A Guide to the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas Records, 1880-1935
Upon annexation in 1845, Texas constituted one federal judicial district, with John C. Watrous as the first U.S. District Judge in Texas. Prior to the Civil War, federal courts primarily dealt with cases involving citizens from two different states or foreign nations. Following Reconstruction, courts in the South were given the authority to decide “federal question,” or cases hinging on a determination of federal law. In 1857, Texas was split into two judicial districts. By 1902, Texas had been split into four districts. The Northern District was established in 1879, with Andrew P. McCormick as its judge. The Northern District is made up of population centers such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Abilene, San Angelo, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, and Lubbock.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Federal Judiciary," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/FF/jpf1.html (accessed May 12, 2010).
Case records, bonds, photographs, exhibits, deeds, contracts, search warrants, and other legal records comprise the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas Records (1880-1935). The records document the legal proceedings of the court since its establishment in 1879 and include material from federal cases, such as the King vs. V. O. Rosser suit and the Charles Goddard Extradition. Companies present in the records that were involved in federal cases include the Automatic Inn Company, Duke of Dublin Oil Company, Harris Consolidated Petroleum Corp., and Texas Trunk Railroad Company. Furthermore, the records contain search warrants from the 1920s, which document violations of the Prohibition Act in North Texas.
The collection is open for research use.
Portions of these records are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
United States District Court, Northern District of Texas Records, 1880-1935, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers