Ferguson, James Edward, 1871-1944

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Lawyer, banker, investor, and governor of Texas (1914-1917).

From the description of Ferguson, James Edward, collection, 1911-1936. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 23469789

Lawyer, banker, investor, and governor of Texas (1914-1917). Collection concerning James E. Ferguson was assembled by Alex Dienst, Texana collector and Ferguson's friend, and primarily documents Ferguson's political career and the controversy over his activities as governor. Included is material relating to Governor Ferguson's impeachment in 1917 and to his wife, Miriam Ferguson (governor 1924-1926 and 1932-1934).

From the guide to the James Edward Ferguson Collection, 1911-1936, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Governor James Edward Ferguson (1871-1941) was born near Salado, Bell County, Texas to James Edward and Fannie (Fitzpatrick) Ferguson. After traveling throughout the western United States in his youth, Ferguson studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1897, and began a law practice in Belton. In 1899, he married Miriam A. Wallace with whom he had two children. In addition to practicing law, Ferguson was associated with the Farmers State Bank of Belton, was a member of the Texas Bankers Association, and helped to establish the Temple State Bank. He also aided the political campaigns of Robert L. Henry (1902), Cone Johnson (1908), Robert V. Davidson (1910), and Oscar B. Colquitt (1912).

In 1914, Ferguson was nominated by the Democratic Party and elected Governor of Texas. Controversy arose when Ferguson vetoed appropriations to the University of Texas in 1916. As a result, movements to impeach Ferguson led to his conviction and removal from office. He sought reelection in 1918, but was defeated by William P. Hobby for the Democratic ticket. Two years later, Ferguson ran as the American Party candidate for President of the United States. He was also unsuccessful in running for the United States Senate in 1922. Later, he became the First Gentleman of Texas when his wife Miriam served as the first female governor from 1925 to 1927, and 1933 to 1935.

Source:

Steen, Ralph W. “Ferguson, James Edward.” Handbook of Texas Online . Accessed September 21, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffe05.

From the guide to the James Edward Ferguson Scrapbooks, 1914-1940, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Governor James Edward Ferguson (1871-1941) was born near Salado, Bell County, Texas to James Edward and Fannie (Fitzpatrick) Ferguson. After traveling throughout the western United States in his youth, Ferguson studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1897, and began a law practice in Belton. In 1899, he married Miriam A. Wallace with whom he had two children. In addition to practicing law, Ferguson was associated with the Farmers State Bank of Belton, was a member of the Texas Bankers Association, and helped to establish the Temple State Bank. He also aided the political campaigns of Robert L. Henry (1902), Cone Johnson (1908), Robert V. Davidson (1910), and Oscar B. Colquitt (1912).

In 1914, Ferguson was nominated by the Democratic Party and elected Governor of Texas. Controversy arose when Ferguson vetoed appropriations to the University of Texas in 1916. As a result, movements to impeach Ferguson led to his conviction and removal from office. He sought reelection in 1918, but was defeated by William P. Hobby for the Democratic ticket. Two years later, Ferguson ran as the American Party candidate for President of the United States. He was also unsuccessful in running for the United States Senate in 1922. Later, he became the First Gentleman of Texas when his wife Miriam served as the first female governor from 1925 to 1927, and 1933 to 1935.

Source:

Steen, Ralph W. “Ferguson, James Edward.” Handbook of Texas Online . Accessed September 21, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffe05.

From the guide to the James Edward Ferguson Collection, 1911-1936, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

James Edward and Miriam Amanda Wallace Ferguson, "Ma" and "Pa" Ferguson to a generation of voters, dominated Texas state politics in the early 1900s. Both served as Texas governors during a time of expanding public education, voter intimidation, prohibition, and depression.

James Ferguson, born in 1871 in Bell County, Texas, received only rudimentary schooling, spending most of his time working the fields of his family's farm. At age sixteen he left home and took any employment offered. By the time he came home and married Miriam Amanda Wallace in 1899, he had worked at farming, building railroad bridges, and law. Though he set up his own law practice in Belton, Texas, James continued pursuing other work, including banking, real estate, insurance, and politics.

Miriam Amanda Wallace Ferguson was born in 1875, also in Bell County, Texas. Unlike her eventual husband James Ferguson, she received quite a bit of schooling, graduating from Salado College and Baylor Female College in Belton. Marrying James in 1899, she helped raise their two daughters while he entered state politics.

After working up through several different Democratic gubernatorial campaigns in 1902, 1908, 1910, and 1912, James Ferguson ran as an anti-prohibitionist and a friend to tenant farmers, and won the Texas governor's seat in 1915. Despite passing several laws of notable importance, a disagreement about Ferguson's wishes to remove several professors at the University of Texas resulted in an investigation of his work as governor. When several questionable business dealings were turned up, the Senate impeached him and barred him from ever holding political office again. Though James resigned the governorship the day before the impeachment results were announced, the Senate's decree against holding political office stood. James Ferguson never held political office again, though he ran for governor again in 1918, president of the United States in 1920, and a senate seat in 1922.

