Sowder, Madison 1998-09-23,29

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Madison Sowder discusses his life and being an attorney.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Madison Sowder

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: September 23 & 29, 1998

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Allison

Length: 3 hours 15 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Madison Sowder, Born in Liberty, Texas (Lubbock County), Liberty, Texas, changed name twice, near the Lubbock International, Airport, Public school education, Madison Sowder (again), Born in 1927, Began school in 1933, Transportation to school, Education, description of Liberty schools, games the children played, Church, held service in the school auditorium every Sunday, a different minister preached each week, Father, a well-read man, managed a cotton gin, organized and ran a co-operative in Idalou, Texas, until his death, Idalou, Texas, crops, water supply, Mother: diagnosed with cancer, battled disease for 6 years, died in 1938, only treatment available was radiation, treated at West Texas Hospital, under the care of Dr. Sam Dunn, parents traveled the country looking for treatments, New Deal family opinion: a salvation, Slaughtering cattle, farmers were paid to kill cattle and not eat the meat, helped reduce the supply during the Depression met on the Sowder farm, government inspector would take names and give a certificate to farmers, also told when the cattle were to be shot, farmers would then be responsible for getting rid of the dead cattle without eating the meat, Electricity on the South Plains, Political parties on the South Plains, Poll tax, had to pay $1.75 a year to vote, eliminated in 1965, Water supply (again), water in the house, irrigation system, Smokehouse.

Tape 1, Side 2: Smokehouse (continued), Siblings, 1 brother, 5 sisters, Madison Sowder next to youngest child, Siblings (again), Picking cotton, effect on the school schedule, Interest in law, sophomore year in Idalou High School, encouraged to attend by Superintendent Hooten, Education at Idalou, graduated in 1944 from high school, only 11 grades of school at that time, 16 years of age, began Texas Tech during the same summer, Navy, joined in 1945 at age 17, called to active duty in 1945 at age 18, based on the U.S.S. South Dakota/Panama Canal, dumped projectiles in ocean to get rid of the, ammunition (war was over), job description, reassignment, Movie theaters in the 1940s, West Coast, Glider base: Idalou, Texas, Shopping, Lubbock, once every 2 to 3 weeks, Idalou, once every 2 to 3 weeks, Gospel singing, Siblings (again), Texas Senate, George H. Mahon, Texas military bases, benefits, Lubbock, Texas (again), during World War II, job, Texas Tech (again), transportation for students, businesses, location, type.

Tape 2, Side 1: Businesses (continued), Entertainment in 1944, movies, drugstore/soda fountain, Military men in Lubbock, Entertainment in 1944 (again), dances at local hotels, Alcohol, knew father kept it around the house, never knew where it came from, Games children played (again), City ordinance against blacks in Lubbock, couldn’t live north of Broadway or west of Avenue A (1920s), Discrimination/Segregation, Texas Tech University, 1 year, engineering studies, father paid bills, after war, pre-law studies, G. I. Bill, graduated in 1949, University of Texas Law School (1949), Joined Army Reserves (1949), Korean War broke out (1950), called to participate, experiences of racism at Fort Hood, artillery officer, Battle of Sand Bag Castle, not considered a war, but rather a conflict, lasted 3 years with 58,000 troops killed, description of battles, Troop morale.

Tape 2, Side 2: Korean Conflict (continued) story, living conditions, Battle of Sand Bag Castle (again), 1952, description of battle, course airs: propeller-driven planes, White Horse Mountain, Filming the action, Rest and recreation/tour of duty, (Ends 20 minutes into the tape).

Tape 3, Side 1: (First 17 minutes are blank), Voting (1978), state of the art equipment, Political conventions, Political parties (again), Democratic Party, Ann Richards, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ann Richards (again), impressions, Jim Wright.

Tape 3, Side 2: Jimmy Carter (again), Jim Wright (again), George H. Mahon (again), characteristics/observations, Texas military bases (again), George Mahon (again), Lyndon B. Johnson (again), observations/opinions, Crime in Lubbock, changes, bonds, drugs, leads to other crimes, Divorces, child support/visitation, Court reform, changes, workers compensation claims, reduced types of lawsuits for punitive damages.

Tape 4, Side 1: Resolutions made by county party members, Political contributions, Changes in political party control in Lubbock, increase of people from outside Texas who have moved to Lubbock, when people become financially successful they, become more conservative, abortion issue, Ronald Reagan, an economic president, against the Internal Revenue Service, Jimmy Carter (again), Bar associations, Lubbock County Association president (1967), when the Texas Tech Law School was inaugurated, Texas Tech University Law School, Preston Smith, Sharpstown scandal, Texas Tech University School of Law (again), changes in students, thoughts of building the school, size of lawyers has increased, Changes in legal profession, courthouse open on Saturdays, women on juries (1954).

Tape 4, Side 2: Patriotism, County Welfare Board member, 7-8 years (1960s), Community involvement, Idalou School Board, Lions’ Club, Boy Scouts of America, Medical care, Pro-bono cases, Single member districts, Integration, Texas Tech University, first integration took place in Armed Forces, Korean Conflict (again), integration, Harry Truman, (Ends 17 minutes into the tape).

Range Dates: 1927-1998

Bulk Dates: 1940s-1950s

Access Information

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