Born in 1879, Robert Ewing Thomason was a lawyer and former mayor of El Paso, Texas, for two terms (1927 and 1929, respectively). He served as a United States Congressman from the 16th District of Texas from 1930-1947, and he was also a United States District Judge of the Western District of Texas from 1947-1963. He died in 1973.
The papers consist of personal and professional correspondence, documents, records, awards, scrapbooks, photographs and newspaper clippings gathered during his long legal and political career. Elections material from his political campaigns for Governor of Texas, Mayor of El Paso, and U.S. Congress is included. Judge Thomason’s correspondence of the early 1930s reflects the dire situation of El Paso and other west Texas cities and towns during the Depression years. Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings kept throughout his years in political office show his many activities as a representative of the people of El Paso, Texas, and the nation. The collection contains photographs of prominent government and military officials, especially from World War II, along with photographs of Thomason’s inspection trips to military posts and installations as a member of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Military Affairs. His trip to Europe with other government officials to view the conditions of the Concentration Camps in Germany at the end of the war is documented in photographs, official reports, and newspaper clippings. In his unpublished book, Noted Cases I Have Tried, Thomason related some of the most famous cases he tried while serving as a Federal Judge. The papers of Roy Lassetter, court reporter in federal courts in West Texas from 1922-1925, are also part of the collection. The bulk of the material in the R. E. Thomason Papers is from his years in Congress and his activities as a member of the Committee on Military Affairs.