However, the Ferguson's solution to James not holding office again was that Miriam would become the family politician. Miriam, known as "Ma" due to a campaign slogan, entered the race for Texas governor in 1924. She opposed the Ku Klux Klan, prohibition, and sought to clear the Ferguson name. Miriam won the governor's seat, becoming the first female Texas governor and the second woman governor in United States history. Speeches from her campaign are preserved within this collection. Her administration was marked by strife, due to a broken campaign promise to reduce state spending and her habit of granting unusually large numbers of pardons. She finished her first term in 1926, did not run in 1928, lost in 1930, and won a second term in 1932. Her administration in 1932-1934 did not attract controversy, even though she continued her pardoning ways and even proposed a state sales tax, which was not adopted. At the conclusion of her term in 1934, she would never again hold public office, despite running for governor in 1940. Several scrapbooks in this collection document Miriam's terms as governor.

The Fergusons continued to wield political influence across the state even when not campaigning for or holding office. Correspondence from this collection indicates a working relationship with United States presidents Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. After a generation of Texas politics where people were either for or against the Fergusons, James Ferguson died on 21 September 1944. Miriam continued on, enjoying private life with none of the publicity that came with her many political campaigns. Her eightieth birthday in 1955 was cause for a big celebration. A program from that birthday celebration can be found in this collection. Miriam, the first female governor of Texas, died on 25 June 1961.

From the description of Governors James E. and Miriam "Ma" Ferguson collection, 1914-1975, undated 1917-1940, undated. (Baylor University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 756860821

