SPILMAN, WADE FETZER (1924 ~ 2000). The following is a biography of former Texas House of Representatives Member Wade Fetzer Spilman. The biography was taken from information provided by the Spilman family and his obituary.
"Wade Fetzer Spilman, attorney and member of the Texas House of Representatives, was born in Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas, on October 12, 1924. After high school, he entered the University of Texas in 1941, where he lettered in tennis and was a member of the Texas Cowboys and Sigma Nu fraternity. He withdrew from college in 1943 to enter the U. S. Army.
While in the Army, he served as an infantry staff sergeant. Stationed in Europe, Spilman and his unit were overrun by Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. In the cold and foggy Ardennes Forest, Spilman was taken captive and held in a prisoner of war camp, where he survived several months of starvation and a serious illness.
After leaving the Army, he married Arlette Fowler, of Austin, and re-enrolled in UT. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Spilman went straight into law school. He received his law degree in 1949. Spilman and his wife returned to Hidalgo County, where he practiced law and won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives.
During his service in the Legislature, from 1955 to 1962, Spilman led the investigation of one of the state's most notorious scandals involving fraud in the Veterans Land Program. He also led investigations of an insurance company scandal and a bribery case involving a fellow House member. While serving in the House, he was also a member of the Texas Civil Judicial Council, from 1957 to 1961, and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
After leaving the Legislature, Spilman became the managing partner of the Austin law firm, McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore. While there, he specialized in regulatory and administrative law, and represented clients before the State Board of Insurance, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and the Texas Legislature. At the time of his death, he was of counsel to the firm.
Representative Spilman died September 5, 2000, and was buried three days later in the Texas State Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Arlette, a daughter, Holli, two sons, Steve and Tom, and four grandchildren."
Information taken from an obituary in the Thursday, September 7, 2000, edition of the Austin American-Statesman and other Texas State Cemetery file materials.