Historical Marker To be Unveiled for the Late Charlye Farris

Historical Marker To be Unveiled for the Late Charlye Farris

<p>The accomplishments of the late Charlye Farris will be honored Saturday at the Wichita County Courthouse.</p> <p> Farris was an African-American woman and attorney and as Mechell Dixon reports, she broke gender and racial barriers during her life.</p>

Wichita Falls attorney Charlye Farris lost her battle to cancer in February 2010.

While she received many awards during her life, Saturday, her life's works will be memorialized with a Texas Historical Marker.

Behind this covering is an historical marker honoring the accomplishments of the late Charlye Farris.

The road to those accomplishments was not easy for this woman who was the black first woman licensed to practice law in Texas and the first woman to practice law in Wichita County.

"Our Wichita County Courthouse until 1962 has separate restrooms and drinking facilities for blacks and whites. So, Charlye, though licensed to practice law was subject to that type of discrimination but she did not let that deter her. She handled that in her own dignified way," says Barry Macha, general counsel at Midwestern State University.

That way was to combat the Jim Crow rules during that time by persevering.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom says she was able to do that with some help from then Wichita County Judge Arthur Tipps.

"My understanding was that he laid down the law on how she would be respected in this courthouse and he had a lot bigger stick than I did when he was county judge and of course, he became district judge. I think he recognized her talent and the integrity of the person in Charlye Farris," says Gossom.

Farris' talent and integrity are also outlined in this book written by MSU professor Dr. Kenneth Hendrickson, Jr., which was recently released through the Midwestern State University Press.

And soon this historical marker will be unveiled.

"It really recognizes the achievements of a person that really started pretty close to the bottom and invested herself and made it to a pretty high pinnacle not just in this community, but statewide," says Gossom.

The marker dedication for Charlye Farris is tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Wichita County Courthouse.

Her family, including her 107 year old mother, will have the honor of unveiling it

Then, following the ceremony Dr. Kenneth Hendrickson, Junior will sign copies of his biography of Farris.

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