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Frank Pugh Culver, Jr. (1889-1980)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1953-1964

Frank Pugh Culver, Jr. was born September 25, 1889 in Birmingham, Alabama. Both of his grandfathers served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. His father, Frank P. Culver, Sr., was a Methodist minister. The elder Culver moved his family to Texas in 1911 to accept a position as president of Polytechnic College (later Texas Wesleyan College) in Fort Worth. He was also a minister in Waco, Corsicana, and Fort Worth.

Culver attended Morgan Preparatory School in Fayetteville, Tennessee; Birmingham College in Birmingham, Alabama; and Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received an undergraduate degree in 1911. He was principal of Winnsboro High School in Winnsboro, Texas, where he also taught Latin and English, from 1911 to 1912. He then studied law at The University of Texas School of Law, graduating with an LL.B. in 1914. He was admitted to the Texas bar the same year.

Culver practiced law in Fort Worth from 1914 until 1927, excluding Army service in Europe from 1917 to 1919. He was commissioned a second lieutenant, served in France and Germany in the Occupation Army, and was promoted to captain and adjutant of the Third Battalion. Returning to Texas, Culver accepted a commission as major of field artillery in the Army Officers Reserve Corps until 1941.

Culver married in 1924 and fathered two daughters. He served as an assistant district attorney in Fort Worth from 1927 to 1928. From 1928 to 1950 he served as judge of the Seventeenth District Court, with an interruption of two years of military service from 1942 to 1944 during World War II. From 1951 to 1952 he was judge of the Second Court of Civil Appeals in Fort Worth.

Culver was recalled to active duty during the Second World War and was stationed in San Antonio, Dallas, and Texarkana before being discharged in September 1944 as colonel of field artillery. He served as chairman of the State Bar of Texas judicial section from 1950 to 1951.

Culver was elected an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 1952, and served two six-year terms in the position until retiring December 31, 1964 at the age of seventy-five. He died in Fort Worth April 10, 1980 at the age of ninety.


Frank P. Culver, Resume, undated. Provided by the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society.

43 Texas Bar Journal 967 (October 1980).

The Honorable Frank P. Culver, unpublished manuscript, April 15, 1974. Provided by the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society.

Extended bibliography

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 60, page 19, 415

Additional information available in Texas Bar Journal as follow:
Volume 14, page 6
Volume 16, page 7
Volume 20, page 400
Volume 28, page 87, 101
Volume 43, page 967

Duncan, Dawson. Culver Will Retire From High Bench, Dallas Morning News, Oct. 2, 1963.

McNutt, Gayle. Jurist Ending 36-Year Career, Houston Post, Nov. 29, 1964.

Top Officials to Honor Retired Supreme Court Justice, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 8, 1965.

Killiam, Linda. Judge and His Lady - Retirement After 51 Years, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mar. 16, 1965.

Ex-Justice Frank Culver Dead at 90, Austin American-Statesman, Apr. 11, 1980.