Guide to the Ireland Graves Papers, 1883-1945
Ireland Graves, a long-time Austin attorney and former University of Texas School of Law student and lecturer, was born in 1885 in Seguin, Texas. He was the grandson of former Texas governor (1883-1887) and associate justice for the Supreme Court of Texas, John Ireland. In 1905, Graves enrolled at the University of Texas School of Law. After graduating from UT in 1908, Graves was admitted to the Texas bar and practiced law in Austin. In addition to his legal work, he became director of the Austin Savings and Loan Association and Austin National Bank. He served as district judge of Travis and Williamson counties and was a lecturer in the Law School in the late 1910s-20s. Soon he founded his own law firm, Graves, Dougherty, Gee, Hearon, Moody &Garwood. Throughout his life Graves was involved with local, state, and national professional and civic organizations. He married into a legal family, as did his only child. He married the former Mary Willis Steadman, granddaughter of a former Texas Attorney General and daughter of Nathan A. Steadman, a prominent lawyer who served as Railroad Commissioner of Texas. Graves' daughter, Mary Ireland, married J. Chrys Dougherty, another well-known Austin attorney. Graves died in 1969 in Austin.
The collection consists of correspondence, printed material, legal documents, business papers, and creative works, dating largely between 1883-1927. Arranged into 4 series, the materials document the legal, business, administrative, educational, and personal activities of Ireland Graves. The bulk of the material dates from 1905-1917, covering his education at the University of Texas School of Law, and his legal and business activities in Austin from 1914-1917. The largest series, almost half the collection, relates to Graves' experience as a law student at the University of Texas, from 1905-1908. There are essays, exams, and exercises for his law classes, and notes from 1908 chronicling his editorship of the University of Texas yearbook, the Cactus. In addition to these, the series contains class notes, bank and expense books, and a petition written in 1907 to the governing council of Delta Chi Law Fraternity to found a Texas Chapter (it was ultimately successful). Also present are the brief books of N. A. Steadman, Graves' father in law, which he wrote in as a student in the 1880s-1890s. Correspondence relating to Graves' experiences as a lawyer and landowner, involved with construction and the administration of McElwrath Land &Cattle Co., 1913-1922, comprise roughly 1/3 of the material. These letters often include copies of contracts for land and lumber, and deeds. Some of Graves' main correspondents include: R. J. Newton, Fred K. Couch, T. F. Pinckney, S. R. Drury, F. P. "Mac" McElwrath, S. S. Searcy, B. D. Dashiell, W. M. Davis, J. R. Challacombe, J. A. Childress, Dr. Rodney W. Bliss, The Hon. W. G. Davis, and W. H. Craven. A small series of Business Papers includes a application for writ of error that Graves' firm argued before the Texas Supreme Court in 1927, as well as various tax receipts and cancelled notes.
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Ireland Graves Papers, Tarlton Law Library, The University of Texas at Austin.
Gift of J. Chrys Dougherty, June 8, 2001.
Detailed Description of the Collection