Allison, Alvin Ray (1907–1987)

By: Jeanne F. Lively

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: September 18, 2018

Alvin Ray Allison, attorney and state representative, was born on September 16, 1907, at Kopperl, Texas, one of seven children of L. H. and Lillie (Henderson) Allison. When his father moved the family to West Texas in 1925, Alvin stayed behind to complete his high school education. In 1926 he was admitted to Texas Tech, where he helped organize the first Pre-Law Club and in 1928 was the business manager of the school paper, the Toreador. Allison received a bachelor's degree in government from Texas Tech in 1930. The Great Depression interrupted his law studies at the University of Texas in 1934, but he was admitted to the bar by examination and was licensed to practice in Texas on September 12. That year he was elected Hockley county judge; he held the office from 1935 to 1938. In 1937 he was elected president of the West Texas Judges Association.

After completing his second term as county judge, Allison decided to seek the office of state representative for the 119th District, a substantially populated district. Allison defeated five candidates without a run-off. He served as a Democrat in the legislature during the term of Governor W. Lee O'Daniel. Allison's most controversial contribution was a law that made it a felony to write a hot check. He did not run for a second term but returned to his general law practice in Levelland. On December 17, 1941, he received a license to practice law before the United States Supreme Court.

Allison was first appointed to the Texas Tech board of directors in 1961 by Governor Price Daniel and was reappointed to an additional six-year term in 1967 by Governor John Connally. He promoted establishment of a law school at Texas Tech, which became a reality in 1964. He served as president of the Texas Tech Law School Foundation for several years beginning in 1968. He established two scholarships and a loan fund for law students. He was also on the board of regents that worked to establish the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. His portrait hangs in the Law School building, where a courtroom bears his name. He received many other honors at Tech, including an honorary doctorate in 1981.

Allison was a member of the American Judicature Society. He was a Mason and a Baptist. He married Aletha Faye Atchison on December 2, 1933, and the couple had two children. When Allison died on June 28, 1987, he was survived by his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren. He was buried in the Levelland Cemetery.

Anton News, June 5, 1942. Lillian Brasher, Hockley County (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1976). Hockley County Historical Commission, From the Heart of Hockley County: Recollections (Dallas: Taylor, 1986). Levelland Herald, March 17, 1965. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, June 29, 1989. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Texas Tech University).

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

Jeanne F. Lively, “Allison, Alvin Ray,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
September 18, 2018