Roberts, Oran Milo, 1815-1898

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Oran Milo Roberts (1815–1898) was a jurist and governor of Texas, 1879-1883. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1836, was admitted to the bar in 1837, and moved in 1841 to San Augustine, Texas, where he opened a successful law practice. In 1844, Sam Houston appointed Roberts district attorney of San Augustine, and in 1866, Governor James Pinckney Henderson appointed him district judge. Roberts also taught law at the University of San Augustine.

Roberts earned a position on the Texas Supreme Court in 1856, and in 1861 was elected president of the Secession Convention in Austin. After a brief military career in the Eleventh Texas Infantry of Walker’s Texas Division, which he helped raise and organize, Roberts returned to Austin. There he served as chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, 1864-1865.

During Reconstruction Roberts was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1866 and was also elected United States senator. However, during this time there was a majority of Radical Republicans, who refused to seat the Texas delegates, Roberts included. Eventually, Roberts moved to Gilmer, Texas, and opened a law school in 1868. In 1874, Democrats once more took the majority in Austin, and Roberts was appointed and then elected to the Texas Supreme Court. He served as chief justice for four years and then in 1878 was elected governor of Texas.

The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883, just before Roberts’s term as governor was slated to end, and he was appointed professor of law. He held this position until 1893, when he moved to Marble Falls to focus on writing. Some of his works include A Description of Texas: Its Advantages and Resources (1881); The Elements of Texas Pleading (1890); and Our Federal Relations, from a Southern View of Them (1892).

Roberts returned to Austin in 1895 and was instrumental in the foundation of the Texas State Historical Association, becoming the first president of the organization. Roberts married Francis W. Edwards in 1837, and they had seven children. In 1887, four years after Francis died, Roberts married Mrs. Catherine E. Border. He died in Austin in 1898.

Source : Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. Roberts, Oran Milo, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/RR/fro18.html (accessed May 20, 2010).

From the guide to the Roberts, Oran Milo Papers 1898; 1926., 1815-1897, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Oran Milo Roberts (1815-1898) was a jurist and governor of Texas, 1879-1883.

He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1836, was admitted to the bar in 1837, and moved in 1841 to San Augustine, Texas, where he opened a successful law practice. In 1844, Sam Houston appointed Roberts district attorney of San Augustine, and in 1866, Governor James Pinckney Henderson appointed him district judge. Roberts also taught law at the University of San Augustine. Roberts earned a position on the Texas Supreme Court in 1856, and in 1861 was elected president of the Secession Convention in Austin. After a brief military career in the Eleventh Texas Infantry of Walker's Texas Division, which he helped raise and organize, Roberts returned to Austin. There he served as chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, 1864-1865.

During Reconstruction Roberts was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1866 and was also elected United States senator.

However, during this time there was a majority of Radical Republicans, who refused to seat the Texas delegates, Roberts included. Eventually, Roberts moved to Gilmer, Texas, and opened a law school in 1868. In 1874, Democrats once more took the majority in Austin, and Roberts was appointed and then elected to the Texas Supreme Court. He served as chief justice for four years and then in 1878 was elected governor of Texas. The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883, just before Roberts's term as governor was slated to end, and he was appointed professor of law. He held this position until 1893, when he moved to Marble Falls to focus on writing. Some of his works include "A Description of Texas: Its Advantages and Resources" (1881); "The Elements of Texas Pleading" (1890); and "Our Federal Relations, from a Southern View of Them" (1892).

Roberts returned to Austin in 1895 and was instrumental in the foundation of the Texas State Historical Association, becoming the first president of the organization.

Roberts married Francis W. Edwards in 1837, and they had seven children. In 1887, four years after Francis died, Roberts married Mrs. Catherine E. Border. He died in Austin in 1898.

