Mildred Paxton Moody

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Mildred Paxton Moody
Mildred Paxton Moody.jpg
Born (1897-04-20)April 20, 1897
Abilene, Texas
Died March 1, 1983(1983-03-01) (aged 85)
Austin, Texas
Resting place
Texas State Cemetery
Education B.A. Hardin-Simmons
M.A. University of Texas
Journalism degree Columbia University
Known for First Lady of Texas (1927–1931)
Preservation of the Texas Governor's Mansion
Spouse(s) Governor Dan Moody

Mildred Paxton Moody (April 20, 1897 – March 1, 1983) was the wife of Texas Governor Dan Moody. Upon her recommendation the Forty-second Texas Legislature established the Board of Mansion Supervisors in 1931, with Mrs. Moody as the first head of the Board.[1] Until its abolishment in 1965, the Board oversaw all interior and exterior upkeep and enhancements to the Texas Governor's Mansion.[2]

Early life[edit]

She was born Mildred Paxton in Abilene, Texas on April 20, 1897, to banker George Paxton and his wife Mathilde Warren Paxton. With a B.A. from Hardin-Simmons and an M.A. from the University of Texas, she was the women's editor for the Abilene Reporter-News [3] while also teaching at Hardin-Simmons. Moody also received a degree from Columbia University.[4] During her enrollment at the University of Texas, Moody had been one of the editors at The Daily Texan student newspaper.[5]

First Lady of Texas[edit]

Her marriage to Texas politician Dan Moody was on April 20, 1926, on her 29th birthday. Months later on election night, her new husband defeated the sitting Governor Miriam Ferguson.[5] The 73-year-old governor's mansion was in a state of neglect and disrepair when the Moodys moved in.[6] Mrs. Moody appealed to the state Board of Control, and was granted monies to renovate the State Dining Room. For additional renovations and structural improvements, she received funding from her father.[7] The lengthy process of bringing the mansion up to livable modern standards left her determined to convince the State of Texas to provide regular funding for the mansion's future. After her husband's term expired in 1931, she authored a perspective of her tenure as the First Lady of Texas for The Dallas Morning News, including her recommendation that an entity needed to be created to oversee the mansion's upkeep. When the Forty-second Texas Legislature created the Board of Mansion Supervisors shortly after her recommendation, Governor Ross Sterling appointed her to head the board.[8]

Final years[edit]

Governor and Mrs. Moody spent their remaining years in Austin. The couple had two children. Dan Moody died in 1966 and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery.[9] Mildred outlived him by 17 years, dying in 1983. She is buried next to him.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "MP Moody". Texas State Cemetery. State of Texas. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Board of Mansion Supervisors". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  3. ^ McQueary (2003) p.130
  4. ^ Huddleston, John D. "Ma Ferguson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  5. ^ a b McQueary (2003) p.129
  6. ^ McQueary (2003) p.131
  7. ^ McQueary (2003) p.132
  8. ^ McQueary (2003) p.134
  9. ^ Dan Moody at Find a Grave
  10. ^ Mildred Paxton Moody at Find a Grave

References[edit]

  • McQueary, Carl (2003). Dining at the Governor's Mansion. Texas A & M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-254-6. 
Honorary titles
Preceded by
James E. Ferguson
First Lady of Texas
1927–1931
Succeeded by
Maud Abbie Gage Sterling