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BLALOCK, MYRON GEER

BLALOCK, MYRON GEER (1891–1950). Myron Geer Blalock, politician and soldier, was born on the family farm at Grange Hall, Harrison County, on January 3, 1891, the son of William Meredith and Willie Henry (Boothe) Blalock. While earning his B.A. (1914) and his law degree (1916) from the University of Texas, he entered politics; he served in the Texas House of Representatives for the 126th district from 1913 to 1918. On August 22, 1917, Blalock married Bertha Mary Storey; they had three children. Blalock served in the army in World War I and rose to the rank of major. After the war he returned to Marshall and opened a law practice there. He continued to be active in the Democratic party and was appointed chief justice of the Texas Court of Civil Appeals, Sixth District, at Texarkana in 1932.

From the mid-1930s through 1948 he was one of the most important officials of the Democratic party in Texas. He served as Democratic national campaign committee chairman in Texas during the presidential campaigns of 1936 and 1940. At the convention of 1936 he opposed the successful move to repeal the two-thirds rule for making nominations, as he thought the repeal would diminish the role of southern states in the Democratic party. He reentered military service in 1938 and served as finance officer in the Texas National Guard for the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division until 1941; he was a colonel in the United States Army Service Forces until a heart attack in 1943 induced him to retire from active service. He resumed his political career and served as Democratic national committeeman for Texas from 1944 to 1948. When the Texas Democratic party split into pro and anti-Roosevelt factions before the convention of 1944, Blalock was the only party official acceptable to both sides as committeeman, and he acted as a peacemaker in the dispute. In the postwar period he steered a middle course, advocating loyalty to the national party while deploring what he called the increasing influence of "northern party machines" at the expense of the southern Democratic party. He also opposed President Harry Truman's civil-rights measures as pandering to northern minority interests. In 1948 Blalock retired from party office and returned to his law practice in Marshall. He belonged to the Masons, the Methodist Church, and the American Legion. He died at his home near Marshall on December 28, 1950, and was buried in the family cemetery at Grange Hall.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Alvin Wirtz Papers, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, University of Texas at Austin.

Mark Odintz

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Mark Odintz, "BLALOCK, MYRON GEER," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbl13), accessed December 17, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.