Southwestern Historical Quarterly
,9otes ow the State Sao of Zexas
KENNETH E. CROUCH
N May, 1929, a bill naming the state song of Texas was signed
by Governor Dan Moody; the song was actually transferred
in formal ceremony on March 11, 1930. Thus "Texas, Our
Texas" with words by Gladys Y. Wright, of St. Louis, Missouri,
and W. J. Marsh, of Fort Worth, Texas, and music by Mr. Marsh
became the state song of Texas.
"Texas, Our Texas" had been written in 1918 after a friend
suggested that Mrs. Wright show some of her lyrics to W. J.
Marsh, who "writes such beautiful music." Following this sug-
gestion, Mrs. Wright and Mr. Marsh together improved on and
produced the song that was destined to become the state song.
In 1923, Dr. Pat M. Neff, then governor of Texas and later
president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, had offered a
prize of $1,ooo for a state song. Two hundred and eighty-six
songs were submitted, and a committee of representative men
and women was chosen to select the state song from this group.
There was no immediate adoption because other contests were
being held, but finally "Texas, Our Texas" was selected.
One of the two composers is a native Texan; the other, an
adopted son. Mrs. Gladys Y. Wright was born in Greenville,
Texas, on October 30, 1891, the only child of William Samuel
Gillette and Nancy Elizabeth Taylor Gillette. Her father died in
1895, and two years later her mother was married to Colonel
C. H. Yoakum, of Greenville, Texas. The family moved to Los
Angeles, California, where Colonel Yoakum was a member of
the law firm of Yoakum, Lusk, and Galloway. In 1904 the family
went to Fort Worth, Texas, to make their home.
Mrs. Wright attended what was then the private school of
Saint Andrews and from 1907 to 19o09 studied at the National
Park Seminary (later National Park College) in Forest Glen,
Maryland. She was married to the late Judge C. A. Wright of
Amarillo, Texas, in 1911, and now resides at "The Avalon," 339
North Taylor in St. Louis, Missouri.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed September 20, 2014.