About the Hyders
Elton M. Hyder, Jr. obtained his LL.B. degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1943. Mr. Hyder joined the Navy and served as an ensign aboard a landing ship, tank (LST) in Panama until malaria ended his naval career. He became an Assistant Attorney General of Texas in the Oil and Gas Division in 1944. He took a leave of absence from this position in 1945 when Tom Clark, then Attorney General of the United States, appointed him Associate Counsel for the United States prosecution team during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, also known as the Tokyo Trials or Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. The youngest attorney to prosecute war crimes for the United States, Mr. Hyder supervised the Manchurian invasion portion of the case against Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. During his preparation, Mr. Hyder personally interviewed Tojo, who was executed in 1948, in his prison cell. In 1950, Mr. Hyder opened the firm of Tilley, Hyder, and Law in Fort Worth with Rice M. Tilley and Thomas H. Law. Mr. Hyder was a life member-trustee of the UT Law School Foundation, served on the State Bar Committee on Administrative Procedure in 1953, and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Martha Rowan Hyder received her B.A. from the University of Texas in 1949. A great supporter of the arts, she was one of the founders of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and is a national trustee of the National Symphony Association. Mrs. Hyder has also been active in San Miguel, Mexico, where the couple's second home is located. She provided support for El Centro de los Adolescentes de San Miguel de Allende and was instrumental in establishing a maternity hospital through the help of medical donations from the United States.
Elton Hyder and Martha Rowan, daughter of Rowan Oil Company founder Charles Rowan, met over dinner after an introduction by Mr. Hyder's future law partner in the 1940s. The couple married in September 1946 and had three children, Brent, Whitney, and Elton, III.