List of First Ladies and Gentlemen of Texas

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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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3] When his wife Miriam A. Ferguson won two non-consecutive terms as Governor, James Ferguson became the state's only First Gentleman.[4]

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.[5][6] 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.[7] First Lady Anita Thigpen Perry has a background in nursing. and two nursing educational endowments bear her name.[8]

Republic of Texas[edit]

First Ladies of the Republic of Texas
First Lady Image (Birth–Death) Term Begin Term End President Notes
Hannah Estey Burnet (1800–1858)[9] March 16, 1836 October 22, 1836 David G. Burnet ad interim only[10]
(vacant) N/A N/A October 22, 1836 December 10, 1838 Sam Houston 1829 marriage to Eliza Allen in Tennessee, divorced[11]
Second wife Diana Tiana Rogers Gentry, died 1833[12]
(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[13]
Margaret Lea Houston (1819–1867)[14] December 13, 1841 December 9, 1844 Sam Houston Married Sam Houston 1840
Mary Smith Jones (1819–1907)[15] December 9, 1844 February 19, 1846 Anson Jones 1846 Texas annexed by the United States[16]
Mary Smith Jones was the first president of the newly founded Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 1891[17]

State of Texas[edit]

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)[18] February 19, 1846 December 21, 1847 James Pinckney Henderson
Martha Evans Gindrat Wood unknown[19] 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 [20]
Laura A. Hooker Henderson (?–1856)[21] November 23, 1853 December 21, 1853 James W. Henderson
Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease (1813–1905)[22] 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.[23]
(vacant) N/A N/A December 21, 1857 December 21, 1859 Hardin Richard Runnels Runnels never married.[24]
Margaret Lea Houston (1819–1867)[14] 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.[25]
Martha Melissa Evans Clark unknown March 18, 1861 November 7, 1861 Edward Clark Assumed position when Sam Houston was forced out of office.[26]
Adele Baron Lubbock (1819–1882)[27] November 7, 1861 November 5, 1863 Francis R. Lubbock
Sue Ellen Taylor Murrah (1835–?)[28] 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.[29]
(vacant) unknown June 11, 1865 June 16, 1865 Fletcher Summerfield Stockdale Brief fill-in between Murrah and Hamilton, Stockdale was a widower [29]
Mary Jane Bowen Hamilton (1828–1916)[30] June 17, 1865 August 9, 1866 Andrew J. Hamilton
Ann Rattan Throckmorton (1829–1895)[31] August 9, 1866 August 8, 1867 James W. Throckmorton
Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease (1813–1905)[22] June 8, 1867 September 30, 1869 Elisha M. Pease Pease resigned before the end of his term.[32]
Anne Elizabeth Britton Davis (1838–?)[33] January 8, 1870 January 15, 1874 Edmund J. Davis
Mary Evans Horne Coke (1837–1900)[34] January 15, 1874 December 21, 1876 Richard Coke
Janie Roberts Hubbard (1848–1887)[35] 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.[36]
Francis Wycliffe Edwards Roberts (1819–1883)[37] January 21, 1879 January 16, 1883 Oran M. Roberts
Anna Maria Penn Ireland (1833–1911)[38] January 16, 1883 January 20, 1887 John Ireland
Elizabeth Dorothy Tinsley Ross (1846–1905)[39] January 18, 1887 January 20, 1891 Lawrence Sullivan Ross
Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg (1854–1895)[40] January 20, 1891 January 15, 1895 James Stephen Hogg
Sallie Harrison Culberson (1861–1926)[41] January 15, 1895 January 17, 1899 Charles A. Culberson
Orline Walton Sayers (1851–1943)[42] January 17, 1899 January 20, 1903 Joseph D. Sayers
Sarah Beona Meng Lanham (1845–1908)[43] January 20, 1903 January 15, 1907 S. W. T. Lanham
Fannie Irene Bruner Campbell (1856–1934)[44] January 15, 1907 January 17, 1911 Thomas Mitchell Campbell
Alice Murrell Colquitt (1865–1949)[45] January 17, 1911 January 19, 1915 Oscar Branch Colquitt
Miriam A. Ferguson Miriam A. Ferguson.jpg (1875–1961)[46] January 19, 1915 August 25, 1917 James E. Ferguson
Willie Cooper Hobby (?–1929)[47] 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 James E. Ferguson.jpg (1871–1944)[48] January 20, 1925 January 17, 1927 Miriam A. Ferguson
Mildred Paxton Moody Mildred Paxton Moody.jpg (1897–1983)[49] 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.[6]
Maud Gage Sterling (1874–1963)[50] January 20, 1931 January 17, 1933 Ross S. Sterling
James E. Ferguson James E. Ferguson.jpg (1871–1944)[48] January 17, 1933 January 15, 1935 Miriam A. Ferguson
Joe Betsy Miller Allred (1905–1993)[51] 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)[52] August 4, 1941 January 21, 1947 Coke Stevenson Fay died January 1942[53][54]
Mable Buchanan Jester unknown January 21, 1947 July 11, 1949 Beauford H. Jester
Marialice Shary Shivers (1910–1996)[55] July 11, 1949 January 15, 1957 Allan Shivers
Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel (1916–2002)[56] 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.[57] 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.[58][59] Margaret and Robert's daughter Jean Houston John married Franklin T. Baldwin, and they were the parents of Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel.[60]
Nellie Connally Kennedyb.jpg (1919–2006)[61] 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.[62]
Ima Mae Smith (1911–1998)[63] January 21, 1969 January 16, 1973 Preston Smith Born as Ima Mae Smith, became Ima Mae Smith Smith upon her marriage[64]
Janey Slaughter Briscoe (1923–2000)[65] January 16, 1973 January 16, 1979 Dolph Briscoe [66]
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.[7]
Linda Gale White (1942–) January 18, 1983 January 20, 1987 Mark White 1964 Baylor University graduate[67]
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.[68]
Laura Bush Laurabush.jpeg (1946–) January 17, 1995 December 21, 2000 George W. Bush
Anita Thigpen Perry (1952–) December 21, 2000 Incumbent Rick Perry

