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 40s 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. "Miss Ima", as she was known (she never married but she had many suitors), founded the Houston Symphony, served on the Houston School Board, established the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and restored several historic Texas buildings. She would have been famous, even without her unusual name.
©1984, 1996, 2011 Virginia Bernhard (P)2014 Virginia Bernhard