Clockwise from upper left: Dolph Briscoe as a youngster; Dolph Briscoe with family friend Governor Ross Sterling riding "Big Mama" and "Minnie"; Briscoe and a friend at Austin's Mount Bonnell, circa 1940; Briscoe as a youth.
Dolph Briscoe's family could trace its Texas roots back to 1832. Briscoe's ancestor, Andrew Briscoe, was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. Briscoe's father, Dolph Sr., established a cattle ranch in Uvalde in 1910. The elder Briscoe was politically active, co-owning a ranch with Ross Sterling and working as an active supporter of Dan Moody and James Allred. Once, the father and son visited Sterling at the governor's mansion, where nine-year-old Dolph was allowed to sleep in Sam Houston's bed.