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 »


Robert Bruce Blake

THOMAS, CULLEN FLEMING (1868–1938). Cullen Fleming Thomas, lawyer and politician, son of Charles Crawford and Elizabeth (Cowen) Thomas, was born in Rutherford, Tennessee, on June 18, 1868. After three years as a cadet in the United States Naval Academy, he moved to Texas, where he spent one year teaching school at Valley Mills and another editing the Central Texan at Waco. In 1891 he graduated with first honors in law from the University of Texas. In 1921 Howard Payne College conferred on him the honorary LL.D. Thomas began his law practice in Waco with William L. Prather. He soon became politically prominent, serving as a member of the Texas Legislature in 1895–96 and as McLennan County attorney for three terms. In 1908 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. In 1909 Thomas moved his law practice to Dallas, where he was also vice president of the North Texas National Bank. He continued his political interests, however, being chairman of the State Democratic Convention in 1912 and presidential elector-at-large in 1916. In 1933 Thomas became president of the Texas Centennial Commission, and in 1935 he was appointed United States commissioner general for the Texas Centennial. He also represented Texas on the National Advisory Commission for the New York World's Fair. Thomas married Maude Moore of Austin in 1895. After her death he married Olga Sheppard on June 9, 1913. He died in Dallas on December 8, 1938.

Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.

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, Robert Bruce Blake, "THOMAS, CULLEN FLEMING," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fth06.

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...