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Friday, August 29, 2008

Clarence Wharton Bookplate (Texas Historian)


I assume this bookplate to be from Texas historian Clarence R. Wharton's library. The book it's in is about the explorer LaSalle with chapters on his settlement and exploration on the Texas coast in the 16th century. So it's a safe bet to assume this CR Wharton is the Texas historian CR Wharton.

Kind of an odd bookplate, though, for Wharton. I would have thought something along the lines of a Spanish mission or anything more ornate than a palm or cactus of some sort on what looks like a bare cul-de-sac lot. Perhaps it was from his front yard in Houston and he liked this particular tree. Who knows? It's symbolic of something I'm guessing. Something from Texas history or Lone Star State lore.

Compiled from the Houston Chronicle after his death in 1941 and from the Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin, here is an entry about Wharton on the Handbook of Texas Online Web site:

WHARTON, CLARENCE RAY (1873-1941). Clarence Ray Wharton, lawyer and historian, son of Frank B. and Ella (Ray) Wharton, was born in Tarrant County, Texas, on October 5, 1873. He attended the common schools of the county and taught school from 1888 to 1892. He studied law, was admitted to the bar around 1893, and in 1895 practiced law in Decatur with Charles V. Terrell.qv Wharton moved to Richmond in 1897 and to Houston, where he entered the law firm of Baker, Botts, Baker, and Lovett (see BAKER AND BOTTS) in 1901. On August 5, 1902, Wharton married Adele Spoonts of Fort Worth. They had four children. Wharton was made a full partner of the law firm in 1906 and became a prominent corporate attorney in Houston. He was counsel for Houston Lighting and Power Company, Houston Gas and Fuel Company, and Houston Electric Company. An interest in Texas history prompted him to become a writer. In addition to many articles, his published works included The Republic of Texas (1922), El Presidente (1924), San Jacinto, the Sixteenth Decisive Battle (1930), History of Texas (1935), History of Fort Bend County (1939), Satanta, the Great Chief of the Kiowas and His People (1935), L'Archeveque (1941), and Gail Borden, Pioneer (1941). In 1930 he wrote and edited a five-volume Texas history, Texas Under Many Flags. Wharton was the first chairman of the Houston Community Chest and was prominent in the American Red Cross during World War I.qv He was an active member of the Harris County Historical Society, of which he was vice president in 1923. He was an Episcopalian. He died in Houston on May 1, 1941, and was buried there in Glenwood Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Houston Chronicle, May 2, 1941. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

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