Roy Alvin Baldwin

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Roy Alvin Baldwin


Texas State Representative
for District 122 (Andrews, Borden, Briscoe, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hockley, Lubbock, Lynn, Terry, and Yoakum counties)
In office
May 20, 1920 – January 9, 1923
Preceded by William H. Bledsoe
Succeeded by Dewey Young

Texas State Representative
for District 119 (Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Gaines, Hockley, Lubbock, Lynn, Terry, and Yoakum counties)
In office
January 9, 1923 – January 13, 1925
Preceded by John Quaid
Succeeded by James K. Wester

Born January 2, 1885
Half Rock, Mercer County
Missouri, USA
Died October 2, 1940 (aged 55)
Slaton, Lubbock County, Texas
Resting place Englewood Cemetery in Slaton, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Maude Hollinger Baldwin
Children Garriott Thompson "Zeke" Baldwin

Elizabeth Maude Baldwin Baker
Parents:
Marion A. and Lucinda Ellen Garriott Baldwin

Residence Slaton, Texas
Occupation Attorney

Roy Alvin Baldwin (January 2, 1886 – October 2, 1940) was a Democrat from rural Slaton, south of Lubbock, Texas, who represented District 119 in the state legislature from 1923 to 1925. In this capacity he was co-author of the legislation establishing Texas Tech University in nearby Lubbock. His district encompassed fourteen counties in West, Texas. In his first House tenure from 1920 to 1923, he represented the geographically similar District 122.[1]

Background

Baldwin was born in the since historical community of Half Rock in Mercer County in northern Missouri. His mother, the former Lucinda Ellen Garriott (1863-1890), a native of Keokuk County, Iowa, died in Half Rock in 1890, when Roy was five years of age.[2] Marion Baldwin remarried (name of second spouse missing) and relocated to Washington County near Portland in northwestern Oregon, where he died shortly thereafter at the age of about forty-four, when Roy was seventeen.[3] Baldwin married the former Maude Hollinger (1886-1986), who lived another forty-six years after her husband's passing. The couple had two children, Garriott Thompson "Zeke" Baldwin (1916-1944) and Elizabeth Maude Baldwin Baker (1920-1977).[4]

Political life

On August 30, 1919, Baldwin won a special election for House District 122 to succeed his fellow Democrat, William Harrison Bledsoe of Lubbock, who was elected to the state Senate. Baldwin did not take his oath of office until May 20, 1920.[1]

In 1923, as barely a third term member of the legislature, Baldwin joined with Senator Bledsoe to support Senate Bill 103, with a $1 million appropriation, to establish a four-year educational institution in West Texas with an emphasis on agricultural research. The school would be separate from Texas A&M University in College Station, which had a similar mission and whose leadership opposed the new institution. Bledsoe confessed to having drawn up the requirements for the host city to fit only Lubbock, which was selected over thirty-six other locations, including San Angelo (before the existence of Angelo State University), Midland, Plainview, Brownwood, Lampasas, Big Spring, and Boerne in Kendall County, northwest of San Antonio. Vernon, located west of Wichita Falls claimed it should have been selected because of its railroad access; at the time Vernon led in population, having a thousand more people than Lubbock.[5]

Though the site selection committee traveled to all the communities seeking to become the location of the new college, but the fix was in from the start. To win the competition, Lubbock was allowed to amend its initial application to account for eighty more acres so that it could meet the two thousand acres required in the legislation for the chosen location. In time, Texas Tech, originally Texas Technological College, helped to make Lubbock the largest city of West Texas, excluding El Paso in the far southwestern corner of the state. Representative Richard Mortimer Chitwood (1878-1926), the chairman of the House Education Committee, thought his city of Sweetwater in Nolan County far better suited for the new institution as the "central" location of West Texas. When Lubbock was chosen, Chitwood was given a patronage consolation as business manager of the new institution.[5]

Chitwood was the business manager of Texas Tech for only fifteen months; he died in November 1926 in a Dallas hotel.[6]

Baldwin died in 1940 at the age of fifty-five; he is interred at Englewood Cemetery in Slaton. His grave marker reads: "Jurist-Author-Legislator; Co-Author of Bill Creating Texas Technological College".[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Roy Alvin. Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  2. Lucinda Ellen Garriott. findagrave.com. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.
  3. Marion A. Baldwin. findagrave.com. Retrieved on October 21, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Roy Alvin Baldwin. findagrave.com. Retrieved on October 21, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Zach Dowdle, "In the Land of Sandstorms and Sand: Locating Texas Technological College in 1923," West Texas Historical Review, Vol. LXL (2014), pp. 75-102.
  6. Richard Mortimer Chitwood. findagrave.com. Retrieved on October 20, 2020.