Frank Neville Ikard, lawyer, judge, and congressman, was born in Henrietta, Texas, on January 30, 1913, the son of Lewis and Ena (Neville) Ikard. After attending school in Henrietta, he attended Schreiner College, a two-year college, from which he graduated in 1931. He continued his education at the University of Texas, where he graduated with a law degree and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1936. The next year he moved to Wichita Falls, where he practiced law for ten years. His law practice was interrupted in 1942, when he entered the United States Army during World War II as a combat infantryman in Europe. Ikard was wounded twice in battle. Later he was captured by the Germans and forced to spend the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in Germany. After returning to Texas in 1947, he resumed his law practice and served as the Democratic chairman of Wichita County in 1948. In 1947 and 1948 he headed the Texas State Veterans Affairs Commission. Texas governor Beauford Jester appointed Ikard judge of the Thirtieth Judicial District Court in Wichita Falls in 1947.
Ikard won a special election for the Thirteenth Congressional District of Texas in 1951. During his tenure in the House of Representatives he served on committees ranging from the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee to the Ways and Means Committee. He also became an advocate for the interests of oil and gas producers and became a close friend and associate of Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Baines Johnson. He served as a member of the Eighty-second through Eighty-seventh congresses before retiring in 1961 to become the executive vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, an oil-industry trade association headquartered in New York City. Two years later he was elected president of the American Petroleum Institute. Under his leadership from 1961 through 1978, the scope of the American Petroleum Institute's activities expanded in many areas, including public affairs, environmental affairs, economic analysis, and research. As president of the company he was also the principal oil-industry spokesman during the OPEC oil embargo with its period of decreasing supply and rising prices. In addition, he pushed for legislation favoring oil companies, looked for solutions to the energy crisis, and served the industry's technical needs. Ikard retired from the American Petroleum Institute in 1979. He practiced law for ten years as a partner at three different Washington law firms before being named chairman of the Industrial Communications Company. He was a member of many organizations, including the natural gas advisory council of the Federal Power Commission, the advisory board of the Center for Strategic Studies at Georgetown University, the Natural Petroleum Council, the President's National Citizens Committee on International Cooperation, the President's Industry-Government Special Task Force on Travel, the United States conference of the World Energy Congress, the World Petroleum Congresses of 1963–70, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the University of Texas Board of Regents.
On October 15, 1940, Ikard married Jean Hunter of Wichita Falls. They had two sons. After her death in April 1970, he wed Jayne Brumley, on July 22, 1972. Congressman Ikard was a Democrat and an Episcopalian. He died on May 1, 1991, in Washington, D.C.
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Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 10. Who's Who in America, 1990–91.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Politics and Government
Oil and Gas Industry
Oil and Gas and Natural Resources Law
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Anna Lisa English,
“Ikard, Frank Neville,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 24, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
February 1, 1995