Joe Frantz observed that all Texas governors are judged by the standard
set by James Stephen Hogg. Frantz said he knew this was true because
the introduction of nearly every governor in the twentieth century
said that the incumbent was "the best since Jim Hogg."
Jim Hogg certainly was one of the best, and he claimed another distinction:
the first governor born in the state. Hogg was born in Rusk,
Texas, in 1851. He was tutored privately before attending a formal
school in Alabama.
Hogg returned to Texas and worked
as a typesetter for the newspaper in Rusk
before editing newspapers in Tyler,
While working in Quitman,
Hogg married Sarah (Sallie) Stinson. He served as county attorney
for Wood County and then district attorney for the Seventh District.
Hogg was elected attorney general of Texas
in 1886, the year Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross was elected governor.
Ross supported Hogg's crusades against the insurance and railroad
industries, which resulted in savings for policy holders and better
Hogg lost some, too. In the "Grass Lease Cases" he was unable to force
renegotiation of "sweetheart" deals that allowed West
Texas cattle raisers use of public lands for grazing without paying
market value, and he lost the "Drummer Tax" case, or a tax on traveling
salesmen. On the whole, though, he won the votes of a majority of
because they knew he was fighting for their interests. Hogg won reelection
in 1888 and then was elected governor in 1890 and 1892.
Governor Hogg introduced the Progressive Era to Texas.
He persuaded the legislature to create the Railroad Commission, the
first state regulatory agency in America, and institute a number of
reforms in stock and bond transactions.
After retiring from the governor's office in 1895, Hogg, who had not
made much money while in public service, became a millionaire through
the practice of law and lucrative investments associated with the
new oil industry. His daughter, Ima Hogg, used that fortune in many
philanthropic ways until her own death in 1975.
And no, there were no children named Ura Hogg or Hesa Hogg.
All Things Historical
August 27, 2000
Published by permission.
(Archie McDonald is author of Pioneers, Poke Sallet and Politics with
Bob Bowman. It is available through the East Texas Historical Association,
| Columns | Texas
Hogg Related Stories:
Hogg by Mike Cox
In the spring, many a young man’s fancy turns to…fishing. Back in
the spring of 1891, even Gov. James S. Hogg could not control an
urge almost as strong as that other longing that often evidences
itself when the wild flowers start blooming. Only three months after
being sworn in as Texas’ 20th governor, as soon as he could take
a break from his executive duties the 40-year-old governor boarded
the International and Great Northern train in Austin and headed
for his native East Texas...
Hogg Shrine Historic Site
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