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STREET, ROBERT GOULD

STREET, ROBERT GOULD (1843–1924). Robert Gould Street, jurist, legislator, and legal author, was born in Greensboro, Alabama, on December 12, 1843, the son of John Vernon and Elizabeth (Torrance) Street. He was a student at the University of Alabama at the outbreak of the Civil War, when he enlisted in Company I, Twentieth Alabama Infantry. After being discharged in July 1862 because of physical disability, he returned home to Tuscaloosa and in August 1862 enlisted in Company H, Fifty-first Alabama Cavalry. On June 27, 1863, he was captured at Duck River, during the retreat of Gen. Braxton Bragg's army from Shelbyville, Tennessee. Street was held at Fort Donaldson until February 27, 1865, and was paroled at Richmond, Virginia, on March 4, 1865. Soon after he reached Tuscaloosa the Confederate armies in the East surrendered. Street tried to reach Edmund Kirby Smith's forces in the Trans-Mississippi in hopes of continuing the fight but gave the project up and returned to Tuscaloosa. In later years he was a member of the Magruder Camp of United Confederate Veterans. After the war Street taught school and studied law in the office of Gen. John T. Morgan, who had commanded Street's Alabama cavalry regiment. He was admitted to the bar in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1866 and practiced in Selma, Alabama, until moving to Galveston, Texas, in 1867. In Galveston he practiced law in association with Robert Simonton Gould in the early 1870s and later with Marcellus E. Kleberg.

Street represented the Nineteenth District (Galveston, Matagorda, and Brazoria counties) in the Texas Senate in 1879, succeeding Andrew Phelps McCormick, who had resigned. In the senate he supported Governor Oran M. Roberts's "pay as you go" plan. In 1902 Street was elected district judge, a position he retained until his death. He organized a juvenile court in Galveston in 1907 and served as its judge also until his death. In support of dredging a deepwater port at Galveston, Street contributed letters on the subject to the Galveston News in 1883. Together with William Lewis Moody and Alfred Horatio Belo, Street served on a committee appointed by the city council in the 1880s to present a deepwater plan to Congress. Legislation to advance the project was finally passed in 1890. After the Galveston hurricane of 1900, Street drafted a bill, passed by the legislature in 1901, that enabled coastal towns to erect seawalls. Street organized the United Charities in Galveston in 1914 and served as president of the organization until his death. In 1882 he attended the organizational session of the Texas Bar Association (now the State Bar of Texasqv). In addition to contributing to law journals, Street published The Law of Civil Liability for Personal Injuries by Negligence in Texas (1911), said to be the first treatise on personal injuries from the legal standpoint of a particular state. Street also edited the sixth edition of Thomas G. Shearman and Amasa A. Redfield's Treatise on the Law of Negligence (1913) and wrote articles on sociological subjects. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the American Economic Association, the American Political Science Association, and the American Social Science Association. Street married Maria Ethelvide Lauve on December 24, 1868, and they had five children. Street died in Galveston on October 21, 1924. His funeral was held at the First Presbyterian Church.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Clement Anselm Evans, ed., Confederate Military History (Atlanta: Confederate Publishing, 1899; extended ed., Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot, 1987–89). Galveston Daily News, October 22, 1924. Dermont H. Hardy and Ingham S. Roberts, eds., Historical Review of South-East Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1910).

Mary M. Standifer

Citation

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

Mary M. Standifer, "STREET, ROBERT GOULD," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst72), accessed December 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.