James Allred

Infobox Governor
name = James Allred

order = 33rd
office = Governor of Texas
term_start = 1935
term_end = 1939
lieutenant = Walter Frank Woodul
predecessor = Miriam A. Ferguson
successor = W. Lee O'Daniel
office2 = Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
term_start2 = 1939
term_end2 = 1942
appointed2 = Franklin D. Roosevelt
predecessor2 = New seat
successor2 = Allen B. Hannay
office3 = Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
term_start3 = 1951
term_end3 = 1959
appointed3 = Harry S Truman
predecessor3 = New seat
successor3 = Reynaldo Guerra Garza
birth_date = March 29, 1899
birth_place = Bowie, Texas
death_date = death date and age|1959|09|24|1899|03|29
death_place = Laredo, Texas
party = Democrat
spouse =
profession =
religion =

James V. Allred (March 29, 1899 - September 24, 1959) was a U.S. politician who served as the Democratic governor of Texas during the New Deal era. He was thereafter a judge.

He was born in Bowie in Montague County in northeastern Texas, and was christened James Burr Allred V. James and Burr were the names of his uncles. He was known as "Vee" until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1918. The Navy clerks had no intention of typing his full name on forms, so he was listed as "Allred, James V," the Roman numeral "V" being mistaken for the letter "V." Allred had no problem with the change, and used the altered form of his name the rest of his life.

Allred had enrolled in Rice Institute in 1917 but left school soon thereafter because of financial problems. He served in the U.S. Immigration Service for a short while before enlisting in the Navy during World War I.

After the war he clerked in a law office in Wichita Falls, Texas, obtained a law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and began law practice in Wichita Falls.

Allred's public-service career began in 1923, when Governor Pat Neff appointed him assistant district attorney in Wichita Falls to complete an unexpired term. He was elected to a full term in 1924. In 1926 he ran for attorney general of Texas as a Democrat but was defeated. In his next try for elective office, in 1930, he was elected attorney general at the age of thirty-one, having defeated the incumbent and becoming the youngest man to hold that office. He was reelected in 1932. He then served two terms as governor, from 1935-1939.

On leaving the governorship, he was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to district judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He served in that office from 1939 to 1942, when he resigned to run against an incumbent senator, W. Lee O'Daniel, for his seat in the U.S. Senate. Allred failed to unseat O'Daniel, and Roosevelt then nominated him to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but the Senate Judiciary Committee would not approve his nomination. In 1951 he was reappointed to the Southern District judgeship by President Harry S. Truman, and he served in that position until he died of a heart attack in Laredo, the seat of Webb County in south Texas only a few hours after recessing court because he felt "a little under the weather." He lived in Corpus Christi during this judicial tenure and was interred in Wichita Falls.

He has been described as a "talented and fiery" lawyer. As attorney general he filed an unprecedented number of suits, including many anti-trust cases, and recovered millions of dollars for the state. As governor he embraced Roosevelt's New Deal, and during his administrations the legislature passed social security measures that included old-age assistance and teacher retirement programs. He opposed the Ku Klux Klan and repeal of prohibition.

He married Joe Betsy Miller of Wichita Falls on June 20, 1927. She was born on October 15, 1905, in Altus, Oklahoma and died on June 7, 1993, in Wichita Falls.

James and Betsy Allred had three sons: James V., Jr., William David, and Sam Houston, who was born in the Sam Houston bed in the Sam Houston bedroom of the Texas Governor's Mansion.
Allred Prison, in Iowa Park, is named for him. Governor James Allred is related to Alex Allred of Lansing, Michigan.


*Ex-Governor Allred Dies After Seizure. "Dallas Morning News", September 25, 1959, sec. I, p. 1.
*Fiery Allred Got Into Politics Early. "Dallas Morning News", September 25, 1959, sec. I, p. 3.
*James V. Allred of U.S. Bench, 60. "New York Times", September 25, 1959.
*Joe Betsy Allred, widow of former governor, dies. "Dallas Morning News", June 9, 1993, p. 30A.

External links

*Handbook of Texas|id=AA/fal42|name=James Burr V Allred
* [http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-3899 Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939] , hosted by the Portal to Texas History

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