August 20, 2019

James Stephen Hogg (1851-1906)

James Stephen Hogg, the first native governor of Texas, was born near Rusk on March 24, 1851, the son of Lucanda (McMath) and Joseph Lewis Hogg. He attended McKnight School and had private tutoring at home until the Civil War. His father, a brigadier general, died at the head of his command in 1862, and his mother died the following year. Hogg and two of his brothers were left with two older sisters to run the plantation. Hogg spent almost a year in 1866 near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, going to school. After returning to Texas, he studied with Peyton Irving and worked as the typesetter in Andrew Jackson's newspaper office at Rusk. There he perfected his spelling, improved his vocabulary, and was stimulated by the prose and poetry contributions of his brother Thomas E. Hogg, who was studying law. Gradually, the family estate had to be sold to pay taxes and buy food, clothes, and books while the brothers tried to prepare themselves to earn a living by agriculture and practicing law as their father had done. While helping the sheriff at Quitman, Hogg earned the enmity of a group of outlaws, who lured him over the county line, ambushed him, and shot him in the back. He recovered and turned again to newspaper work in Tyler, after which he ran his own papers in Longview and Quitman from 1871 to 1873, fighting subsidies to railroads, the corruption of the Ulysses S. Grant  He served as justice of the peace at Quitman from 1873 to 1875. He studied law and was licensed in the latter year. Meanwhile, he had married Sallie Stinson; four children were born to them. Hogg received his only defeat in a contest for public office in 1876, when he ran against John S. Griffith for a seat in the Texas legislature. He was elected county attorney of Wood County in 1878 and served from 1880 to 1884 as district attorney for the old Seventh District, where he became known as the most aggressive and successful district attorney in the state.

In the national campaign of 1884 he succeeded in winning enough black votes from the Republicans to make Smith County a Democratic stronghold. Despite a popular move for Hogg to go to Congress, he declined to run for public office in 1884 and entered private practice in Tyler, where he worked first with John M. Duncan and afterward with Henry Marsh. In 1886 his friends urged him to run for attorney general. His father's connections with the older political leaders made it easy for Hogg to be admitted to their councils, and he received the Democratic nomination and was elected. As attorney general, Hogg encouraged new legislation to protect the public domain set aside for the school and institutional funds, and he instituted suits that finally returned over a million and a half acres to the state. He sought to enforce laws providing that railroads and land corporations sell their holdings to settlers within certain time limits and succeeded in breaking up the Texas Traffic Association, which was formed by the roads to pool traffic, fix rates, and control competing lines, in violation of the laws. He forced "wildcat" insurance companies to quit the state and aided legitimate business generally. He helped to write the second state antitrust law in the nation and defended the Texas Drummer Tax Law before the United States Supreme Court, but lost. He managed to regain control of the East Line and Red River Railroad, despite Jay Gould's delaying actions, by making use of federal receivers. Hogg forced the restoration to Texas of railroad headquarters and shops, as a result of which depots and road aids were repaired or rebuilt, and he gradually compelled the railroads to respect Texas laws. Finally, seeing that neither the legislature nor his small office force could effectively carry out the laws to protect the public interest against powerful corporate railway interests, he advocated the establishment of the Railroad Commission and was elected governor on this platform in 1890.

While governor, from 1891 to 1895, Hogg did much to strengthen public respect for law enforcement, defended the Texas claim to Greer County, and championed five major pieces of legislation. The "Hogg Laws" included the law establishing the Railroad Commission; the railroad stock and bond law cutting down on watered stock; the law forcing land corporations to sell off their holdings in fifteen years; the Alien Land Law, which checked further grants to foreign corporations in an effort to get the land into the hands of citizen settlers; and the act restricting the amount of indebtedness by bond issues that county and municipal groups could legally undertake. In order to encourage investment in Texas, he traveled to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia explaining to businessmen and chambers of commerce the laws and advantages of the state. He was ever solicitous for the welfare of the common schools, the University of Texas, and Texas A&M. He also manifested earnest attention to the normals and to appointments to teacher-training scholarships. Always interested in the history of Texas, he succeeded in obtaining financial aid for a division of state archives and appointed C. W. Raines to supervise the collection and preservation of historical materials. Without any real difficulty Hogg could have become a United States senator in 1896, but he was content to return to private practice.

