Firm History


The tracing of the history of a law firm is reminiscent of the story about the family in Arkansas who proudly proclaimed themselves the owner of the original axe of George Washington. They strongly defended its historic origin, but many doubted its authenticity because of its bright and shiny condition, with no appearance of its age. However, the family removed any doubts when they explained it received five new heads and seven new handles since the time Washington owned the axe.

Although its heads and handles have changed over the years, Patterson Boyd & Lowery, PC can trace its history. The law firm was founded by Honorable Robert L. Cole, Sr. in 1905, and is one of the oldest law firms in the City of Houston. Robert L. Cole, Sr., who was a native of Paris, Tennessee, briefly practiced with A.B. Wilson. He was later joined by his brother, John F. Cole, and the firm was formally named Cole & Cole.

Briefly, the firm expanded to include Arthur L. O’Conner, and the name became Cole, Cole & O’Conner. Later the firm included Bennett B. Patterson and the late W.L. Kemper, changing the firm name to Cole, Cole, Patterson & Kemper, until 1934, when Mr. Kemper left the firm with two of the associates, F. Warren Hicks, and John G. Cramer. A few years later the firm became known as Cole, Patterson, Cole & Bell, with the addition of Spurgeon E. Bell, who later became Justice Spurgeon E. Bell.

Jesse W. McDaniel became a member of the firm in 1936, and remained a member until June 30, 1977 when he retired. The firm name was Cole, Patterson, Cole & McDaniel from 1936 until 1956, when the name was changed to Patterson & McDaniel. Louis M. Moore later joined the firm, and the name was then changed to Patterson, McDaniel & Moore.

Upon the withdrawal of Mr. Moore from the firm, the name was changed to Patterson, McDaniel & Browder, when E.S. Browder was taken into the firm. After the death of Browder, Ross D. Margraves became a member under the name Patterson, McDaniel, & Margraves. Mr. Margraves left the firm shortly thereafter, and William C. Boyd joined the firm of Patterson, McDaniel & Boyd, which remained the name until July 1, 1977. Jesse W. McDaniel, who had been a member of the firm since 1936, retired in 1977, and at that time the name was changed to include the younger members and became Patterson, Boyd Lowery & Aderholt.

That name continued until approximately 1990 when Mr. Aderholt left the firm to become President of the Houston Bar Association. Mr. Lowery remained with the firm for approximately 26 years. In 1995, Mr. Lowery retired from the practice of law but continues to be “of counsel” for the firm. The firm name became Patterson, Boyd & Lowery in 1995. The firm, under the same name, is currently composed of William C. Boyd, Sr., his sons S. Scott Boyd and William C. Boyd, Jr., and associate Richard Fason.

It is proper to give recognition to the many lawyers who have been associated with the firm. Although there have been many, some who may be inadvertently omitted from the list, they all contributed to making Patterson, Boyd & Lowery, PC one of the finest law firms in Texas. The list of lawyers includes: Mr. W. Arthur Combs, Mr. W.A. Shields (deceased), Vernon B. Coe of Dallas, Texas, Seymour Lieberman, F. Warren Hicks, Harold F. Thurow, John G. Cramer (deceased), Mrs. Lynn C. Tamborello (deceased), Thomas J. Ryan, Russell A. Bonham (deceased), Mary Nan Bonham (deceased), Rebel C. Robertson (deceased), F.W. Heinson (deceased), Joseph Kirchheimer (deceased), Ted Kirchheimer (deceased), Hughes C. Cody, Levis Loggins, John L. Russell, Robert B. Thornton of San Antonio, Texas, Thomas C. Primm (deceased), Charles C. Foster, Jr., Willard M. Tinsley, John Kinner, Stephen W. Schueler, Arthur M. Glover, Thomas A. Adams, III, Ted Flick, James H. Parrish (deceased), Robert E. Newey, James H. Elder III, Robert M. Tramuto, R. Michael Smyrl, William F. Brown, Jr., Michael Sonnenschein, William Petersen, Douglas Dixon, Glen N. Steele, Richard Fason, S. Scott Boyd, and William C. Boyd, Jr.

In addition to the countless attorneys associated with the firm, there have been many loyal staff members. Ms. Lillian Tilley was Mr. Patterson’s secretary for more than 47 years. Ms. Tilley finally retired when she was approximately 92 years old. Dora Pocius retired from the firm as Mr. Boyd’s secretary at age 65 after having worked approximately 28 years. The firm’s loyal receptionist, Doris Chisholm began working for the firm on March 1, 1969 and retired in 2013. Teresa Muse was William Boyd’s secretary of over 20 years. Irma McFerrin was the firm’s bookkeeper for approximately 35 years. Present, long-time employee Sylvia Hebert has been with the firm over 21 years. Any success that the firm enjoyed is a result of these loyal employees.

Below is a brief history of some of the past and present members of the firm

Robert L. Cole, Sr. was a most able and active practicing lawyer, whose practice embraced appearances in all courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, until his death in 1948. He set an example for those who would follow him, and left the imprint of his fine character upon the moral, religious and political life of the City of Houston. He was Mayor of Houston Heights until it became a part of the City of Houston. He was the owner, and insatiable student and reader of the largest individual privately owned library in the City of Houston, which contained over 12,000 volumes.

William C. Boyd was born January 8, 1940. He received a BS degree in math and physics from Texas Tech in 1962. He spent two (2) years as a Data Analyst at White Sands Missile Range. In 1964 Mr. Boyd transferred to Houston to work at NASA in the newly established Space Program. Mr. Boyd was an Aerospace Technologist in the Flight Control Division at NASA. He attended night school while working at Nasa and graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1968 and has been practicing law since 1969. He is a former Director of the Houston Bar Association and of the State Bar of Texas. Mr. Boyd is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, American Bar Association and Commercial Law League. He is licensed to practice law in all State Courts, the Federal District Court for the Southern, Western and Northern District of Texas and the 5th Circuit of Appeals. He is a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of the City of Houston and has been contributor to the Texas Collections Manual.

R. Paxton Lowery, of counsel, was born in 1944 and actively practiced law after his graduation from the University of Texas in 1969 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree until his retirement in 1995.

Ben L. Aderholt was born in 1943. He graduated with a Degree of LLB from the University of Texas in 1968; he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas; he has been practicing since 1969 and continues to do so with another Houston firm.

Bennett B. Patterson graduated from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. in 1922. He was admitted to the Bar in the State of Texas on December 1, 1922 and practiced law continuously from that time until his death, October 23, 1982. Mr. Patterson was a contributor to the Texas Law Journal and other legal publications and was active in the civic, fraternal, and political life of the City of Houston for many years. Perhaps Mr. Patterson’s most important contribution to law is “The Forgotten Ninth Amendment” (1955, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Publishers), which is the first treatise on the 9th Amendment. This Amendment has now been accepted as authority by the Supreme Court of the United States as a basis for some of the enumerated rights protected by the 9th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In addition to being recognized as one of the finest lawyers in Texas, Mr. Patterson found time to be a gourmet chef and concert pianist. Mr. Patterson’s gardens were described in many leading home and garden magazines, and in his spare time, he also wrote poetry.

Richard L. Fason, a member of the firm since December 1999 was born in Houston, Texas on October 2, 1967. He attended the University of Texas in Austin, Texas where he obtained a B.A. Degree in 1991. In 1996, Mr. Fason obtained a J.D. Degree from South Texas School of Law in Houston, Texas. Mr. Fason is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Commercial Law League of America. He is licensed to practice law in all State Courts and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Edited by S. Scott Boyd, December 29, 2006