Historical records matching 26th Governor of Texas James Edward "Pa" Ferguson, Jr.
About 26th Governor of Texas James Edward "Pa" Ferguson, Jr.
James Edward "Pa" Ferguson, Jr. (August 31, 1871 – September 21, 1944), was a Democratic politician and the 26th governor from the state of Texas.
Ferguson was born to the Reverend James Ferguson, Sr., and Fannie Ferguson near Salado in south Bell County, Texas. He entered Salado College at age twelve but was eventually expelled for disobedience. At the age of sixteen, he left home and drifted through the states of the American West, having been employed in a vineyard, a mine, a barbed wire factory, and a grain ranch. After he returned to Texas, he studied law in Bell County was admitted to the bar. On December 31, 1899, he married Miriam A. "Ma" Wallace at the Wallace family home. In 1903, he became the city attorney in Belton and established Farmers State Bank. In 1906, he sold Farmers bank and established Temple State Bank. He also managed several local political campaigns.
Governor of Texas
In 1914, Ferguson was elected Governor of Texas running as an anti-prohibitionist Democrat. He served in this position from January 19, 1915 to August 25, 1917.
After being re-elected in 1916, Ferguson vetoed the appropriations for the University of Texas. The veto was retaliation against the university because of its refusal to dismiss certain faculty members whom Ferguson found objectionable. This move spurred the drive to impeach Ferguson. A leading Ferguson critic on the UT campus was historian Eugene C. Barker. Ferguson was indicted on nine charges in July 1917. The Texas House of Representatives prepared 21 charges against Ferguson and the Senate convicted him on 10 of those charges, including misapplication of public funds and receiving $156,000 from an unnamed source. The Senate removed him from the office of Governor and declared him ineligible to hold office under Texas jurisdiction. Despite this ruling, Ferguson ran for governor in 1918, but he was defeated in the Democratic primary by William P. Hobby of Houston, previously the lieutenant governor.
Ferguson also ran for President of the United States in the 1920 election as the candidate of the American Party. Ferguson was on the ballot in only Texas, where he received 47,968 votes (9.86 percent of the vote in Texas, 0.18 percent of the vote nationwide). The 1920 presidential election was won by Republican candidate Warren Harding although Democratic nominee James M. Cox won in Texas.
Ferguson was also surpassed by three other unsuccessful candidates:
Eugene Victor Debs of the Socialist Party of America.
Parley Parker Christensen of the United States Farmer-Labor Party.
Aaron Sherman Watkins of the United States Prohibition Party.
Senate bid and First Gentleman of Texas
Ferguson failed at his bid for the United States Senate in 1922, having lost in the Democratic runoff election to Earle B. Mayfield. In 1924, Ferguson entered his wife Miriam in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. She won, and with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming, became one of the first two women elected governors in the United States, both having followed husbands who had served earlier. Miriam Ferguson served two nonconsecutive two year terms as governor: January 20, 1925 - January 17, 1927, and January 17, 1933 - January 15, 1935.
In 1935, the Fergusons lost their ranch in Bell County because of financial troubles. Nine years later Ferguson died of a stroke. He is interred next to his wife at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
Twenty-sixth Governor of Texas. Considered one of the most colorful and controversial figures in the history of Texas politics. Ferguson was born near Salado in Bell County, the son of a minister who died when James was four years old. He entered Salado College at age 12, was soon expelled for disobedience, and left home at 16 to drift through the western states, working in a vineyard, a mine, a barbed wire factory and a grain ranch. Upon his return to Texas, he studied law and in 1897 was admitted to the bar. He married Miriam Amanda Wallace in 1899. Ferguson started his political career in 1903 as the City Attorney in Belton. He established Farmers State Bank, which he sold in 1906, and then established Temple State Bank. In 1914 he ran for Texas Governor as an anti-prohibitionist Democrat, pledging to be "Farmer Jim," a people's governor who would make the government work for the common man; he was elected to two terms, serving as Governor from January 19, 1915 to August 25, 1917. Ferguson's time in that office was curtailed by controversy. In the middle of his second term, he vetoed appropriations for the University of Texas in retaliation for its refusal to dismiss faculty members he felt were lazy freeloaders who didn't earn their salaries. This move started a drive for impeachment proceedings against him. In July of 1917, he was indicted on nine charges. Seven of the charges related to misapplication of public funds, one to embezzlement, and one to the diversion of a special fund. He was convicted by the Senate on ten of twenty-one charges against him levied by the Texas House of Representatives. Five of the articles sustained by the Senate charged him with the misapplication of public funds, three related to his quarrel with the University; one declared that he had failed properly to respect and enforce the banking laws of the state; and one charged that he had received $156,500 in currency from a source that he refused to reveal. Ferguson resigned his office the day before the judgment was announced, but was still declared ineligible to hold office under Texas jurisdiction due to the impeachment judgment. He nevertheless ran again for Governor in 1918, to be defeated in the Democratic primary by former Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby. In 1920, he ran for President of the United States as a candidate on the American Party ticket, but was on the ballot only in Texas; he also failed in his bid for a seat in the United States Senate in 1922, losing in the Democratic runoff. In 1924, he entered his wife, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, in the Democratic primary race for Texas Governor. Their slogan was "Two Governors for the price of one" and they publicized themselves with the nicknames "Ma" and "Pa" Ferguson. She won and served two non-consecutive terms. In 1935, due to financial reversals, the Fergusons lost their Texas ranch. James Ferguson died of a stroke and is buried next to "Ma" at Texas State Cemetery in Austin. (bio by: [fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=46483679" target="_blank H M G)] Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1758
26th Governor of Texas James Edward "Pa" Ferguson, Jr.'s Timeline
August 31, 1871
Salado, Bell, Texas, United States
November 22, 1900
Belton, Bell County, Texas, USA
September 10, 1903
Austin, Travis Co., TX
September 21, 1944
Austin, Travis, Texas, United States
Texas State Cemetery (Plot: Republic Hill Section 2 Row H Number 1), Austin, Travis County, Texas USA