Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
THOMASON, Robert Ewing (1879-1973)

THOMASON, ROBERT EWING, a Representative from Texas; born in Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tenn., May 30, 1879; moved to Gainesville, Cooke County, Tex., with his parents in 1880; attended the public schools; was graduated from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tex., in 1898 and from the law department of the University of Texas at Austin, LL.D., 1900; was admitted to the bar in 1901 and commenced practice in Gainesville, Tex.; prosecuting attorney of Cooke County, Tex., 1902-1906; moved to El Paso, Tex., in 1911 and continued the practice of law; member of the State house of representatives 1917-1921, and served as speaker in 1920 and 1921; mayor of El Paso 1927-1930; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-second Congress; reelected to the eight succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1931, until his resignation on July 31, 1947, having been appointed United States district judge for the western district of Texas; retired as senior judge; resided in El Paso, Tex., until his death there November 8, 1973; interment in Restlawn Cemetery.

Lyndon B. Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: 1968, 6 pages.
A finding aid for the interview with Robert Ewing Thomason is available in the library.


University of North Carolina Library
Manuscripts Department, Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: ca. 1931-1947, 117 items.
The collection contains chiefly letters received by Robert Ewing Thomason as a U.S. Representative from El Paso,Texas. The letters are from citizens and government officials regarding the interests of his constituents and the business of the House Military Affairs Committee, including a 1945 letter from Harry Emerson Fosdick objecting to proposals for peacetime conscription.


University of Texas at El Paso
C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department, University Library
El Paso, TX
Papers: ca. 1863-1978, approximately 19 linear feet.
The bulk of this collection documents Robert Ewing Thomason's years in Congress and his activities as a member of the House Committee on Military Affairs. The papers consist of personal and professional correspondence, awards, scrapbooks, photographs and newspaper clippings gathered during his long legal and political career. Campaign material from his political campaigns for Governor of Texas, Mayor of El Paso and the U.S. Congress is included. Judge Thomason's correspondence of the early 1930s reflects the dire situation of El Paso and other west Texas cities and towns during the Depression years. Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings kept throughout his years in political office show his many activities representing the people of El Paso, Texas, and the nation. The collection contains approximately 440 photographs of prominent government and military officials, especially from World War II, along with photographs of Robert Thomason's inspection trips to military posts and installations as a member of the House Committee on Military Affairs. His trip to Europe with other government officials at the end of the war to view the conditions of the concentration camps in Germany is documented in photographs, official reports, and newspaper clippings. In his unpublished book, "Noted Cases I Have Tried," Robert Thomason relates some of the most famous cases he tried while serving as a federal judge. The papers of Roy Lassetter, Court Reporter in Federal Courts in West Texas from 1922-1925, are also part of this collection. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

  • Thomason, Robert Ewing. Thomason; The Autobiography of a Federal Judge. Edited and annotated by Joseph M. Ray. El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1971.