List of First Ladies and Gentlemen of Texas
The First Ladies and Gentlemen of Texas, both under the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas, have been a wide spectrum of personalities and abilities. The position of First Spouse has been defined by individual achievements and perspectives of official spouses for over 75 years. Some enjoyed their positions and seized the opportunity to help shape the state's history. Others were there reluctantly.
Margaret Lea Houston can arguably be called the original First Lady of Texas. Hannah Estey Burnet's husband David G. Burnet was ad interim Republic president before Sam Houston became the official first president. During Houston's first term, he was unmarried. Mirabeau B. Lamar followed Houston and was a widower. Margaret campaigned with her new husband when Houston ran for a second term as president, and rode in the presidential parade, in spite of her dislike of politics. There was no government housing for the family of the president of the Republic. The Houstons divided their time among properties they owned. No role model existed for Margaret. She saw herself not as a political wife, but as a homebody who was responsible for the health, welfare and religious education of her husband and her children. She became a virtual recluse when Sam Houston was elected Governor of Texas and refused any visitors inside the mansion except her own relatives. Margaret Lea Houston's great-great granddaughter Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel also served as First Lady of Texas 1957–1963.
Frances Cox Henderson, wife of the state's first Governor James Pinckney Henderson, was an outgoing supporter of women's suffrage, and a multi-linguist who had been a book translator before she met Henderson.
The only First Gentleman the state has had was James E. Ferguson, who first served as Governor. He was impeached on charges of misapplication of public funds, and failing to respect and enforce the banking laws of the state and resigned from office in 1917. When his wife Miriam A. Ferguson won two non-consecutive terms as Governor, James Ferguson became the state's only First Gentleman.
Mildred Paxton Moody had been a newspaper columnist and a professor at Hardin-Simmons University before she married Dan Moody. She used her influence as a former First Lady to get the Texas State Legislature to create the Board of Mansion Supervisors to oversee the finances of maintaining the official residence. Rita Crocker Clements not only restored the Governor's Mansion, but had been a mover and shaker in politics decades before she married Bill Clements. First Lady Anita Thigpen Perry has a background in nursing. and two nursing educational endowments bear her name.
Republic of Texas
|First Ladies of the Republic of Texas|
|First Lady||Image||(Birth–Death)||Term Begin||Term End||President||Notes|
|Hannah Estey Burnet||(1800–1858)||March 16, 1836||October 22, 1836||David G. Burnet||ad interim only|
|(vacant)||N/A||N/A||October 22, 1836||December 10, 1838||Sam Houston||1829 marriage to Eliza Allen in Tennessee, divorced
Second wife Diana Tiana Rogers Gentry, died 1833
|(vacant)||N/A||N/A||December 10, 1838||December 13, 1841||Mirabeau B. Lamar||Lamar was widowed in 1830 and did not remarry until 1851|
|Margaret Lea Houston||(1819–1867)||December 13, 1841||December 9, 1844||Sam Houston||Married Sam Houston 1840|
|Mary Smith Jones||(1819–1907)||December 9, 1844||February 19, 1846||Anson Jones||1846 Texas annexed by the United States
Mary Smith Jones was the first president of the newly founded Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 1891
State of Texas
|First Ladies and Gentlemen of the State of Texas|
|First Lady||Image||(Birth–Death)||Term Begin||Term End||Governor||Notes|
|Frances Cox Henderson||(1820–1897)||February 19, 1846||December 21, 1847||James Pinckney Henderson|
|Martha Evans Gindrat Wood||unknown||December 21, 1847||December 21, 1849||George T. Wood|
|(vacant)||N/A||N/A||December 21, 1849||November 23, 1853||Peter Hansborough Bell||Bell did not marry until 1857 |
|Laura A. Hooker Henderson||(?–1856)||November 23, 1853||December 21, 1853||James W. Henderson|
|Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease||(1813–1905)||December 21, 1853||December 21, 1857||Elisha M. Pease||First family to live in the new Governor's Mansion, moving onto the new structure in 1856.|
|(vacant)||N/A||N/A||December 21, 1857||December 21, 1859||Hardin Richard Runnels||Runnels never married.|
|Margaret Lea Houston||(1819–1867)||December 21, 1859||March 18, 1861||Sam Houston||Houston removed from office for refusing to swear an oath of loyalty to the Confederate States of America.|
|Martha Melissa Evans Clark||unknown||March 18, 1861||November 7, 1861||Edward Clark||Assumed position when Sam Houston was forced out of office.|
