Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

James V. Allred Passes Away

Today in Masonic History James V. Allred passes away in 1959.

James V. Allred was an American politician and jurist.

Allred was born on March 29th 1899 in Bowie, Texas with the name James Burr V Allred. His two middle names were for two of his uncles Burr and V. Up until the time he enlisted in the Navy to serve during World War I in 1918, Allred was called "Vee". While enlisting clerks did not want to type Allred's whole name so they dropped the Burr and the V was often mistaken for a roman numeral. Allred did not mind the change and continued to use the change the rest of his life. In the year prior to enlisting in the Navy, Allred attended Rice Institute. He left school due to financial problems.

After World War I Allred clerked in a law office in Wichita Falls, Texas. He obtained a law degree in 1921 Cumberland School of Law. After obtaining his law degree started a private practice.

In 1923, Allred started his public-service career when he was appointed to fill an assistant district attorney position by the Governor of Texas. It was an unexpired term and Allred would go on to win a full term in the position. In 1926 he ran for the Attorney General of Texas and was defeated in the primary. In 1930, he ran again for Attorney General and was successful in his bid. He would serve two terms as Attorney General.

In 1935, Allred was elected the 33rd Governor of Texas. He served two consecutive terms from 1935 to 1939.

In 1939, Allred was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a seat as district judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He served in that position until 1942 when he resigned to run against the incumbent Texas Senator. He would lose the election. The following year Roosevelt tried to appoint Allred to another seat as a judge and the United States Senate declined to confirm him.

In 1944, Allred, who was a big supporter of Roosevelt and the New Deal, began a political battle in Texas. A group that was called the Texas Regulars were fighting against a fourth term for Roosevelt. The Texas Regulars tended to be more conservative. In 1949 the Texas Regulars would also oppose Smith v. Allwright in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that white primaries, primaries in the southern United States that only allowed white voters to participate, were unconstitutional. Allred would take the Texas Regulars to court in 1944 as well to prevent the Regulars from "stacking the deck" against Roosevelt. In the election Roosevelt would win 75% of the ballots cast against Republican Thomas E. Dewey. This gave Allred a feeling of vindication against the Regulars who did not even put forth an alternate candidate to Roosevelt.

In 1949, President Harry Truman nominated Allred to another judge seat on the Southern District of Texas. This time he was confirmed and would remain on that court until the time he passed away.

During Allred's career he opposed the Ku Klux Klan and opposed the repeal of Prohibition.

Allred passed away on September 24th, 1959. He passed away from seizure shortly after adjourning his court room early because he was feeling "a little under the weather."

Allred was a member of Bowie Lodge No. 578 in Bowie, Texas.