Frank L. Houx
Frank L. Houx
|10th Governor of Wyoming|
February 26, 1917 – January 6, 1919
|Preceded by||John B. Kendrick|
|Succeeded by||Robert D. Carey|
|5th Secretary of State of Wyoming|
January 2, 1911 – January 6, 1919
|Governor||Joseph M. Carey|
John B. Kendrick
|Preceded by||William Schnitger|
|Succeeded by||William E. Chaplin|
Frank Lee Houx
December 12, 1854
Lexington, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||April 3, 1941 (aged 86)|
Cody, Wyoming, U.S.
Ida Mason Christy
|Mother||Frances Pearl Price|
|Father||George Washington Houx|
|Education||Shaw's Business College|
Frank Lee Houx (December 12, 1854 – April 3, 1941) was an American politician from the Democratic Party who served as the 10th Governor of Wyoming from 1917-1919 and the 5th Secretary of State of Wyoming from 1911-1919.
Frank Lee Houx was born near Lexington, Missouri to George Washington Houx, who later served in the Confederate States Army under Sterling Price, and Frances Pearl Price on December 12, 1854, although he has conflicting dates of birth that go up to 1860. He grew up on his family's ranch and in 1875 he married Augusta Camp whom he later had three children with. On April 10, 1898 Augusta died and Houx remarried in 1899 to Ida Mason Christy whom he had four children with.
He took up the study of law, reading in the office of John S. Blackwell, of Lexington, Missouri. Houx did not complete his course, however, turning his attention to commercial interests. He graduated from Shaw's Business College in Kansas City, Missouri in 1884. The next year, he moved to Montana and went into the cattle business. In 1895, he took up residence in Cody, Wyoming, where he went into politics.
He became involved with William F. Cody and helped in the creation of Cody, Wyoming. In 1901 he ran for mayor of Cody following its incorporation in its first mayoral election and defeated George T. Beck. During his first term as Mayor, he also served as police judge from 1902 to 1903. He was re-elected to a second mayoral term in 1905. During the next four years, the town built a residence for him and it now serves as a bed and breakfast known as the "Mayor's Inn." From 1902 to 1903 he served as Cody's police judge and returned to the mayoralty from 1905 to 1909.
During the 1910 elections Houx was nominated by the Democratic Party for Secretary of State and won in the general election becoming the first Democrat to hold the office in Wyoming's history and was reelected in 1914 with both of his victories being extremely narrow. When Governor John B. Kendrick resigned his office on February 26, 1917 after being elected to the United States Senate, Houx became Acting Governor, and he served until the expiration of Kendrick's term, leaving office on January 6, 1919. He sought election as governor in his own right in 1918, but was defeated by Republican candidate Robert D. Carey.
During his service as governor during World War I, Houx mobilized the National Guard of Wyoming for federal service, appointed the Wyoming Council for National Defense, and nominated persons to administer the Selective Service draft. He supported alcoholic prohibition and during the process of ratification for the 18th Amendment he wrote to thirty seven governors asking for them to support the amendment and received support from sixteen of them. On January 19, 1918 his son, Christy Houx, was found dead after multiple draggings of Lindenmeier Lake after his iceboat had capsized on January 16.
Houx then went into the oil refining business in Texas. In 1931 he became involved in gold mining and established offices in Denver, Colorado to promote gold mining development in San Juan county. He returned to Cody in 1935 and in 1938 suffered a fall that caused him to break a hip, but later recovered. On April 3, 1941 he died at the Irma Hotel after suffering from an illness for two years at the age of 86 and was interred in Cody Cemetery. The autobiography he wrote in 1939 was published in serial form by the Cody Enterprise newspaper in the months following his death.
- "Cody Wyoming election". Red Lodge Picket. November 1, 1901. p. 5. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Frank L. Houx, Former Acting Governor of Wyoming, Is Dead". Casper Star-Tribune. April 3, 1941. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Erwin, Marie (January 1, 1974). "Wyoming Blue Book-Volume Two" (PDF). Wyoming State Archives and Historial Department. p. 574 – via Wyoming Archives.
- "Governors Of 16 States In Favor Of 'Dry'". Casper Star-Tribune. February 8, 1918. p. 5. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Body Of Houx Is Recovered This Morning". Casper Star-Tribune. January 19, 1918. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Former Governor of Wyoming Promotes Gold Development". Casper Star-Tribune. March 15, 1931. p. 15. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Former Governor Suffers Injuries". Casper Star-Tribune. August 10, 1938. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Former Governor's Condition Improves". Casper Star-Tribune. October 23, 1938. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.