Joseph Daniel “Joe” Carter, Texas state representative, Texas state senator, and state water commissioner, second son of Zelma (Poindexter) and Roger Mills Carter, was born at Sherman, Texas, on April 11, 1922. His father was a lawyer and district judge. Joe Carter was an honor student at Sherman High School and graduated in 1939. After graduation, he attended the University of Texas at Austin until the end of the 1942 fall semester when he withdrew to join the United States Army Air Forces. According to the June 29, 1950, edition of the Whitewright Sun, Carter served as a fighter pilot under Gen. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle in the European Theater, and for his action he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. After World War II, Carter returned to the University of Texas, and in 1946 he received his bachelor of arts in government. He was awarded a law degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1948. Carter returned to Sherman and practiced law with his father from 1948 to 1953.
In 1948 Carter was elected to the Texas House of Representatives where he served District 44 (representing Grayson County) as a Democrat in the Fifty-first legislature. While in the House, Carter served on the Aeronautics, Criminal Jurisprudence, Game and Fisheries, Insurance, Insurance Code, and Judiciary committees.
When Senator Charles R. Jones of Bonham vacated his Texas State Senate seat, Carter ran for his seat for District 9 (representing Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties). Carter was elected and served in the Fifty-second legislature. While in the Senate, he served as the chair of the Counties and County Boundaries Committee, and he chaired the Public Debts, Claims and Accounts Committee. Additionally, Carter served as the vice chair for the Aeronautics, Insurance, and Public Printing committees. He was also a member of the Congressional Districts, Finance, Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Public Buildings and Grounds, and Public Health committees.
Carter died of cancer on October 3, 1978, at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was fifty-six years old. At his death, it was said that he “had the confidence of Texas governors over the past 20 years in state water matters.” He left behind a wife, Theresa Carter, and two children, Kathleen Sides and Christopher Wayne Carter. Carter is buried in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery in the Republic Hill section.
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Brownsville Herald, October 4, 1978. Legislative Reference Library of Texas: Joe Carter (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=1269&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=joseph~gender=~last=carter~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed March 3, 2017. Odessa American, October 4, 1978. Texas State Cemetery: Joseph Daniel Carter (http://www.cemetery.state.tx.us/pub/user_form.asp?pers_id=2445), accessed March 20, 2017. Whitewright Sun, June 29, 1950.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Oil and Gas and Natural Resources Law
Fifty-second Legislature (1951)
Fifty-first Legislature (1949-1950)
World War II
Texas Post World War II
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Carter, Joseph Daniel [Joe],”
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