While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Diana J. Kleiner

RAGAN, COOPER KIRBY (1905–1986). Cooper Kirby Ragan, lawyer and historian, the son of Daniel Jones and Leila (Lee) Ragan, was born in Newton, Texas, on June 15, 1905. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas in 1925 and an LL.B. in 1928. He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1928 and worked as an attorney with Huggins, Kayser, and Liddell in Houston for a year. He was then general counsel and director of Kirby Petroleum Company in Houston from 1930 to 1956. Ragan married Susan Menefee Wilson on June 6, 1945. After 1964 he was a partner in the firm of Ragan, Russell, and Rorschach and a director of the Edson Petroleum Company and the Pritchard Rice Mills Company. During World War II he served as a lieutenant commander in charge of LST-462, Seventh Amphibious Force, in the South Pacific. He was chairman of the Texas Civil War Committee from 1959 to 1963 and secretary-treasurer of the Jefferson Davis Association. Ragan became a member of the Texas State Historical Association in 1946 and served as president from 1970 to 1971. He was an avid collector of Texana. He was a thirty-second-degree Mason, president of the Houston Civil War Round Table, and a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Phi Delta Phi, and the American Law Institute. Ragan authored numerous articles in professional journals, along with two books, Josephus Somerville Irvine, 1819–1876: The Worthy Citizen (1963) and Massachusetts Bay and the Lone Star State: Shall the Twain Never Meet? (1971). He died on December 30, 1986.


Houston Post, January 1, 1987. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Clippings, October 1987. Who's Who in America, 1978–79.

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, Diana J. Kleiner, "RAGAN, COOPER KIRBY," accessed August 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fra73.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on July 5, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...