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Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer, L.L.P. with its predecessors dates back to the year 1859, when Fletcher S. Stockdale and David C. Proctor established the law firm of Stockdale & Proctor at Indianola in Calhoun County, Texas.

Proctor graduated first in his class from Yale in 1854 and second from Harvard Law School in 1856. He fought in the Civil War where he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private and by the end of the war he had been promoted to the rank of major.

Stockdale was elected Lieutenant-Governor of Texas in 1863. He also served in the state senate from 1857 to 1861. The town of Stockdale in Wilson County was named for him.

The partnership practice thus established was interrupted by the Civil War in 1867 it was renewed at Indianola, Texas. Several hurricanes literally destroyed the town of Indianola, and in 1880 the partnership practice was moved to Cuero in DeWitt County, Texas, where it continued until the death of Mr. Stockdale in 1890.

Historical image of previous partners, Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer

Former partners of the firm from left to right: Frank H. Crain (1874-1950), Guy Mitchell (1870-1929), V. B. Proctor (1862-1936), J. V. Vandenberge, Sr. (1868-1951). The table in this picture is still in use at our office.

Mr. D. C. Proctor was then joined in the practice by his two sons, V. B. Proctor and Fred C. Proctor, and they practiced under the firm name of the Proctors with offices in Cuero and Victoria until the year 1903. In that year, J. V. Vandenberge and Frank H. Crain became members of the firm and the partnership was conducted under the name of Proctor, Vandenberge & Crain until the year 1914, when Guy Mitchell joined the firm name, making the firm name Proctor, Vandenberge, Crain & Mitchell.

Mr. Mitchell died in 1929 and J. V. Vandenberge, Jr. joined the firm, which then continued the practice under the name of Proctor, Vandenberge, Crain & Vandenberge. John G. Stofer joined the firm and V. B. Proctor died, and in 1935 the firm was reorganized under the name of Vandenberge, Crain & Stofer. In 1948 when John Stofer left the firm for an individual practice, Gene Houchins joined the firm and the firm was then named Vandenberge, Crain & Houchins.

The firm was virtually depleted by tragic events commencing with the death of Frank H. Crain on Christmas Day in 1950, and with the death of J. V. Vandenberge, Jr. who died the following day enroute to Mr. Crain’s funeral. Mr. Vandenberge, Sr. died less than six months later. Gene Houchins, the sole remaining member of the firm, then merged his practice with John G. Stofer and with Fred C. Proctor, Jr. and Conde N. Anderson and formed the firm of Stofer, Proctor, Houchins & Anderson in 1951.

When John Stofer died in 1957, the remaining partners in the firm, Gene Houchins, Conde N. Anderson, Munson Smith and M. L. Null, continued the practice under the name Houchins, Anderson, Smith & Null. Then after Gene Houchins’ death and the addition of James N. Stofer and David A. Smith to the firm in 1972, the name of the firm was changed to Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer.

The firm continued under the name Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer until 1993. When it became Anderson, Smith, Null, Stofer and Murphree, L.L.P. The name reverted back to Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer, L.L.P. in 2000 and continues as such to this day.

The firm continues to practice in Victoria, Texas and is proud to know its roots make it the second oldest firm in the State of Texas. The present partnership is composed of Richard T. Chapman, Janis L. Scott, and J. Milton Chapman.