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

SANDERS, MORGAN GURLEY (1878–1956). Morgan Sanders, lawyer, legislator, and judge, the son of Levi Lindsey and Sarah Frances (Smith) Sanders, was born on July 14, 1878, on a farm near Ben Wheeler in Van Zandt County. His father was a Confederate soldier. Sanders attended public school, graduated in 1895, and taught for two years while studying law. In March 1898 he purchased the Free State Enterprise, a Canton weekly newspaper, for which he served as editor until 1901, when he was made assistant journal clerk of the Texas Senate. In Austin he studied law at the University of Texas, was admitted to the bar in 1901, and in that year opened an office with Ben L. Cox. Sanders was elected to the state legislature for two terms beginning in 1902. In 1906 he returned to private practice in a partnership with Alex Collins. The arrangement dissolved in 1908, when Sanders established an association with state senator W. J. Greer. Sanders was elected Van Zandt county attorney in 1910 and served two terms. He was subsequently elected district attorney from the Seventh Judicial District. Afterward he formed a partnership, Stanford and Sanders, with Judge C. L. Stanford. In 1920 he was elected Third District member of the Sixty-seventh United States Congress, where he served until 1930. On November 15, 1921, he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Sanders was an advocate of states' rights who broke with the New Deal; he fought the packing of the Supreme Court by F. D. Roosevelt and took John Nance Garner's place on the Ways and Means Committee. Sanders was a Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine. He married Jessie Irenie Cox on September 30, 1896; they had one child. Jessie died in September 1898, and Sanders married Noma Tull on February 19, 1905; she died on December 2, 1932. His third wife, Florence Wren Martin, survived him. Sanders died on January 7, 1956.

Frank Carter Adams, ed., Texas Democracy: A Centennial History of Politics and Personalities of the Democratic Party, 1836–1936 (4 vols., Austin: Democratic Historical Association, 1937). Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940). Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930).

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, "SANDERS, MORGAN GURLEY," accessed July 07, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsa23.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. 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...