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French Martel Robertson, lawyer and oil executive, was born in Stonewall County, Texas, July 4, 1901, being the son of John Ernest and Eulah Elizabeth (Hudson) Robertson.
He was a student at Baylor University in 1919-22, in the University of Oklahoma in 1923, and the University of Texas in 1924-1925.
He married Mary Louise Lowe on March 5, 1929, and they have two children, Marinda (Mrs. Gus Vletas), and Mary Lou.
He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1927. He practiced law in Haskell County from 1927 to 1937; served as County Attorney of Haskell County from 1929 to 1933. He began oil and gas exploration work in 1937, and has been a producer and drilling contractor since 1939.
Following are other activities in which he has participated in various roles of responsibility and importance: He was Southwestern Regional Administrator, FCDA, 1951-1955, and a consultant to the National Administrator, 1955 to date. He was a member of the Texas Prison Board 1947-1957 and served as Chairman the last four years of this tenure. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board for State Hospitals and Special Schools for the State of Texas. He was Chairman of the Texas Import Study Commission, 1957-1959, and a member of the Texas Finance Study Commission, 1957 to date. He is a member of the Executive Reserve with assignment to the Fuel and Energy Committee, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.
He served as Lt. Colonel, USAAF, 1942-1946; was decorated with Legion of Merit; was Chief of Military Personnel for the Southeast Area Command Headquarters at Warner Robins, Georgia; also was director of training and deputy for plans and training for a period for more than one year for this area command. Military personnel trained under his direction exceeded 100,000.
He was President of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, 1955-1957; is a past President of the West Central Texas Oil and Gas Association. He is a past Vice President of the Independent Producers Association of America.
He has participated in training, testing, and research in three atomic bomb tests at the Proving Grounds in Nevada and participated in and witnessed the Hydrogen Bomb test in the Pacific. He has attended and assisted in the conducting of many schools sponsored by OCDM. He has had ten years training and experience under Public Laws 920 and 875. He has “Q” clearance with this agency and has had for many years. He has attended many seminars, conferences, panel discussions, and briefings of this Federal Agency over the past ten years.
He is a past President of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and was named Outstanding Citizen of the year in 1956. He is a member of the State Democratic Committee, an Episcopalian, a Mason, and a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He is a member of the Dallas, Houston, and Abilene Petroleum Clubs, the Austin Club, and the Abilene Country Club. He is a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, the American Judicature Society, and the Texas and American Bar Associations.
He resides at 881 Highland and his business offices are in the Citizens National Bank Building, Abilene, Texas. His business telephone is OR2-1257
For further reference, see “Who’s Who in America and the 1960 Edition of Burkes Peerage “International Year Book and Statesman’s Who’s Who.”
last updated October 1961