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Papers of the Law Firm of Edward Brown Pickett

The Tarlton Law Library is pleased to announce the gift of papers from an early 20th century Texas law firm given by Edward B. Pickett (LL.B. ’64) and Carl N. Pickett (J.D., ’71) in memory of their grandfather, Edward Brown Pickett (1877-1951). The archive consists of original incoming letters and carbon copies of outgoing correspondence from the Pickett law firm between 1906 and 1951.

A black and white portrait photograph of an unsmiling, bald man wearing a black suit, white shirt and black bowtie.
Edward Brown Pickett

The Pickett family has deep roots in Texas, beginning with Edward Bradford Pickett (1823–1882), a Liberty, Texas lawyer who was elected president of the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875. Edward Bradford Pickett’s grandson, Edward Brown Pickett, shown here in the 1899 class composite, attended the University of Texas School of Law and earned his LL.B. in 1899. He returned to Liberty to practice law following graduation. His firm, opened with C.F. Stevens, was originally located at the corner of Travis Street and Trinity Street. The firm later moved to the Ager Building at the corner of Trinity Street and Main Street. After a fire in 1909, the Ager Building was rebuilt at the same site. The firm was located in this building until 1951.

photograph of Pickett's yellowing business card, cursive handwriting reads: "E.B Pickett, Jr.  Attorney at Law, to be: Liberty, Texas."
Edward Brown Pickett's business card,
circa 1898

Edward Brown Pickett’s sons also attended the University of Texas School of Law. Bradford Pickett (1913-2005) earned his LL.B. in 1936 and returned to Liberty to practice law with his father. Nolan Pickett (1916-1945) attended UT Law from 1936 until 1940, before enlisting as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces. First Lieutenant Pickett was killed during an air mission over Italy.

Edward Brown Pickett’s firm had a wide-ranging practice. From contract issues to personal injury, land sales to criminal defense, the firm represented a variety of interests. In one notable case from 1909, Kilgore v. Jackson, Pickett represented the Wallisville, Texas faction after an election resulted in the relocation of the Chambers County seat and courthouse from Wallisville to Anahuac. Pickett sometimes had the luxury of relaxing in the office while working on case law, shown here in his first Liberty office. The addition of Bradford Pickett to the firm meant the younger Pickett occasionally found himself in less glamorous settings, as this photograph of Bradford, at right, looking for a property corner in the Daisetta Marsh attests.

The collection arrived in wooden document file boxes, which can also be seen on top of the bookcase in the photograph of Edward Brown Pickett in his first Liberty office. Although the boxes added a historical touch to storage, they were not archivally sound. A finding aid for the collection is available at Texas Archival Resources Online. Incoming and outgoing correspondence from the collection for the year 1936 is available in a digital exhibit.