Governor John Bowden Connally, Jr. was born February 27, 1917 to John Bowden and Lela Wright Connally in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas, the third of seven children. In 1920, his father’s occupation was listed as being a stock farmer (rancher) in Floresville, which is located on the southeast side of San Antonio. By 1930, the family had moved into San Antonio for a time, as John, Sr. was operating a bus on a bus line. Governor Connally attended San Antonio Harlandale High School but graduated from high school in Floresville. After his graduation, he entered the University of Texas in Austin where he received his undergraduate degree and later earned a law degree.
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Dolph Briscoe, Jr. was the 41st governor of Texas. He was born April 23, 1923 in Uvalde County, Texas to Leigh Adolphus (Dolph) and Georgia M. Garvey Briscoe. His grandparents were Leigh Adolphus (the first of his Briscoe ancestors to be born in Texas) and Lucy A. Briscoe. Going further back on the Briscoe side, his great grandfather was Robert Permenias Briscoe and his great grandfather was Andrew Briscoe, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a settler in the old Fort Bend area.
(Image credit: lrl.texas.gov, the Legislative Reference Library)
Governor Beauford Halbert Jester was born in Corsicana, Texas on January 12, 1893. His parents were George Taylor and Francis Paine Gordon Jester. His father George Jester had served as Lieutenant Governor of Texas under Governor Charles Allen Culberson. Beauford was also descended from the Hampton McKinney family, thought to be the earliest settlers in Corsicana in the 1840s, as his great grandfather was Hampton McKinney and his grandmother was Diadema McKinney, the daughter of Hampton McKinney. Beauford graduated from Corsicana High School in 1911 and University of Texas in Austin in 1916. He had attended Harvard Law School for around two years but enlisted in the United States Army when the U. S. entered World War I in 1917. He was only a month or so from being eligible to graduate when he enlisted.
Pat Neff was the son of Noah and Isabella Eleanor Shepherd Neff. Noah was the descendant of German immigrants to the United States. Noah came to Texas in 1849, but returned home to Virginia several years later to marry Isabella. After the wedding Noah and Isabella rode in a carriage all the way from Virginia, a trip that took fifty-two days, with the newlyweds traveling six days and resting on Sunday.
Ann Richards was the 45th Governor of Texas, succeeding Governor Bill Clements. She was born Dorothy Ann Willis on September 1, 1933 to Robert Cecil and Mildred Iona Warren Willis. She grew up in the Lacy Lakeview area, just north of Waco, Texas. Her father worked as a truck driver for a pharmaceutical company. During World War II, the family briefly moved to San Diego, California before returning to live once more in Waco, Texas. She attended and graduated from Waco High School in downtown Waco. Her family was not wealthy, but she took piano and elocution lessons. Once when she was a senior at Waco High, she and classmate Marilyn Reese played a piano duet and took third place in a city-wide musical talent contest. Foreshadowing her later political career, Ann also was on the high school debate team and was selected to be a representative to Girls State, an American Legion Auxiliary leadership organization that mirrors each state’s government. She was attracted by the process and was selected as a representative to Girls Nation, a group select individuals from from among the Girls State representatives. Richards entered Baylor University in Waco after high school graduation on a debate scholarship. The future governor married her high school boyfriend, David Read Richards, in 1953 during her junior year in college, and Ann went on to graduate from Baylor University in Speech and Government the following year.
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was the second president of the Republic of Texas. He was born in Georgia in 1798 to John Samuel III and Rebecca Lamar. One of the youngest of eight children, Lamar was self educated, having been accepted to Princeton University, though he declined.