Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

W. Arthur Combs Collection MSS.0059

Descriptive Summary

Creator Combs, W. Arthur
Title: W. Arthur Combs Collection
Dates: 1935-1972
Identification: MSS.0059
Quantity: 7.75 Linear feet, 5 boxes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

W. Arthur Combs has been called the "Dean of Houston Labor Attorneys." He established his law practice in Houston in 1919 after passing the bar examination in 1915 at age eighteen and specialized in labor problems. In 1951, he argued the case for the largest personal injury case in history. Mr. Combs served as a state Democratic Party committee member from Houston. He was a governor of the American Trial Lawyers Association and a founding member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

Scope and Contents

The W. A. Combs collection consists of Mr. Combs' papers and the records of two firms with which he was associated in the early 1950's. Correspondence and photographs including prominent political figures provide information of Democratic party activities. Clippings folders concentrating on the NAACA convention in 1952, the Democratic Party chairmen's convention in 1949, and the Sam Rayburn Rally in 1949 are included.


The organization of the collection begins with Mr. Combs' correspondence which is divided into incoming and outgoing and within those divisions, by type: political, professional, and personal. Various materials such as Combs' Labor Messenger columns, NAACA proceedings, and photographs follow the correspondence. The last box contains firm records.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the W. Arthur Combs Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Combs, W. Arthur
Democratic Party (Tex.)--History--20th century
Texas--Politics and government--1865-1950
Texas--Politics and government--1951-

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

W. Arthur Combs Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by W. Arthur Combs in 1977 and additional materials donated in 1980.

Processing Information

Processed by Pam Barron in 1978.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Box Folder
1 1 Political: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1949-1970; Hubert Humphrey, 1967; Edmund Muskie, 1971
2 1949-1963; Ralph Yarbrough, 1955-1972; Sam Rayburn, Political: Albert Thomas, 1950
3 1949-1951; Maury Maverick, 1951-1954; Allan Shivers, Political: Tom Connally, 1950-1951; Roy Hofheinz, 1954; Price Daniel, 1952-1954
4 Miscellaneous Political
5 General Democratic Party
6 Professional, 1949-1953
7 Professional, 1954
8 Professional, concerning $200,000 verdict
9 Business, 1949-1955
10 Clubs, Charities, Associations
11 Personal
Box Folder
1 12 Political, 1949-1954
13 Professional, 1949-1954
14 Business, 1949-1953
15 Personal, 1942-1958


Box Folder
1 16 Miscellaneous notes, cards, memos; History of the descendents of Enoch Combs
Box Folder
2 17 Photostatic copies of settlement checks; Papers relating to State Bar Grievance committee censure
18 Papers concerning Bar Examination, 1915; Military certificates and cards; copies of Family wills
19 Correspondence concerning the Houston Labor Journal and Labor Messenger; Manuscripts of Combs' column, "Briefing the Case"
20 Clippings: "Briefing the Case," January 20, 1943; 1953-1955
21 Articles, Papers by Combs, 1964-1977
22 Invitations, programs; Seating list for Governor Hobby dinner, 1951; Rayburn rally contributors; List of Elks Lodge #151, 1953

National Association of Claimants' Compensation Attorneys Convention, 1952

Box Folder
2 23 Proceedings
24 Proceedings
25 Proceedings
26 Proceedings
27 Clippings
28 Photographs


Box Folder
3 29 Sam Rayburn Reception, November 1949
30 Combs and Ralph Yarbrough; Combs and partners with check from largest settlement; Portraits of Combs and Ethel Combs Roeller
31 Lyndon B. Johnson, Edmund Muskie, Melvin Belli, others
32 Mary J. Conners, personal injury case; Property at Scott and McGregor, 1947; Office snapshots


Box Folder
3 33 Sam Rayburn Reception, Democratic County Chairmen Convention, 1949; Profile of Combs
34 Miscellaneous

Combs' Business and Legal Papers

Box Folder
4 35 W. A. Combs: Records and papers relating to investment properties
36 Combs, Brown and Brock: Incoming Correspondence, 1949-1954
37 Combs, Brown and Brock: Outgoing Correspondence, 1949-1954
38 Combs, Brown and Brock: Financial records
39 Combs, Brown and Brock: Case lists
40 Combs, Brown and Brock: Dockets; Claims not in suit; Pooled cases; Settlements
41 Combs, Brown and Brock: Advances on cases; List of appealed compensation cases
42 Combs, Brown and Brock: Office rules; Office incentory; Firm dissolution
43 Combs, Brock, Forney and Mitchell: Correspondence, 1955-1956; Account with Dr. Martin A. Zionts
44 Miscellaneous legal papers

Addenda: Materials donated by Mr. Combs after processing

Box Folder
5 45 Incoming correspondence: Personal and family business, 1935-1940
46 Incoming correspondence: Personal and family business, 1940-1948
47 Outgoing correspondence: Personal and family business, 1935-1940
48 Outgoing correspondence: Personal and family business, 1941-1949
49 Materials relating to estate of Philip Ford Combs
50 Miscellaneous materials regarding stock and real estate
51 Miscellaneous family legal documents
52 Deeds; indentures; Plat of Brazos Coast Investment Co.
53 W. A. Combs: Transcribed Speeches
54 W. A. Combs: Transcribed Speeches
55 W. A. Combs: Transcribed Speeches
56 W. A. Combs: "Maritime Personal Injuries," Houston Bar Association Institute, 1965
57 W. A. Combs: Published articles