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Felix Johnson McCord (1848-1922)

Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1910-1911

Felix Johnson McCord was born February 28, 1848, in Tishomingo County, in the northeast corner of Mississippi. In 1867, at the age of nineteen, McCord left his home in war-ravaged Mississippi and came to Texas via steamboat with only a saddle and five dollars in his pocket. He landed in Jefferson, purchased a horse and rode to nearby Gilmer, where he found work in a sawmill and read law in the office of Colonel Dave B. Culberson for four years. Following his admission to the bar, he moved in 1872 to the newly incorporated town of Longview and established a successful law practice with John M. Duncan, whom he had met in Gilmer. He was married in 1873, and the couple had two sons and five daughters.

In 1879, Gov. Oran Roberts appointed McCord district attorney for the Seventh District, which comprised Gregg, Wood, Upshur, Van Zandt, Smith, and Henderson counties. McCord was elected to represent Gregg County in the Texas House of Representatives in the 17th Legislature, from 1881-83. He served as a state district judge for the Seventh Judicial District from 1884 to 1896. In 1908 McCord became an assistant state attorney general, and represented Texas successfully before the United States Supreme Court in the Standard Oil anti-trust suit. Among McCord's close friends in his home district were two Texas governors, James Hogg, who had been district attorney of the Seventh District, and T. M. Campbell, a Longview native.

McCord was appointed a judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals by Gov. Thomas M. Campbell following the resignation of M. M. Brooks in January 1910. McCord subsequently campaigned unsuccessfully for election to the seat, and left the court one year later. Following his service on the court, McCord served as a state representative in three more legislatures, the 35th through the 37th, encompassing the years 1918 until his death in 1922.

Felix McCord died at his Longview home April 28, 1922, at the age of seventy-four, following a long illness. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Longview. He was remembered as sincere, kind and gracious, and as a quiet and unhurried man who possessed a keen sense of humor and was an excellent storyteller.

Sources

Felix J. McCord Among Founders, Gregg County, TX GenWeb (accessed May 9, 2007).
http://www.txgenes.com/TxGregg/Bios/FelixMcCord.html

McCord, F. J. vertical file, Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin.

Burial listings, Greenwood Cemetery, Longview, Texas (accessed May 9, 2007). http://www.txgenes.com/TxGregg/Cemeteries/Greenwood/GreenwoodCemM.html