Hortense Sparks Ward (1872-1944)
An influential women’s suffrage supporter and the first woman admitted to the Texas state bar was Hortense Sparks Ward. While a stenographer and court reporter, Ward became interested in law. In 1910 she successfully passed the bar exam in Texas. Ward then practiced law with her second husband in the civil law firm of Ward and Ward. In 1915 they were both admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. Ward championed women’s rights lobbying in Texas and wrote numerous newspaper articles and pamphlets. Other issues she lobbied for were a fifty-four hour workweek for women, a women’s division of the state department of labor, and a domestic relations court. She practiced law until the death of her husband in 1939, and she died in 1944.
- Article is excerpted from a NWHM Summer 2004 Newsletter
- PHOTO: Texas State Library & Archives Commission