Guide to the Judge John C. Townes Papers at the Tarlton Law Library
John Charles Townes (1852-1923), judge and professor, was born on January 30, 1852, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Eggleston Dick and Martha Cousins (Betts) Townes. In 1871, Judge Townes married Kate Wildbahn. Judge John C. Townes attended Waco University (later combined with Baylor University) from 1867 to 1869 and received an honorary LL.D. degree from Baylor University in 1898.
Admitted to the bar in 1873, Judge Townes practiced law and twice served as a state district judge before becoming professor of law at the University of Texas in 1896. Judge Townes became the first dean of the University of Texas' Law Department in 1901. He resigned the position to teach full time, but reassumed the deanship in 1908 and continued to serve as dean of the Law Department until his second resignation in 1923. Judge Townes was the president of the American Association of Law Schools In 1909 and 1910, and authored several law books. Additionally, Judge Townes was active in the founding of the University Baptist Church. He was superintendent of its Sunday school and taught a Bible class for university students.
Judge John C. Townes died of appendicitis in Austin on December 18, 1923.
Correspondence, manuscripts, ephemera and other materials document Judge John C. Townes' religious life, legal scholarship and involvement in the Prohibition movement. Religious and legal materials constitute the majority of the papers. The papers contain a wealth of information on the Townes' religious beliefs and shed light on how those beliefs affected his influence as a professor of law, dean, and author of legal reference works.
The Townes papers comprise of four series, arranged chronologically within record type. Series I, Legal Material, includes galleys, autograph and typed manuscripts, and assorted notebooks. Series II, Religious Material, consists chiefly of notebooks. Series III, Prohibition Material,contains a small body of material concerning prohibition. Series IV, General Material, includes general notes and literary material.
Material related to J. C. Townes can be found in the following archives at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin: Acklin (Mrs. Ernest) Papers; Butte (George C.) Papers; Crockett (Fannie E.) Papers; Gould (Robert Simonton) Papers; Hawkins (Wallace E.) Papers; Henderson (Thomas Stallworth) Papers; Hogg (William C.) Papers; Kleberg (Rudolph) Papers.
Due to condition, materials in this collection are not available for photocopying.
Judge John C. Townes Papers, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin.
Processed by Gary B. Bryson, May 1986. Finding aid edited and converted to XML by Jennifer Cummings, 2010.
Detailed Description of the Collection