TABLE OF CONTENTS
Dorsey B. Hardeman Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Dorsey B. Hardeman was born December 11, 1902 in Henderson, Tennessee to Professor N.B. and JoAnna Hardeman. His early education was spent at the Freed Hardeman College, founded by his father and A.G. Freed in 1908. He attended the University of Florida and earned his LLB from Vanderbilt University. He came to Texas in 1932 and practiced law in San Angelo before being elected mayor in 1936. In 1938, he was elected to the House of Representatives and served two terms before joining the United States Army Air Corps and was sent to officer’s training school. He served in the Headquarters of the Judge Advocate General.
After his military service he was elected to the State Senate, serving from 1947-1969. During his tenure in the Senate he was considered one of its most powerful figures because of his knowledge of the constitution, legislative procedures and as chairman of the State Affairs Committee. He sponsored or co-sponsored and contributed significant amount of legislation including the sponsorship of a revised code of Criminal Procedure; the establishment of a state senior university in San Angelo; and the Stacy Dam and Reservoir on the Upper Colorado River.
After leaving the Senate, Hardeman was appointed Executive Director of the Texas Water Commission, later being named a commissioner. Senator Hardeman had many family ties to the Lone Star State, notably General William P. Hardeman and Bailey Hardeman, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
He was also a successful businessman, owning the historic San Angelus Hotel in San Angelo, had ranching and farming interests in Texas and Colorado, and owned and operated a title company in West Texas. Among his many business interests he was a member of many organizations, including hereditary membership in Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Republic of Texas, Knights of San Jacinto, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Order of Stars and Bars, the Baronial Order of Magna Charta, Huguenot Society, and Knights of Malta. He also held an honorary membership in the Greek order of St. Denis of Zante. All these organizations aimed at the preservation of history and was a lifetime member of the Texas State Historical Association. He was also a member of the American Legion, State Bar of Texas and the Travis County and Tom Green County Bar Associations.
The collection consists mainly of political speeches by Hardeman as well as speeches and articles he collected from colleagues, such as Texas legislator T.H. McGregor and Texas governor James V. Allred. Also included is Homer P. Rainey’s address to the University of Texas in 1940 entitled “The Preservation of Our Freedom.”
In addition, the collection holds correspondence, some of which was found inside books donated with the collection. The collection also contains some biographical/family materials, photographs, and newspaper clippings.
Open to all users
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Donated by Bryan Hardeman, son of Dorsey B. Hardeman
Dorsey B. Hardeman Papers (AR.2018.020). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2018/047
Donation Date: 2018
Processed by Jessica Whitaker