Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 60
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60 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1941-42.
was during this administration that the
fence-cutting in West Texas reached its
climax. Large landowners had fenced in
small tracts, frequently cutting owners
off from public highways. The fence-
cutting war that was waged by the
small landowners caused Governor Ire-
land to call a special session in 1884 at
which provisions against illegal fenc-
ing-in of land and obstruction of high-
ways was passed and fence-cutting made
a felony. It effectively ended the trouble
between large and small landowners.
The first disturbance in Texas politi-
cal economy, as the result of a growing
industrialization of the United States,
was evidenced in the passing of Texas'
first antitrust and antimonopoly laws
during the administration of Gov. L. S.
Ross (Jan. 18, 1887, to Jan. 20, 1891) who
succeeded Governor Ireland. The legis-
lation was the culmination of a wave of
agitation that had its beginning before
the Civil War and had been fostered espe-
cially by the rise of the People's (Popu-
list) party, which was a factor in Texas
elections from 1878 until the end of the
century. Although the Populist party
never gained control of the administra-
tion of Texas, many reforms it agitated
were subsequently picked up by the
Democratic party and put into effect.
Governor Ross effected a betterment
in the state eleemosynary institutions
and reduced taxes, the latter reform be-
ing due primarily to receipt from the
Federal Government of $1,000,000 to re-
imburse the state for its expenditures
for border protection. The administra-
tion is also remembered for the great
drouth of 1887, and the dedication in
May, 1888, of the present Capitol.
The reform trend evidenced in the
administration of Governor Ross con-
tinued with increased force during the
administration of James Stephen Hogg
(Jan. 20, 1891, to Jan. 15, 1895). Hogg had
been elected on a platform demanding
regulation of railroads, which had be-
come a public issue, and curbing of
monopolies. Hogg was the first native
Texan elected Governor.
Railroad Commission Established.
The present Railroad Commission of
Texas was established in 1891. Other leg-
islation included that providing for "Jim
Crow" coaches on railroads, reduction of
legal maximum rate of interest, the
alien land law forbidding ownership of
land by aliens with certain exceptions, a
law regulating the issuance of stocks and
bonds and protecting investors, and an
act establishing the Board of Pardon Ad-
visers. Hogg's vigorous policies aroused
stiff opposition, and the Hogg-Clark
Campaign of 1892 involving a split in the
ranks of the Democratic party was one
of the bitterest in the history of the state.
Hogg was re-elected over George W.
Clark by a vote of 190,846 to 133,395.
In the elections of 1894 Charles A.
Culberson (Dem.) defeated T. L. Nu-
gent (People's party) after a stirring
campaign by a vote of 207,167 to 152,-
731. Although the People's party had
polled a sizable vote in 1892, this was
the first year in which there was doubt
of the outcome of the election. Culber-
son's administration (Jan. 15, 1895, to Jan.
17, 1899) was characterized by strength-
ening of the antitrust laws, collection of
delinquent taxes, enactment of law for
arbitration of employer-employee dis-
putes and reduction of excessive fees
to public officials. In 1895, Culberson
called a special session of Legislature and
there was enacted a law to prevent prize
fights, its immediate purpose being the
prevention of a scheduled bout in Dal-
las between James J. Corbett and Robert
R. Fitzsimmons. Culberson was re-elect-
ed in 1896, winning by a vote of
298,528 to 238,692 over J. C. Kearby of
the People's party. This represented the
peak of the Populist movement in Tex-
as, although their nominees appeared
regularly on the ticket through the elec-
tion of 1904. The last year of the Cul-
berson administration, and the first year
of the following Sayers administration,
witnessed the stirring events of the Span-
ish-American War. Texas sent about
10,000 soldiers to the front. The famous
Rough Riders, commanded by Col. Leo-
nard Wood and Lieut. Col. Theodore
Roosevelt, were organized at San An-
During the administration of Governor
Culberson the first of the famous ouster
suits against the Waters-Pierce Oil Com-
pany was brought by Attorney General
M. M. Crane. The suit was brought on
the grounds that the Waters-Pierce Oil
Company had obtained practically a mo-
nopoly on the oil market in Texas, that
no company affiliated with the Standard
Oil Company competed with it, and that
the companies not included in the Stand-
ard organization were not permitted by
the Standard to compete with it. His suit
was to cancel the permit of Waters-
Pierce Oil Company, a foreign corpora-
tion, to do business in Texas because of
its violation of the antitrust statute that
had recently been passed.
The case was tried before Trial Judge
R. E. Brooks, then of Georgetown, Tex-
as, and a judgment was rendered can-
celing the company's permit. It appealed
to the Austin Court of Civil Appeals, but
this court affirmed the judgment of the
district court. (Waters-Pierce Oil Com-
pany vs. State, 44 S.W. 936.)
The oil company then sought a review
of the case by the Supreme Court of
Texas. That court refused its applica-
tion, thereby inferentially approving the
decision of the Court of Civil Appeals.
The company then obtained a writ of
error from the Supreme Court of the
United States, but that court affirmed
the decision of the lower court. (Waters-
Pierce Oil Company vs. State, 177 U.S.
28, 44 L.Ed. 657.)
The signal victory of Attorney General
Crane in this succession of decisions,
from a Texas district court to the Su-
preme Court of the United States, at-
tracted wide attention. The ouster suit
raised a controversy at the time but it
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/62/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.