Elmer Tarbox

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Elmer Tarbox
Member of the House of Representatives of Texas from District 75, Seat 1
In office
Preceded by Tom Christian
Succeeded by Joe Robbins
Froy Salinas
Member of the House of Representatives of Texas from District 76, Seat 2
In office
Preceded by Ace Pickens
Succeeded by Pete Laney
Personal details
Born (1916-03-07)March 7, 1916
Bishop, Oklahoma
Died November 2, 1987(1987-11-02) (aged 71)
Lubbock, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Maxine Barnett
Alma mater Texas Technological College
Occupation Businessman
Awards Air Medal
Purple Heart
Silver Star
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Battles/wars World War II

Elmer Lois Tarbox (March 7, 1916 – November 2, 1987) was an American military aviator, businessman, and politician. Tarbox served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1967–1977.

Early years[edit]

Elmer Tarbox was born in Bishop, Oklahoma on March 7, 1916 to Jake Tarbox and May Tarbox (née Riley). Tarbox was raised in the Texas Panhandle city of Higgins, Texas.[1]


Tarbox attended Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) and lettered in Red Raiders basketball, Red Raiders football, and Red Raiders track teams.[2] Along with Jerry Dowd from the Saint Mary's Gaels, Tarbox was named Co-Outstanding Player in the 1939 Cotton Bowl Classic.[3] He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech in 1939. The same year, Tarbox was selected 18th overall in the 1939 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Rams but chose not play professional football.[4]

World War II[edit]

At the beginning of World War II, Tarbox enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. Under the command of Claire Lee Chennault, he piloted B-25 bombers in the China Burma India Theater as a member of the 1st American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the "Flying Tigers." Tarbox was awarded an Air Medal, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart. Upon discharge, Tarbox returned to Lubbock, Texas.[5]

Political career[edit]

In 1966, Tarbox ran successfully for the 76th District in the Texas House of Representatives. Tarbox was reelected twice to the same district and twice more in the 75th District. While a member of the legislature, he served on the appropriations committee that established the Texas Tech University School of Law and what is now the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC).[6]

Personal life[edit]

From 1946–1947, Tarbox served as president of the Texas Technological College Alumni and Ex-Students Association (now known as the Texas Tech Alumni Association).[7] He married Maxine Barnett on March 29, 1944, and they had four children before she died in 1978. Tarbox founded the Tarbox Parkinson's Disease Institute in 1972 at the TTUHSC, to help develop a treatment and cure for Parkinson's disease, from which he suffered. On November 2, 1987, Tarbox died of complications of Parkinsonism and was buried at Resthaven Cemetery in Lubbock.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elmer Tarbox Member Profile". 
  2. ^ http://lubbockonline.com/stories/062908/loc_297195510.shtml
  3. ^ http://media.attcottonbowl.com/resource/history/1939/rsrc/1939-Classic-Recap.pdf
  4. ^ "Draft History by School–Texas Tech". National Football League. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  5. ^ a b Jeanne F. Lively, "TARBOX, ELMER LOIS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fta49), accessed January 02, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  6. ^ http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ttusw/00107/tsw-00107.html
  7. ^ Rushing, Jane Gilmore; Kline A. Nall (1975). Evolution of a University: Texas Tech's first fifty years. Austin, Texas: Madrona Press. p. 368. ISBN 0-89052-017-8. 

External links[edit]