The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

The story of William Tilghman is the saga of an era as well as one of
Shirley's finest biographies. If in the Kansas portion, Shirley tells us
perhaps more than we want to know about buffalo hunting, he makes
up for it with a wealth of new information and insight into Wyatt Earp,
Bat Masterson, and Luke Short.
Shirley's research is impeccable. One's education on Oklahoma out-
laws simply is not complete until this book is read.
Texas Lawyer: The Life of William H. Burges. By J. F. Hulse. (El Paso:
Mangan Books, 1982. Pp. 394. Preface, illustrations, index. $29.95.)
Texas Lawyer is a tale of the political and legal career of William H.
Burges from the time he arrived in El Paso in 1889 until his death in
1946. Touching only minimally on Burges's private life, this biography
concentrates mainly on the cases in which he was involved, all but a few
of which centered around events in Texas.
The author portrays the El Paso that Burges arrived in as a frontier
boom town; Burges's early career in law and politics reflected this atmo-
sphere. He began his law practice representing prostitutes, Chinese im-
migrants, and fugitives from Mexican justice. He began his political
career advocating the control of the vices prevalent in El Paso, particu-
larly gambling. By the 192os, however, Burges, in association with
W. W. Turney, an older El Paso attorney, had become the represen-
tative of major mining companies and oil companies. In 1928, along
with several other prominent lawyers, he represented the Democratic
Party of Texas in its dispute with Thomas B. Love as to whether Love's
name could be placed on the Democratic primary ballot for governor.
The author is a retired partner in the law firm of Scott, Hulse,
Feuille, Finger and Thurmond, the successor to Turney and Burges.
As such, he had access to Turney and Burges's files. The information
contained in these files provides some of the most interesting chapters
of the book.
As an attorney for the California Company, a subsidiary of Standard
Oil of California (now known as Chevron), Burges participated in law-
suits that broke out over leases in the Yates oil field (near Iraan, Texas)
soon after the field was discovered in 1926. For those with an interest in
the very litigious history of this still-productive field, the inside infor-
mation provided on several of the lawsuits could prove valuable. As a
representative of Pasotex Petroleum Company, also a Chevron subsidi-
ary, Burges was involved in the highly publicized, and highly political,
antitrust lawsuit that Texas Attorney General Jimmie Allred brought
against fifteen oil companies in 1931. The book provides material on
the private legal and political strategies of the oil company defendants.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 2, 2015.