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L. DeWitt Hale papers

 Collection
Identifier: Coll-6
The L. DeWitt Hale papers consist of approximately 68 linear feet of correspondence, memoranda, speeches, publications, reports, legislative files, and other types of documents. They reflect his many contributions to Corpus Christi, Nueces County, and Texas, and are a wealth of information on the legislative process as well as the political issues of the time.

Dates

  • 1952 - 1991

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to specialcollections@tamucc.edu

Extent

68 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

L. DeWitt Hale was a longtime state representative from Nueces County. Born on June 10, 1917, in Caddo Mills, he moved with his family to Farmersville (Collin County) in 1918. He attended Farmersville High School where he excelled in debate and graduated in 1934 as salutatorian. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, was on its debate team, and graduated from its law school in 1940. After working with the Office for Emergency Management in Washington, D.C., he served in the military from 1943 to 1946, rising from private to first lieutenant. Hale moved to Corpus Christi in 1946 to practice law.

His political career began while still a student at the University of Texas. He was elected in 1938 to the state legislature from Collin County and at age 21 became the legislature’s youngest member. He served one term, 1939-1940. He was first elected from Nueces County in 1952 and retired in 1978 after twenty-six years. Hale was a gifted speaker, a master parliamentarian, and was active on numerous issues. He was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for eight years, Speaker Pro Tempore of the House for the 57th Texas Legislature in 1962 and Dean of the House during his last four years in office.

Hale also served as co-chairman of the Constitutional Convention Planning Committee in 1973, as a delegate to the Texas Constitutional Convention in 1974, and Chairman of the Convention Judiciary Committee. He headed the House Select Committee on Impeachment in 1975 which engineered the first impeachment in Texas since 1923. He chaired the Committee of the Whole House which handled the Articles of Address against Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough in 1977, and was chair of the House General Investigating Committee, 1977-1978.

During his productive career, Hale co-sponsored or sponsored numerous amendments and laws including the Texas Education Code, the Hale-Aikin School Program, the Women on Juries amendment to the Texas Constitution, the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1961, the Liquor by the Drink legislation, and the Equal Rights Amendment to the Texas Constitution. On the local front, Hale was crucial in obtaining the Wesley Seale Dam, the Harbor Bridge, the Port Aransas Ferry, the Corpus Christi State School, and many other improvements in the quality of life of his constituents. He was an energetic supporter of higher education in Nueces County and handled the legislation making the University of Corpus Christi a state supported institution which eventually came to be Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Hale was a member of many legal and civic organizations and was the recipient of numerous awards.

DeWitt Hale married Carol Moore of Celina, Texas, in 1947. They were married for sixty years until Mrs. Hale’s death in 2008. They had two daughters, Janet Sue and Nancy Carol. Mr. Hale died February 20, 2018.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift; 1979.

Status
In Progress
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

Contact:
6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-4500
361-825-5973 (Fax)