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Farrell, Mary D. "France Cox Henderson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Pa Ferguson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Miriam A. Ferguson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  5. ^ *McQueary, Carl (2003). Dining at the Governor's Mansion. Texas A & M University Press. pp. 131, 132, 134. ISBN 978-1-58544-254-6. 
  6. ^ a b "Board of Mansion Supervisors". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Rita Crocker Clements Personal Papers". TAMU. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Anita Thigpen Perry". State of Texas. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Hannah Estey Burnet at Find a Grave
  10. ^ "A Guide to the David Gouverneur Burnet Papers, 1798–1965". Briscoe Center for American History. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Diana Tiana Rogers Gentry at Find a Grave
  13. ^ Gambrell, Herbert. "Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Margaret Lea Houston at Find a Grave
  15. ^ Mary Smith Jones at Find a Grave
  16. ^ "Annexation Process: 1836–1845 A Summary Timeline". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  17. ^ Himmel, Richard L. "Mary Smith McCrory Jones". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Frances Cox Henderson at Find a Grave
  19. ^ Martha Evans Gindrat Wood at Find a Grave
  20. ^ Hooker, Anne W. "Peter Hansborough Bell". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Laura A. Hooker Henderson at Find a Grave
  22. ^ a b Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease at Find a Grave
  23. ^ Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth. "Governor's Mansion". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  24. ^ Harper Jr., Chris. "Hardin Richard Runnels". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "1861 Secession Convention". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Governor Edward Clark". Texas State Library and Arvhives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  27. ^ Adele Baron Lubbock at Find a Grave
  28. ^ "Sue Ellen Taylor Murrah Gown". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Governor Pendleton Murrah". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  30. ^ Mary Jane Bowen Hamilton at Find a Grave
  31. ^ Ann Rattan Throckmorton at Find a Grave
  32. ^ "Elisha M. Pease". Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ann Davis Gown". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  34. ^ Mary Evans Horne Coke at Find a Grave
  35. ^ Janie Roberts Hubbard at Find a Grave
  36. ^ Duncan, Jean S. "Richard Bennett Hubbard Jr.". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  37. ^ Francis Wickliffe Edwards Roberts at Find a Grave
  38. ^ Anna Maria Penn Ireland at Find a Grave
  39. ^ Elizabeth Dorothy Tinsley Ross at Find a Grave
  40. ^ Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg at Find a Grave
  41. ^ Sally Harrison Culberson at Find a Grave
  42. ^ Orline Walton Sayers at Find a Grave
  43. ^ Sarah Beona Meng Lanham at Find a Grave
  44. ^ Fannie Irene Bruner Campbell at Find a Grave
  45. ^ Alice Fuller Murrell Colquitt at Find a Grave
  46. ^ Miriam A. Ferguson at Find a Grave
  47. ^ Willie Hobby at Find a Grave
  48. ^ a b James E. Ferguson at Find a Grave
  49. ^ Mildred Paxton Moody at Find a Grave
  50. ^ Maud Gage Sterling at Find a Grave
  51. ^ Joe Betsy Miller Allred at Find a Grave
  52. ^ Fay Wright Stevenson at Find a Grave
  53. ^ "Texas Governor Coke Stevenson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  54. ^ "Coke Stevenson". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  55. ^ Marialice Shary Shivers at Find a Grave
  56. ^ Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel at Find a Grave
  57. ^ Nannie Elizabeth Houston Morrow at Find a Grave
  58. ^ "Election of Speaker". Texas House Journal. 12 January 1943. 
  59. ^ Margaret H. Morrow John at Find a Grave
  60. ^ "Sam Houston Descendants". Sam Houston State University. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  61. ^ Nellie Connally at Find a Grave
  62. ^ "Nellie Connally". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  63. ^ Ima Mae Smith Smith at Find a Grave
  64. ^ "Ima Mae Smith Smith". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  65. ^ Janey Slaughter Briscoe at Find a Grave
  66. ^ "Janey Briscoe". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  67. ^ "Dress Collection". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  68. ^ "Ann Richards". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2012.