Charlye Ola Farris

Charlye Ola Farris (HM2DNQ)

Location: Wichita Falls, TX 76301 Wichita County
Country: United States of America
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N 33° 54.748', W 98° 29.678'

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Public school educators James Randolph Farris, Sr. and Roberta (Bell) Farris welcomed their only daughter, Charlye Ola Farris, on June 30, 1929 in Wichita Falls. Charlye graduated as valedictorian of Booker T. Washington High School at age 15, and from Prairie View A & M College in 1948 at the age of eighteen with a degree in Political Science. After a year of teaching, Charlye pursued her interest in becoming an attorney.
Farris received her law degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1953. During her final year, Farris' class worked on the landmark racial desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Charlye was sworn in on Nov. 12, 1953 as the first Black woman to be licensed to practice law in Texas. Charlye started a solo practice in Wichita Falls, becoming the first Black, male or female, to actively practice law in Wichita County. Charley faced many obstacles and much discrimination in Wichita County and within the legal profession. However, in 1954, Farris was selected to serve as county judge pro-tem, making her the first black person to serve as a judge in the South since Reconstruction.
Among her many awards, such as the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement, one of her proudest was serving on the Board of Regents of Midwestern State

University, where she was not permitted to attend earlier as a student due to her race. During her 56 years of legal practice, Charlye served her community numerous ways. Her life is a testament to the determination and the impact one individual can have on a community, state, and nation.
175 Years of Texas Independence * 1836 2011 Marker is Property of the State of Texas
Year Placed2011
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 1:05pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 546717 N 3752565
Decimal Degrees33.91246667, -98.49463333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 54.748', W 98° 29.678'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 54' 44.88" N, 98° 29' 40.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)940
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 900 7th St, Wichita Falls TX 76301, US
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