It was during the summer of 1892, when Ima was ten years old, that the story of Governor Hogg having children named Ima and Ura (and Shesa, or Harry, or Moore) entered into Texas folklore. Governor Hogg doted on his only daughter, and often took her with him when he made speeches around the state, seeking his second term as governor. As Ima recalled years later: “Often we visited friends at these times and I would enjoy the children of the family while he spoke, but many times all of us would go and inconspicuously be among those in the audience.” That audience was mostly farmers and ranchers. City folk were few in 1890s Texas.
J. S. Hogg was a masterly politician knew how to please a crowd when he made speeches. If he pointed to his daughter and her little friends and joked that, “This is my daughter Ima, and this is Ura . . . ” one can imagine the crowd’s amusement. Ima always denied it, but the story took on a life of its own. A newspaper clipping from this period declares that “Governor Hogg of Texas has three bright children, two girls and a boy, whose names respectfully are said to be Ima Hogg, Ura Hogg, and Moore Hogg. These names were bestowed by Governor Hogg himself.” Hearsay had it that when Hogg appeared, Ima and a little friend of hers sat on the platform “at more than one of his speakings. And on each occasion the big East Texan playfully introduced them as ‘my daughters, Ima and Ura Hogg.’ ”
After the election was over (Hogg won) he received a letter from James P. Owens, a Texan then living in Denver, Colorado:
Hon. Jas S. Hogg
I trust you will pardon me for being so inquisitive, but as I have had a dispute over it I appeal to you for a decision. Please tell me if you have three children named Ura, Ima, & Hesa? Were they so christened?
This all came about by a party knowing I was a Texan asking me if it were really true that the Governor’s children were named as above. I said no, but he was quite sure of it—So I trust you will be kind enough to help me out of it.
Very Truly Yours
Jas. P. Owens
213 Ernest & Cranmer Bldg
The Governor’s reply to this letter has not survived.