A. Jeff McLemore

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A. Jeff McLemore
Atkins Jefferson McLemore circa 1915.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's At-Large district
In office
March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1919
Preceded by Hatton W. Sumners
Succeeded by District dissolved
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born March 13, 1857
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Died March 4, 1929(1929-03-04) (aged 71)
Laredo, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) May Clark
Jeff mclemore.jpg

Atkins Jefferson McLemore (March 13, 1857 – March 4, 1929) was an American newspaper publisher, State Representative and United States Representative from Texas.

Early life[edit]

McLemore was born on a farm near Spring Hill, Tennessee on March 13, 1857. He was educated in local schools and by private tutors. McLemore moved to Texas in 1878 and was employed as a cowboy, printer, and newspaper reporter, and later as a miner in Colorado and Mexico.[1] He returned to Texas and settled in San Antonio working primarily in the newspaper business in Kyle, Texas.

Political career[edit]

McLemore moved to Corpus Christi in 1889 and established the Gulf News and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, serving from 1892-1896.[2] He later moved to Austin where he was elected to the Board of Aldermen for one term. McLemore was elected Secretary of the Democratic State executive committee from 1900-1904. In 1903, he founded a weekly magazine entitled State Topics, which eventually became Texas Monthly Review and State Topics.[2] McLemore relocated, this time to Houston in 1911 where he again engaged in the newspaper publishing business. In 1915, he was elected as a Democrat to Congress representing one of the state's two At-Large districts serving two terms from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1919. McLemore was an ardent opponent of America's entry into World War I, a position he believed he held in common with President Woodrow Wilson who campaigned for reelection on the slogan "He kept us out of war". Less than 90 days after his election to a second term in 1916, President Wilson called on Congress to declare war on Germany.[3] He was one of the 50 representatives who voted against declaring war, the only member of Congress from Texas to so vote. When McLemore became a strident opponent of the president, the Democratic-dominated Texas legislature redrew the state's congressional districts to eliminate McLemore's statewide at-large district, and drew 18 districts,[4] forcing McLemore into the same district with fellow Houston incumbents Joe H. Eagle and Daniel E. Garrett in the 8th District. Garrett bowed out of the contest, and Eagle defeated McLemore.

Life after Congress[edit]

In 1919, McLemore moved from Houston to Hebbronville, and he resumed the newspaper publishing business in south Texas, eventually residing in Laredo. In 1928, McLemore made one more run for public office for an open U.S. Senate seat, but was defeated by Thomas T. Connally. McLemore died in Laredo on March 4, 1929 (the day after he would have taken office if he had won the Senate race). He is interred in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.[5]


  1. ^ United States Congress. "McLEMORE, Atkins Jefferson (id: M000554)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  2. ^ a b Handbook of Texas Online
  3. ^ Dwyer, John J. The United States and World War I. December, 2003. Archived October 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Keith, Jeanette. Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Fight:Race, Class and Power in the Rural South during World War I. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. p. 169.
  5. ^ Political Graveyard
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District unknown (Corpus Christi)

Succeeded by
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Hatton W. Sumners
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's at-large congressional seat

Succeeded by
District abolished