TERRELL, GEORGE BUTLER
TERRELL, GEORGE BUTLER (1862–1947). George Butler Terrell, state legislator, United States congressman, and Texas commissioner of agriculture, was born at Linwood, near the site of present Alto in Cherokee County, Texas, on December 5, 1862, the son of Sam Houston and Julia (Butler) Terrell and the grandson of George Whitfield Terrell. He attended public schools, Sam Houston Normal Institute, and Baylor University. He reportedly earned a teaching certificate at Baylor and at the age of thirty-four received a law degree. From 1896 to 1903 he taught school in Cherokee County. He served as a member of the State Teachers Examining Board (1897 and 1902), the Summer Normal Board (1897 and 1904), the State Normal Board (1902), and the State Textbook Commission (1903). He also engaged in farming and stock raising at Alto. In 1904 Terrell was a presidential elector for the Democratic ticket of Alton B. Parker and Henry G. Davis. He represented Cherokee County in the Texas House of Representatives in 1899–1903, 1907–13, and 1917–21. He was elected Texas commissioner of agriculture in 1920 and held the office from 1921 to 1931. In 1930 he was again elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In the legislature he was concerned with laws on agriculture and secured the establishment of four experiment stations (see TEXAS AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION). He sponsored a law requiring the grading of fruits and vegetables and a law requiring the teaching of agriculture and domestic science in the teacher-training colleges. In 1932, as a Democrat, Terrell was elected United States congressman-at-large from Texas. He soon found himself opposed to most New Deal measures. He was outspoken in his opposition to the National Recovery Administration. When he cast the only vote in the House of Representatives against the bill extending the life of the Civil Works Administration, the city council of his hometown, Alto, sent a telegram to President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring that Terrell did not represent their feelings. Terrell was stricken with paralysis in May 1934 and later that same month declared that he would not be a candidate for reelection. He returned to Alto and resumed farming. In 1936 he suffered his only electoral defeat when he lost his race for state agriculture commissioner to the incumbent, J. E. McDonald. Terrell married Allie Minchum Turney on September 10, 1896; they had six children. He died at his home at Linwood on April 18, 1947. His funeral was held at the Palestine Baptist Church, and he was buried in the Old Palestine Cemetery, near Alto. Among Terrell's relatives who also held public office in Texas were Alexander Watkins Terrell, a cousin, and Charles Vernon Terrell. His brother Henry Berryman Terrell and nephew S. H. Terrell both served as state comptroller, and his son, J. Turney Terrell, served with him in the state legislature in 1931–33.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas Lloyd Miller, "Terrell, George Butler," accessed February 25, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fte21.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.