In the summer of 1905, Jim Hogg's health was not improving. A trip to Colorado did not help. Despite the cooler weather there, the altitude of 6,500 feet evidently taxed his heart. Later in September his weakened condition worried Ima, and father and daughter took the train back to Texas. They stopped at San Antonio to visit his friend Tom Campbell, and went then on to Mineral Wells for what they hoped would be a recuperative stay.
Jim Hogg was ill, but not too ill to keep up with politics. He had accepted a speaking engagement at a Dallas banquet in November, and he aimed to be there. He had been invited to speak in the presence of four candidates for Texas governor, and he was determined to keep his engagement. But on the train to Dallas he became too weak to continue and had to stop in Fort Worth, where He and Ima went to the Worth Hotel. There the resourceful Ima contrived to have her father make an Edison phonograph recording of his speech from his hotel room. She sent this new-fangled bit of technology to Dallas, where an amazed banquet audience listened to Hogg’s voice. He and Ima settled in at the Worth Hotel, where they stayed for a month.
Hogg, ever optimistic, remained cheerful about his condition. “By Gatlins,” he said a score of times to visitors, “It isn’t my time yet to jump into the briar patch.”
For the moment, he was right.