Waggoner Carr

Waggoner Carr

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Waggoner Carr was born in Fairlie, Hunt County, on 1st October, 1918. Educated at Lubbock High School and Texas Technological College. During the Second World War he served in the United States Army Air Corps.

Carr graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1947. He established his own law office with his brother Warlick. The following year he was appointed assistant district attorney in Lubbock. He was also and from 1949 to 1951 as county attorney for Lubbock County (1949-51).

A member of the Democratic Party, Carr won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives (District 19) in 1950. He served for the next ten years and during this period focused on issues such as water, tourism, industrial development. Carr also helped establish a code of ethics for legislators and lobbyists. This included two consecutive terms as Speaker of the House.

In 1960 Carr left the Texas House of Representatives to run for the post of Attorney General, but lost to the incumbent, William Wilson. He stood again in 1962 and this time he was elected. Over the next few years he was involved in the prosecution of Billie Sol Estes and Jack Ruby.

Carr led the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and participated in the work of the Warren Commission. Carr testified that Lee Harvey Oswald was working as an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was receiving $200 a month from September 1962 until his death in November, 1963. However, the Warren Commission preferred to believe J. Edgar Hoover, who denied Carr's affirmations.

After leaving public office Carr went into private practice and eventually joined the Austin law firm of DeLeon and Boggins. However, in 1970, Carr was indicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy and filing false reports to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Acquitted of all charges in 1974, Carr wrote about the case in his book, Waggoner Carr, Not Guilty (1977).

Waggoner Carr died on 25th February, 2004.

J. Lee Rankin: Were you here when Henry Wade was testifying with regard to a conversation between himself and yourself, this morning?

Waggoner Carr: Yes, sir.

J. Lee Rankin: Would you relate to us that conversation as you recall it, both what you said and what he said?

Waggoner Carr: As I recall, it was around 8 or 9 o'clock at night on November 22, 1963, when I received a long-distance telephone call from Washington from someone in the White House. I can't for the life of me remember who it was. A rumor had been heard here that there was going to be an allegation in the indictment against Oswald connecting the assassination with an international conspiracy, and the inquiry was made whether I had any knowledge of it, and I told him I had no knowledge of it. As a matter of fact, I hadn't been in Dallas since the assassination and was not there at the time of the assassination. So the request was made of me to contact Mr. Wade to find out if that allegation was in the indictment. I received the definite impression that the concern of the caller was that because of the emotion or the high tension that existed at that time that someone might thoughtlessly place in the indictment such an allegation without having the proof of such a conspiracy. So I did call Mr. Wade from my home, when I received the call, and he told me very much what he repeated to you today, as I recall, that he had no knowledge of anyone desiring to have that or planning to have that in the indictment; that it would be surplusage, it was not necessary to allege it, and that it would not be in there, but that he would doublecheck it to be sure. And then I called back, and - as I recall I did - and informed the White House participant in the conversation of what Mr. Wade had said, and that was all of it.

J. Lee Rankin: Was there anything said to you at any time by anybody from Washington that if there was any evidence that was credible to support such an international conspiracy it should not be included in the indictment or complaint or any action?

Waggoner Carr: Oh, no; absolutely not. There was no direct talk or indirect talk or insinuation that the facts, whatever they might be, should be suppressed. It was simply that in the tension someone might put something in an indictment for an advantage here or disadvantage there, that could not be proved, which would have very serious reaction, which the local person might not anticipate since he might not have the entire picture of what the reaction might be...

Allen W. Dulles: Was there any indication in the call from the White House as to whether this was a leftist, rightist, or any other type of conspiracy or, as far as you recall, was just the word "conspiracy" used?

Waggoner Carr: As far as I recall, it was an international conspiracy. This was the idea, but I don't know whether the word "Communist" was used or not, Mr. Dulles. It could have been, or maybe I just assumed that if there was a conspiracy it would only be a Communist conspiracy. I don't know which it was, but it was a perfectly natural call. The circumstances that existed at the time, knowing them as I did, and the tension and the high emotion that was running rampant there, it was not inconceivable that something like that could have been done, you understand., without any thought of harming anyone or any thought of having to prove it, as long as you didn't know that under our Texas law you have to prove every allegation made in an indictment. If you didn't know that, it might seem logical that someone might put something like that into an indictment, factual or not.

