Archie P. McDonald, PhD
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.
returned to Texas and worked as a typesetter
for the newspaper in Rusk
before editing newspapers in Tyler,
Longview, and Quitman.
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 transportation
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 Texans
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
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, Nacogdoches)
Hogg Related Stories:Fishing
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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