Ima Hogg to Jean Houston Daniel,
June 27, 1958
The Texas Governor's Mansion, first occupied by the Pease family in 1856, already had a long and colorful history by the time that the Daniels moved in. The old mansion had Southern charm to spare, but had never been structurally sound, despite a complete renovation at the turn of the century. Both Price Daniel and his wife, Jean Houston Daniel, had a keen interest in history and planned to make improvements to the mansion. This desire became urgent after May 9, 1957, when Governor Daniel narrowly escaped a 24-pound block of plaster that plunged unexpectedly from a 20-foot ceiling. The Daniels immediately made changes that included new rugs, wallpaper, and a sturdier ceiling.
Mrs. Daniel undertook an extensive study of the mansion's history. This became a lifelong passion in which she was able to collect much unique information and many artifacts from families of the former governors. This note from Ima Hogg, daughter of Governor James S. Hogg, reflects Mrs. Daniel's efforts. Mrs. Daniel's work contributed greatly to the preservation and understanding of the mansion and to its refurbishment during the administration of Governor Clements. Eventually, Mrs. Daniel collected her research into an informative book, The Texas Governor's Mansion, published by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in 1984.
There was much more to Mrs. Daniel's correspondent, Ima Hogg, than having a name that provided amusement to generations of Texas schoolchildren. Miss Ima, as she was universally known, was named after the heroine of a Civil War poem written by her uncle Thomas. She was eight years old when her father, James S. Hogg, was elected governor. As a young woman, she traveled abroad to study music. Upon returning home, she helped found the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the beginning of a lifelong career as a philanthropist and patron of the arts.
Miss Ima's accomplishments could fill a book. Some of the highlights include: founding the Houston Child Guidance Center, an agency to provide therapy and counseling for disturbed children and their families; founding the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas; serving on the Houston school board, where she worked to establish painting and music classes, symphony concerts for children, and equal pay for teachers regardless of sex or race; and serving on the Texas Historical Commission. She also restored several historic homes and buildings, including the Winedale Inn at Round Top, site of an acclaimed annual arts festival. On the national level, she helped in the planning of the National Cultural Center (later the Kennedy Center) and in the restoration of the White House undertaken by Jacqueline Kennedy. Miss Ima was a noted collector of antiques and bequeathed her collection and her home, Bayou Bend, to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
| | |"Modern Texas"
June 27 58
My dear Mrs. Daniel:
You were wonderfully
| | |"Modern Texas"
Ima Hogg to Jean Houston Daniel, June 27, 1958, Texas Governor's Mansion Collection, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.