Portraits of Texas Governors  > Texas Rising Part 1, 1887-1903  > Texas Rising Part 2, 1903-1915 (this page)

Portraits of Texas Governors

Texas Rising Part 2, 1903-1915

S.W.T. Lanham

S.W.T. Lanham

January 20, 1903 - January 15, 1907

Link - Gregorio Cortez bill

Bill for prosecution of Gregorio Cortez



Born: 1846 in South Carolina

Early career: Samuel Willis Tucker Lanham was the last Confederate soldier to serve as governor of Texas. He immigrated to Texas in 1866 with his wife, settling in Red River County, and then in Weatherford in Parker County. Teaching school while he studied law, Lanham was admitted to the bar in 1869. He was soon appointed district attorney for the 11th District, covering most of West Texas. His early career was marked by the successful prosecution of the Kiowas Satanta and Big Tree. He served as U.S. Congressman from the 11th District, 1882 to 1892 and 1896 to 1902.

Accomplishments: Twice elected governor, in 1902 and 1904, Lanham presided over the creation of two reform election laws, which required filing of campaign expenditures (Lanham spent only $20 on his 1904 campaign) and provided uniform primaries for major political parties. An important anti-trust law was passed, and two schools of higher education opened: the College of Industrial Arts at Denton, and Southwest Texas Normal School at San Marcos.

Later years: Lanham died on July 29, 1908.

Handbook of Texas article about Governor S.W.T. Lanham

Link - Letter on Brownsville Raid

Report on the 1906 "Brownsville Raid"


Panama Canal Zone leased to U.S.

London's Call of the Wild

Wright brothers flight

First teddy bears

1 million immigrants to U.S. each year

Ford Motor Company founded

Cohan's "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Yankee Doodle Boy"

Barrie's Peter Pan

Russo-Japanese War

Einstein presents Theory of Relativity

Jan 7 1905 Humble oil field discovered

San Francisco earthquake

Cohan's "You're a Grand Old Flag"

London's White Fang

O.Henry's "The Gift of the Magi"

Meat inspection law passed


Thomas Mitchell Campbell

Tom Campbell

January 15, 1907 - January 17, 1911

Link - Letter on convict labor

Letter on the convict lease system




Born: 1856 in Cherokee County (second native Texan to become governor)

Early Career: Campbell was a boyhood friend of Jim Hogg. He attended Rusk Masonic Institute and spent a year at Trinity University before being admitted to the bar in 1878 at Longview. In 1891 Campbell was named receiver for the International and Great Northern Railroad, and in 1893 he became the line's general manager. Conflict with the owners over policies toward employees and the public caused him to resign in 1897 and reenter private law practice.

Endorsed by former Governor Jim Hogg, Campbell ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in the state's first primary in 1906. He received a plurality but no majority, and since the law did not yet provide for a primary run-off, the issue went into party convention. The last-minute support of U.S. Senator Joe Bailey may have guaranteed Campbell's nomination. In 1908 he was easily reelected.

Accomplishments: Among the reform items passed during Campbell's administration were stronger anti-trust laws, a pure food law, lobby regulation, municipal regulation of utilities, increased tax support for public schools, and insurance reform. Other changes included the creation of the Department of Insurance, Banking, Statistics, and History, the creation of the Texas State Library and Historical Commission, stock quarantine laws, reorganization of the state banking system, the establishment of irrigation and drainage districts, and the abolition of contract leasing of prison labor.

Later years: Campbell returned to private practice in 1911, and was defeated in a 1916 race for U.S. Senate. He died in 1923.

Handbook of Texas article about Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell

Link - Letter on irrigation in Wheeler Country

Letter on an irrigation device in Wheeler County


Ziegfield Follies

Discovery of blood groups

Sep 8 1907 Neiman-Marcus opens in Dallas

Great White Fleet shows U.S. muscle

Nov 20 1908 Rock drill bit revolutionizes oil drilling

Model T Ford produced

Grahame's The Wind in the Willows

Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables


Dec 25 1908 Jack Johnson of Galveston wins world heavyweight title

Peary reaches the North Pole

W.E.B. Du Bois founds NAACP

Feb 10 1910 First irrigation pump in the High Plains

Mar 2 1910 First military air flight in San Antonio marks beginning of U.S. Air Force

O. Henry's "Ransom of Red Chief"

1910-1920 Mexican Revolution leads to problems along the border with refugees and banditry

Jan 9 1911 Slanton water well struck in West Texas

Oscar Branch Colquitt

Oscar Branch Colquitt

January 17, 1911 - January 19, 1915

Link - Letter from Ousley on prohibition

Letter from Clarence Ousley on prohibition issue





Born: December 16, 1861 at Camilla, Georgia

Early Career: With his family, Colquitt moved to Daingerfield, Texas in 1878. Colquitt owned and published several newspapers from 1884 to 1897. He served as state senator from 1895 to 1897 and authored delinquent tax laws. Colquitt acted as a paid lobbyist for several corporations during the sessions of 1899 and 1901. During this time he also practiced law, having been admitted to the bar in 1900. While serving as a railroad commissioner from 1903 to 1911, Colquitt lost a race for governor in 1906. In 1910 and 1912 he was elected and reelected governor of Texas.

Accomplishments: Colquitt's administration was known for reform of the prison system, improvement in the physical plants and in the management of eleemosynary institutions, advancements in the education system, and a number of labor reform measures.

Later years: Following his two terms as governor, Colquitt ran for the U.S. Senate and lost to the incumbent, Charles A. Culberson. He served as president of an oil company and in several appointed offices before his death on March 8, 1940.

Handbook of Texas article about Governor Oscar Branch Colquitt

Link - Letter from Adina de Zavala

Letter from Adina de Zavala on the restoration of the Alamo



Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band"

20,000 U.S. troops on Mexican border

Triangle Shirtwaist factory disaster

Nov 4 1911 Colonel Edward House of Houston becomes top advisor to future president Woodrow Wilson

Sinking of the Titanic

Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage

Amundson reaches the South Pole

Balkan Wars


Attendance at motion pictures is 5 million daily

First Charlie Chaplin films

Panama Canal opens

U.S. Marines land in Vera Cruz, Mexico

Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes

Sep 7 1914 Houston Ship Channel opens

World War I begins

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Page last modified: June 29, 2022