A Guide to the James R. Norvell Papers, 1909-1969
Born in Hayden, Colorado, James Rankin Norvell (1902-1969) was the son of Robert and Jane Norvell. An attorney and judge by profession, Norvell graduated from the University of Colorado with both a baccalaureate and law degree and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1926. On April 21, 1927 he married Mabel Elizabeth Keeley (1903-1990) and settled in Edinburg, Texas, where he practiced law for thirteen years as a partner in the firm Kelley, Looney, and Norvell. In 1940, Norvell was elected associate justice of the Fourth Court of Civil Appeals in San Antonio, and was subsequently appointed associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 1956. During his time in San Antonio, Norvell supported the development of a law school at St. Mary’s University where he became an adjunct professor. A contributor to numerous law journals, Norvell was also actively sought as a public speaker. In addition, he was a member of the Texas Masons, an organization in which he held several positions, including Inspector General Honorary.
Pollard, Blaire. "Norvell, James R."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed January 6, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fnohc.
Consisting of correspondence, genealogical materials, newspaper clippings, speeches, lectures, articles, notes, journals, case reports, and photographs, the James R. Norvell Papers, 1909-1969, document Norvell’s family history and career in the legal profession, as an associate justice in the Fourth Court of Civil Appeals and in the Texas Supreme Court, and as a professor at St. Mary’s University. Correspondence concerns familial affairs, legal cases, and political issues. Primary correspondents include Texas politicians and Supreme Court justices, such as Tom Connally, Maury Maverick, and John Ben Shepperd, among others. Additionally, the collection pertains to Norvell’s service as an associate justice, his membership as a Texas Mason, and his genealogical research. Newspaper clippings relate to politics, elections, and Norvell’s court seat, while speeches, articles, and lectures discuss legal issues. The collection also contains several issues of legal journals, such as the Texas Bar Journal, St. Mary’s Law Journal, and the South Western Reporter.
This collection is open for research use.
James R. Norvell Papers, 1909-1969, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by W.H. Richter, August 1975 .
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