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Thomas Gilmer Davis (1921-2009)

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, 1977-1987

Thomas Gilmer Davis was born in Haskell County, Texas, November 5, 1921. He attended North Texas State University and the University of Texas School of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1945. Davis ' brothers, Foster and J.C. Davis, were also attorneys. Tom Davis married and had three children.

Davis was admitted to the Texas bar in 1946, and began practicing law in Vernon, the county seat of Wilbarger County on the Texas-Oklahoma border. He served as county attorney for Wilbarger County from 1949 through 1958. In 1959 he became judge of the Forty-sixth Judicial District. He served in that position until becoming a commissioner on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1971.

In 1977, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from five judges to nine. Tom G. Davis was one of two commissioners automatically elevated to the bench; Gov. Dolph Briscoe appointed the other two. Davis served on the court until retiring in 1987. He lived in Austin, Texas until his death on May 26, 2009, at the age of eighty-eight. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery.


Biographical Questionnaire, Archives of the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Center for Legal History, State Bar of Texas, 1960.

Four New Judges on Appeals Court, Texas Bar Journal, February 1978, 131.

Thomas Davis, Texas State Cemetery (accessed February 28, 2007).

Tribute Is Paid To Judge, Vernon Record, August 18, 1971.