Emmett, Christopher (1886–1971)

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

Christopher (Chris) Emmett, lawyer and historian, was born on the family ranch near Energy on June 30, 1886, the fourth of eleven children of Thomas Addis and Laura Frances (Pickett) Emmett. He grew up in Hamilton and attended the University of Texas, where he received an LL.B. degree in 1910. He practiced law in Hamilton until 1912, when he took a position with the legal department of the Southern Pacific Railway Lines, the company with which he was associated for over thirty years in San Antonio and Houston. On August 26, 1922, he married Margaret Craig.

The study and writing of history were his spare-time activity. He collected rare maps and drawings and presented papers to several regional historical societies. His contributions to the Texas State Historical Association, of which he was a member, were placed in the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. He was president of the San Antonio Historical Association and helped organize the Harris County Historical Society. His book Shanghai Pierce: A Fair Likeness (1953), a biography of a cattle baron, won the 1953 Summerfield G. Roberts award of the Texas Institute of Letters for the best book on the Republic of Texas. An earlier work, Texas Camel Tales (1932), was also widely acclaimed. Some of his other works were Give 'Way to the Right (1934), Texas As It Was Then (1935), The General and the Poet (1937), In the Path of Events (1959), and Fort Union and the Winning of the Southwest (1965). After his retirement from Southern Pacific, Emmett lived for a time in Santa Fe and devoted his attention to New Mexican history. He died in Dallas on October 20, 1971, and was buried in Hamilton.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian Press, 1937). A History of Hamilton County, Texas (Hamilton, Texas: Hamilton County Historical Commission, 1979). Dallas Morning News, October 21, 1971.

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

Anonymous, “Emmett, Christopher,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/emmett-christopher.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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