Randell, Choice Boswell (1857–1945)

By: Brian Hart

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Choice Boswell Randell, attorney and congressman, was born to James L. and Louisa Amantha (Gartrell) Randell near Spring Place, Murray County, Georgia, on January 1, 1857. He was educated in public and private schools in Georgia and attended North Georgia Agricultural College. He left school in 1878 to study law and was admitted to the Georgia bar in that year. After practicing for a short time in Georgia, Randell moved to Denison, Texas, in January 1879 and established a law practice there. In March of that year he received an appointment as captain of the Gate City Guards and subsequently became a colonel in the Fourth Texas Regiment of the state militia. He married Anna Marschalk on October 29, 1879, at Natchez, Mississippi. The couple raised one son, Andrew. Randell was elected city attorney of Denison in 1881 and Grayson County Attorney the following year. He held the post for six years.

In 1901 Randell was elected to the United States House of Representatives, which he served for the Fifth District from 1901 through 1903 and, following redistricting of the state, for the Fourth District. He was reelected five times. In 1902 he cosponsored a bill with John Morris Sheppard asking for federal money for a survey to determine the feasibility of making the Red River navigable from Fulton, Arkansas, to Denison. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee during his last six years in office, Randell was instrumental in the passage of bills appropriating federal funds for the construction of public buildings in a number of northeast Texas towns, including Denison, Sherman, Gainesville, McKinney, Greenville, Bonham, Honey Grove, and Commerce. He also gained notoriety as the author of the Randell Anti-Graft Resolutions, designed to prevent members of Congress from receiving gifts or fees from corporations or individuals interested in legislation before Congress.

After an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate in 1912, Randell retired from Congress and returned to his law practice, which since 1883 had been located in Sherman. He was a Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Woodmen of the World, and the Presbyterian Church. He died in a Sherman hospital on October 19, 1945, and was buried in West Hills Cemetery in Sherman.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress. Dallas Morning News, October 22, 1945. 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]). Buckley B. Paddock, ed., A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis, 1906).


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

Brian Hart, “Randell, Choice Boswell,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/randell-choice-boswell.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995