After his wife died in 1895, he invited his older sister, Mrs. Martha Frances Davis, to come to his home to help rear his children. Though he was in debt when he relinquished the governor's chair to his attorney general, Charles A. Culberson, Hogg was able to build up a sizable family fortune by his law practice and wise investments in city property and oil lands. He successfully inculcated in his children a worthy interest in individual and public welfare as evidenced by numerous gifts to the University of Texas and various services to Texas as a whole, as well as to the cities of Houston and Austin. Although Hogg sought no other public office, he was always interested in good government. He aided William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 and 1900 campaigns and spoke on Bryan's behalf before Tammany Hall in 1900. Hogg had long been an advocate of an isthmian canal and increased trade for Texas to South America and the Orient via Hawaii, which he had visited after the Spanish-American War. He also championed progressive reforms in Texas in a famous speech at Waco on April 19, 1900. The meeting had been packed against him, but he insisted upon his right to speak and persisted until the crowd heard him. He pleaded for three separate principles: that no insolvent corporation should do business in Texas; that the free-pass system over the railroads should forever terminate; and that the use of corporate funds in politics and in support of lobbies at Austin should be prohibited. At the end of a trying evening, he had won the audience over to his views.

In 1901 he addressed the legislature on these progressive political principles, and in 1903 he rented the Hancock Opera House in Austin to plead again for their adoption. He raised questions about railroad mergers and consolidations and the unblushing use of lobbying and the corroding influences of the free pass. In conclusion he implored, "Let us have Texas, the Empire State, governed by the people; not Texas, the truck-patch, ruled by corporate lobbyists." At La Porte, on September 6, 1904, he prophetically spoke of the new role of labor in the twentieth century. After the oil boom at Beaumont and a trip to England in connection with his expanding business interests in South Texas, Hogg gave up his partnership with Judge James H. Robertson in Austin and moved to Houston, where he formed the firm of Hogg, Watkins, and Jones. He continued his political interests but was hurt in a railroad accident, after which he was never well again. One of his last public addresses was at the banquet in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt at Dallas on April 5, 1905, when two of the finest leaders of their parties met and exchanged respects. During the State Fair of Texas that year, Hogg was expected to speak before the Legislative Day banquet, but he was taken ill and confined to his hotel room in Fort Worth. Arrangements were made by his daughter for a phonograph recording of remarks for use in Dallas. In this address he summarized his political views. Among other points, he called for the permanent establishment of rotation in office, the prohibition of nepotism, equality of taxation, the suppression of organized lobbying in Austin, steps to make "corporate control of Texas" impossible, and open records that would "disclose every official the end that everyone shall know that, in Texas, public office is the center of public conscience, and that no graft, no crime, no public wrong, shall ever stain or corrupt our State." On March 3, 1906, Hogg died in the home of his partner, Frank Jones, at Houston. Source

30° 16.677
-097° 43.602

Section 3
Oakwood Cemetery

August 13, 2019

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-2019)

