NOW WHAT DO I DO?

July 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

            Rick Perry, who has served as Texas governor longer than anyone, says he’s stepping down after this term. At that time he’ll still able to jog, shoot menacing coyotes, and text while driving through school crossings, but what else will Perry do? There are plenty of examples, because the former Aggie yell leader is the 47th governor of Texas, and all but one had an afterlife upon leaving the Governor’s Mansion (which Perry is leaving a far a different house than when he first moved in). So let’s take a look at what happened to our ex-guvs.

We begin with Henry Smith, Texas’ ineffective provisional governor for three months in 1836. He later went to California with his sons as a 49er, and died in his tent without striking it rich. David G. Burnet was our interim president. He ran for the official presidency against Sam Houston, and lost. He died penniless. The Republic of Texas’ constitution prevented Houston from running for re-election (now there’s a new idea), but he later became president again, then was kicked out of office and moved to Huntsville, where he died. .

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar — put that on a bumper sticker — left office, wrote a book of poetry and died penniless. Our last president was Anson Jones. After leaving office, he farmed a bit and then shot himself. After annexation, Texas had governors, the first being J. Pinckney Henderson, who stepped aside to lead a Texas regiment in the Mexican-American War, then resumed his post. He later became a U.S. senator. George T. Wood left office and built a huge house which was uncompleted when he died. Peter Bell resigned as governor to take a seat in the U.S. Congress. Later he became — one guess — destitute. A grateful Texas Legislature awarded him the first governor’s pension: $100 a year. (Incidentally, a gold mine for this is June Welch’s “The Texas Governor.”)

We can skip James Wilson Henderson. Elisha Marshall Pease had a speech  impediment and was our first governor to live in the Mansion. Hardin Runnels is best remembered as the only person ever to defeat Houston in an election. Runnels died on Christmas day, another first. O.M. Roberts was defeated for re-election and served in the Confederate Army. Francis Lubbock did not seek re-election, joined Jefferson Davis’ staff and spent two years in a Union prison. He later became Texas state treasurer. Gov. Pendleton Murrah presided over the fall of the Texas Confederacy, fled to Mexico (all the other Dixie governors had been jailed) and died in Monterrey.

After the Civil War our leaders were appointed Unionists, then old Confederates came back in power. One was Richard Hubbard who weighed 300 pounds. After leaving office he became the U.S. minister to Japan. Oran Milo Roberts created the University of Texas and later became a law professor there. His son became the law school’s night watchman. Sul Ross was one of our most fascinating governors — Indian fighter (he helped find Cynthia Ann Parker), Texas Ranger, Confederate general. He became president of Texas A&M. After leaving the governorship, Pat Neff turned down presidency of UT to become president of Baylor. Silly choice. When Jim Hogg left office, Miss Ima Hogg once told me, “We were so poor, Daddy had to borrow money to move out of the Governor’s Mansion.” He invested in Spindletop and real estate, and died extremely wealthy. Finally a rich ex-guv!

Gov. Charles Culberson went on to serve 24 years in the U.S. Senate. Next came Joseph Draper Sayers who practiced law in San Antonio and Austin. Willis Tucker Lanham, our last Confederate to become governor, spent $20 on his campaign. Thomas Campbell later ran for other offices and was defeated. He died of leukemia in Galveston. O.B. Colquitt didn’t do much. James Ferguson tried to run the University of Texas, was impeached and resigned. That’ll teach him. But he remained a political power. Lt. Gov. William Hobby, a newspaperman — there goes the neighborhood — took over after Ferguson was bounced. Later Hobby bought the Beaumont Enterprise and the Houston Post.

Ferguson’s wife, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, was elected to two non-consecutive terms, but was finally defeated, then ran again, with no luck.  The governor’s job paid $4,000 a year, but Dan Moody was so broke he didn’t seek re-election. He stayed active in politics. Ross Sterling was a rich oilman when he took office, lost it all while serving, then made it back again before dying. Jimmy Allred became a federal judge. Gov. W. Lee O’Daniel later served an “undistinguished” term as a U.S. senator. Coke Stevenson carried all 254 counties running for guv, but later ran for senator and lost to Lyndon Johnson by 87 magical votes.

Beauford Jester is our only governor to die in office — aboard a Pullman on the way to Galveston. Lt. Gov. Allan Shivers took over and served three terms. He later was on bank boards and handled his wife’s inheritance. Price Daniel ran for a fourth term but was defeated by John Connally. Daniel became a judge on the Texas Supreme Court. Connally ran for president, was acquitted on a bribery charge, went into business with Ben Barnes and ended up bankrupt. Then prospects started to improve. Dolph Briscoe retired to his ranch as one of the largest landowners in Texas. Mark White joined a Houston law firm. Bill Clements went back to his squillion dollar oil biz. Ann Richards did well in private business. George W. Bush is rich from his days with the Texas Rangers.

So, Rick Perry has predecessors to follow. Or he may wish to do nothing. As guv he makes $150,000 a year and already receives another $92,376 annually in state pensions. He has at least $1.4 million in assets. Not bad for someone who has been a state employee all his adult life.

Ashby governs at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lynn Ashby                                                         22 July 2013

 

NOW WHAT DO I DO?

