Portrait from the Texas Bar Journal, May 1973.
The city of Linden, Texas received extensive mention on January 7th's write-up on Shields Ivans Cornett, a former Linden mayor and Cass County Judge. As it turns out, Linden lucked into the good fortune of electing two oddly named mayors, and the man that preceded Cornett in that office, Czerny Roberts Newland, is profiled today. Like Mr. Cornett, C.R. Newland (as most sources list him) was a long time Linden based attorney and in the early 1940s, these two oddly named men operated a law firm together in that city.
Born on May 30, 1891 in Garland, Texas, Czerny Roberts Newland was the son of Neal Stone and Mary Alice (Roberts) Newland. The origins of Newland receiving the name "Czerny" have been lost to history, and one can only speculate as to why his parents would bestow this unusual name upon their son. Newland received his education at public and private schools in the Dallas County area, including the St. Matthew's School for Boys.
Prior to practicing law Newland worked as a telegraph operator, and after a period of study was admitted to practice law in February 1917. Newland would briefly operate a firm with Judge M. L. Robertson in Dallas before removing to the city of Burkburnett in Wichita County. It was in that county that Newland took an interest in oil-related litigation and leases, and remained there until resettling in Linden, Texas in the 1920s. Newland had married in the mid-1910s to Hettie Emily Henderson (1893-1939), with whom he had several children, including sons Czerny II (born 1919), Roy Henderson (1923-1977), Charles Hardin (1926-1973) and daughters Frances, Mary Kate, Nannie and Alice Nell. The couple would separate in the early 1930s and in 1931 Newland remarried to Elizabeth McCary Scott (birthdate unknown), to whom he was wed until his death in 1973.
Following his settlement in Linden Newland operated a joint law practice with G.E. Bartlett, and in the late 1920s was elected as the Mayor of Linden. He would serve twelve years in that office, but the exact dates of his terms (and whether they were consecutive or non-consecutive) remain a mystery. Several newspaper reports denote Newland first served as Linden's mayor in 1929 and was still serving in that post from 1934 to 1937, this according to numerous newspaper mentions of him in office during that time.
In 1937 C.R. Newland formed the law partnership of Newland, Cornett and Whitworth, taking as his partners future Linden Mayor Shields I. Cornett and attorney B.F. Whitworth. The last named man would leave this firm in 1940, whereafter Newland and Cornett would continue operations under the title Newland and Cornett.
From the Citizens Journal, January 25, 1940.
After leaving the mayor's office C.R. Newland continued to be politically active, being a member of the Texas Democratic Committee for over a decade and in 1944 served as part of the Texas delegation to that year's Democratic National Convention being held in Chicago. Newland would also be affiliated with the Sells Petroleum Corp. in Gladwater, Texas, being the head of that company's legal and land departments.
In the twilight of his life, C.R. Newland traveled widely and is also recorded as having been an "avid hunter and fisherman" and member of the local Lions Club. He died in Marshall, Texas on January 4, 1973, and was later interred at the Linden Cemetery #1, the same location as that of his law partner Shields I. Cornett.