Cullen Fleming Thomas, lawyer and politician, son of Charles Crawford and Elizabeth (Cowen) Thomas, was born in Rutherford, Tennessee, on June 18, 1868. After three years as a cadet in the United States Naval Academy, he moved to Texas, where he spent one year teaching school at Valley Mills and another editing the Central Texan at Waco. In 1891 he graduated with first honors in law from the University of Texas. In 1921 Howard Payne College conferred on him the honorary LL.D. Thomas began his law practice in Waco with William L. Prather. He soon became politically prominent, serving as a member of the Texas Legislature in 1895–96 and as McLennan County attorney for three terms. In 1908 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. In 1909 Thomas moved his law practice to Dallas, where he was also vice president of the North Texas National Bank. He continued his political interests, however, being chairman of the State Democratic Convention in 1912 and presidential elector-at-large in 1916. In 1933 Thomas became president of the Texas Centennial Commission, and in 1935 he was appointed United States commissioner general for the Texas Centennial. He also represented Texas on the National Advisory Commission for the New York World's Fair. Thomas married Maude Moore of Austin in 1895. After her death he married Olga Sheppard on June 9, 1913. He died in Dallas on December 8, 1938.
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Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Robert Bruce Blake,
“Thomas, Cullen Fleming,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 1, 1995
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