Marshall Formby

Marshall Formby

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Marshall Formby

 


Marshall Formby

Throughout his career, Marshall Formby served in a variety of capacities in the state of Texas. In the legal field, he is best remembered for becoming a member of the law firm of LaFont and Tudor in 1952. The firm, which is now known as LaFont, Formby & Hamilton, is still in existence.

Born in Hopkins County in 1911, Marshall Formby entered the legal profession early in his career. In 1936, at the age of 25, he decided to run for county judge of McAdoo, Texas. Upon his election, he became one of the youngest county judges in the state. Marshall Formby's immediate priority was to help the county return to its budget to operating on a cash rather than debt basis, which he managed to do. Four years later, he was elected to the State Senate.

After serving in World War II, Marshall Formby returned home to Texas and studied law at Baylor Law School, from which he graduated in 1951. The following year, he joined the Texas Highway Commission. At that time, West Texas did not have many interstate highways and many of the roads were muddy and ill-paved, making it difficult for commerce to be transported through these areas.

In order to expedite the construction of highways, Marshall Formby used his legal training to establish "right of way" purchase programs. These are designed to help construct highways by establishing the right of the government to purchase property which is necessary in order to facilitate construction. Marshall Formby helped codify the procedures to be used in such cases, including the appraisal of the property of value and compensation awarded to its owners. In recognition of his efforts, the Marshall Formby Memorial Highway was later established.

Marshall Formby was appointed to chairman of the Texas Highway Commission in 1957, a position which he maintained for three years until his resignation in 1959. Following the end of his service in this capacity, he made an unsuccessful run for governor of the state of Texas in 1962. In 1967, Marshall Formby joined the state's College Coordinating Board.

Throughout his life, Marshall Formby practiced law in Plainview, Texas. In this capacity, he served as an advisor to four radio stations. In addition, he was the operator of a 960 acre farm. In addition to his legal accomplishments, Marshall Formby served on a number of advisory boards, including that of Texas Tech College, the Texas Turnpike Authority and the Central Plains Region Hospital Board.

Following his death in 1984, Marshall Formby was also made the namesake of the Marshall Formby Unit in Plainview, Texas. This unit of the Texas correctional facilities was established in 1995. The Marshall Formby Unit houses low, medium and high risk inmates, as well as offering special management and rehabilitation services for prisoners with drug and alcohol dependencies. The maximum capacity of the Marshall Formby unit is 1,100 prisoners. 

 

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