In April 1905, Jim Hogg wrote a newsy letter to his nephew:
. . . Last Thursday is the first time I have been to my desk since early in January. I got my neck cracked on the railroad on the 26th of January, within about forty miles of this place. The rigors or convulsions followed in quick succession, and in the course of a few days an abscess about the base of my brain or somewhere in my neck set up. From the injury I lost consciousness which continued for something over a month. The torture and misery that I suffered could only be described by some or all of the four doctors who attended me. They could not reach the abscess from the exterior, but finally had to cut it from five different places through my mouth. I am not entirely well, though I am gradually recovering my strength. This explains what would otherwise appear to be negligence in answering the letters which have accumulated. . . .
For the past two years luck seems to have turned against me. Beginning with Ima’s affliction [she had injured her knee, but recovered], which lasted nearly a year; then came Tom, then Mike, so that upon the whole my anxiety of mind and loss of time, as well as expenses, have taken all of the “music” out of me. While these afflictions were on I sustained very heavy losses in many quarters. If I finally recover, as I now believe I will, from the illness which yet afflicts me, I have no fear of the future or of results. The outlook is certainly cheering and cheerful. My children are scattered so that I do not know whether I can ever get them together again.
Will has a fine position with the best prospects of any young man that I know of in St. Louis. He has a fine salary and almost limitless financial backing. He and Ima both stayed with me during my illness here. Of course, Ima is yet my running mate and if it is possible has improved every day. Mike is yet in Lawrenceville, but is not very well on account of a spell of measles which he has not yet recovered from. Tom is out on a cattle ranch seventy miles west of Kerrville. I have moved here and am boarding at the hotel. . . .
On March 3, 1906, Jim Hogg died peacefully of a heart attack in his sleep. 21 days short of his 55th birthday.