From the description of Roberts, Oran Milo, papers, 1815-1897 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 658925828

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Chambers, William. Sketch of the life of Maj. Genl. T.J. Chambers, of Texas / by his nephew, Wm. Chambers, of Liberty Co. University of Houston, M.D. Anderson Library
referencedIn Ballinger, William Pitt, 1825-1888. Ballinger, William Pitt, papers, 1815-1909. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Adina Emilia De Zavala Papers, 1766 (1831-1955) Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas Austin
referencedIn W. G. Sharp Collection 67-6., 1817-1923 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Thomas Jefferson Chambers papers MC018. 47111337., 1830-1942, (Bulk: 1870-1925) Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library,
referencedIn Sharp, W. G. W. G. Sharp Collection, 1817-1923 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Records, 1861-1883, (bulk 1878-1883) Texas State Archives
referencedIn Roberts, Oran Milo Papers 1898; 1926., 1815-1897 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Texas (1879 : Roberts). [Disqualification] 1880 August 27 [of] Peyton F. Edwards, Judge of the Third Judicial District, [from specified cases, and appointment of] William Weathered, Special Judge, by O.M. Roberts, Governor / O.M. Roberts. Southwestern University, A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center
referencedIn Teagarden, William B. Papers 1942; 66-033., 1888-1942 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Huling, Thomas Byers. Huling, Thomas Byers, Papers, 1826, 1831-1881, 1901 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Roberts, Oran Milo, 1815-1898. Letter : to C.H. Randolph, 1861 May 24. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Reagan, John H. (John Henninger), 1818-1905. Letter to John W. Swindell, 1878 December 1. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Eberstadt Collection AR 76-62., 1699-1959 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn DeShields, James T., 1861-1948. Papers, 1863-1940. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
creatorOf Roberts, Oran Milo, 1815-1898. Roberts, Oran Milo, papers, 1815-1897 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Texas. General Land Office. [Land grant] : Austin, [Tex.], 1881 December 12. University of North Texas Library, UNT
referencedIn Ballinger (William Pitt) Papers BALLINGER, WILLIAM PITT., 1815-1909 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Teagarden, William B., 1854-1933. Teagarden, William B., Papers, 1888-1942 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Biography -- Roberts, Oran M. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Belo (A. H. ) Foundation Photograph Collection 98-338., [1880?] - [1920?] Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Roberts, Oran Milo Papers 1898; 1926., 1815-1897 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Chambers, Thomas Jefferson, 1802-1865. Thomas Jefferson Chambers papers, 1830-1942, (bulk 1870-1925). San Jacinto Museum of History
referencedIn De Zavala, Adina, 1861-1955. Papers, 1878-1963. University of Texas at Arlington, Central Library
referencedIn Belo, A.H., Foundation. Belo, A.H., Foundation photograph collection, 1880-1920. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Huling, Thomas Byers, Papers, 1826, 1831-1881, 1901 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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associatedWith Belo, A.H., Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Burnet, David Gouverneur, 1789-1870 person
associatedWith Chambers, Thomas Jefferson, 1802-1865 person
associatedWith Chambers, William. person
associatedWith DeShields, James T., 1861-1948. person
correspondedWith De Zavala, Adina, 1861-1955. person
associatedWith Eberstadt, Edward, 1883-1958 person
associatedWith Huling, Thomas Byers person
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associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Randolph, Cyrus Halbert, 1817-1889, person
associatedWith Reagan, John H. (John Henninger), 1818-1905. person
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associatedWith Sharp, W. G. person
associatedWith Sharp, W. G. person
associatedWith Teagarden, William B., 1854-1933 person
associatedWith Texas (1879 : Roberts) corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Constitutional Convention, 1868-1869 corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Convention, 1861 corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. General Land Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Governor corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Governor (1879-1883 : Roberts) corporateBody
associatedWith Texas State Historical Association corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Supreme Court corporateBody
associatedWith Throckmorton, J. W. (James Webb), 1825-1894 person
associatedWith University of San Augustine (San Augustine, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Texas at Austin corporateBody
associatedWith Zavala, Adina Emilia De person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (D.C.)
Austin (Tex.)
Marble Falls (Tex.)
Ashville (Ala.)
Marble Falls (Tex.)
Austin (Tex.)
Texas
Tyler (Tex.)
Ashville (Ala.)
Texas
Tyler (Tex.)
Washington (D.C.)
Subject
Governor
Education
Lawyers--Texas
Lawyers
Education--Texas
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1815-07-09

Death 1898-05-19

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