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Earle B. Mayfield Papers

Identifier: GTM-810101

Scope and Contents

The Earle B. Mayfield Papers are divided into VI (6) Series. Series I deals with his legal career comprising Boxes 1, 2, and 3. Series II (the largest section of the Papers) covers his political career and comprises Boxes 4 through 13 inclusive. The Third (3) Series concerns itself with family history and autobiographical materials as well as correspondence of a personal, familial nature and covers Boxes 14, 15, and 16 (permission must be obtained for this Series). The Fourth (4) Series involves materials on the Mayfield Wholesale Grocery Company, the dairy farm, real estate, and oil interests comprising Boxes 17, 18, 19, and 20.

Series V is miscellaneous correspondences, addresses, speeches, religious material, newsclippings, and Masonic matters in Box 21, 22, 23, and 33. The Sixth Series is exclusively photographic and comprises Boxes 24 and 25. Box 26 is an Oversized box with a Plat Book. Box 27 is an Oversized box which contains a religious tape; microfilm reel; sheet music 1860s to 1900s; oversized photos and posters.


  • 1890 - 1964

Biographical / Historical

Earle Bradford Mayfield (1882-1964) was the son of Col. J. B. Mayfield and Mary Ellen DeGuerin Mayfield of Overton, Texas. He was raised by his grandmother when his mother died in 1886. He had four brothers: Horace B., Maurice G., John P., and Thomas B. He received his B.S. degree in 1900 from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas. He attended the University of Texas Law School for one year. He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1901 but associated with his father in the Mayfield grocery business in Tyler, Texas, where the family had moved in 1898.

On June 10, 1902 he married Ora Patience Lumpkin, the daughter of S. H. Lumpkin of Meridian, Texas, with whom he had three sons: Horace M., John S. (noted Swinburne scholar), and Earle B., Jr. From 1902 to 1906 Mayfield was engaged in the flour milling business. They resided in Austin, Texas, from 1912 to 1930 but returned to Tyler in 1931 where he organized the law firm of Mayfield and Grisham (his partner was the well-known Texas Judge James S. Grisham. In 1953, Earle B. Mayfield was elected president of the Mayfield Wholesale Grocery Company. Although the company was sold in 1956 to the Kimball Company, Earle B. Mayfield was retained as a member to oversee tax matters, land, and oil interests in East Texas.

In 1906, Earle B. Mayfield was elected member of the state senate and re-elected in 1910. As state senator, he co-authored the Mayfield-Jenkins bill that put bucket shops out of Texas and he authored an amendment that established an agricultural experimental station in Temple, Texas. He advocated judicial reform; operation of the state on a cash basis; safety appliance law; a law regulating the railroads to repair cars in Texas; and supported all prohibition legislation. E. B. Mayfield was elected Texas Railroad Commissioner in 1912, a position he held for ten years. During his tenure as commissioner, reforms such as the building of union depots; the ordering of railroads to establish their status to the commission; and furnishing information to the Attorney General which enabled the Attorney General to dissolve an unlawful alliance between the railroads, the breweries, and two officials from the farmers' unions, were enacted.

Then in 1922, Mayfield was elected as a U.S. Senator, serving from March 4, 1923 to March 3, 1929. During this tenure, Earle B. Mayfield faced campaign charges brought before a Senate subcommittee by his Senatorial opponent in this 1922 campaign, George B. Peddy. Peddy charged Mayfield with gaining support from the Texas Ku Klux Klan in the way of campaign finances. This Corsicana Case offers insight into political campaigning in Texas in 1922 and is also invaluable to the historian for the materials and papers contained within Series II form the KKK. This case marred Mayfield's early senate career but he went on to work for such measures as authorizing the ICC to make emergency freight rates into drought- and flood-stricken areas; granting the railroads the right to extend their lines into undeveloped areas in Texas without securing ICC permission; the regulating of tolls; and the reform concerning the cotton crop and agriculture. Mayfield sought re-election to the U.S. Senate in 1928 but was defeated. In 1930 he ran as a Democratic candidate for Texas governor but lost in the Democratic primary. He was a supporter of the Democratic Party in Texas, heading the Texas delegation to the New York Democratic National Convention in 1924 and attending the 1928 Houston Convention and the 1932 Chicago Convention.


28 Cubic Feet (28 boxes)

Language of Materials


Processing Information

5 boxes (5 cubic feet) of routine financial records were removed from the collection in May 2024. They were previously boxes numbered 28-32 and comprised the entirety of Series VII (7).

Earle B. Mayfield Papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057