SUMNERS, Hatton William

SUMNERS, Hatton William
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
1875–1962

Biography

SUMNERS, Hatton William, a Representative from Texas; born near Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tenn., May 30, 1875; moved to Garland, Dallas County, Tex., in 1893; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1897 and commenced practice in Dallas, Tex.; elected prosecuting attorney of Dallas County in 1900 and served two terms; president of the district and county attorney's association of Texas in 1906 and 1907; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-third and to the sixteen succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1913-January 3, 1947); one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1926 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against George W. English, judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1933 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Harold Louderback, judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1936 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Halsted L. Ritter, judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Seventy-second through Seventy-ninth Congresses); was not a candidate for renomination in 1946; retired from public activities; was a resident of Dallas, Tex., until his death there April 19, 1962; interment in Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Garland, Tex.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Baylor University
Baylor Collections of Political Materials

Waco, TX
Papers: ca. 1828-1896, 114 items. The papers include correspondence, personal items, photographs, and Kate Davis papers. The correspondence is of special interest in showing the close relationship between Hatton Sumners, his sister Kate, and their mother. The Personal series represents a hodgepodge of items that Hatton Sumners saved, including articles, financial and legal materials, a biography, a campaign card, invitations, itineraries, a member Pass, postcards, and speeches. There are approximately fifty photographs representing the Sumners family as well as significant events in Congressman Sumners's life. They include two early studio portraits taken before Hatton Sumners became a public figure, a couple of official congressional portraits, several special events photos, and numerous candid snapshots of relatives. The majority of items in the Kate Sumners series are letters between her and her husband, Willis, written shortly after their marriage in 1917.

Dallas Historical Society

Dallas, TX
Papers: ca. 1826-1980 (chiefly 1912-1946). 78 feet. Personal, business, and congressional papers and correspondence, including photographs, portraits, sound recordings, and memorabilia. Finding aid in repository.
Oral History: In the Judge Elmore Whitehurst Interview, 1973, amount unknown. Subjects covered in the interview conducted on May 9, 1973, include Hatton Sumners.

University of Texas at Austin
Briscoe Center for American History

Austin, TX
Papers: 1935-1938, 1 item. Comprising a bound volume of photocopied correspondence, memoranda, and a legislative bill, the Hatton W. Sumners Papers, 1935-1938, chronicle Sumner’s activities as chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. Correspondence and memoranda from President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary to the President M .H. McIntyre, among others, concern the court-packing plan of 1937. Additionally, the collection contains a copy of a proposed bill on railroad reorganization. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Champagne, Anthony. "Hatton Sumners and the 1937 Court-Packing Plan." East Texas Historical Journal 26 (Spring 1988): 46-49.

Law, Ron C. "Congressman Hatton W. Sumners of Dallas, Texas: His Life and Congressional Career, 1875-1937." Ph.D. diss., Texas Christian University, 1990.

Patenaude, Lionel V. "Garner, Sumners, and Connally: The Defeat of the Roosevelt Court Bill in 1937." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 74 (July 1970): 36-51.

Porter, David. "The Battle of the Texas Giants: Hatton Sumners, Sam Rayburn, and the Logan-Walter Bill of 1939." Texana 12 (1973): 349-61.

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