George H. W. Bush, forty-first president of the United States, was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. He was the second of five children of Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush. George Bush was named for his maternal grandfather, George Herbert Walker, and he had two middle names because his parents couldn’t decide whether to name him George Herbert Bush or George Walker Bush. Bush grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he attended Greenwich Country Day School. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He played baseball and soccer and was president of his senior class. When the United States entered World War II following the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, Bush was eager to enlist in the military. At the age of eighteen and just after graduation, he volunteered to join the United States Navy. He completed his preflight training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in June 1943 was commissioned an ensign and thus became one of the youngest aviators in the U. S. Navy. He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT 51) in the Pacific Theater and carried out missions as pilot of a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber off the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto. On August 1, 1944, he was promoted to lieutenant junior grade. On September 2, 1944, over the Pacific island of Chichi Jima, Bush’s airplane was struck by anti-aircraft gunfire and caught fire. According to Bush’s account, he ordered his two crewmates, William “Ted” White and John Delaney, to put on their parachutes and bail out. Bush did the same and landed in the ocean. He kicked off his shoes to reduce his weight and inflated his life jacket. Then he swam to an uninflated life raft, which he inflated and climbed aboard. He was rescued by the submarine USS Finback. Both his crewmates were killed. The episode deeply affected Bush, who said he always wondered why he was spared. He returned to the USS San Jacinto in November 1944 and, in total, flew fifty-eight combat missions. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation (awarded to USS San Jacinto). Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to a training wing for new torpedo pilots in Norfolk, Virginia.

When Bush returned from the war, he married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York, on January 6, 1945. The two had met at a Christmas dance in 1941. After his discharge from military service, George Bush went to Yale University, where he played varsity baseball, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, joined the exclusive Skull and Bones society, and earned his degree in economics in 1948. After graduating from Yale, Bush decided not to follow his father into the investment banking business. He wanted to try something different. In 1948 George, Barbara, and their young son George Walker moved to Odessa, Texas, where he began his oil and gas career as a clerk with IDECO (International Derrick and Equipment Company, a subsidiary of Dresser Industries), for a $375 per month salary. Bush worked his way up in the business. In 1950 the Bush family moved to Midland and grew to include John Ellis (Jeb), Neil Mallon, Marvin Pierce, and Dorothy Walker Bush. Another daughter, Pauline Robinson (Robin) Bush, died at the age of three of leukemia in 1953. With partner John Overbey, George H. W. Bush founded an oil exploration company, Bush-Overbey Oil Development, Inc., that later merged with another enterprise to form Zapata Petroleum in 1953 and Zapata Offshore Company in 1954. In 1959 the family moved to Houston, where Bush continued his oil and gas career. He eventually resigned as chief executive officer of Zapata in 1966. Inspired by his father, who by this time was a Republican U.S. senator from Connecticut, Bush wanted to go into politics himself. He began his political career when he was elected Harris County Republican Party chairman.

In 1964 he ran for the United States Senate but lost to incumbent Texas senator Ralph Yarborough. Two years later, Bush was elected to the first of two terms as U.S. representative from West Houston. In 1970 President Richard M. Nixon persuaded Bush to try again for the Senate against Yarborough. Bush decided to run, but the more conservative Lloyd Bentsen upset Yarborough in the Democratic primary and defeated Bush in the general election. Nixon nominated Bush for U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, and he was confirmed in 1971. This was the first of several appointed positions that Bush would hold over the next few years. Nixon in 1973 named him Republican National Committee chairman, and Bush defended Nixon during the Watergate crisis. When it was disclosed that Nixon did in fact know about the Watergate cover-up, Bush wrote Nixon on August 7, 1974, urging him to resign. Nixon announced the next day his intention to do. Upon succeeding Nixon as president, Gerald Ford asked Bush at which foreign post he wanted to serve. Bush chose China and served as head of the U.S. Liaison Office there. In 1976 Ford appointed Bush director of the Central Intelligence Agency. When Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976, Bush offered to remain as director but left the office in 1977 when Carter named his own appointee. Bush returned to Houston. George H. W. Bush sought the 1980 Republican presidential nomination but lost to former California governor Ronald Reagan, who asked Bush to be his vice-presidential running mate. Bush accepted, and the Reagan-Bush ticket won the general election and handily won reelection in 1984.