--> Carr, Waggoner

Born on October 1, 1918 in Fairlie, Texas, Waggoner Carr's family moved to Lubbock, Texas, when the family bank was closed during the Depression. His father found work at Stubbs Feed Seed Company and decided that he wanted all of his children to attend college. Hoping to become lawyers, Waggoner and his brother, Warlick, attended Texas Technological College and were members of the debate team. At Tech, he met Ernestine Story, whom he later married and together they had one son, David W. Carr.

Waggoner's education at the University of Texas Law School was interrupted by World War II, during which time he served as a pilot. Once discharged, he returned and completed his law degree. A law practice was opened by the two brothers. Later political positions held by Waggoner included Lubbock Assistant District Attorney (1947-1948), Lubbock County Attorney (1948-1950), State Representatives (1951-1961), Speaker of Texas House of Representatives (1957-1961), and Texas Attorney General (1963-1967). He was also the first Texas Attorney General from Lubbock and Texas Tech University.

From the guide to the Waggoner Carr Papers, S 163. 1., 1945-1985 and undated, (Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University)

Waggoner Carr - History

The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, December 2000. Finding aid written in English. Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

April 2020 Normalized dates added to all unitdate values in inventory. Updated collection level metadata (eadheader, archdesc, etc.) to reflect current metadata standards. (R. Weaver) Tue Jul 22 15:21:43 CDT 2003 urn:taro:ttu.sw.00062 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (20030505). Descriptive Summary

English Biographical Sketch

Born on October 1, 1918 in Fairlie, Texas, Waggoner Carr's family moved to Lubbock, Texas, when the family bank was closed during the Depression. His father found work at Stubbs Feed Seed Company and decided that he wanted all of his children to attend college. Hoping to become lawyers, Waggoner and his brother, Warlick, attended Texas Technological College and were members of the debate team. At Tech, he met Ernestine Story, whom he later married and together they had one son, David W. Carr.

Waggoner's education at the University of Texas Law School was interrupted by World War II, during which time he served as a pilot. Once discharged, he returned and completed his law degree. A law practice was opened by the two brothers. Later political positions held by Waggoner included Lubbock Assistant District Attorney (1947-1948), Lubbock County Attorney (1948-1950), State Representatives (1951-1961), Speaker of Texas House of Representatives (1957-1961), and Texas Attorney General (1963-1967). He was also the first Texas Attorney General from Lubbock and Texas Tech University.

The collection concerns the public career of Waggoner Carr, including Carr's tenures as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and as Texas State Attorney General. Of particular importance are papers relating to the Kennedy assassination, the 1966 United States Senate campaign, the Watergate conspiracy, and the Sharpstown Trials. Other items include correspondence, campaign materials, financial materials, scrapbook materials, news clippings, date books, literary productions, criminal and civil case files, legal materials, speeches, invitations, press releases, and photographs.

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.

Carr, Waggoner--Career in politics and government.

Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Assassination.

Subjects (Organizations) Texas Youth Council. Texas Crime Investigating Committee. United States. Congress. Senate--Elections, 1966. Places Lubbock (Tex.)--Pictorial works. Texas--Politics and government--1951-1988. Subjects Attorneys general--Texas. Bank fraud--Texas. Juvenile delinquency--Texas. Juvenile justice, Administration of--Texas. Legislators--Texas. Organized crime investigation--Texas. Politicians--Texas. Political campaigns--Texas. Political corruption--Texas. Watergate Affair, 1972-1974. Accession Information

Collection accession #(s): n/a

Some archival collections may be housed in storage outside of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library building. Requests to retrieve such materials may take up to 10 business days to complete. Please contact our Reference Department to arrange retrieval.

Audio, video, and film recordings may not be immediately accessible due to format, condition, or copyright status. All items must be digitized prior to patron use. Because not all collections materials have been digitized, please contact the Reference Archivist at least 10 days prior to arrival in order to coordinate digitization. Though we can digitize much of our holdings within two weeks, some media may be fragile and require specialized digitization outsourcing, which can take up to three months for completion.

Copyright is retained by either the archives or the creators and authors of items in this collection, as stipulated by U.S. copyright law.

Copy requests are restricted based on departmental policies. Please contact our Reference Department for further information.

Waggoner Carr Papers, 1945-1985 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Processed by: Abel Ramirez, 2000

Waggoner Carr, Not Guilty. Austin: Shoal Creek Publishers, 1977.

The Men Who Lead Texas. Austin, Tex., 1963.

Carr, Waggoner and Byron D. Varner.

