Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide for 1911 with Map Page: 18
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC.
a great number of mules and horses,
their camp equipage and their military
chest containing $12,000. The Texan
loss was only eight killed and twenty-
five wounded. Only one Texan partici-
pating in that memorable battle sur-
vives-Alfonso Steele of Mexia, Tex.
The last Legislature, in February, 1909,
voted a gold medal to Mr. Steele as
the only survivor of San Jacinto.
This remarkable battle practically
secured the independence of Texas, al-
though the Mexicans afterward gave
much trouble and did not relinquish
their claim to the State until 1848.
Under the Government of the Re-
public splendid foundations were laid
for an empire, and Texas made very
considerable progress during the ten
years, although constantly harassed by
Mexico. Annexation to the United
States was very soon suggested, and
although there was vigorous opposition
within the Republic and in the States,
there were also strong advocates, and
the proposition grew in favor until, in
1846, Texas was admitted into the
In joining the Union, Texas retained
her public lands, and also reserved the
right to divide the territory into five
States at any time 'in the future. Al-
though such a division would mani-
festly be of great advantage to this
section in the enlargement of its repre-
sentation in the United States Senate,
in the National convention of political
parties and in the electoral college,
division of the State has ever been so
unpopular that until recent years no
one has had the temerity to broach the
Texas' course in the war between
the States is so well known that men-
tion of it is scarcely necessary. When
first there were mutterings of with-
drawal from the Union, Texans dis-
countenanced it, and in the electibn of
1859, when secession was in a sense
an issue, they went on record as against
it. But when the lines were drawn,
and other Southern States declared
themselves absolved from the Federal
compact, Texas followed them and sent
thousands of her bravest to fight for
the cause of the Confederacy.
Following the war and the troublous
days of reconstruction the history of
Texas has been that of peaceful pur-
suit and remarkable development, the
ambitions of her people being to make
their State the greatest of all the Com-
monwealths in things material, and
her government and institutions the
best and fairest and most beneficial"
in all the world.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
While the government of the State
of Texas does not differ greatly from
that of other States, it has some dis-
tinctive features, such as the short
tenure of offices and the large number
of places filled by popular election.
Judges of the Superior Courts and
members of tre Railroad Commission
are elected for six years; District
Judges and District Attorneys for four
years; all other officers for two years.
In practice, however, the minimum
tenure is four years, for it is the un-
written law of the Texas Democracy,
which has dominated political affairs
in the State since 1857, when the first
party nomination was made, that "a
faithful public servant is entitled to a
second term." This rule is observed
especially in reference to the office of
Governor. No Democratic Governor in
Texas has ever failed of re-election.
There is another unwritten law which
is almost as religiously observed. It
limits the number of terms to two. No
Governor has ever held the office for
more than two terms. Exce.ptions to
the rule are made in case of the judi-
ciary, members of the Legislature and
a few other offices, but generally speak-
ing there is a strong prejudice against
the "third-term idea."
Besides the office of Governor the
executive department of the State gov-
ernment includes the following named
offices, which are filled by popular elec-
tien : Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney-
General, Controller of Public Accounts,
Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Commissioner of the General Land
Office, Commissioner of Agriculture,
Judges of the Appellate Courts, and
Railroad Commissioners; also many
offices which are filled by appointment,
among them being those of the Secre-
tary of State, Adjutant General, State
Health Officer, Tax Commissioner, Su-
perintendent of Public Buildings and
Grounds, Commissioner of Insurance
and Banking, State Librarian; Game,
Fish and Oyster Commissioner; State
Revenue Agent, Commissioner of Labor
Statistics, Commissioner of the Pension
Department and Mining Inspector. The
Governor appoints a number of boards,
among which are the State Mining
Board, the Library and Historical Com-
mission, and the Fire Rating Board,
which latter is virtually clothed with
the power to make rates for fire insur-
ance. He also appoints a board to
manage each of the State institutions,
each board electing the officers of the
institution. Also he appoints an As-
sistant Attorney-General to represent
the State in criminal prosecutions.
There are a number of boards composed
of State officials, such as the Banking
Board, Printing Hoard, Board of Edu-
cation, Tax Board, Tax Rate Board, etc.
The Railroad Commission, while
classed as a part of the executive de-
partment is in fact a quasi-judicial
body. Its members are elected for six
years each, their terms lapping.
Similarly the members of the Supreme
Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals
and the six Courts of Civil Appeals,
are, chosen for six years. These appel-
late courts have jurisdiction within
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Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide for 1911 with Map, book, January 1911; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123781/m1/28/: accessed March 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.