As vice president, Bush oversaw a number of task forces to address the reduction of federal regulations and to assess drug policies, and he traveled the world as a representative foreign dignitary. In 1988 Vice President George Bush was eager to succeed Reagan, who left under term limits. The odds against Bush were long, as no sitting vice president had been directly elected to the presidency since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Bush won the Republican nomination, and in November he defeated the Democratic nominee, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, to win the presidency. Some historians have suggested that Bush’s presidency, from 1989 to 1993, focused on foreign policy. The Cold War, which had divided the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and its allies, had been going on since the end of World War II. Bush worked closely with other Western leaders to manage the process as the Soviet Union and its allies were collapsing politically. Of particular interest was the reunification of Germany, which had been divided since the end of World War II. He believed that bringing East Germany and West Germany together would mark the true end of World War II. “German reunification had a very personal meaning to me,” Bush said. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989. In late 1989 Bush authorized the U. S. Army to spearhead Operation Just Cause, in which troops were sent to Panama to apprehend its dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega on narcotics trafficking charges. This marked the largest U. S. combat operation since the Vietnam War. In 1990 the Iraqi army, on the orders of dictator Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait, a small, neighboring nation to the southeast. Hussein’s intention was to turn Iraq, and by extension himself, into a more significant player on the regional and world stage because Iraq under Hussein would control 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Bush assembled a coalition of nations to send their military forces to the Middle East. Operation Desert Storm, launched in January 1991, successfully drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait.

He also signed with the Soviet Union the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to reduce nuclear arsenals in 1991, and he negotiated a second treaty with Russia in 1992 and signed it in early 1993. While his actions in the arena of foreign policy generally won praise, his cautious response to the killing of pro-democracy student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, in the spring of 1989 drew some criticism in that he did not push for severe sanctions against the Communist regime. Despite his triumphs on the world stage and the passage of the civil rights legislation Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Bush faced increased instability and critical scrutiny on the domestic front. The U.S. economy was in recession, and his political opponents were quick to seize the opportunity. They accused him of being out of touch and projecting a “patrician image.” A Bush gaffe helped. In his 1988 nomination acceptance speech, Bush vowed, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Dukakis recalled in the post-election courtesy meeting, Bush said there was no way that he (Bush) could raise taxes in the first year. Dukakis said he realized then that the “read my lips” promise was only a temporary one. Bush wanted to reduce the federal budget deficit. The 1990 budget deal Bush brokered with Congress did that through both spending cuts and a tax increase. But his critics were upset that he broke his word and raised taxes. During the Republican primary race for the 1992 presidential nomination, the politically-moderate Bush faced a strong primary opponent in conservative Patrick Buchanan. After winning his party’s nomination for a second term, Bush found himself in a three-way race with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, the Democratic nominee, and Dallas businessman Ross Perot, who was running as an independent. Clinton won the race - the first Democrat to be elected president since Carter in 1976. In 1993 Bush left the White House; he retired to Houston and also spent time at the family home at Kennebunkport, Maine. He was disappointed over his loss, but his setback set the stage for his sons to serve in public office.

Son George W. Bush in 1994 was elected Texas governor, defeating incumbent governor Ann Richards. Bush was reelected in 1998 and in 2000 defeated Vice President Al Gore to become the forty-third president of the United States. George H. W. and George W. Bush became the first father and son to serve as president since John and John Quincy Adams in the nineteenth century. Bush became known, informally, as “Bush 41,” while his son was known as “Bush 43.” The elder Adams died while his son was in office. George H.W. Bush lived through all eight years of his son’s presidency. Bush’s second son, Jeb, served two terms as Florida governor, from 1999 to 2007, and unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In retirement George H. W. Bush enjoyed golfing and speedboating and famously made parachute jumps to celebrate his seventy-fifth, eightieth, eighty-fifth, and ninetieth birthdays. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened on the campus of Texas A&M University in 1997. He authored (or co-authored) several books, including A World Transformed (1998), All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (1999), and The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (2008). He partnered with former president Bill Clinton to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina victims on the Gulf Coast and also participated in other disaster relief efforts. Bush received numerous honors from countries throughout the world. Houston’s Intercontinental Airport was renamed George Bush Intercontinental Airport in 1997. The headquarters for the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, was officially named for him in 1999. A new Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, USS George H. W. Bush, was commissioned by the U. S. Navy on January 10, 2009. President George H. W. Bush received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony on February 15, 2011. When Robin Bush died in 1953, George and Barbara Bush buried her in a family plot in Greenwich, Connecticut. After attending former President Nixon’s funeral in 1994, George and Barbara decided that they should be buried at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. They created a small family cemetery on the library grounds and had Robin’s remains relocated there in May 2000. Barbara Bush died April 17, 2018. George H.W. Bush died at his home in Houston on November 30, 2018. After a state funeral at Washington National Cathedral on December 5, he was transported to College Station and, in a private ceremony, buried in the family cemetery on the library grounds on December 6, 2018. Source

