The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986 Page: 105
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Book Reviews 105
This is a good collection that compares in quality to the reminis-
cences in The Traildrivers of Texas, edited by J. Marvin Hunter in the
1920s. Unfortunately, it does not correct the most glaring flaw in the
Hunter book: the lack of an index. This reviewer would have appreci-
ated a good index, and I think most researchers would have, too.
Perryton, Texas JOHN R. ERICKSON
Ima Hogg, the Governor's Daughter. By Virginia Bernhard. (Austin: Texas
Monthly Press, 1984. Pp. ix+ 144. Preface, photographs, bibliogra-
phy, index. $18.95.)
Ima Hogg, the only daughter of Governor James Stephen Hogg (no,
there never was a Ura), died in 1975 at the age of ninety-three. She was
only thirty-seven years younger than the state of Texas itself, and dur-
ing her childhood she had known men and women who came here in
the heady days of the Republic. She was a complex and admirable per-
son, interested in an enormous variety of ideas and projects to improve
the quality of life in her state and possessed of an indomitable will when
it came to seeing them realized. She was a most atypical Texas mil-
lionaire: unselfish, modest, and literate; an accomplished musician; a
collector of antique furniture; and conversant with German literature,
Soviet theories of penal reform, and rose culture. Never married and
dominated by her father and her brother until she was in her fifties,
she may have regarded herself as unfulfilled. She became a social
leader at an age when most people look forward to retirement. Her life
offers many opportunities to the biographer.
Virginia Bernhard's book, however, is more of an appreciation than a
biography. Unaccountably, the author did not make use of the Ima
Hogg papers at the University of Texas's Barker Texas History Center,
papers which are open to scholars with the permission of the executor
of Miss Hogg's estate. A critical biography simply cannot be written
without using these papers. Lacking the information contained there,
the author was forced to rely on the warm recollections of a relatively
small group of Houstonians who knew and worked with Miss Hogg
during the last thirty years of her life-her friends, colleagues, and ser-
vants. Without a sound documentary core with which to evaluate these
recollections, the author wavers between sentimentality and specula-
tion. On page 54, for instance, in trying to explain the causes of the
chronic depression for which Miss Hogg was evidently hospitalized in
1919, she argues that a photograph taken in Europe before 1914 and
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986, periodical, 1985/1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/m1/131/?rotate=90: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.