Clipped From Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Arch Underwood ; SOME YEARS ago, Arch Underwood told a_fnend: "When I die, 1 do not want a long biography-in the paper. All I hope will be m there is that I was a Presbyterian." Arch Underwood, who built a vast cotton compressing empire and found himself also actively engaged in banking, insurance and other forms of commerce, was a man o[ prominence in Texas for many years. So a report of his death could not bo held to the simple statement he had hoped for. But he was. as he said, a Pr<sbylerian--a faithful and a loyal member of his church and a supporter of-ils every activity. Yet even more, he was a Christian .whose allegiance !o his faith extended far beyond the real m of his personal choice of denominations. When Arch Underwood was a young married man—and only a few close friends ever knew about this—a child was.dcsperate- ly ill. so ill. in fact, that attending physicians lost hope for .survival. Then and there, Arch Underwood promised his God that if the child's life wore spared, he'd be a practicing Christian, a regular church nlleiulant and supporter for the rest of his days. Unlike many who make such pledges under similar stress, Arch Underwood kept his word. An unassuming man who preferred driving a several year old Plymouth to any of the proal gleaming models costing three limns as much, Arch Underworld always preferred The Faith to sit on the back row. Always humble, he shunned the platform and the limelight. Not many people realized it, but for years he was one of the more powerful of behind-the- scenes maharajahs of the Democratic Party, a friend and adviser of Presidents Truman and Roosevelt and a close, personal friend of the late Speaker Rayhurn and the then Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson. There was a period of some years during which Arch Underwood was. Without fanfare, "Mister Democrat" in Texas. While Arch Underwood had close friends m the highest places of government and commerce, ho also had friends among the workers, in his compresses and small town businessmen. He really did, as the saying goes, walk with kings -without losing the common touch. : - •'.,. • :.;... . '_ ' Most of all. though. Arch Underwood was a family man: husband, father, grandfather, even great grandfather. Nothing pleased him more than to gather around him those to whom he often referred to as "my bunch." It was when the "bunch" was together that Arch Underwood fully flowered—in his own home, not the White House, in which he spent .many hours in'earlier days. Mr. Underwood, truly, was "one of a kind." _ To his family, along with many other friends, ; we express sincere sympith>'