Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Henry Kucera Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Kucera, Henry
Title: Henry Kucera Collection
Dates: 1936-1988
Accession No.: MA07-12
Quantity: .25 cubic feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St Dallas, TX 75201

Biographical Note

Henry Kucera served Dallas as City Attorney for 40 years, gaining so much clout that he did not, as he said, work under 14 mayors and 7 city managers but rather, with them. Calling himself the "people's attorney" his personal motto was "It is just; it is fair, if it is moral, then it is legal." A second generation American, he was born on October 16, 1896 near La Grange, Texas to Czech immigrant parents. After serving his country in the First World War, Kucera graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1923. He began his long service to the City of Dallas as assistant city attorney in 1925. Eleven years later he was named City Attorney.

By the time of his retirement in May of 1965, Henry Kucera participated in many of the major decisions that have made Dallas into the city it is today. In 1930-1931, he argued the legality of zoning ordinances by Texas cities before the Texas Supreme Court, establishing the validity of the state's first zoning laws. Kucera secured and solved land problems, acquiring for Dallas four vital water sources: Lake Dallas, Grapevine Lake, Forney Lake, and Lake Tawakoni. He also skillfully dealt with the issue of railroad rights of way, laying the legal groundwork for what would become Central Expressway. Mayor Woodall Rodgers declared that without Kucera's legal abilities, "Central Expressway could not have been built." During the Second World War, Kucera again answered the call of duty, serving as Military Governor of Ravenna and Trieste, Italy. Henry Kucera passed away on September 25, 1983.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains newspaper clippings, letters of congratulations, photographs and some ephemera. The collection consists of only a small part of the 40 plus years that Henry Kucera served the people of Dallas as City Attorney.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Kucera, Henry
City of Dallas
Family Names:
Dallas (Tex.)
City Attorney
Henry Kucera Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA07-12 Henry Kucera Collection, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Processing Information

Processed by Bryan McKinney

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Register

Box Folder
1 2 Texas Centennial Exposition - Ticket to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's visit. June 12, 1936

Box Folder
1 3 Letter of Appreciation - Ray Foley - Texas Centennial Exposition. December, 1936

Box Folder
1 4 Medal - Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition. 1937

Box Folder
1 5 Gold Spike - "The People's Attorney" Central Boulevard. August 18, 1947

Box Folder
1 6 Program, Correspondence, Newspaper Clippings - City Club honors Henry Kucera. September, 1953

Box Folder
1 7 Newspaper Clippings - Primarily about retirement. Profile and obituary included. ca. 1950-1984

Box Folder
1 8 Program, Correspondence and Newspaper Clippings - Dedication of Henry Kucera Conference Room. August 23, 1985

Box Folder
1 9 Photographs - Dedication of Henry Kucera Conference Room. Color.

Box Folder
1 10 Photograph - Henry Kucera sitting at his desk.

Box Folder
1 11 Photograph - Henry Kucera in uniform. Military Governor of Trieste, Italy. ca. 1945

Box Folder
1 12 List of Accomplishments.