Henenberg, Hattie L. (1893–1974)

By: Sherilyn Brandenstein

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Updated: May 21, 2016

Hattie Henenberg, associate justice of the state All-Woman Supreme Court, was born in Ennis, Texas, on February 16, 1893, to Samuel and Rosa (Trebitsch) Henenberg. Before she reached school age the family moved to Dallas, where she attended public schools. She studied law at the Dallas Law School (affiliated with Southern Methodist University), then gained admission to the Texas bar in 1916. Once her practice was established she became active in the Dallas Bar Association. In 1924–25 she supervised the association's Free Legal Aid Bureau. When Governor Pat M. Neff sought qualified attorneys in 1925 for a special Supreme Court composed solely of women, he chose Hattie Henenberg to be a justice. After serving on the All-Woman Supreme Court and then in 1928 on the state Democratic party executive committee, she became a Texas assistant attorney general and held the post from 1929 to 1931.

Henenberg returned to her Dallas practice full-time in 1931. She took state and regional leadership roles in the 1932 federal election campaigns of Franklin Roosevelt and John Nance Garner, recruiting nationwide support for Democratic candidates from Business and Professional Women's Club members in particular. She became a special assistant to the United States attorney general in 1934. She was Dallas County assistant district attorney on domestic-relations cases from 1941 to 1947.

Henenberg had leadership roles in several local women's organizations, including the Dallas Business and Professional Women's Club and the Zonta Club. She also remained active in the local and state bar associations. Because of her interest in services for children, she joined the State Bar of Texas special committee on child welfare. In 1938 she initiated a Zonta Club project, a West Dallas toy loan library for poor families, which garnered national publicity. She was listed in Who's Who in Jewry in 1928 and was active in Temple Emanu-El, Dallas. Later in her career Henenberg discontinued community activism in order to care for her sister. The two women remained in Dallas during retirement. Hattie Henenberg died there on November 28, 1974, and was buried at Restland Memorial Park.

Visit the Texas Women Project's standalone website

The Handbook of Texas Women project has its own dedicated website and resources.

Visit Website

Dallas Morning News, November 11, 1974. Texas Bar Journal, February 1975. Who's Who of American Women, 1964–65. Ruthe Winegarten and Cathy Schechter, Deep in the Heart: The Lives and Legends of Texas Jews (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990).

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges
  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Lawyers
  • Women
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

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

Sherilyn Brandenstein, “Henenberg, Hattie L.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/henenberg-hattie-l.

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.

January 1, 1995
May 21, 2016

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: