Biographical / Historical
Fletcher Warren (1896-1992) was a Foreign Service Officer from 1921-1960. He was born William Fletcher Warren near Wolfe City, Texas on March 3, 1896 to Moses Abraham Warren and Mary Elizabeth Wilson Warren followed by brothers, John Wilson and Dennis Dow, and a sister, Frances Thelma. Warren attended schools in Wolfe City beginning in 1904. He graduated valedictorian of Wolfe City High School in 1915 which allowed him to attend University of Texas, Austin tuition free. He enrolled at UT in the fall of 1915. After the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, Warren sought military enlistment through the Officers Training School at Leon Springs followed by the Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Army, but he was turned down due to his bad eye. Eventually, Warren was accepted to the United States Army Quartermaster Corps and reported to Camp Joseph Johnston in Jacksonville, Florida. His service stationed him in France, Depot No. 3, Base Section No. 2, Camp St. Sulpice, Izon, Gironde. Warren returned to the U.S. in 1919 and was discharged in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In January 1920, Warren returned to the University of Texas and to his previous job at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin where he also held residency. He met Wilhelmina Kuenstler (1897-1996), a student at Rice University, at a UT summer program the same year. He graduated in May 1921 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a minor in Government. After graduation, Warren pursued a career in Foreign Service and proceeded to Washington in June of 1921 to take the consular service entrance examination. Warren was notified in August he passed the exam and by December he was assigned his first post as Vice-Consul de Carrriere Class III in Havana, Cuba. Before moving to Havana, Warren married Wilhelmina Kuenstler on November 24th - Thanksgiving weekend - and they set sail for Havana on the Ward Line vessel Monterey in December. While in Havana, Warren held jobs at the invoice desk, visa office, American citizenship office, commercial desk, and file room.
Warren returned to Washington in 1925 and was appointed to the Consular Bureau at the Department of State where he served under the bureau chief Herbert C. Hengsler. Warren served as "conductor" or guide of the First Pan American Congress of Journalists who visited the United States in April 1926. Warren was assigned as Consul Officer in Barranquilla, Colombia, 1929-1931; Budapest, Hungary, 1931-1935; Managua, Nicaragua, 1935-1937; and Riga, Latvia, 1937-1938. After his service in Latvia, Warren returned to Washington to serve on Franklin D. Roosevelt's secret intelligence team, the Foreign Activities Correlation (FAC). A portion of this time was spent as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of State George S. Messersmith (1883-1960). Warren remained in the Department of State until he was assigned consular of the American Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia in 1942 and returned again to the Department of State on October 15, 1943, where he was executive assistant to Adolf A. Berle, Jr. (1895-1971). In April 1945, Warren was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nicaragua and served until 1947 when he was assigned as Ambassador of Paraguay. Warren also served as the Director of South American Affairs in the State Department, 1950-1951; Ambassador of Venezuela, 1951-1956; Ambassador of Turkey 1956-1960.
Warren bought a home in Greenville, Texas in 1958 where he and Wilhelmina retired in 1960. As a resident of Greenville, Warren served as Ambassador-in-Residence at East Texas State University and was asked to serve on the Greenville City Council in 1969. He served as mayor from 1969-1970 and was named Greenville’s Worthy Citizen of 1970 by the Chamber of Commerce. In 1976, the city of Greenville dedicated the Fletcher Warren Park in his honor and in 1990, he was Grand Marshall of the Hunt County Fair. Warren passed away on January 3, 1992 in Greenville.
Philips, Mary Ann. (2006). Fletcher Warren Reporting for Duty, Sir. Austin: Nortex Press.