The Texas Historian, Volume 40, Number 4, March 1980 Page: 2
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Governor's Mansion. "It had flowers and well-
dressed women everywhere," she recalls.
While attending the University of Texas,
Mildred Paxton met Dan Moody, a young
lawyer from Taylor. After she got her masters
degree, she returned to Abilene to teach Eng-
lish, but she and Moody kept in touch. He re-
mained in Austin, and she saw him whenever
she visited friends at the Alphi Phi Sorority
On one of her visits to Austin, Dan took
Mildred for a moonlight ride in his old Model-
T Ford. He remarked that he wanted to show
her "the finest residence site in Texas" and
stopped in front of the Governor's Mansion,
which appeared dignified and mellow in the
soft romantic light. Mildred looked at the young
District Attorney and thought, "Is that the di-
rection your ambitions run? Why, you good old
country boy, you will never make that!
In 1924 Dan Moody was elected attorney
general, and, while friends urged him to run
for governor in 1926, he tried to persuade
Mildred to marry him. He left the decision to
her: If she married him, he would not run for
governor if she did not want him to. She de-
cided to marry him but not to stand in the way
of his political career. She set the wedding date
for April 20, 1926, her twenty-ninth birthday,
one month after Moody announced his can-
didacy for governor.
Needless to say, the newlyweds had a honey-
moon campaign. Their base was the Stephen
F. Austin Hotel in downtown Austin, where
they lived for the first seven months of their
After Moody won the election, they took a
short vacation to Kerrville, then a trip to Wash-
ington, D.C., where Mrs. Moody bought her
inaugural dress. It was chiffon, decorated with
sequins and had a long waist and a short skirt.
The inaugural was held on the steps of the
Capitol, the first to be held outdoors.
It was customary for the former governor to
move out of the mansion before the inaugural,
leaving a steaming dinner on the table for the
newcomers. Due to the heated battle between
Moody and his opponent, Governor Miriam
Dan Moody's inaugural ceremony, held on the
steps of the Capitol, was the first in Texas to
be held outdoors.
Amanda ("Ma") Ferguson, however, this par-
ticular inaugural did not proceed according to
custom. Mrs. Moody received joking advice
from supporters, "Don't eat anything Ma Fer-
guson leaves on that table; she'll poison you."
But "Ma" Ferguson had other ideas. "I
wouldn't leave a can of sardines for the
Moodys," she said.
During the race, the Fergusons and their
supporters had questioned Moody's honesty.
For this reason he had an inventory taken of
everything in the mansion so that there would
be no suspicions concerning expenditures and
state properties to damage his administration.
The inventory forced them to stay at the
hotel another week. Many family members,
however, had come to see the inaugural and the
mansion. Because they could not stay another
week, she held a breakfast for them in the
mansion. When the Moodys entered by the
back door, she was appalled by its appear-
ance. She remembered the lavishly decorated
house she had seen when she interviewed Mar-
garet Wilson. Instead she saw worn carpets
and faded, torn brown wallpaper.
The Board of Control allowed five hundred
dollars to redecorate. The first thing the new
first lady wanted to do was replace the man-
sion's wallpaper. Not trusting her own judg-
ment, she called in a decorator who wished to
spend the entire amount on dining room wall-
paper. When the governor returned, he refused
to approve it. An unhappy Mrs. Moody wrote
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Texas State Historical Association. The Texas Historian, Volume 40, Number 4, March 1980, periodical, March 1980; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth391511/m1/4/?q=%22georgia%20battalion%22: accessed April 6, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.