Henry Jacob Labatt: Pioneer Jewish Lawyer During His Texas Years

Henry Jacob Labatt – The Texas Years

Values Codes  I – H – E – L – P

Henry Labatt, 1896 WS 16/2292

Henry Labatt, 1896, #WS 16/2292

Henry Labatt was born in New Orleans in 1832.

He was educated at Yale and at the University of Louisiana.

He moved to Galveston, Texas from San Francisco in the 1860’s.

[For his earlier San Francisco years, click here.]



The 1872 Galveston City Directory lists Labatt & Noble, Attorneys. The firm moved a number of times to different locations.

In the 1893-4 Directory the listing hasLabatt & Labbat; Henry and his son Joseph.”

1883 was the year of the first meeting of the Texas Bar Association. Membership for lawyers was optional, and Labatt was a member from 1883-86 and 1889-94.



Henry Labatt was elected to the Galveston Board of Aldermen in 1869 and held the office until about 1877.

He was the Galveston City Treasurer in 1869.

He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from 1881-1883.



A town was named after Henry Labatt by the San Antonio & Arkansas Pass Railroad in Western Wilson County.

The town of Labatt was a railroad stop.

Henry Labatt may have been one of the railroad’s attorneys



Labatt was head of the Zacharias Frankel B’nai B’rith Lodge #242 of Galveston in 1878.



Henry Labatt gave the principle address at the dedication of Galveston’s Congregation B’nai Israel in 1870, acting as both a member of the congregation and as a Mason.


Henry Labatt’s wife was Eleanor.

Henry, Eleanor, their children Nellie and Joseph, and Joseph’s wife and four children all perished in the Great Galveston Storm of 1900.

49 Jews lost their life in that great hurricane, which took an estimated 6,000-12,000 lives.



  • William M. Kramer, “Henry J. Labatt, Pioneer Lawyer of California and Texas,” Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 15/1.
  • William M. Kramer, “Henry J. Labatt (1832-1900): Pioneer Lawyer of California and Texas,” Western States Jewish History 28/3.
  • William M. Kramer, “Henry J. Labatt on the Commercial Position of the Jews in California, 1856,” Western States Jewish History 29/3.
  • Norton B. Stern, “Henry J., Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part One, A-L,” Western States Jewish History 41/1.
Estimated 8-12,000 people died in the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, #WS7602

Estimated 6,000-12,000 people died in the 1900 Galveston Hurricane,