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Roosevelt, Franklin D. Letters 66-115; 71-165; 2012-196., 1918, 1933-1945 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Miriam Amanda Ferguson. Texas Woman's University Library, Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey Library
referencedIn Lomax (John Avery) Family Papers 30425536., 1842, 1853-1986. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Batts, R. L. (Robert Lynn), 1864-1935. Batts, Robert Lynn, papers, 1885-1935. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Battle, William James, 1870-1955. Battle, William James, papers, 1870-1959. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Hogg (William Clifford) Papers HOGG, WILLIAM CLIFFORD, PAPERS., 1897-1932 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Davidson, Lynch, Political Scrapbooks, 1920-1931 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn General John A. Hulen papers, 1887-1960 Texas State Archives
referencedIn James Edward Ferguson Scrapbooks, 1914-1940 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Granbery, John C. Granbery, John C. Papers, 1863-1955 University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Fred Acree Papers, 1820-1947 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Sutton, William Seneca, Papers 1933, 1952., 1894-1928 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf James Edward Ferguson Collection, 1911-1936 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Teagarden, William B., 1854-1933. Teagarden, William B., Papers, 1888-1942 University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Dienst, Alex, 1870-1938. Dienst, Alexander, collection, 1784-1929. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers Mss 0074., 1914-1944, 1914-1920 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library,
creatorOf James Edward Ferguson Collection, 1911-1936 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf Ferguson, James Edward, 1871-1944. Governors James E. and Miriam "Ma" Ferguson collection, 1914-1975, undated 1917-1940, undated. Baylor University Libraries, Moody Memorial Library
referencedIn Lomax, John A. (John Avery), 1867-1948. Lomax, John Avery, family papers, 1842-1986. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn William H. Bledsoe Papers, S95. 1., 1851-1967 and undated Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University,
referencedIn Batts (Robert Lynn) Papers, 1820-1935, 1949 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Biography -- Ferguson, Jim. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Sanderford, Ghent, 1889-1979. Oral history interview with Ghent Sanderford, 1967 May 8 and July 3. University of North Texas Library, UNT
referencedIn Ayres, Atlee B. papers 85-088; 85-125; 86-037; 86-204; 87-130; 87-300; 88-322; 89-351; 90-050., 1899-1939 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin D., Letters, 1933-1945 University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf James Edward Ferguson Scrapbooks, 1914-1940 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Teagarden, William B. Papers 1942; 66-033., 1888-1942 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Oscar Branch Colquitt Papers, 1873-1941. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn William James Battle Papers, 1870-1959 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Crane, Martin McNulty, 1855-1943. Crane, Martin McNulty, papers, 1834-1973. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Shelton, Emmett. [The two Fergusons]. Austin Public Library, John Henry Faulk Central Library
referencedIn Anne Fears Crawford papers MS 205., 1879-1999 Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University
referencedIn Ruth Harris Papers AR. 2011. 001., 1912-1973, 1944, 1961-1973 Austin History Center, Austin Public Library..
referencedIn Smith, Wilford Bascom, Pitchfork, papers 1940; 67-114., 1905-1940 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Bledsoe, William Harrison, 1869-1936. Papers, 1851-1971, 1851-1949. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Colquitt, Oscar Branch, 1861-1940. Colquitt, Oscar Branch, papers, 1873-1941. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Ayres, Atlee Bernard, 1873-1969. Ayres, Atlee B., papers, 1899-1939 University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Hogg, Will C. (William Clifford), 1875-1930. Hogg, William Clifford, papers, 1897-1932. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Bledsoe, Emma K. Papers, 1905-1983. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn McCallum, Jane Y., 1878-1957. McCallum, Jane Y. and Arthur N., family papers, 1894-1982 (bulk 1910-1956). University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Connellee, Charles Ulrich, 1851-1930. Connellee, Charles Ulrich, papers, 1846-1918 University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn McCallum, Jane Y. and Arthur N. family papers 89-378; 89-379; 2006-294., 1894-1982 (bulk 1910-1956) Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Smith, Wilford B., 1884-1939. Smith, Wilford Bascom Pitchfork, papers, 1905-1940 University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Ferguson, James Edward, 1871-1944. Ferguson, James Edward, collection, 1911-1936. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Battle Family Papers, 1765-1955 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Records, 1915-1918, 1920, (bulk 1915-1917) Texas State Archives
referencedIn Granbery, John C. Papers 86-150., 1863-1955 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Acree, Fred person
associatedWith Adoue, Louis A. person
associatedWith Adoue, Louis A. person
associatedWith Ayres, Atlee Bernard, 1873-1969 person
associatedWith Ball, Thomas Henry, 1859-1944. person
associatedWith Battle family. family
associatedWith Battle, William James person
associatedWith Battle, William James, 1870-1955. person
associatedWith Batts, R. L. (Robert Lynn), 1864-1935 person
associatedWith Bledsoe, Emma K. person
associatedWith Bledsoe, William H. person
associatedWith Colquitt, Oscar Branch person
associatedWith Connellee, Charles Ulrich, 1851-1930 person
associatedWith Crane, Martin McNulty, 1855-1943. person
associatedWith Crawford, Anne Fears, 1932-2004 person
associatedWith Culberson, Charles Allen person
associatedWith Cunningham, Minnie Fisher person
associatedWith Dannebaum, Henry J. person
associatedWith Dannenbaum, Henry J. person
associatedWith Davidson, Lynch, 1873-1952 person
associatedWith Democratic Party (Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dienst, Alex person
associatedWith Dienst, Alex, 1870-1938. person
associatedWith Ferguson, James Edward, 1871-1944 person
associatedWith Ferguson, Miriam Amanda person
associatedWith Granbery, John C. person
associatedWith Hanger, William A. person
associatedWith Hanger, William A. person
associatedWith Harris, Ruth person
associatedWith Henry, Robert Lee person
associatedWith Hobby, William Pettus person
associatedWith Hogg, Will C. (William Clifford), 1875-1930 person
associatedWith Hulen, John A. (John Augustus), 1871-1957 person
associatedWith Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) corporateBody
associatedWith Lomax, John Avery, 1867-1948 person
associatedWith Love, Thomas B. person
associatedWith McCallum, Alvaro person
associatedWith McCallum, Arthur N., 1866-1943 person
associatedWith McCallum family family
associatedWith McCallum, Jane Y. person
associatedWith McCallum, Jane Y., 1878-1957. person
associatedWith Moody, Daniel James Jr. person
associatedWith Poe, H. C. person
associatedWith Poe, H. C. person
associatedWith Poindexter, William person
associatedWith Poindexter, William, 1854-1923. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. person
associatedWith Sanderford, Ghent, 1889-1979. person
associatedWith Shelton, Emmett. person
associatedWith Smith, Wilford B., 1884-1939 person
associatedWith Sterling, Ross S. person
associatedWith Sutton, William Seneca, 1860-1928 person
associatedWith Teagarden, William B., 1854-1933 person
associatedWith Temple State Bank corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Governor (1915-1917 : Ferguson) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Texas corporateBody
associatedWith University of Texas at Austin corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Austin (Tex.)
Texas. Office of the Governor
United States
Austin (Tex.)
Texas
Texas. Governor (1915-1917 : Ferguson)
Bell County (Tex.)
Texas
Texas
Texas. Governor (1915-1917 : Ferguson)
Bell County (Tex.)
Texas
Temple (Tex.)
Temple (Tex.)
Subject
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )--Texas
Politicians
Women--Suffrage
Labor and laboring classes
World War I (1914-1918)
Labor and laboring classes--Texas
Speeches, addresses, etc., American--20th century
Political campaigns--Texas--History--20th century
Governor
Prohibition--Texas--History
Temple State Bank (Temple, Texas)
Banks and banking
Banks and banking--Texas--History
Caricatures and cartoons
Cartoons, Political--United States
World War, 1914-1918--Sources
Suffrage
Governors--Election
Politics, Practical--Texas--History--20th century
Politics and politicians--Texas
Prohibition
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1871-08-31

Death 1944-09-21

Male

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6tt500f

Ark ID: w6tt500f

SNAC ID: 10666521