas."
Full Name: Charles Vernon Terrell
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
Row:G  Number:15
Reason for Eligibility: Member and President Pro Tempore, Texas Senate; State Treasurer; Member, Railroad Commission of Texas 
Birth Date: May 2, 1861 
Died: November 17, 1959 
Burial Date: November 20, 1959 

TERRELL, CHARLES VERNON (1861-1959). Charles Vernon Terrell, attorney and state official, son of Samuel Lafayette and Emily Catherine (Kellam) Terrell, was born in Texas in a log cabin near the Denton-Wise county line on May 2, 1861. He attended the schools of Decatur and Texas A&M, where he enrolled in 1881. His father's death required him to return home before he completed college. He clerked in a store, drove ox and mule teams between Fort Worth, Dallas, Sherman, and Denison, and engaged in quarrying and hauling rock, before he obtained a teaching certificate and taught at a country school for four months. He then read law in a private office. After being admitted to the bar in 1885, he became city attorney of Decatur in 1886 and served for four years. In 1886 he was also the Decatur correspondent for the Dallas Morning News. He served as a first lieutenant and captain of the Decatur Rifles and led the militia unit at the Fort Worth railroad strike when Governor John Ireland called out the state guard. In 1892 Terrell was elected county attorney of Wise County, a post he held for four years, during which he vigorously prosecuted cattle rustlers. In 1896 he was elected to the first of two terms as a state senator from the Thirty-first District. In the legislature he supported the bill to found Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos, introduced the bill to establish North Texas State Teachers College, and supported bills for compulsory school attendance, uniform textbooks, and the use of public land to finance education. Terrell was elected state treasurer in 1922. After two years in that post he became a member of the Railroad Commission. In his fifteen years on the commission, he supported the fight for equalization of freight rates, aided in bus and truck regulation, and worked for the conservation of oil and gas through the proration of production. He was the author of a book of reminiscences, The Terrells (1948). A portrait of Terrell was unveiled in the Texas Senate on his ninety-second birthday, May 2, 1953. On August 9, 1893, he married Etta May, a Decatur teacher; they had two sons and a foster daughter. Terrell died in Austin on November 17, 1959, and is buried in the State Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Garland Adair, "Statesman on Horseback," Texas Parade, January 1960. Dallas Morning News, November 18, 1959. Under Texas Skies, December 1954. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930).

Wayne Gard

"TERRELL, CHARLES VERNON." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Tue Aug 5 14:51:59 US/Central 2003].

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