Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tugboat Ima


 Ima Hogg had a boat named after her. Built in the early 1900s, the tugboat IMA HOGG was a fixture in coastal Texas waters. She once towed a barge carrying 400 Texas sheriffs and tax collectors down Buffalo Bayou to Galveston, at a gathering of the Texas Sheriffs’ Association. Ima, as far as we know, was not present. --Galveston Daily News, July 14, 1905.

         In 1908 when a New England visitor asked how the IMA HOGG got her name, “He was told that she was named for the daughter of one of the greatest men Texas ever produced.”
--Galveston Daily News, October 30, 1908.

         In the summer of 1911 Ima sailed to Germany aboard the Hanover, a German ship which left from Galveston. And there was the IMA HOGG, decked out in bunting and signal flags sailing, alongside, dipping its colors to honor its namesake. “The matter was a complete surprise for Miss Hogg,” said a Galveston newspaper, “and she acknowledged the compliment in a most charming manner.”

        She would never escape her name.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Panther’s Story, 1899

With apologies to the author of this 40-year-old column, here is the panther’s role in the 1899 hunt staged by J.S. Hogg for William Jennings Bryan.

Let us hope the panther enjoyed his place on South Congress Avenue. No doubt the meat market owner kept him well fed.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

J.S. Hogg, W.J. Bryan, and the Great Panther Hunt

Walter Palmer , recently in the news for killing a lion, might have been better off on a panther hunt like the one ex-governor James Stephen Hogg put on for his friend William Jennings Bryan, who visited him in Austin in 1899.

For the panther’s side of this story, see next week’s blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In memory of Ima’s good friend, Lee Pryor (1926-2015)

    I treasure this photo. Ima gave it to Lee when she was in her 90s, and began to call herself  “Imogene.” Lee, who helped me with my early Ima research, loaned it to me to reproduce. I’ve used it in my two Hogg books.

“To Lee Pryor
From Imogene with love

     Ima and Lee were great friends, travelling and attending concerts and plays together. He had planned to meet her in London for a round of theater-going in the summer of 1975. Instead, he met her in the hospital, where she was awaiting surgery on her hip. She died a few days later, at age of 93.

     Dr. William Lee Pryor died in Houston, July 14, 2015, at age 88.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ima in a major motion picture?

         Ima Hogg’s mysterious doings in Germany are the subject of a full-length film proposed in 2013 and yet to be produced--for lack of funding. According to a recent IN TOWN column by Carole Keeney Harrington, this “lack of [financial] support” by Houston powers-that-be is in part because the film, a period piece called the “The Empress of Texas” contains the story of Ima and her German lover, who was killed in World War I. Apparently nobody wants to have Ima’s reputation sullied by a story of an illicit love affair--true or not.
         For more about this film, see its website:

         For the research the love story is based on, see IMA HOGG: THE GOVERNOR’S DAUGHTER, pp. 53-54, 59.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

What did Ima do in Berlin in 1908?

       Ima Hogg was away from Houston from June 1907 to October 1908: about sixteen months. From June  22, 1907 until February 29, 1908, she wrote almost every day in her diaries--and then she stopped.  Her diaries hold clues--or do they?
       In her notebook-like  “Travel Diary” she described everything she saw, in minute detail: paintings, architecture, cathedrals, museums, mountains, lakes, and made notes about the history and geography.  She was an ideal tourist. She collected picture postcards as she traveled, but alas, did not write on them or mail them. In the Hogg papers in Austin are 3 folders of her postcards from Europe, 1907, all just as she bought them.
       From November 1, 1907 to sometime in October 1908, she lived with a family who lived at this address, 22 Mommsen Strasse, Charlottenberg, Berlin. This is a recent photograph. The house that Ima knew may have looked quite different. 



       On January 1, 1908, while living here, Ima began another diary in a small  leatherbound volume with a lock. But it ends abruptly on the last day of February.