Texas Politics in My Rearview Mirror. Plano, Tex.: Republic of Texas Press, 1993. Related Materials:

Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Oral History Collection:

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Certainly not the famous outlaw, according to Jesse James IV, a carpenter from Leander, Texas, who says he is the great-grandson of one of America's most famous bandits.

Jesse James IV said he welcomes the planned exhumation of what is supposed to be Jesse James' grave near Kearney, Mo. After a request from a George Washington University forensic scientist, a Missouri judge ordered the exhumation, which will take place soon.

"It is important that history be rewritten to truthfully show that my great-grandfather does not lie in that Missouri grave," James said at a press conference in Austin. "The truth is that my great-grandfather, Jesse Woodson James, died in Granbury, Texas, in 1951."

Former Texas Atty. Gen. Waggoner Carr, who is representing James, said he has read voluminous James family records that have convinced him that the famous outlaw faked his death on April 3, 1882.

The Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen & Outlaws states that Jesse James was killed in 1882 at age 34 by Bob Ford, an erstwhile member of his gang who wanted the $10,000 in reward money.

But Jesse James IV said his great-grandfather faked his death so he could live in peace.

He then resurfaced as J. Frank Dalton and used that name and several other alias to go into mining, cattle ranching and railroading, Jesse James IV said.

Dalton, or Jesse James, died in 1951 in Granbury, about 40 miles southwest of Ft. Worth, and is buried under a headstone that says Jesse Woodson James, died "August 15, 1951. Supposedly killed in 1882," Carr said.

Historical accounts mention Dalton, but describe him as an impersonator.

Carr produced a 1951 autopsy report that said Jesse Woodson James had died in Granbury. The heavily scarred body had evidence of more than 30 bullet wounds, according to the report.

The report did not describe the age of the body, which would have been about 103 years old if it was, in fact, the outlaw Jesse James who was born in 1847, the date given in the encyclopedia. However, Jesse James IV said his great-grandfather was born in 1844, which would have made him 107 when he died.

Jesse James IV said he would submit blood for comparison in DNA tests planned for the body buried in Missouri, and then perhaps seek the exhumation of the body buried in Granbury.

Waggoner and Robert Carr had differing theories about Kennedy assassination

Robert Carr and Waggoner Carr kept up a running discussion for years about a moment in history as only brothers can.

With one a doctor and the other attorney general of Texas, that only made their dissection of President John F. Kennedy's assassination more intellectually intriguing.

"Waggoner and I talked about this quite a lot because I was very interested in it, as everyone was," Robert said recently at his Lubbock home.

And though Waggoner died in February 2004, he fulfilled a promise to Robert to write a letter stating his final opinion about how the president died:

Was it conspiracy or the intricate workings of a madman?

Waggoner, as attorney general, either attended or had someone from his office attend each of the Warren Commission's meetings in Dallas following the death and burial of President Kennedy in November 1963.

He was in a good position to study the technical investigation. But Robert, like many other Americans, believed the likelihood of one man hitting a moving target with just three bullets fired was so small it must be indicative of conspiracy.

"We used to have yearly reunions, usually down in the Austin area, and he and I would have very spirited discussions about it, because I was really very much convinced that it was a large conspiracy, not just the one person: Oswald did carry out the deed itself, but he was the point man for a lot of things that went on for whoever else was involved."

As the Warren Commission ground on, and time produced little evidence of conspiracy, Robert began to side with his brother's findings that it probably - with an emphasis to this day on probably - was a one-man assassination.

"He and I would sit down and discuss the things every summer when we would have the reunions."

Portions of Waggoner's letter to Robert graphically recount the time leading up to the assassination:

"On November 21, 1963, Ernestine and I (as Texas attorney general), accompanied by Ms. John Connally, flew from Austin to San Antonio to meet President and Mrs. John Kennedy, Governor John Connally and their party as we began a two-day tour of Texas. After a rally and speech by the President at the airport in San Antonio, Ernestine and I joined Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson in Air Force II for the flight to Houston. At Houston, after a parade, banquet and Presidential speech, we flew to Fort Worth, where the tour participants spent the night.

"Early the next morning, November 22, the President addressed a crowd in front of the Texas Hotel, after which we had breakfast in the hotel ballroom where the President again spoke. I was seated at the head table and, as we were breaking up to head for Dallas, President Kennedy shook my hand, said how he and Mrs. Kennedy were enjoying the tour. He said he had been informed that Mrs. Carr and I were leaving the tour for the Dallas leg but that he looked forward toward seeing us in Austin for the statewide rally that evening."

