Henry Zweifel Papers:
Henry Zweifel, an attorney active in Republican politics, was born in Granbury, Hood County, Texas, on October 12, 1883, the son of Andrew and Sarah Smith Zweifel. He dropped out of school before the 10th grade and drifted around the United States working odd jobs. On his father’s advice, Zweifel returned to Granbury in 1906 to apply for the local postmaster’s position in the new Theodore Roosevelt administration, a job he retained for six years. Zweifel studied law at night while working as postmaster and was admitted to the bar in 1915. From 1921 to 1927, Zweifel served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth where he confronted issues surrounding Prohibition, the Ku Klux Klan and mail fraud. He resigned this appointment to form the private law firm of Zweifel and Tuohy. In the 1930s, Zweifel represented A. P. Barrett, a Fort Worth commercial aviation pioneer, who started the company that would become American Airlines. In the 1930s, Zweifel accompanied Barrett to Washington D.C. where he succeeded in persuading Congress to pass a bill authorizing an air mail subsidy. For his efforts, American Airlines appointed Zweifel admiral of the flagship fleet.
At a time when Democratic politics prevailed in Texas, Zweifel was active in the Republican Party. On October 30, 1936, he completed a 20 year tenure as the district Republican executive committeeman for Tarrant County. Zweifel was named a national Republican committeeman in 1950 and championed the nomination of Ohio U.S. Senator Robert Taft for President. Dwight D. Eisenhower, not Taft, received the nod at the Republican National Convention. Following this loss, Zweifel resigned as national committeeman, and on July 27, 1952 ended his political career with his resignation as chair of GOP Precinct 95, a position he held for 25 years.
In addition to his law practice, Zweifel was active in farming in Hood County, and oil exploration and production in Texas and New Mexico. For three years, he was president of Cosden Petroleum Company based in Fort Worth. At the time of his death, Zweifel was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of First National Bank, Granbury. He was also a member of the Granbury Masonic Lodge, First Baptist Church, and the Fort Worth Club, each for more than 50 years.
Henry Zweifel married Johnnye Townsend in Eastland, Texas, on April 21, 1911. The couple had two daughters, Norma and Doris. Following his wife’s death in 1950, Zweifel returned to his hometown of Granbury. He died in Stephenville, Texas, on August 31, 1970, and was buried alongside his wife in the Granbury Cemetery.
Correspondence, business and financial records, and printed materials. The Henry Zweifel Papers represent personal and business correspondence primarily from the 1920s and 1930s, relating to his tenure as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth, his private legal practice, his farming endeavors, oil and gas exploration. and Republican Party activities. Subjects of interest, particularly from his tenure as U.S. Attorney, include Ku Klux Klan activities, requests for political appointments, and 1922 J. Frank Norris grand jury testimony conducted by Zweifel himself. The records of the Granbury Swimming Pool Club, 1957-1962, are also included in the collection.
Open for research.
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Purchased from Georgann Muckleroy, Cottage Classics,2010 .
Henry Zweifel Papers, Unprocessed mss. 2011-2 and 2011-32, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.
Accessioned as numbers 2011-2 and 2011-32.