cup of joy is now overflowing! We have a daughter of as fine proportions
and of as angelic mien as ever gracious nature favor a man with,
and her name is Ima!"
(Jim) Hogg wrote these words in 1882 when his only daughter was
born in Mineola, Texas. The child's name - which may seem an unfortunate
choice - came from an epic poem written by Jim Hogg's brother,
Thomas. The heroine of the poem was called Ima, short for Imogene.
Miss Hogg later recounted: "My grandfather Stinson lived
15 miles from Mineola and news traveled slowly. When he learned
of his granddaughter's name he came trotting to town as fast as
he could to protest but it was too late. The christening had taken
place, and Ima I was to remain."
Ima Hogg and
her three brothers - William, Michael, and Thomas - were born
into a family with a long tradition of public service in Texas
Her grandfather, Joseph Lewis Hogg, took the oath of allegiance
to the Republic of Texas in 1839, helped write the Texas Constitution,
fought in the Mexican War, and served as a brigadier general in
the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Miss Hogg's father,
Jim Hogg, was a self-educated man who became a newspaper editor
and a district attorney. Elected in 1890 as the first native-born
governor of Texas, he was a strong champion of the people. During
Jim Hogg's two terms of office the family lived in the Greek-revival
Governor's Mansion in Austin - an experience that may have kindled
Miss Hogg's love of historical architecture and furnishings. She
never forgot the thrill of sleeping in the mahogany four-poster
bed that once belonged to Sam Houston.
In 1901, while
involved in the fledgling oil industry, Jim Hogg purchased the
Varner Plantation near West Columbia, Texas. Confident that oil
would be discovered there, he stipulated in his will that Varner
could not be sold until 15 years after his death. In 1918 - 12
years after Jim Hogg died - oil was found on the property. Their
newfound wealth allowed Miss Hogg and her brothers to give enormous
cultural and charitable gifts to Houston, their adopted hometown.