|©1947, Austin American, September 22, 1947. Reprinted with permission
of the Austin American Statesman
UT Negro Law School Enrolls First Student in State History
By Clint Pace - The Austin American Capitol Staff
The new school of the Texas State University for Negroes finally registered a student Monday, some six months after it was opened for business.
He is Henry E. Doyle 37, of 1205 Leona Street in Austin, who signed up for freshman law courses in the basement of a converted residence on 13th Street, a hundred yards from where his father, a laborer, worked as a hod carrier in building the Capitol. Doyle is a graduate of Anderson High School and Sam Houston College in Austin and took degree work at Columbia University. He is the first Negro in Texas history to study law in a State-owned school.
Only One Received
His registration was the only one received Monday, and at 5 p.m. enrollment time was officially closed. Dudley K. Woodward of Dallas, president of the University of Texas Board of Regents, said others could be taken until Friday, however, registering as late students. The University will operate the school until the Negro University at Houston can take it over.
Doyle explained part of the absence of other students on the fact that most Negroes to enter the school are already employed. W. R. Banks, principal emeritus of Prairie View Industrial College, who was in the city Monday, said he hoped to interest "at least a half-dozen" other Negroes in studying law here, and explained that he had come to Austin to look at the school and advise two Negroes, now graduate students at Prairie View, on whether to transfer. A third interested Negro student, he said, cannot leave his employment.
As the first and, so far, the only student in the law school, Doyle said he believed he would be better off for being in a small class, since "you become just a number" in larger classes. He will be taught beginning Tuesday morning by William F. Fritz, University law instructor.
Doyle originally indicated an interest in attending the school shortly after it was opened, but until Monday had not registered. He said then that he had not entered before because management of his business, now sold, prevented.