The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now


Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Burns, Waller T. (1858–1917)

Biography Entry

Waller T. Burns, lawyer and legislator, son of James Randolph and Adelia (Thomas) Burns, was born in Fayette County, Texas, on January 14, 1858. He was admitted to the bar in 1882 and practiced law in Galveston until 1888, when he became attorney for the Houston and Texas Central Railway. In 1882 he married Maggie Evelyn Killough of La Grange; they became the parents of three sons. His second wife was Grace McLemore Willis of Houston, whom he married in 1913. Burns was a delegate to the Republican national conventions in 1884 and in 1892. As senator from the Sixteenth District in the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Texas legislatures, 1897 to 1901, he was one of the few Republicans ever elected to the Texas Senate from a Democratic district. In 1902 he was appointed United States district judge for the Southern District of Texas. While holding court in Laredo, he became suddenly ill and died, on November 17, 1917. He was buried in La Grange on November 19. Burns was an Episcopalian and a longtime supporter of the Houston Bar Association.

Benajah Harvey Carroll, Jr., ed., Standard History of Houston, Texas, from a Study of the Original Sources (Knoxville, Tennessee: Crew, 1912). Houston Post, November 18, 1917. E. H. Loughery, Texas State Government (Austin: McLeod and Jackson, 1897). Proceedings of the Texas Bar Association, 1918. Ocie Speer, Texas Jurists (Austin, 1936).

Categories:

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Railroad and Transportation Law
  • Twenty-fifth Legislature (1897)
  • Twenty-sixth Legislature (1899-1900)
  • Senate

Time Periods:

  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era

Places:

  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Anonymous, “Burns, Waller T.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 25, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/burns-waller-t.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

Loading