In 1902 J. S. Hogg’s oil interests were paying off. On November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, he wrote to Ima that he had sold his interest in the Texas Oil and Fuel Company for $35,750. These 1902 dollars would be worth nearly 25 times that today.
Time for Thanksgiving, indeed.
He wanted his family to spend the Christmas holidays at “The Varner,” the old plantation in Brazoria County he had made into a showplace. He wrote to Ima in New York:
I am anxious to have you spend Christmas with our boys. Your influence over them, by reason of their deep love for you, is potent and far-reaching. You have always exercised a fine control over Will. As to Mike and Tom, you know well, how they idolize you, and yield to your will, sometimes, with boyish reluctance, but at all times with manly fortitude, when the issue is made. . . .Your opportunity to influence them could not be greater than on a Christmas outing with them – down on the Old Plantation! Hunting down there is fine for the boys, and it may not be unattractive to you. I have the house comfortably furnished, and plenty of room. With an excellent, large hack and team, and saddle horses and dogs and guns and “plenty to eat” there could be no reason we shall not have a fine time down there for a week or so. Nothing would please the boys more than this; and you see it would open their young hearts as wide as the Ocean’s bosom to receive the good sentiments to be strewn there by you – and me! Of course, if you so desire, you could have some “chum” with you. And probably a “house party” might be allowed also. But as to this, we can talk later. Friends at Houston would like to give you a party before your return to NY. And then, possibly we could find time, before you go back, to attend the Governor’s Inaugural Ball early in January. Really I think we can spend a few weeks together very pleasantly. How does this strike you? Write candidly, as usual.
Lovingly, Your Father,
J. S. Hogg
But Ima needed time to think this over. New York City was full of exciting things--and one of them may have been the young man named R. W. Alexander.