Mims, Charles D. (1860–1923)

By: Karen Turner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 1, 1995

Charles D. Mims, Texas secretary of state, lawyer, and politician, son of William D. and Sarah B. (Hudspeth) Mims, was born in Monticello, Arkansas, on January 15, 1860. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Tyler, Texas, where Mims's father was the editor of the Tyler Reporter. Mims had a meager education, yet at age fourteen he began to read law with Thomas Jefferson Jennings. In 1881 Mims was chairman of the Jim Hogg Club in Tyler. After his admission to the bar in 1887 he began his law practice in Tyler. He was elected city attorney by 1889 and served in this position for two years before returning to private practice. In 1893 he moved to Beeville, where he took an active interest in politics. Seven years later his wife's health problems necessitated a move to Nacogdoches, where he was active in the Good Roads Movement. He became county judge in 1907 and served for two years. In October 1909 he moved west to Merkel, where he became the town's first mayor in April 1910.

In 1907 he was elected chairman of the Democratic executive committee. He was appointed by Governor William P. Hobby as secretary of state, a post he held from November 1920 to January 1921. Mims reflected the shifting attitudes of Texas Democrats in the early 1920s in pleading for greater restraint in regulating corporations.

In 1921 he moved to Houston to practice law. He died there on March 11, 1923, in an elevator accident. Both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate passed resolutions honoring his leadership and contributions to Texas. Mims, a Methodist, was survived by four children and his wife, Vallie C. (Price).

Houston Post, March 12, 1923. Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Karen Turner, “Mims, Charles D.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/mims-charles-d.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995