A Guide to the John H. Sharp Papers, [ca. 1871-1930].
One of nine children to Andrew and Mollie (Brown) Sharp, John Henry Sharp was born April 25, 1875 in Robertson County, Texas. His father was a successful farmer and Civil War veteran who had fought in the famous naval battle, the Monitor and Merrimack. Unlike his father, Sharp pursued a career as a lawyer. He received his baccalaureate degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown in 1897, after which he studied law in Franklin, and was admitted to the bar in 1898. In 1900, he established himself as an attorney in Ennis, located in Ellis County. Sharp became very involved in his community, serving as mayor of Ennis for one term as well as president of the school board for many years. Sharp’s reputation as an attorney and public figure earned him an appointment to the Supreme Court Commission of Appeals in 1929. In 1934 he became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. After his appointment to the former position, he moved to Austin with his wife, Eula King Sharp, and two daughters, Lucille and Helen. Sharp served a number of terms as Associate Justice until his retirement in 1952. He died on November 20, 1857, and is buried along with his wife in the Supreme Court section in the State Cemetery in Austin.
Handbook of Texas Online,s.v."Sharp, John Henry,"http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsh66.html (accessed October 21, 2010).
The John H. Sharp Papers, [ca. 1871-1930], are comprised of Sharp’s notes, correspondence, case files, law school notes, photographs, and financial records documenting his career as an attorney and as president of the school board in Ennis, Texas. The bulk of the correspondence is between Sharp and clients or other attorneys, including his nephew and law partner, Archie D. Gray, as well as applicants for teaching positions in Ellis County. The case files discuss a vast array of cases, such as divorces and insurance claims. The financial records include receipts for the purchase of school supplies, ledgers recording travel expenses, and financial documents related to Sharp’s legal cases.
This collection is open for research use.
John H. Sharp Papers, [ca. 1871-1930], Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
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