Adoue, Jean Baptiste, Jr. (1884–1956)

By: Joan J. Perez

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 28, 2021

Jean Baptiste Adoue, Jr., Dallas banker and mayor, was born on November 4, 1884, to Jean Baptiste Adoue, Sr., and Mary or Mittie Neosha (Simpson) Adoue. He attended Dallas public schools and took his law degree from the University of Texas in 1906. He returned to Dallas, practiced law for a year, and then worked with his father at the National Bank of Commerce, of which he became president upon his father's death in 1924. He served as director and chairman of the board of numerous other businesses ranging from hotels to insurance and construction companies.

Adoue served two terms as president of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce (in 1939–40). His two terms as head of the Dallas Community Chest, during which he overhauled and strengthened its financial base, and his conduct of the War Chest 1943 Fund Drive earned him the Linz Award for outstanding community service in 1943. He was elected national vice president of the Community Chest and Councils in 1946 and 1947. He also served as vice president of the National War Fund.

In 1942 he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the city council, to which the voters returned him in 1943 and 1945. On the council he acquired a reputation as the champion of the common man and the underdog. His election to the council in 1949 resulted in a dispute that changed the city charter. His supporters successfully petitioned for a referendum election on the direct election of the mayor when Adoue did not win that office but had received the most votes of all those elected to the council. In 1951 Dallas voters made Adoue the first mayor elected by direct popular vote in more than twenty years. His term in office saw passage of one of the city's largest public-works programs, including an expansion of the Love Field. His administration, however, was one of the city's most turbulent, and he was often at odds with the Citizens' Charter Association. Although urged by supporters to run again for mayor in 1953, Adoue declined because of bad health.

He also held Texas, Southwest, and Southern tennis titles for a number of years and was ranked in the nation's top ten tennis players. He was a member of the board of directors of the United States Lawn Tennis Association for thirty years and in 1938 acted as the nonplaying captain of the United States Davis Cup team. He married Hester Ann Allen on October 12, 1909; they had two sons. After his first wife died he married Mary J. Wilson, on May 12, 1937. Adoue was a political conservative and an Episcopalian. On November 17, 1956, while at his desk at the bank, he died of a heart attack.

Dallas Morning News, November 18, 1956. Who Was Who in America, 1960.

  • Sports and Recreation
  • Sports (Tennis)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

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

Joan J. Perez, “Adoue, Jean Baptiste, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 28, 2021

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