Virginia Bernhard

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Publications

Ima Hogg: The Governor's Daughter


Texas legend has it that James Stephen Hogg, Governor of Texas from 1890 to 1894, named his daughters Ima and Ura, but that is only half-true: there never was a Ura. Ima had three brothers, Will, Mike, and Tom. Ima Hogg, who was born in 1882 and died in 1975 at age 93, became a legend in her own right, and this book is her story. It is also the story of the extraordinary bond between a father and a daughter. James Stephen Hogg, who worked his way from a hardscrabble life in the piney woods of East Texas to the Governor's Mansion in Austin, was a giant in Texas politics, both literally (standing six feet three inches tall and weighing close to 300 pounds) and figuratively, as the champion of the "little people" against big business in the 1890s. He adored his daughter, and after his wife, Sallie Stinson Hogg, died of tuberculosis in 1895, Ima and her father drew even closer. Jim Hogg, a widower in his 40's with four children--Will, 20; Ima, 13, Mike, 10, and Tom, 8--left politics to practice law in Austin, and Ima became the "sunshine" of her father's household. While Ima attended the University of Texas and then studied music in New York City, ex-Governor Hogg pursued business interests, and was one of the early investors in the Texas oil boom after the Spindletop gusher in 1901. He was not a rich man when he died in 1906, but the old plantation he bought in Brazos County near West Columbia would eventually produce oil that would make Ima and her brothers wealthy. The Hogg children lived well, but they also devoted part of their time and money to the enrichment of the educational and cultural life of Texas. Will gave generously to the University of Texas, his alma mater, and to many other institutions, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Houston YMCA. “Miss Ima," as she was known (she never married), founded the Houston Symphony, served on the Houston School Board, established the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and restored several historic Texas buildings, including the house at the Varner-Hogg Historic Site, which had been her father's beloved country home. In 1966 she gave her own house, filled with the priceless Early American art and furniture she had collected, as the Bayou Bend Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Thousands of people visit Bayou Bend every year, and this book describes its history, as well as that of an extraordinary Texas woman.  Ima Hogg: The Goverrnor's Daughter is number 20 in the Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series. 
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The Hoggs of Texas: Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906


In The Hoggs of Texas: Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906, Virginia Bernhard delves into the unpublished letters of one of Texas’s most extraordinarily families and tells their story. In their own words, which are published here for the first time. Rich in details, the more than four hundred letters in this volume begin in 1887 in 1906, following the family through the hurly-burly of Texas politics and the ups-and-downs of their own lives. The letters illuminate the little-known private life of one of Texas’s most famous families. Like all families, the Hoggs were far from perfect. Governor James Stephen Hogg (sometimes called "Stupendous" for his 6'3", 300-plus pound frame), who lived and breathed politics, did his best to balance his career with the needs of his wife and children. His frequent travels were hard on his wife and children. Wife Sallie’s years of illness casted a pall over the household. Son Will and his father were not close. Sons Mike and Tom did poorly in school. Daughter Ima may have had a secret romance. Hogg’s sister, “Aunt Fannie," was a domestic tyrant. The letters in this volume, often poignant and amusing, are interspersed liberally with portions of Ima Hogg's personal memoir and informative commentary from historian Virginia Bernhard. They show the Hoggs as their world changed, as Texas and the nation left horse-and-buggy days and entered the twentieth century.

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Handbook Entries

Title Contributor Type
Hogg, Ima Author
University of St. Thomas Author

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