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Future Texas governor born in Georgia

December
16
1861

On this day in 1861, Oscar Branch Colquitt, politician and governor, was born at Camilla, Georgia. His family moved in 1878 to Daingerfield, Texas, where young Colquitt worked as a tenant farmer. He became a newspaper publisher and entered politics as a state senator in 1895. Colquitt made an unsuccessful run for governor in 1906 and was elected in 1910 as an anti-prohibitionist. After being reelected in 1912, he held the office until 1915. His administration achieved a reform of the prison system, improvement in the physical plants and management of the charity institutions, great advancement in the educational system, and a number of measures designed to improve the lot of laborers. He left politics for a number of years after an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1916, but returned as leader of the "Hoover Democrats" in 1928. Colquitt was a self-made man, obstinate yet affable. Though not a polished orator, he was a convincing speaker and possessed of the "color that drew a crowd"; he was one of the most effective stump speakers in the history of Texas.

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