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Few Brewster (1889-1957)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1945-1957

Few Brewster was born May 10, 1889, in Williamson County, Texas. He graduated from Killeen High School and attended Howard Payne College (now Howard Payne University) and Baylor University before transferring to The University of Texas, where he earned a B.A. in 1913 and an LL.M. in 1916.

Following completion of his law studies, Brewster practiced law in Temple until 1929. He served as a second lieutenant in the infantry during World War I. He married in 1918; the couple had three children.

Brewster served as county attorney of Bell County from 1919 to 1923, district attorney from 1923 to 1928, and district judge of the Twenty-seventh District from 1929 to 1941. In 1931 he published Search and Seizure, a legal book that outlined rules regarding the exercise of extraordinary police power in prohibited liquor cases. It was quickly outdated when prohibition laws were repealed.

Brewster served as president of the Bell County Bar Association, was head of the Texas Bar Association judicial section from 1937 to 1938, and secretary from 1938 to 1939. When the Texas Bar Association became the State Bar of Texas, he served as vice-president from 1939 to 1940 and president from 1940 to 1941.

In November 1941 Brewster was appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to its commission of appeals. In 1945, when the court was increased to nine members, he became an associate justice of the supreme court. He was then elected to the position in 1948 and reelected in 1954. That year he published an article in favor of a racially integrated bar in the Texas Bar Journal.

Few Brewster resigned from the supreme court in 1957 due to failing health. He died of a heart attack October 12, 1957, and was buried in the State Cemetery in Austin. His peers remembered him as a thorough and precise legal scholar and a friendly, courteous, and tolerant man who enjoyed fishing for recreation.

Sources

In Memorial, 156 Texas reports 655 (1958).

Cotner, Robert C. Brewster, Few, Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001). http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/fbr43.html

Few Brewster, Texas State Cemetery website (visited September 20, 2006).
http://www.cemetery.state.tx.us/pub/user_form22.asp?step=1&pers_id=2332

Extended bibliography

5 Texas Under Many Flags 180. Clarence Ray Wharton, ed. (Chicago, Illinois & New York, New York: The American Historical Society, 1930).

Additional information available in Texas Bar Journal as follow:
Volume 1, page 92
Volume 2, page 335
Volume 3, page 282, 353
Volume 4, page 399, 456, 661
Volume 17, page 41
Volume 20, page 569, 670, 689
Volume 21, page 77

In Memorial, 156 Texas reports 655 (1958).