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POWELL, BENJAMIN HARRISON (1881–1960). Benjamin Harrison Powell, lawyer and judge, was born in Montgomery, Texas, on November 12, 1881, the son of Benjamin Harrison and Eleanor Inez (Meacham) Powell. In 1903 he received Litt.B. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Texas, where he was an editor of the Texan, predecessor of the Daily Texan. In 1949 he received an honorary doctorate from Sam Houston State Teachers College. Powell practiced law at Huntsville with the firm of Dean, Humphrey, and Powell from 1903 until 1919, when he became judge of the Twelfth Judicial District. From 1920 to 1927 he served on the Commission of Appeals to the Supreme Court of Texas. In November 1927 in Austin he founded and became senior partner in the law firm Powell, Wirtz, Rauhut, and Gideon. Senator Alvin J. Wirtz was an early associate in Powell's law firm. Powell was chairman of the board of directors and president of the Texas Bar Association. He served on a special committee to assist the Supreme Court in writing the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. He was also a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and the American Law Institute. He strongly supported the statute requiring all Texas lawyers to belong to the State Bar of Texas, successor to the old voluntary Texas Bar Association. He was chairman for over thirty years of the Salvation Army Advisory Council in Austin and was active in several public, civic, cultural, and patriotic organizations. He was a leader in Austin business and financial development. On November 12, 1913, Powell married Marian Leigh Rather, who helped found the Austin Public Library; they had two sons. He died on December 3, 1960, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Huntsville.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
W. St. John Garwood

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Handbook of Texas Online, W. St. John Garwood, "Powell, Benjamin Harrison," accessed November 18, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.