JUDGE JOHN W. VEALE, the acknowledged leader of the Amarillo bar, has been engaged in active practice in this city since 1892 and has extended his work and influence pretty much over the Panhandle country. Judge Veale probably inherited his taste for law from his father, who was for man years a prominent jurist of the state, but anyhow the judge has made a remarkable success in his profession and before reaching middle life has found and lucrative clientage in a pursuit where success is own only by ability and high qualities of personal character.
Judge Veale was born in Hill county, this state, August 10, 1864, being a son of William and Lavinia (Hardin) Veale. His father was a Tennessean by birth and rearing, and he started out in life to make his livelihood by farming. He came to Texas and settled in Hill county in 1852. He had previously studied law, and in 1853, was admitted to the bar of Hill county, in which county he also owned and conducted a farm. He was engaged in practice in Hill county until 1865, and then brought his family to Palo Pinto county and established his law office in Palo Pinto, the county seat. In 1876 he moved to Breckenridge, in Stephens county, and lived there until 1898, when he moved back to Palo Pinto, where his death occurred in the following year. He had practiced law continuously since his admission to the bar, for nearly half a century, and was a well known and very able lawyer.
Judge Veale’s mother had the distinction of having live din three republics and under four national flags. She was born in 1833, in the famous old town of Nacogdoches which figures so prominently in the history of this state as one of the oldest towns in Texas. Texas at that time acknowledged the sovereignty of the republic of Mexico, but when she was three years old the Republic of Texas came into existence, and she later saw Texas as a state of the Union and as a member of the Confederacy. She died in the spring of 1904.
As a boy Judge Veale was reared at Palo Pinto and Breckenridge, and received a good public school education, followed by a two-years’ course at the Texas Military Institute at Austin. He was not long in making up his mind that the profession of law should be his life work, and during the years 1884-85 he studied in his father’s office. In the latter years he was admitted to practice in Stephens county by Judge T. B. Wheeler, and for the following seven years he was engaged in active practice in Stephens county. In 1892 he moved to Amarillo and has since been identified with the legal interests of this city and the surrounding country. His large general practice extends over twenty counties, and his ability as a lawyer and his personal excellences have made him in every sense a leader of his profession in Northwest Texas.
Judge Veale is a prominent Mason and has attained the Royal Arch degrees. In religion he is a member of the Baptist church, while his wife’s associations are with the Methodists. He has a beautiful home in the south part of Amarillo, on East Twelfth street. The grounds about his residence comprise three-fourths of an acres and there is a nice orchard, and everything seems comfortable and cosy. Judge Veale was married at Cisco, Texas, to Miss Modena Bailey, a daughter of Rev. E. A. Bailey, one of the presiding elders of the Methodist church in Texas. They have three children: Lottie, Lucile and Charles H.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 86-87.