Crawford B. Reeder biography

CRAWFORD B. REEDER, lawyer at Amarillo, has attained to a large degree of prominence and success in the central Panhandle country during the two years of his legal practice there. His career is typical of that of so many men who win success through heavy odds and make their way to the goal of their ambitions by industrious striving with one set purpose constantly in view. Adherence to high ideals and diligence in all his endeavors are qualities which all who have ever known Mr. Reeder will gladly impute to him, and he has won and deserved all the success which has come to him.

Born in Lee county, Alabama, in 1867, he was a son of Mortimer and Lenora Elizabeth (McCutcheon) Reeder. His father, a native of Georgia but reared in Alabama, was a farmer and planter, and died at his home in Lee county in 1876. His paternal great-grandfather was a native of Ireland, and his maternal great-grandmother was born in Scotland. These ancestors settled in Virginia, and, of their descendants who migrated to other states as the country settled up, Mr. Reeder belongs to the branch that came to Georgia and later to Alabama. Mortimer Reeder was a Confederate soldier in the Civil war, being one of six brothers to enlist in the cause, and the other five were all killed in the service. The mother, who was of Scotch ancestry, died in 1872.

Thus deprived, before he was ten years old, of both his parents, Crawford B. Reeder has been dependent on his own resources from an early age. At the age of fourteen coming out to Texas, he spent four years in working on a farm in Upshur county, in the lumber region of the state, and that he was thus early a faithful, conscientious employe[e], and appreciated accordingly, is evidenced by the fact that he received several dollars per month more than the customary wages paid to farm hands at the time. His aspirations were above and beyond his immediate necessities and duties, and throughout that period of boyhood he was adding gradually to his somewhat neglected primary education. It was his intention to prepare himself for teaching, which he would use as a stepping stone to the profession of law, for which as an ultimate goal his ambitions had long been set. He taught school altogether for seven years, and his success and reputation as a teacher were such that he got better schools with increased salary at almost each succeeding term, and his last school, in Smith county, paid him a salary of one hundred and forty-five dollars a month. Previous to this his teaching had been in Upshur county, where he opened and taught the first session of the Shady Grove Academy. All this time he had been studying diligently, and in 1892 he graduated from Add-Ran College, at Thorp Spring, Texas.

During this time, also, Mr. Reeder had been hard at work studying law, both privately and in law offices, putting in about seven years altogether in legal studies. He decided to begin his practice at Granbury, the county seat of Hood county, and was admitted to the bar there on the third Monday of March, 1893. That summer he was candidate for county attorney of Hood county, but was defeated by eighteen votes. A second candidacy was successful and he served one term in that office. His practice, beginning in a very humble way, grew from year to year until, having achieved success in some important cases which involved large interests, his reputation as an able lawyer was established and his permanent success at the bar assured. In 1895 he was becoming Reeder & Reeder. This brother, who since died, had worked with Mr. Reeder as a student and teacher in Upshur county, and was possessed of like ideals and ambitions to become an efficient and capable lawyer.

February 1, 1903, Mr. Reeder located for practice at Amarillo, having for a partner Mr. Hugh H. Cooper, also of Hood county. Mr. Cooper’s father, Hon. N. L. Cooper, now deceased, was noted as one of the ablest criminal lawyers in the state of Texas. Since establishing themselves here the firm of Reeder & Cooper have built up a very large business, extending over the entire Panhandle and into New Mexico, and representing client with very important interests. They transacted business in 1904 to the net amount of twelve thousand dollars. The firm has been engaged in a number of noteworthy cases in this part of the state. Their first cases were those involving the status of the local option laws, in which they were successful. They represented the successful litigants in the well known Moore county case involving the county judgeship of that county; also the Hughes case in Potter county, over the deposing of Mr. J. E. Hughes from the office of sheriff.

Reeder & Cooper have a splendid law library, representing an expenditure of about six thousand dollars. Theirs is an actual working library, in use almost every day, comprising the works that are thoroughly up to date and including all the latest and best edited state and federal reports. Mr. Reeder has never ceased to be a thorough student, with an unusual knack of getting at the gist of the law. His clients are always satisfied that he gives his profession for its own sake and from the start it has been his ambition to excel in it. System has always marked the conduct of their business, records and copies of every business and legal transaction being kept, so that the members of the firm at all times have everything under perfect control.

Mr. Reeder was married in June, 1893, at Big Spring, Howard county, this state, to Miss Gussie Brack, who was a graduate of Add-Ran College and had taught for several years music, art and literature.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 212-213.