30° 35.874
-096° 21.030

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
College Station

August 6, 2019

Keven “Dino” Conner (1974-2003)

Born November 18, 1974, Dino Conner grew up in Houston's notorious Yellowstone neighborhood on the south side of the city. While attending Jack Yates High School in 1991, Keven and his twin brother Solomon, formed a band with mutual friend Darryl Jackson. Calling themselves The Gents, the trio recorded their first album It's No Dream with producer Phil Blackmon. Shazam (Solomon) was chosen as lead singer at the time of recording this album, which featured the ballad A Time for Us; unfortunately, the album was not successful. They performed at local talent shows and plays until a local producer sent a demo tape to record label executive Luther "Luke" Campbell, formerly of the rap group 2 Live Crew. After an impromptu audition, Campbell signed the group to his label, Luke Records. Bishop "Stick" Burrell became their producer and made Dino the lead singer, seeing his potential and rare voice as the formula for success, and built their sound around him. They changed the name of their group to H-Town, a local nickname for the city of Houston, in which they grew up.

H-Town's debut album Fever for Da Flavor was released on April 15, 1993. The group achieved hit status with their very first single Knockin' Da Boots, which became H-Town's biggest hit and signature song. Knockin' Da Boots was a #1 hit on the R&B charts, and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, Lick U Up, the band's follow-up single, peaked at only #21. They signed on as a part of the 1993 Coca-Cola Summer fest tour, which also included Shai, SWV, Jade, Naughty by Nature, LL Cool J and Silk. In 1994, H-Town won the Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist. They were featured on the Above the Rim soundtrack with their single Part Time Lover, which peaked at #9 on the R&B charts. In late 1993, H-Town returned to the studio to record their second album Beggin' After Dark, later released on November 8, 1994. The most popular single from this album was Emotions, which hit #11 on the Billboard R&B charts and #51 on the Hot 100. After recording a cover version of The Persuaders song A Thin Line Between Love and Hate for the 1996 film of the same name - the song became H-Town's first Top 40 pop hit in three years - the group underwent some changes. They cut ties with Luther Campbell, underwent a spiritual awakening of sorts, and became more aware of women's issues on their third album Ladies Edition. Released on October 28, 1997, the general theme of Ladies Edition centers on a man's penitence for his past transgressions with his woman, a theme conveyed in songs such as Don't Sleep on the Female, Julie Rain, and Jezebel. According to the liner notes, the album was dedicated to Nicole Brown Simpson and "all the women of the world." Twenty national women's telephone helplines were listed on the back cover. Their one and only single from the album, They Like It Slow, peaked at #35 on the Hot 100.

On January 28, 2003, Keven and his pregnant girlfriend, Teshya Rae Weisent, had just left the recording studio when their vehicle was hit by an SUV that ran a red light. Teshya Rae died upon impact; Keven died en route to the hospital. The three people in the SUV fled. One of them was later apprehended and charged with a felony for failing to stop and render assistance. Two weeks before his death, Keven recorded a song titled, The Day I Die. H-Town's fourth album Imitations of Life which was later released on October 12, 2004. On December 1, 2016, 4 tracks from what was to be Dino's solo album You're My Morning Star were released on iTunes under Mindtaker Entertainment. His girlfriend Teshya is featured on some of tracks. Source

29° 44.449
-095° 36.465

Section 500
Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery