Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: My Connection with a Governor (part 1)

This past Tuesday I wrote a little about my maternal grandfather, Charles Guokas Jr. As the article on the left from the June 15, 1933, Dallas Morning News notes, he was appointed secretary to Texas Governor Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson about that time, serving until the end of her term in January 1935. Below is a picture of the Governor and her staff taken sometime in that time frame. This is a scanned and cropped image of my mother's copy of the picture, which is also part of the Ferguson Collection at the Bell County Museum in Belton, Texas.

The picture also appears on page 192 of Miriam: The Southern Belle Who Became the First Woman Governor of Texas, by May Nelson Paulissen and Carl McQueary. The same page quotes a January 15, 1933, Dallas Morning News article that states that "J. H. Davis, Jr., a banker of Temple...has been appointed secretary to Mrs. Ferguson. Assistant secretaries are John Wood of Shelby County; Mrs. Gladys Little of Bosque County and Miss Kathleen Trigg of Temple. Miss Cora Langston of Milam County was appointed stenographer..."

Governor Ferguson is seated at the desk, with her husband Jim "Pa" Ferguson, governor 1915-1917, seated next to her. I'm assuming the ladies mentioned above are those standing in the photograph, and the tall gentleman with glasses is probably Mr. Davis. My grandfather, who replaced John Wood in June 1933, is standing at the right. According to family stories, he was her appointments secretary - you could not see the Governor without seeing him first.

More later on my other connections to Ma Ferguson.

© Amanda Pape - 2010


  1. Amanda, Very interesting to me. Your grandfather was a very handsome man and looked like a go-getter ---and a strong presences and the door. Thanks for sharing a special look into that era.

  2. How NEAT! I just love this blog.