|Adele Baron Lubbock||(1819–1882)||November 7, 1861||November 5, 1863||Francis R. Lubbock|
|Sue Ellen Taylor Murrah||(1835–?)||November 5, 1863||June 17, 1865||Pendleton Murrah||Pendleton, dying of tuberculous, fled to Mexico May 1865 and remained there until he died August 1865.|
|(vacant)||unknown||June 11, 1865||June 16, 1865||Fletcher Summerfield Stockdale||Brief fill-in between Murrah and Hamilton, Stockdale was a widower |
|Mary Jane Bowen Hamilton||(1828–1916)||June 17, 1865||August 9, 1866||Andrew J. Hamilton|
|Ann Rattan Throckmorton||(1829–1895)||August 9, 1866||August 8, 1867||James W. Throckmorton|
|Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease||(1813–1905)||June 8, 1867||September 30, 1869||Elisha M. Pease||Pease resigned before the end of his term.|
|Anne Elizabeth Britton Davis||(1838–?)||January 8, 1870||January 15, 1874||Edmund J. Davis|
|Mary Evans Horne Coke||(1837–1900)||January 15, 1874||December 21, 1876||Richard Coke|
|Janie Roberts Hubbard||(1848–1887)||December 21, 1876||January 21, 1879||Richard B. Hubbard||Janie died at age 39 in Japan, cause unknown, while Hubbard was United States minister to that country.|
|Francis Wycliffe Edwards Roberts||(1819–1883)||January 21, 1879||January 16, 1883||Oran M. Roberts|
|Anna Maria Penn Ireland||(1833–1911)||January 16, 1883||January 20, 1887||John Ireland|
|Elizabeth Dorothy Tinsley Ross||(1846–1905)||January 18, 1887||January 20, 1891||Lawrence Sullivan Ross|
|Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg||(1854–1895)||January 20, 1891||January 15, 1895||James Stephen Hogg|
|Sallie Harrison Culberson||(1861–1926)||January 15, 1895||January 17, 1899||Charles A. Culberson|
|Orline Walton Sayers||(1851–1943)||January 17, 1899||January 20, 1903||Joseph D. Sayers|
|Sarah Beona Meng Lanham||(1845–1908)||January 20, 1903||January 15, 1907||S. W. T. Lanham|
|Fannie Irene Bruner Campbell||(1856–1934)||January 15, 1907||January 17, 1911||Thomas Mitchell Campbell|
|Alice Murrell Colquitt||(1865–1949)||January 17, 1911||January 19, 1915||Oscar Branch Colquitt|
|Miriam A. Ferguson||(1875–1961)||January 19, 1915||August 25, 1917||James E. Ferguson|
|Willie Cooper Hobby||(?–1929)||August 25, 1917||January 18, 1921||William P. Hobby|
|Myrtle Mainer Neff||unknown||January 18, 1921||January 20, 1925||Pat Morris Neff|
|James E. Ferguson||(1871–1944)||January 20, 1925||January 17, 1927||Miriam A. Ferguson|
|Mildred Paxton Moody||(1897–1983)||January 17, 1927||January 20, 1931||Dan Moody||Mildred's influence led to the establishment of the Board of Mansion Supervisors to oversee the furnishing and upkeep of all interiors and exteriors of the Texas Governor's Mansion. She was first head of the Board.|
|Maud Gage Sterling||(1874–1963)||January 20, 1931||January 17, 1933||Ross S. Sterling|
|James E. Ferguson||(1871–1944)||January 17, 1933||January 15, 1935||Miriam A. Ferguson|
|Joe Betsy Miller Allred||(1905–1993)||January 15, 1935||January 17, 1939||James V. Allred|
|Merle Estella Butcher O'Daniel||unknown||January 17, 1939||August 4, 1941||W. Lee O'Daniel|
|Fay Wright Stevenson||(1896–1942)||August 4, 1941||January 21, 1947||Coke Stevenson||Fay died January 1942|
|Mable Buchanan Jester||unknown||January 21, 1947||July 11, 1949||Beauford H. Jester|
|Marialice Shary Shivers||(1910–1996)||July 11, 1949||January 15, 1957||Allan Shivers|
|Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel||(1916–2002)||January 15, 1957||January 15, 1963||Price Daniel||She was a descendant of Margaret Lea Houston and Sam Houston, through the Houston's daughter Nannie Elizabeth. Nannie married Joseph Clay Stiles Morrow. Their daughter Margaret Houston Morrow was in attendance and introduced as "Mrs. Robert A. John" during Price Daniel's election as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Margaret and Robert's daughter Jean Houston John married Franklin T. Baldwin, and they were the parents of Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel.|
|Nellie Connally||(1919–2006)||January 15, 1963||January 21, 1969||John Connally||When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Nellie was seated in the car, directly in front of Jacqueline Kennedy.|
|Ima Mae Smith||(1911–1998)||January 21, 1969||January 16, 1973||Preston Smith||Born as Ima Mae Smith, became Ima Mae Smith Smith upon her marriage|
|Janey Slaughter Briscoe||(1923–2000)||January 16, 1973||January 16, 1979||Dolph Briscoe|||
|Rita Crocker Clements||(1931–)||January 16, 1979||January 18, 1983||Bill Clements||Rita Clements restored the Texas Governor's Mansion, and was active in politics for two decades before marrying Bill Clements.|
|Linda Gale White||(1942–)||January 18, 1983||January 20, 1987||Mark White||1964 Baylor University graduate|
|Rita Crocker Clements||(1931–)||January 20, 1987||January 15, 1991||Bill Clements|
|(vacant)||N/A||N/A||January 15, 1991||January 17, 1995||Ann Richards||Richards was divorced in 1984.|
