Pope, Alexander, Jr. (1913–1988)

By: George F. Christie

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Alexander (Alex) Pope, Jr., attorney and pioneer in water-rights law, was born in Dallas on August 22, 1913, the son of Alexander and Fannie West (Harris) Pope. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were also attorneys. His great-grandfather signed the Ordinance of Secession from the Union on behalf of the state of Texas. Pope graduated from the University of Texas in 1937 with a bachelor of arts degree and from the University of Texas School of Law the same year with a bachelor of laws degree. In law school he served as a student editor of the Texas Law Review and was a member of Phi Delta Phi. He began his practice as an attorney for Gulf Oil Corporation in Houston. He then practiced with the law firm of Masterson and Pope in Angleton, and with Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Harrell, and Kelly in Fort Worth from 1952 until the time of his death.

Pope served on the Governor's Water Planning Committee in 1957 and represented the South Texas Water Company and other major Texas landowners and owners of downstream water rights in numerous proceedings before the Texas Water Commission to defend those rights against impairment by those who built, or sought to build, upstream reservoirs. He was also attorney of record for the Halsell interests in Halsell v. Texas Water Commission, a landmark case that established the rights of landowners in the reservoir-permitting process before the Texas Water Commission. The case is also recognized for the ruling that water used and processed by a municipality is not "surplus water," but is "used water" not required by statute to be returned to the stream of origin.

Pope represented Hastings Oil Company in the landmark discovery case of Hastings Oil Co. v. Texas Company, in which it was recognized that a trial court had the power to order a directional survey of an oil well to determine if deviational drilling had occurred. He served as a trustee of St. Joseph Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, as president of All Saint's Episcopal Hospital in Fort Worth, and as a trustee and officer of the Community Theater of Fort Worth (later Fort Worth Theater). Pope was married to Sue Robertson Ross, daughter of a pioneering family, in 1940. They had two children. Pope died on November 15, 1988, in Fort Worth. See also WATER LAW.

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Oil and Gas and Natural Resources Law
Time Periods:
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • North Texas
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

George F. Christie, “Pope, Alexander, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/pope-alexander-jr.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995

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