Details for J.T. Canales (Atlas Number 5507015938)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507015938


Marker Number 15938
Atlas Number 5507015938
Marker Title J.T. Canales
Index Entry Canales, J.T.
Address 505 E. St. Charles Street
City Brownsville
County Cameron
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 649810
UTM Northing 2865967
Subject Codes
Marker Year 2009
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Private Property No
Marker Location
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text (March 7, 1877 - March 30, 1976) Civil rights advocate, legislator and attorney Jose Tomas Canales was born on a ranch in Nueces County to Andreas and Tomasa (Cavazos) Canales. As a young man, he moved to Kansas City, where he completed high school. In 1896, Canales began attending the University of Michigan, where he received his degree in law. He practiced in Corpus Christi and Laredo before moving to Brownsville in 1903. From 1905 to 1910 he served South Texas as a State Representative. In 1910, he married Anne Anderson Wheeler. He purchased this lot in 1911 and built a home on it in 1913. Canales then served as Cameron County School Superintendent and as County Judge before returning to the Texas House of Representatives (1917-20); during that time, he promoted irrigation projects to help farmers in South Texas. He also filed charges against the Texas Rangers for the oppression and murder of hundreds of Hispanics in the Rio Grande Valley, and demanded an investigation into and reorganization of the outfit; the Rangers were later reorganized. Canales decided against seeking reelection due to backlash from his charges against the Texas Rangers. Canales continued to work for Mexican American rights after leaving office. He was an influential member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), serving as an early president (1932-33) and writing the organization's first constitution. He went on to serve as Brownsville city attorney (1930-40) and wrote a number of books and articles. Today, the legislative and civil rights work by J. T. Canales continues to influence generations of individuals, particularly those of Mexican descent, throughout Texas.(2009)