|Laura Bush||(1946–)||January 17, 1995||December 21, 2000||George W. Bush|
|Anita Thigpen Perry||(1952–)||December 21, 2000||December 2014||Rick Perry|
|Cecilia Phalen Abbott||(1960–)||December 21, 2014||Incumbent||Greg Abbott|
- Seale, William (orig. 1970; reprint 1992). Sam Houston's Wife: A Biography of Margaret Lea Houston. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 64, 65 194, 195. ISBN 978-0806124360. Check date values in:
- Farrell, Mary D. "France Cox Henderson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Pa Ferguson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Miriam A. Ferguson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- *McQueary, Carl (2003). Dining at the Governor's Mansion. Texas A & M University Press. pp. 131, 132, 134. ISBN 978-1-58544-254-6.
- "Board of Mansion Supervisors". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Rita Crocker Clements Personal Papers". TAMU. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Anita Thigpen Perry". State of Texas. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Hannah Estey Burnet at Find a Grave
- "A Guide to the David Gouverneur Burnet Papers, 1798–1965". Briscoe Center for American History. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Williams, John Hoyt (1994). Sam Houston: The Life and Times of the Liberator of Texas, an Authentic American Hero. Touchstone. p. 71. ISBN 978-0671880712.
- Diana Tiana Rogers Gentry at Find a Grave
- Gambrell, Herbert. "Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Margaret Lea Houston at Find a Grave
- Mary Smith Jones at Find a Grave
- "Annexation Process: 1836–1845 A Summary Timeline". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Himmel, Richard L. "Mary Smith McCrory Jones". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Frances Cox Henderson at Find a Grave
- Martha Evans Gindrat Wood at Find a Grave
- Hooker, Anne W. "Peter Hansborough Bell". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Laura A. Hooker Henderson at Find a Grave
- Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease at Find a Grave
- Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth. "Governor's Mansion". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Harper Jr., Chris. "Hardin Richard Runnels". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "1861 Secession Convention". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
- "Governor Edward Clark". Texas State Library and Arvhives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Adele Baron Lubbock at Find a Grave
- "Sue Ellen Taylor Murrah Gown". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Governor Pendleton Murrah". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Mary Jane Bowen Hamilton at Find a Grave
- Ann Rattan Throckmorton at Find a Grave
- "Elisha M. Pease". Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Ann Davis Gown". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Mary Evans Horne Coke at Find a Grave
- Janie Roberts Hubbard at Find a Grave
- Duncan, Jean S. "Richard Bennett Hubbard Jr.". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Francis Wickliffe Edwards Roberts at Find a Grave
- Anna Maria Penn Ireland at Find a Grave
- Elizabeth Dorothy Tinsley Ross at Find a Grave
- Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg at Find a Grave
- Sally Harrison Culberson at Find a Grave
- Orline Walton Sayers at Find a Grave
- Sarah Beona Meng Lanham at Find a Grave
- Fannie Irene Bruner Campbell at Find a Grave
- Alice Fuller Murrell Colquitt at Find a Grave
- Miriam A. Ferguson at Find a Grave
- Willie Hobby at Find a Grave
- James E. Ferguson at Find a Grave
- Mildred Paxton Moody at Find a Grave
- Maud Gage Sterling at Find a Grave
- Joe Betsy Miller Allred at Find a Grave
- Fay Wright Stevenson at Find a Grave
- "Texas Governor Coke Stevenson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Coke Stevenson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Marialice Shary Shivers at Find a Grave
- Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel at Find a Grave
- Nannie Elizabeth Houston Morrow at Find a Grave
- "Election of Speaker". Texas House Journal. 12 January 1943.
- Margaret H. Morrow John at Find a Grave
- "Sam Houston Descendants". Sam Houston State University. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Nellie Connally at Find a Grave
- "Nellie Connally". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Ima Mae Smith Smith at Find a Grave
- "Ima Mae Smith Smith". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Janey Slaughter Briscoe at Find a Grave
- "Janey Briscoe". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Dress Collection". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Ann Richards". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.