TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Shudde and Conrad Fath Papers, 1943-2014
Shudde Fath was born in Bastrop, Texas. One of six children, she was the daughter of Lily Shudde Bryson and Dr. J. Gordon Bryson, a doctor in Bastrop who later served as mayor.
Shudde went on to study Business at the University of Texas, where she met Conrad (“Connie”) Fath, brother of lawyer and political activist Creekmore Fath. The couple married shortly after graduation in 1937 and Conrad Fath went on to open Conrad Fath Boats and Motors. Shudde served as bookkeeper for the business, while also working as an accountant at what is now the Texas Workforce Commission. In 1971, while keeping the books for the family business, Shudde discovered that larger businesses paid lower electric rates than local small businesses. Shudde’s activism on the issue eventually led her to a spot on the Electric Utility Commission, where for 34 years she worked to keep electric rates low.
In 1975, Shudde learned that she had been subject to unequal treatment at her work. Shudde sued her employer based on the federal governments’ equal opportunity rulings and won - the first suit of its kind in Texas.
Shudde and Conrad Fath were also involved in a variety of environmental and civil rights issues in Austin, with Shudde spending 29 years as treasurer of the Save Barton Creek Association. Shudde and Conrad Fath were married for 52 years and had one daughter. Conrad Fath died in 1990.
Emily DePrang, “Shudde Fath, Tyrant’s Foe: A Lifetime of Energy,” Texas Observer, accessed April 4, 2017, https://www.texasobserver.org/a-lifetime-of-energy
Michael Barnes, “Austin activist Shudde Fath at 100: A life well spent,” Austin American-Statesman, January 10, 2016, accessed April 4, 2017, http://www.mystatesman.com/lifestyles/austin-activist-shudde-fath-100-life-well-spent/EoxIArPGf3d3qXgchL2dHN/
The Shudde and Conrad Fath papers consist of first hand accounts, articles and clippings relating to Creekmore Fath’s career, including his work for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. The collection also includes legal documents, correspondence between Shudde Fath and Ann Richards, oral history interviews and papers relating to John Henry Faulk.
Access to portions of this collection are restricted. Contact repository for further information.
Shudde and Conrad Fath Papers, 1943-2014, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Esther Kirchner, April 2017.