The Eastern District of Texas’ beginnings go back to the late 1800's. When Texas first joined the Union in 1845, the state was organized as one federal judicial district with court held at Galveston. The first district judge was John C. Watrous. In 1857, Congress divided Texas into two judicial districts—Eastern and Western—with one authorized judgeship for each district.
In 1954 a second judgeship was authorized and Lamar John Ryan Cecil was appointed by Dwight D. Eisenhower.