Briggs, George Waverley (1883–1957)

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 22, 2020

George Waverley Briggs, journalist and banker, was born at Burford's Landing, near Camden, Alabama, on February 27, 1883, son of Alice (Burford) and Ritchie Jones Briggs, a Methodist, and later Congregationalist, minister. He attended public and private schools and the academy of Jacob Bickler in Austin. After studying at the University of Texas, Briggs became a reporter on the Austin Tribune(1905–06). At later times he held the positions of staff correspondent of the San Antonio Express (1906–10) and Dallas Morning News (1911–13) and managing editor of the Austin Statesman (1910–11) and the Galveston News (1913–18). For the San Antonio Express he wrote a series of articles that became, in book form, The Texas Penitentiary (1909). As a result he was appointed a penitentiary commissioner of Texas. His work on the Dallas Morning News included a study of city and state housing, resulting in The Housing Problem in Texas (1911). Governor W. P. Hobby appointed Briggs commissioner of insurance and banking, 1918–20. Briggs later became vice president and trust officer of the City National Bank and its successor, the First National Bank, Dallas. He wrote the Digest of Texas Insurance and Banking Laws. Briggs was responsible for three major legislative acts: the Texas trust act, the common trust fund act, and the Texas probate code. He held office in many organizations: the American Red Cross, national and Dallas chambers of commerce, National Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor, Texas Tax League, Southwestern Legal Foundation, Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas Historical Society, and the Philosophical Society of Texas. He was awarded, by George VI, the King's Medal for civilian service to the Allies in World War II. At the time of his death he was director of the Dallas Morning News. In 1912 Briggs married Lorena May Foster, for many years a member of the board of regents of Texas State College for Women, Denton (now Texas Woman's University). Briggs died in Dallas on July 16, 1957, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Texas (1957).

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Authors and Writers
  • Historians
  • Religion
  • Methodist
Time Periods:
  • Progressive Era
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • Central Texas
  • Austin

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

Anonymous, “Briggs, George Waverley,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 22, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: