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MEARS, THOMAS ROBERT (1871–1967). Thomas Robert Mears, lawyer and legislator, was born on January 8, 1871, in Cornersville, Mississippi, the son of Erwin Jasper and Elizabeth (Moses) Mears. He attended schools in Cornersville and in Tupelo, Mississippi. At the age of twenty he moved to Texas, where he eventually settled in the Coryell County town of Pidcoke. On November 11, 1894, Mears married Mrs. Rosa Belcher Watkins, a widow with four children; they had one daughter of their own and adopted another.

In 1902 Mears purchased a farm at Mound. After being elected to the Texas state legislature in 1904, he sold his farm and moved to Gatesville. From 1904 to 1909 he served in the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth legislatures. Mears studied law on his own, and in the fall of 1909 he was admitted to the bar and opened a law office in Gatesville. He served as mayor of Gatesville from 1910 to 1924; he was county attorney from 1941 to 1951 and again from 1957 to 1961. He often chaired local Democratic conventions and was a delegate to two national Democratic conventions. He continued to practice law until the spring of 1966. Mears died on February 22, 1967, and was survived by Mildred Watkins Mears, his widow from a second marriage, and by two daughters. He was buried in the City Cemetery at Gatesville.


Coryell County Genealogical Society, Coryell County, Texas, Families, 1854–1985 (Dallas: Taylor, 1986).

Merle Mears Duncan


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

Merle Mears Duncan, "MEARS, THOMAS ROBERT," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.