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Newton Gresham - ATO Honor Initiate

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By TallDavid - Posted on 14 February 2012

Tonight I learned that the Newton Gresham Library at Sam Houston State University is named for an ATO Honor Initiate. Newton Gresham was initiated in 1963 and served as president of the university from 1963 to 1965. Very cool. More information about Brother Gresham can be found in the Philosophical Society of Texas Memorial.

Newton Gresham

Newton Gresham passed away at his home on Wednesday, June 5, 1991, at the age of eighty-five. He was born on July 21, 1905, on a farm near Jewett, Texas, in Leon County, the son of Edward A. and Beulah Selman Gresham. He was named for his uncle, a well-known agrarian leader in Texas who founded the Farmers Union in 1902. Gresham grew up in Uvalde, Texas, where he graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1924. For the next six years, he alternated teaching in public schools and attending The University of Texas Law School.

Receiving his law degree in 1930 when jobs were scarce, Gresham took the only job the firm of King, Wood & Morrow could offer at the time—employment as a legal stenographer. In 1937, Gresham became a partner of that firm. After undergoing major changes in the early part of the 1940s, the firm of Gresham, McCorquodale, Martin & Buck (with heavy involvement in the defense of insurance cases) merged with the firm of Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman & Bates, which later became known as Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

Gresham will be remembered as a gentlemanly, low-key, brilliantly analytical lawyer. He was probably the most beloved of his firm’s lawyers among the judges, clerks, bailiffs, and court reporters who worked in the rural counties where he tried some of his lawsuits.

A member of the board of regents of the State Teachers Colleges of Texas from 1959 to 1965, Gresham served as president from 1963 to 1965. His distinguished service on the coordinating board of the Texas College and University System spanned the period from 1965 to 1983, during which time he served as vice chairman from 1965 to 1980 and as chairman in 1983.

Newton Gresham was a trustee of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Killson Educational Foundation, and Sam Houston Foundation. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the International Association of Insurance Counsel, Federation of Insurance Counsel, State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, and American Bar Association. Gresham was president of the Houston Bar Association in 1984 and president of the State Bar of Texas in 1956-57, and was selected as Distinguished Alumnus of Sam Houston State University in 1977. He also held membership in Alpha Chi, Alpha Tau Omega, Order of the Coif, and Phi Delta Phi. He was a senior warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church and active in its affairs.

He was married to Mary Frances Stone on July 3, 1933, and they had one daughter, Susan Frances Oaks, and two granddaughters, Elizabeth Clarke Oaks and Mary Gresham Oaks.


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