 

Rick Perry, who has served as Texas governor longer than any person, says he’s stepping down after this term. At that time he’ll still able to jog, shoot menacing coyotes, and text while driving through school crossings. But what else will Perry do? There are plenty of examples to examine, because the former Aggie yell leader is the 47th governor of Texas, and all but one had an afterlife upon leaving the Governor’s Mansion (which Perry is leaving a far a different house than when he first moved in). So let’s take a look at what happened to our ex-guvs.

We begin with Henry Smith, Texas’ ineffective provisional governor for three months in 1836. He later went to California with his sons as a 49er, and died in his tent without striking it rich. David G. Burnet was our interim president. He ran for the official presidency against Sam Houston (Burnet had challenged Houston to a duel) and lost. He died penniless. The Republic of Texas’ constitution prevented Houston from running for re-election (now there’s a new idea), but he later became president again, then was kicked out of office and moved to Huntsville, where he died. .

Houston’s nemesis, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar — put that on a bumper sticker — left office, wrote a book of poetry and died penniless. Our last president was Anson Jones. After leaving office, he farmed a bit and then shot himself. Hey, Rick, try to change this pattern, OK? After annexation, Texas had governors, the first being J. Pinckney Henderson, who stepped aside to lead a Texas regiment in the Mexican-American War, then resumed his post. He later became a U.S. senator. George T. Wood left office and built a huge house which was uncompleted when he died. Peter Bell resigned as governor to take a seat in the U.S. Congress. Later he became — one guess — destitute. A grateful Texas Legislature awarded him the first governor’s pension: $100 a year. (Incidentally, a gold mine for this is June Welch’s “The Texas Governor.”)

We can skip James Wilson Henderson. Elisha Marshall Pease had a speech  impediment and was our first governor to live in the Mansion. Hardin Runnels is best remembered as the only person ever to defeat Houston in an election. Runnels died on Christmas day, another first. O.M. Roberts was defeated for re-election and served in the Confederate Army. Francis Lubbock did not seek re-election, joined Jefferson Davis’ staff and spent two years in a Union prison. He later became Texas state treasurer. Gov. Pendleton Murrah presided over the fall of the Texas Confederacy, fled to Mexico (all the other Dixie governors had been jailed) and died in Monterrey.

After the Civil War our leaders were appointed Unionists, then old Confederates came back in power. One was Richard Hubbard who weighed 300 pounds. After leaving office he became the U.S. minister to Japan. Oran Milo Roberts created the University of Texas and later became a law professor there. His son became the law school’s night watchman. Sul Ross was one of our most fascinating governors — Indian fighter (he helped find Cynthia Ann Parker), Texas Ranger, Confederate general. He became president of Texas A&M. After leaving the governorship, Pat Neff turned down presidency of UT to become president of Baylor. Silly choice. When Jim Hogg left office, Miss Ima Hogg once told me, “We were so poor Daddy had to borrow money to move out of the Governor’s Mansion.” He invested in Spindletop and died extremely wealthy. Finally a rich ex-guv!

Gov. Charles Culberson went on to serve 24 years in the U.S. Senate. Next came Joseph Draper Sayers who practiced law in San Antonio and Austin. Willis Tucker Lanham, our last Confederate to become governor, spent $20 on his campaign. Thomas Campbell later ran for other offices and was defeated. He died of leukemia in Galveston. O.B. Colquitt didn’t do much. James Ferguson tried to run the University of Texas, was impeached and resigned. That’ll teach him. But he remained a political power. Lt. Gov. William Hobby, a newspaperman — there goes the neighborhood — took over after Ferguson was bounced. Later Hobby bought the Beaumont Enterprise and the Houston Post.

Ferguson’s wife, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, was elected to two non-consecutive terms, but was finally defeated, then ran again, with no luck.  The governor’s job paid $4,000 a year. However, Dan Moody was so broke he didn’t seek re-election, but he stayed active in politics. Ross Sterling was a rich oilman when he took office, lost it all while serving, then made it back again before dying. Jimmy Allred became a federal judge. Gov. W. Lee O’Daniel later served an “undistinguished” term as a U.S. senator. Coke Stevenson carried all 254 counties running for guv, but later ran for senator and lost to Lyndon Johnson by 87 magical votes.

Beauford Jester is our only governor to die in office — aboard a Pullman on the way to Galveston. Lt. Gov. Allan Shivers took over and served three terms. He later was on bank boards and handled his wife’s inheritance. Price Daniel ran for a fourth term but was defeated by John Connally. Daniel became a judge on the Texas Supreme Court. Connally ran for president, was acquitted on a bribery charge, went into business with Ben Barnes and went bankrupt. Then prospects started to look up. Dolph Briscoe retired to his ranch as one of the largest landowners in Texas. Mark White joined a Houston law firm. Bill Clements went back to his squillion dollar oil biz. Ann Richards did well in private business. George W. Bush is rich from his days with the Texas Rangers.

So, Rick Perry has a lot of predecessors to follow. Or he may wish to do nothing. As guv he makes $150,000 a year and already receives another $92,376 annually in state pensions. He has $1.4 million in assets. Not bad for someone who has been a state employee all his adult life.

Ashby governs at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

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