Texas Almanac, 1952-1953 Page: 54
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ushered Texas across the threshold of the new
century. Other than as initiating the economic
developments mentioned above, his adminis-
tration will be remembered for two great
disasters, the Brazos flood of August, 1899,
and the Galveston hurricane and flood of Sept.
8 and 9, 1900, which took a toll of lives that
has never been accurately computed, but has
been estimated at 5,000 to 7,000, with property
damage that amounted to a large percentage
of the total wealth of the city. Nature com-
pensated the state in a degree for these two
great disasters by producing one of the great-
est crops in its history, and the new century
opened with a wave of prosperity..
Primary Election Law
The two-term administration of S. W. T.
Lanham (Jan. 20, 1903, to Jan. 15, 1907), which
followed that of Sayers, was distinguished in
the political development of the state by the
adoption of the Terrell election law and the
inauguration of the popular primary. This
law, so-called from Judge A. W. Terrell, who
introduced the bill, did away with the con-
vention system of nominating candidates for
political parties having more than a scattering
support. The first primary election under the
new law was that of 1906 in which the popular
vote was distributed as follows: Thomas M.
Campbell, 90,345; M. M. Brooks, 70,064; 0. B.
Colquitt, 68,529; Charles K. Bell, 65,168. No
man having received a majority, the state
Democratic convention, under the law as
originally passed, was required to drop on
successive ballots the lowest man, prorating
the vote among the other candidates as dic-
tated by county delegations. On the second
ballot, Campbell was nominated, and he was
elected in the general election with negligible
opposition. (See index, "Elections," for fur-
During the administration of T. M. Camp-
bell (Jan. 15, 1907, to Jan. 19, 1911) there was
an amendment of the election law to do away
with the bunglesome combination of popular
vote and convention proration of vote in event
no one received a majority in the election. It
was provided that nomination should be by
single popular vote, the one with a plurality,
whether majority or not, tp receive the nomi-
natio, Campbell was nominated for his second
term over R. R. Williams.
Although the two terms of Governor Camp-
bell witnessed the panic of 1907 and its follow-
ing bad effects, there was rapid economic de-
velopment in the state. The census of 1910. at
the end of his second term, revealed a popula-
tion of 3,896,542, which was an increase of
847,832, or 27.8 per cent, over the population
of 1900. The total value of manufactured prod-
ucts. between 1900 and 1910, jumped from
$92,894,433 to $272,895,635. The number of
farms in the same ten years increased from
352,190 to 417,700.
The two-term administration of O. B. Col-
quitt (Jan. 19, 1911, to Jan. 19, 1915) was
characterized politically by the coming to
boiling point of the prohibition issue in the
state. There had been frequent and sharp
strife over this issue during the preceding
administrations, but it became the dominating
issue with the advent of the Colquitt adminis-
A constitutional amendment for state-wide
prohibition had been submitted at an election
Aug. 4, 1887, and had lest by a vote of 220,637
However, prohibition sentiment has spread
rapidly as evidenced by the successes of the
"drys" in local option elections. In the Demo-
cratic primary July 25. 1908, the question of
submission of prohibition was submitted to
vote. It carried by a vote of 145,530 to 141,441.
but the following Legislature failed to submit
the question. The campaign of 1910 logically
centered about the prohibition question and
Oscar B. Colquitt, prohibition opponent, led
the field. Prohibition was submitted in July.
1911, however, and lost by a vote of 237,130 to
230,150. Prohibition was again the leading ques-
tion in the campaign of 1912 when Colquitt
defeated William F. Ramsey in a memorable
race which resulted in a vote of 218,212 to
Colquitt's administration was notable for its
economy in state financial affairs, reform in
the penal system, prompt steps to protect the
border along the Rio Grande which was men-
aced by revolution and lack of stable govern-
ment in Mexico, and by passage of legislation
of permanent effect, including the first eight-
hour labor law, the first law regulating num-
ber of hours of women laborers, a child labor
law, workmen's compensation act, home rule
act for cities of more than 5,000 and judicial
The administration of James E. Ferguson
(Jan. 19, 1915, to Aug. 25, 1917) caused more
political turbulence thany any administration
since the Civil War, and brought to Texas the
issue of "Fergusonism," , which was before
the people almost continuously from 1915 until
Mrs. Ferguson's retirement from her second
term as Governor in January, 1935. In his
first primary campaign, in 1914. Ferguson de-
feated Thomas H. Ball, 237,062 to 191,558.
Prohibition was the leading issue, and the
campaign was one of the most spectacular in
the history of the state. Aside from his oppo-
sition to prohibition, Ferguson carried in his
platform demands for greater protection of
farm tenants against landlords, a state ware-
house system and certain other farm meas-
ures. This platform. which was largely enact-
ed into law during his first administration,
though partly nullified by the courts later,
was the basis of Ferguson's continuing popu-
larity among the tenant farmers, who consti-
tuted through almost twenty years of political
activity the nucleus of his widely recognized
"vest-pocket vote." Ferguson was nominated
for his second term over Charles H. Morris by
a vote of 240,561 to 174,611, and elected. Short-
ly after the beginning of his second term.
however, stiff opposition arose to Ferguson
policies and impeachment charges were pre-
ferred against him in a special session, called
by Governor Ferguson himself, in August.
1917. There were twenty-one charges alleging
misconduct. Tried before the Senate in Sep-
tember, the Governor was found guilty on ten
charges and removed from office.
When Ferguson was removed from office.
Lieut. Gov. William P. Hobby took the chair.
Hobby's administration (Aug. 25, 1917, to Jan.
18, 1921) continued through the remainder of
that term and the following term to which
Hobby was elected. Although barred from
holding office. Ferguson ran against Hobby in
the primary of 1918, but was defeated 461,479
Political agitation over the Ferguson issue.
however, was overshadowed by war activities
Almost from the beginning of participation of
the United States in World War I, in April.
1917, Texas played a leading role in training
men for military service as well as in civil
Texans in First World War
A strong and consistent Democratic state.
Texas and Texans came into the limelight
during the memorable Wilson administration
Col. E. M. House became known as the trust-
ed adviser of the President. Two other Texans.
Albert S. Burleson and Thomas W. Gregory,
held the Cabinet positions of Postmaster Gen-
eral and Attorney General, respectively. An-
other man. a former Texan and former
president of the University of Texas, David
F. Houston, went from Missouri to serve.
first as Secretary of Agriculture and later as
Secretary of the Treasury.
More than 200,000 Texans saw service dur-
ing -World War I. The mild winters and dry
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Texas Almanac, 1952-1953, book, 1951; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117137/m1/56/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.