Robert had also heard his brother say that Kennedy had told him the trip through Texas had been wonderful.

Waggoner had a speech scheduled in Dumas that he felt he had to keep, and was in the air when word came that the president had been shot.

"Because of the assassination news, I cancelled my noon speech and immediately flew to Austin to be available to assist in any legal problems that might arise," Waggoner wrote in his letter to Robert.

Waggoner had been advised by the White House to convene a court of inquiry as soon as possible. But while he was preparing for that, then-President Johnson decided he should appoint a special presidential commission to investigate, and so there wouldn't be competing investigations.

"The investigation compelled the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy," Wagoner wrote in his letter to Robert. "There was no credible evidence that Oswald was part of a conspiracy. There was no evidence that the Soviet Union or Cuba were involved, nor did the commission's investigation of Jack Ruby produce any grounds for believing that Ruby's killing of Oswald was part of a conspiracy."

Robert has a collection of books that have been written about the assassination, and he still ponders it at times.

"I was at one time almost 100 percent convinced it was conspiracy, but as time has gone by and there has been no confession found by anybody, I've decided that I may have been wrong," he said.

But he hasn't gone to the 100 percent mark on that:

"I think there is still a possibility. I can't rule out everything in my own mind, but Waggoner was not convinced at all that anyone but Oswald was involved."

And if Waggoner were still present at reunions in Austin, the brothers would discuss the case again next summer.

Waggoner Carr - History

1918 – He was born on the 1st of October in Fairlie in Hunt County in northeast Texas.

1940 – He completed his bachelor of business administration degree at Texas Tech University (then Texas Technological College) in Lubbock.

1947 – He immediately began his legal studies after Texas Tech, Carr did not graduate from the University of Texas at Austin law school.

1948 – Carr was appointed assistant district attorney for the 72nd Judicial District in Lubbock.

1949-1951 – He was also the county attorney for Lubbock County.

– Carr was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Lubbock District 19.

1957-1961 – He was also Speaker of the House for two consecutive terms.

– Carr ran, not for a sixth two-year term in the Texas House, but for attorney general.

1962 – Carr was elected attorney general, he defeated Tom Beavley in the Democratic primary.

1963 – On the morning of November 22, Carr and his wife, the former Ernestine Story, were among the dignitaries who ate breakfast with President and Mrs. Kennedy in Fort Worth.

1964 – He was reelected, as all statewide Republican candidates in Texas were again defeated in the Johnson-Humphrey landslide.

1989 – Carr was selected to chair the Action for Metropolitan Government Committee in an attempt to unite the Austin municipal and Travis County governments.

1991 – He was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Austin City Council, and that same year he was appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to serve on a citizens’ commission examining the Texas judicial system.

The Waggoner Mansion in Decatur, Texas

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The Waggoner Mansion or El Castille as its often called was built and owned by the Waggoner family from 1883 until 1942. The mansion was mostly vacant from 1922 to 1942 when the Luker family purchased the place. The family continues to live/own the place.

The Waggoner Mansion’s Current Condition

The house has kept most of its original craftsmanship and material. Most Victorian homes do not come close to having this much of the original craftsmanship and material left. The Waggoner mansion is classified as“authentic.”

The interior and exterior walls are made of solid porous limestone. The exterior is in great shape, but in need of a lot of preventive maintenance including painting and minor repairs. The grill work around the roof is original, but 1941 the grill work was added around the porches.

Currently, there is a separate addition to the rear of the house. There is a few out buildings on the property that include a wooden smokehouse, storm cellar and a four car garage with stables underneath the garage that was build sometime in the recent future. At the edge of the property one of the original bunkhouses that was used on the Waggoner Ranch still stands!

A Brief History on the Early Waggoner Family

This beautiful example of Victorian craftsmanship was the home the Waggoner family, a very wealthy family in the early days of Texas Ranching. The house was built by Daniel L. Waggoner.

During the mid ninetieth century, Dan Waggoner drove a herd of Longhorns into Wise County which started his successful career as the “Cattle King.” During this period, he built his mansion and it was the headquarters of the Waggoner Ranch by 1900. The Waggoner Ranch crossed seven counties. The ranch had a thirty mile east and west stretch by a twenty-five mile north and west stretch that had over a million acres. The ranch had over 60,000 head of cattle and had three separate rail lines.

