When J. S. Hogg became a player in the booming oil business in the early 1900s, his portly figure and his colorful personality made him an instant celebrity in New York City. Newspapers loved him. In the fall of 1901, when Ima went to New York to study music, the New York Times ran the following piece about her father:
Ex-Gov. “Jim” Hogg of Texas is in town on his annual Fall visiting the city. The Governor has been very successful in business the past year, but never misses the opportunity to tell one of those hard-luck stories of his early career, which, given with such genuine feeling, always impress his auditors. His latest is that of the early days when Mr. Hogg had first commenced the practice of law in his Texan home after his return from the civil war.
He was decidedly hard up for a board bill amounting to $50, and was on the limits of landlady leniency. Sitting in his office one day, wondering how he could raise the needed sum, a man entered and informed him he wished legal advice.
“Fifty dollars, sir,” exclaimed Mr. Hogg almost involuntarily as he saw visions of a financial windfall.
“Oh, you want your fee in advance? All right, Sir,” and the client took a roll of bills from his pocket and handed him a $50 bill.
The visitor then announced that he contemplated some “crooked work”--nothing short of robbing a private banking house.
Mr. Hogg, while considering his duty to his client, also was mindful of that as a good citizen, and gently but firmly dissuaded his visitor from his proposed crime, raising all the legal obstacles he could, rather than facilitating the other’s scheme to escape by his aid the penalty if detected. The man left not so much discouraged as Mr. Hogg thought he ought to be, while Hogg himself hastened to his boarding house joyously to liquidate his board bill.
His surprise and disappointment when he did not find the aforesaid $50 in his pocket where he had placed it when he received it from his client, may be imagined. It cannot well be described. . . . Returning to his office later he found under his door a scrawl on a bit of paper to the effect that the party did not consider the advice given worth the sum charged, and that therefore before leaving he had stolen the bill from his pocket.
“Don’t talk to me,” says Governor Hogg in concluding this story, “about honor among thieves.”
The Governor pronounces his name as if spelled “Hogue,” but the unsophisticated pages will go about the corridor shouting, “Letter for Governor Hog!”
--The New York Times, October 13, 1901.
“Hogue.” He never said that in Texas.
He never fought in the Civil War, either.