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Ima Hogg

imahogg

(Image credit: Houston Museum of Fine Arts)

One of the more unique and recognizable names in Texas was Miss Ima Hogg.  Her father was James Stephen Hogg, the first native born governor of Texas, who served as governor from 1891 to 1895.  James and Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg had three sons and Imogene, their only daughter.  It is not known for certain who Imogene was named for, but the story is told that James had a brother named Thomas Elisha Hogg, a Confederate Captain, who had written a Civil War poem “The Fate of Marvin.”  The poem was about a Southern girl named Ima who had cared for a Union soldier.  There are some stories floating around that she had a sister named Ura, but according to published genealogy records, Ima was the only daughter of Jim Hogg and Sarah Stinson Hogg.

Jim Hogg’s father was General Joseph I. Hogg who had helped draft the 1845 Texas Constitution.  Both Jim’s father and mother, the former Lucanda McMath, died when he was young and he was raised by an aunt.  Jim started out in the newspaper business as a type setter for his local paper in Rusk and later published his own newspapers in Longview and Quitman from 1871 to 1873.  Some of the early causes he supported were to oppose the radical reconstruction of the South following the Civil War and more particularly to comment on the activities of state police force of the last reconstruction governor, Edmund J. Davis.  He also served as justice of the peace in Quitman from 1873 to 1875.  Jim also spent the two years studying law and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1875.  He made an unsuccessful run for the State Legislature in 1876, which was his only defeat in an election.

Jim was elected County Attorney in 1878 and then served as Disrict Attorney of Wood County from 1880 to 1884.  For the next several years, he practiced law in East Texas.  He publicly opposed the poll tax and was a proponent of allowing all adults to vote regardless of race or sex before amendments were passed to put both into law.  Ima was born July 10, 1882 in Mineola, Texas while Jim Hogg was serving as district attorney.

He served two terms as Governor of Texas, from 1891 to 1895.  While governor, Jim worked with the newly created Railroad Commission to monitor and oversee the development of railroads in Texas.  He helped counteract the policies of unscrupulous railroad operators having to do with excessive shipping rates being charged within the state, alleged manipulation of stock prices and he helped to guard citizens against unfair land practices of the railroad companies.  Hogg died in 1906 when he was only 56 years old.  About a year earlier, he had been injured in a railroad accident and never was completely healthy thereafter.  His wife, Sarah Ann, had predeceased him a decade earlier.  In 1913, Jim Hogg County in far south Texas was named for the late governor when it was created out of Duvall and Brooks counties.

Hogg left his estate to his family.  His daughter Ima became a well known and respected philanthropist.  She had studied music when she was young and wanted to become a concert pianist.  Although that dream was never realized, she retained her interest in music and was instrumental in the founding of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in 1913.  The new symphony played its first concert on June 21 of that year.  Ima had been treated for a nervous disorder while she was still relatively young, leading to her interest in mental health.  She founded the first child guidance clinic in the United States and the Hogg Mental Health Foundation, among her other activities.

She restored the first home of the Jim Hogg family, donating it to Jim Hogg State Park in Quitman, Texas and also donated another family home, the Varner Plantation, along with many historical documents to the state as part of the Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site.  She was also known for her support for the preservation of Texas historical sites.

“Miss Ima” died at the age of 93 while on a trip to London, England to visit museums and enjoy concert performances.  She fell while exiting a taxi, breaking her hip, and died from complications of the fall.  Her remains were returned to Texas and she was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.  Ima never married and it is believed that the bulk of her estate, including her Houston home Bayou Bend, was given to charities, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

Links:
Jim Hogg State Park
Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site
Bayou Bend Mansion

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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in history, texas, texas women

 

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Dale Evans, born in Uvalde

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(Image credit: gettyimages.com, showing Dale Evans between the actor Jimmy Stewart and Dale’s husband Roy Rogers.)

Dale Evans was born Lucile Smith (later changed to Frances Octavia Smith) on October 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Texas to Walter Hillman Smith and Bettie Sue Coln, according to published genealogy records.  The family later moved to Osceola, Arkansas where she attended high school.  When she was 14, she eloped and married Thomas Frederick Fox with whom she had her first born son, Tom Fox, Jr.  The marriage ended shortly thereafter and two years later, she married August W. Johns.  In 1936, she married Robert Dale Butts, which relationship lasted about nine years.  She had no children from the latter two marriages.  In her early years, she struggled as a single parent and supported herself by working as a secretary, a singer and working in radio in Chicago, Memphis, Dallas and Louisville.  She was given the stage name of Dale Evans by a radio station manager who suggested it because it was easier to pronounce than Frances Octavia Smith.

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Posted by on July 20, 2017 in biography, history, texas, texas women

 

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Rachel Parker Plummer

Cynthia Ann Parker’s tragic story is better known, but there were other individuals including Rachel Parker Plummer who were taken by the Comanches in the attack on Fort Parker.  The battle occurred on May 19, 1836 at a fort near Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas.  At the time, there were thirty or more members of the extended Parker family living in or around the stockade fort.  Killed were Silas Mercer Parker, John Parker, Samuel Frost, Robert Frost and Benjamin Parker.  Those who were captured included Cynthia Ann Parker, her brother John Richard Parker, Elizabeth Kellogg, Rachel Parker Plummer and her three year old son James Pratt Plummer.

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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in biography, history, texas, texas women

 

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Angelina Eberly

Angelina Peyton Eberly is credited with having saved Austin as the capital of Texas by preventing the state archives from being removed to another location.  While her name may not be as familiar as others, her story is one worth knowing.

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in biography, heroes, history, republic of texas, texas women

 

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Sally Scull

Depending upon where you may have heard of Sally Scull, you might get the impression that she was a Texas Civil War heroine, a “black widow” husband-killer or just about anything between the two.  You may also see her name spelled Skull as well as Scull, but for this purpose, we will use the latter.  She had a reputation for being able to shoot as straight with her left hand as with her right.  She usually carried two six shooters, often wore mens’ clothing and had a rough vocabulary that she used freely, and often.

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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in biography, folklore, history, texas, texas women

 

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Mexia, Texas

Mexia is located in Limestone County in east central Texas.  It was founded in the 1800s and lies just north of Fort Parker with Groesbeck being the nearest town to the south of the fort.  Before the Anglo settlement began in the area, it was home to Native American tribes including the Comanche.

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Francita Alavéz, the Angel of Goliad

On March 27, some 21 days after the fall of the Alamo, James Fannin and roughly 345 captured soldiers were executed by Mexican General Urrea at the order of Santa Anna after the fall of the Presidio la Bahia.  The bodies of the soldiers were burned.

Out of this story came another one of a Mexican woman who had shown mercy to those who had been captured at other times or feigned death in the massacre.  In various accounts, the woman was referred to by several variations of the name, including Alvarez, but for this account, we will use Francita Alavéz or just Señora Alavéz.

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