Then in 1903, oil was discovered on the ranch and because of this, the Waggoner Refinery was founded in 1911. With the results of a successful cattle ranch and finding the oil made the Waggoner Family one of the richest and most influential families in the Southwest.

After Dan Waggoner passed away in 1904, the house was passed down to his son, William Thomas Waggoner. Then in 1931, W.T. Waggoner had the house restored. After his death in 1934 set vacant until it was sold years later.

The Waggoner Mansion’s Current Condition

The mansion is in ok shape. The yard and buildings are maintained. The house needs some minor repairs and honestly I can’t tell if anyone lives there. But the house is so large it may not be possible to tell that from the street.

I do not have more shots of the house or even know what it looks like inside. When I stopped by, I took pictures from the street as most people do. The property has signs along the property line with no trespassing and isn’t placed in access to take more exterior pictures of the house. At some point, I hope to have the chance to learn more about the property and possibly document the inside.

About the Image

The image was shot by hand with my Sony Nex-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8. I then edited the image in Adobe Lightroom. Next, I post processed with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten, and bring out the details in the image. Then I removed the dust spots. Finally, I used Topaz DeNoise to remove the noise from the image.

What's for lunch?

Steamed Clams on a nice Spring Day!

We have explored this region many times, but we still get excited every time we point Easy Goin’sbow towards Tacoma Narrows, the gateway to the southern portion of Puget Sound. The Narrows, as the locals call it, was formed over a million years ago by a continental glacier. It separated the Kitsap Peninsula from the southwest portion of the city of Tacoma.

Some mariners are uncertain about this part of the trip, and well they should be. In the spring, currents can surge through the Narrows at speeds near 6-knots. We plan our trips through the Narrows to coincide with slack water or to get an extra boost by catching the southerly flood.

Once south of the Narrows bridge, we turned to starboard, entered Hale Passage between Fox Island and the Kitsap Peninsula, and headed west towards Carr Inlet. Outlined with beautiful waterfront homes, the 4.5-mile-long scenic passage provides a wonderful view of the Olympic Mountains.

Penrose Point

Our choice for the first night of the trip is Penrose Point State Park which is our favorite state moorage in the inlet. Located 2.5-miles southwest of Hale Passage, the park offers 270-feet of dock moorage and eight mooring buoys. The dock and three of the buoys are located on the west side of Penrose Point in Mayo Cove. The other five buoys are located on the east side of the point.

When we enter Mayo Cove, we do so with caution due to the twin shoals well offshore. One shoal extends northeast from Penrose Point, and the second lies to the 300-yards west of the point in Mayo Cove and extends half mile out from the beach. When navigating the area give the shoals a wide berth by staying toward the middle of Carr Inlet until you can clearly see Lakebay Marina before turning towards Mayo Cove. Both shoals offer great beachcombing at low tide.

If your destination is the park dock, keep an eye on the sounder as you make your final approach. The channel is shallow and doglegs into the inner bay.

We prefer to stay on one of the buoys on the east side. We have also dropped the hook in the area, over a good-holding bottom of mud and sand in 20 to 30-feet. This side of the park is a bit more tranquil and has a view of Mount Rainier. It’s common to see wildlife on the beach or bald eagles soaring overhead.

The park offers nearly two-miles of saltwater frontage and 2.5-miles of hiking trail winding through impressive stands of fir and cedar that share space with ferns, and rhododendrons.

For us, one of life’s little pleasures is a nice pot of steamed clams with garlic bread for lunch or dinner. On previous trips to the park, we have enjoyed the plentiful clams and oysters, and this trip is no different.

Moorage Fees

Daily park fees are 70-cents per foot on a dock, with a $15 minimum, and $15 for use of a mooring buoy per night. If you plan to stay more than four or five nights a year at state park moorages, consider an annual moorage permit. The permit fee is $5/foot with a minimum of $60 and is good for either park docks, linear moorage or buoys. Vessels over 45 feet are not permitted to moor on park buoys. For more information, visit parks.wa.gov

The next morning, we headed south from Penrose and navigated through Pit Passage between McNeil Island and Key Peninsula. We always traverse the passage slowly, with one eye on the depth sounder and the other on the navigational aids that mark the channel.

Once we clear the south end of the passage, its back up to speed and through Drayton Passage, around Devils Head and into Case Inlet, with our choice of several state moorages.