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CREAGER, RENTFRO BANTON
CREAGER, RENTFRO BANTON (1877–1950). Rentfro Banton (Rene B.) Creager, Republican party leader, was born at Waco, Texas, on March 11, 1877, son of Francis Asbury Warwick and Katherine (Rentfro) Creager. In 1898 he received a B.S. degree from Southwestern University, where he was awarded an LL.D. in 1930. After graduation from the law school of the University of Texas in Austin in 1900, he began practice in Brownsville. Before 1916, when he became the gubernatorial candidate of the Republican party in Texas, Creager served as a collector of customs at Brownsville under presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft. Upon the death of Henry F. MacGregor of Houston in 1923, Creager was elected the Texas member of the Republican National Committee, a position he held until his death. He retained a firm leadership in the state Republican party and played a prominent role in national Republican politics for many years. At the Republican national convention of 1920 he delivered the only speech seconding the nomination of Warren G. Harding. After Harding's election, the president-elect and Mrs. Harding visited Creager at his home in Brownsville. The presidential party also fished at nearby Port Isabel. Creager was offered the post of ambassador to Mexico by both President Harding and President Calvin Coolidge, but declined. He was the first national committeeman to come out in support of Herbert Hoover for the 1928 presidential nomination. Likewise, he was in the forefront of the movement to secure the 1936 nomination for Kansas governor Alfred Landon. Creager was a close friend of and floor leader for Senator Robert A. Taft at the Republican national convention of 1948. In addition to his political activities, he was president of an oil company. He died on October 28, 1950, in Brownsville. He was survived by four children and his widow, the former Alice Terrell, whom he had married on February 3, 1904.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Austin American, October 29, 1950. Paul D. Casdorph, A History of the Republican Party in Texas, 1865–1965 (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1965). Donald J. Lisio, Hoover, Blacks, and Lily Whites (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985). Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans since 1920 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982). Who's Who in America, 1950–51.
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