EMMETT, CHRISTOPHER (1886–1971). Christopher (Chris) Emmett, lawyer and historian, was born on the family ranch near Energy on June 30, 1886, the fourth of eleven children of Thomas Addis and Laura Frances (Pickett) Emmett. He grew up in Hamilton and attended the University of Texas, where he received an LL.B. degree in 1910. He practiced law in Hamilton until 1912, when he took a position with the legal department of the Southern Pacific Railway Lines, the company with which he was associated for over thirty years in San Antonio and Houston. On August 26, 1922, he married Margaret Craig.

The study and writing of history were his spare-time activity. He collected rare maps and drawings and presented papers to several regional historical societies. His contributions to the Texas State Historical Association, of which he was a member, were placed in the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. He was president of the San Antonio Historical Association and helped organize the Harris County Historical Society. His book Shanghai Pierce: A Fair Likeness (1953), a biography of a cattle baron, won the 1953 Summerfield G. Roberts award of the Texas Institute of Letters for the best book on the Republic of Texas. An earlier work, Texas Camel Tales (1932), was also widely acclaimed. Some of his other works were Give 'Way to the Right (1934), Texas As It Was Then (1935), The General and the Poet (1937), In the Path of Events (1959), and Fort Union and the Winning of the Southwest (1965). After his retirement from Southern Pacific, Emmett lived for a time in Santa Fe and devoted his attention to New Mexican history. He died in Dallas on October 20, 1971, and was buried in Hamilton.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian Press, 1937). A History of Hamilton County, Texas (Hamilton, Texas: Hamilton County Historical Commission, 1979). Dallas Morning News, October 21, 1971.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "EMMETT, CHRISTOPHER," accessed July 24, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fem02.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox